Friday, May 14, 2010
These ads were all on the same day, and although they're not all romantic, I thought they were each so interesting in their way that I decided, why not, I'm gonna post them all. The first two in particular are very unique, which is why they deserve a mention.
Now, I see ads all the time looking for people who are missing, or who have "left his/her home"; that's pretty common. But never have I ever seen an ad where people are looking for an escaped prisoner! This ad was published a little over a year after the escape, so presumably the police had given up on finding G. St. Leger Grenfell (quite a fancy name for a convict!). But it's not like if he was found he couldn't be sent back to jail. Any lawyers out there: if F.F. Marbury got information on an escaped prisoner, as his counselor (hired by his family), can he keep his whereabouts privileged under client confidentiality? I'm pretty sure not. Although I guess if some confederate of Grenfell just wrote an anonymous note that said whether or not he's alive, then Marbury doesn't know where he is, so, that's okay then. Pretty odd though. I wonder what Grenfell was in jail for?
Speaking of crime! I have posted a few similar ads, including one of my all time favorite ads ever, but this one's a first, being addressed to a "lady." It's not that women were never thieves, of course, but certainly it's not something you see all the time. I love that he does call her a lady, though; I don't know if that's meant to win her over, or if it's just such a convention to use that word that he does so without thought. I doubt that; I think he's trying to be diplomatic. Those papers must have been pretty important; he's willing to lose the money but not them. But do you think a pickpocket is going to show up on a street corner to return them? Isn't there a chance that the gentleman might bring a policeman friend with him to arrest her? And is a pickpocket reading the personals column anyway? I suppose these ads must have had a little bit of success given that I do see them, if not all the time, then at least often enough that people must have believed they worked.
Aw, that's kind of cute. Could he not speak because he didn't have the opportunity, or was he struck dumb by her incredible beauty? I like to think the latter, which makes a charming little story, but I have a feeling it's the former. He says he "tried" to open the door, not that he actually did, which makes me think they were both in the store, she was leaving, he rushed over to try and let her out, but alas! Someone else beats him to it, and she blithely wanders out into the street without being aware of our hero. Of course he can't run after her because he's just in his socks, plus it would be weird to accost her in the streets, so...he prints a personal.
Anyway, I love that these ads, and so many other kinds, all appear right next to each other. Romance, theft, prison breaks - what more could you ask for in your daily news? It's better than a novel - and you get a different collection of personals every single day! No wonder at least one paper printed them on the front page. It's the best column in the paper!
Having trouble reading the ads? Click one to enlarge!
©2010 Pam Epstein