Enquire Within (16). ‘The stock has been modified…’

But first…
Dulltown, UK: Today’s duck is the one that only quacks when it is quacked to.

Come on!… Yes, come with me!… Let’s take a trip into the past and find out what being a nice comfortably-off middle-class person living in Britain was like in, oh, say, how about 1934?
Well no, not really, but we could reach for that that drab old copy of The Daily Express Enquire Within on the dusty top shelf of the bookcase, dip into it at random to get a whiff of day-to-day life and its concomitant problems back in those days.

DSCN4009This book is a mine of useful information pertinent to all aspects of human existence. There are several items per page and across the top of every page there are a few pithy words of wisdom and guidance – I shall include these with today’s selections:

Page 165. (A blunt knife shows a dull wife.)
Catch The Ten. – This may be played by any number of persons, from two to eight, with a pack of thirty-six cards (the twos, threes, fours, and fives being taken out.)
i. The cards are all dealt around one at a time, the last one being turned up as the trump. Each player must have an equal number of cards; therefore if there are five or seven players one of the sixes is also taken out; if there are eight players the game must be played with a piquet pack of thirty-two cards (all below seven being taken out).

Page 393. (Ignorance of the law excuseth no man.)
Writing Ink. – Boil eight eight ounces of galls in coarse powder, and four ounces of logwood in thin chips, in twelve pints of rainwater for one hour; strain the liquor, and add four ounces of green copperas, three ounces of powdered gum arabic, one ounce of blue vitriol, and one ounce of coarse sugar; stir the mixture until the whole be dissolved, then let it subside for twenty-four hours; strain it off speedily, and put it by in stone bottles for use..

Page 444. (He who serves well need not be afraid to ask his wages.)
Cautions for the Prevention of Accidents.
xxii. Never allow your servants to leave brooms, brushes, slop-pails, water-cans, &c. in outside doorways, or at the head of a flight of stairs when engaged in housework.

Page 459. (Appetite comes with eating.)
Eugenics may be defined as the theory of natural selection applied to the human race. Students of vital statistics have long been impressed with the extent to which the population is affected in the most serious way by causes which have grown so familiar that they are treated with neglect or contempt. The investigation of the pedigree of any family will reveal how the stock has been modified for good or ill in past generations.

Page 392. (As the virtue in the tree, such is the fruit.)
Lime and Egg Cement.- The white of an egg, well beaten with quicklime, and a small quantity of very old cheese, forms an excellent substitute for cement when wanted in a hurry, either for broken china or old ornamental glass-ware.

About Dave Whatt

Grumpy old surrealist artist, musician, postcard maker, bluesman, theatre set designer, and debonair man-about-town. My favourite tools are the plectrum and the pencil...
This entry was posted in archeology, books, history, humour, information, instruction, learning, reading, surrealism, words, writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Enquire Within (16). ‘The stock has been modified…’

  1. I need cement quick! Hang on I’ve got to wait for the cheese to age.

  2. Dana Doran says:

    I am at a loss for a pithy response….I’m so engaged with the idea of how we arrived where we are….who needs cement? Throw it out!

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