The Charlotte News

Tuesday, October 21, 1941


Site Ed. Note: "Popskull" relates the need for ethyl alcohol to produce smokeless powder for the production of ordnance; thus the cessation of rum production in the Virgin Islands to relieve the shortage. The piece suggests procurement from the North Carolina mountains of that to which was also applied the moniker "busthead", in order to obtain the 60 pounds necessary for a 1,500 lb. shot for a 16-inch gun, indicating that in the bargain the shiner's molasses-powered pure grain might shoot the thing even further.

"Formula" reminds of the earlier simple solution to Washington spending as promulgated by Senator Harry F. Byrd of Virginia: "Stop writing checks." Of course, it never is quite that easy. For Purse & Co., cutpurses if ever there were, always needs the cash for operations in the covert wending, if for nothing else, with the first three of the horsemen accompanying: white with the whizzer bow, red with the Russkie sword, (known in Scotland as the Douglas), and black with the balances. Turn, turn, turn. Senator Byrd, we understand from Cash, however, was no hypocrite in this regard: he wrote checks for the labor picking apples in his orchards at the rate of $1.25 per diem. In dix-huitième costume, an industrious worker, willing to labor eight days a week, could pick up a ten-spot in no time.

The Italian situation is represented twice on the page, once by Raymond Clapper and again by an American who had recently returned from a long visit in Italy, both indicating the restive state of the country and its population's desire both to be rid of Nazi rule and Mussolini, but not at the expense of being controlled or occupied by the British. The Clapper piece mentions incidentally the internment of Italians in Montana, a prelude to the internment of Japanese-Americans on the west coast after Pearl Harbor. The case of the internment of the Italians has never been so publicized as that of the Japanese; nor did it lead to a Supreme Court case, as did the Japanese internment, Korematsu v. U.S. 323 US 214 (1944), perhaps because that case upheld the Japanese internment by a 6 to 3 majority as a proper exercise of emergency powers by the President in time of war.

Mussolini, who had come to power at the behest of King Emmanuel in the fall of 1922 after his Fascist Party members, amid social and economic degradation, had staged a march on Rome, would lose so much sway over his people by July, 1943, with the fall of Italy assured by the steady ingress of the joint Allied commands of American and British forces making their way through Sicily under Patton and Montgomery, that Emmanuel would dismiss him and order his arrest. Rescued by the Germans, he was set up as a Nazi puppet in northern Italy until the end of the war when he was captured and executed by a mob of angry Italians. Sic semper tyrannis.

As for the report from The New York Times of dogs quadrupling in weight during the course of the night, and so offering that as an additional reason, besides basic hygiene, to keep doggies off the bed, don't believe everything you read. For it's really ten times that they increase during a given night. And it has since been proven beyond dispute that they gain the weight by absorption of Martians, resembling horses with giraffe heads, who land on the roof under the silent and watchful will of doggie commandos throughout your neighborhood during a given night, commandos who are actually secret agents of an extra-terrestrial organization, Penthesilea, which loosely stands for "Beethoven's Fifth Furry Catmint". (If you can discern why, then the dogs will admit you to their secret cryptogram which explains: a) why they respond to dog whistles; b) why they are able to sleep so soundly and deeply through thunder and lightning and rain, yet awake instanter at the slightest intrusion to their territory by a bogey.) That dog you think is your friend is really a hostile agent of a mongrel race out to inveigle you of house and home and place you in the booby hatch. Admit it, should you own one: you talk to it. No further proof need be adduced at your sanity hearing to prove the point. And simply because it responds to your Pavlovian induced commands, you probably even have delusional notions that it understands what you are saying. So, it is not only gaining weight in the night and absorbing the Martians on your roof, it is slowly running you completely insane.

Solution: Give it lots of popskull, and plenty of molasses to go with it. Doggie will stop gaining weight in the night and absorbing the Martians on your roof. He may lose a lot of weight, too. You may not, but that's the price of having one of these creatures around.

Our motto, not dissimilar to that of The Times, is "All the fleas fit to flick, and then some."

Just kidding. Our flea powder works well.

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