A cork dipped in monkey soap powder…

But first…
Dulltown, UK: Today’s quotation is from the novel Harry Bleachbaker (1976) by N F Simpson. (NFS):
The story, which is quite true except for the facts, begins in 1954 when a well-known frogman, working for NATO, was suddenly suspected, for no particular reason of communist sympathies. Alarmed, he went for a check-up, but the X-ray revealed nothing and eventually the suspicions themselves disappeared. The stigma, however, remained.
A year or so later, an urgent call went out for experienced frogmen to be trained to laugh underwater. Among the first to volunteer was the frogman who had been suspected less than two years before of communist sympathies…

As I said a few weeks ago, this book smells of old-fashioned cough mixture – obviously someone was browsing the medical section when a spillage occurred – happily though, there is no sign of staining. Yes, this is my battered old junk shop copy of the Daily Express Enquire Within from 1934. A repository of everything you’d need for living a nice middle class life in the 1930s  – however any mention of economic depression or the rise of fascism, and a possible second world war isn’t even hinted at. Here’s a nice picture of the title page, I’m afraid the cover itself is far too boring to warrant a photograph.

Each page has several useful and informative items, and across the top of each are some words of wisdom and guidance – I will include some of these with today’s selection:

Page 13. (The world knows nothing of its greatest men.)
iii. Mutton. – Shoulder; breast (the fore part of the belly – Scottish brisket); over which are the loin (chump or tail end) ; loin (best end), the lower part of the loin in the Scottish mode of division is called the flank or flap; neck (best end); neck (scrag end); leg haunch, or leg and chump end of loin (Scottish gigot); and head…

Page 415. (Morning for work, evening for contemplation.)
To take the stains out of knives. –  Take some potato parings and some finely-powdered brick-dust. Dip the white portion of the potato paring in the brick-dust and rub the knife with it, when the stains will disappear; or a rag dipped in strong potash or soda may be used (with the brick-dust also). Stains may also be removed with a cork dipped in emery powder, or monkey soap powder.

Page 242. (Fair play is a jewel.)
Juvenile smoking. – Any person selling cigarettes or cigarette papers to a person apparently under sixteen, whether for his own use or not, is liable to a fine on summary conviction.
It is the duty of a constable or park keeper to seize any cigarettes or cigarette papers in the possession of anyone apparently under sixteen whom he finds smoking, and he may search any boy so smoking, but not a girl.

Page 387. (Time and tide tarry for no man.)
i. There is not anything gained in economy by having very young and inexperienced servants at low wages; the cost of what they break, waste, and destroy is more than an equivalent for higher wages, setting aside comfort and respectability.
ii. An ever dirty hearth, and a grate always choked with cinders and ashes, are infallible evidences of bad house-keeping.
iii. Dirty windows speak to the passer-by of the negligence of the inmates.

Page 174. (Disease is the punishment of neglect.)
Rules of Loo.
i. For a misdeal the dealer is looed.
ii. For playing out of turn or looking at the ‘miss’ without taking it, a player is looed.
iii. If the first player possesses two or three trumps, he must play the highest or be looed.
iv. With ace of trumps only, the first player must lead it or be looed.
v. The player who looks at his neighbour’s hand, either during the play or when they lie on the table, is looed.

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...
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7 Responses to A cork dipped in monkey soap powder…

  1. Sharon Mann says:

    I like the comment about the dirty windows, I’d better clean my windows! haha

  2. Dana Doran says:

    An illusion shared by everyone becomes a reality – – Erich Fromm

  3. Jheron Bash says:

    Parkkeepers, eh? Those were the days. They’d probably give you a clip round the earhole as well. But not a girl.
    Ooh, you wouldn’t want to be looed, would you?

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