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Off Key


Bathroom humor is very old. As to its age, there are two main hypotheses, that it is as old as the hills, and that it is as old as a trouser-clad culture. Advocates of the former theory might admit when pressed that if not as old as the hills it is as least as old as hills with bushes on them. Advocates of the latter theory would claim, if given half a chance, that no such thing existed in, say, Polynesia before the arrival of Captain Cook. But they probably would not have read "Coming of Age in Samoa.'

Bathroom Humor

Anyhow, none of that is important except as productive scholarship. The fact that bathroom humor is profitable is all that concerns the present generation, to whom it has indeed been more profitable than was ever before dreamed of. As an example of one man who struck when the iron was hot, consider the not inappropriately named Chick Sale. He made a fairly sizeable fortune by writing a rather dull book on nothing more exciting than a privy--it really isn't very exciting--and he sustained it by donning a false beard and making equivocal remarks for vaudeville audiences.

This is a sorry commentary on the intellectual pleasures of our countrymen, but it is encouraging to note that the center of vaudeville allusion has changed. Not geographically, it is true, but functionally, now dealing more frequently with reproduction as opposed to elimination.

True, that appliance euphemistically dubbed the W.C. is still a standby of the funsters. And in this connection it is interesting to note that these initials have been absorbed into more languages than any other English expression, second only to the American "O. K." And while the pronunciation of the magic word in German or French may not be at once recognizable, the handwriting on the wall is always plain to any literate person, thus demonstrating simultaneously the advantages of an education, and the marvellous potentialities of an international languages, such as Esperanto, to supplement that of love.

But' despite the distinguished pedi- gree of bathroom humor, (the W.C. was invented in 1592 by Sir John Harington, a godson of Queen Elizabeth, according to the staff of History 1) it is still in bad odor with arbiters of public taste such as Will Hays. For example, no glimpse was to be had of this delightful piece of furniture in the bathroom scenery of "Swing Time." With some pleasure and no fear this department takes pleasure in offering a copy of its composite picture of allRepublicannomineesforpublicofficeattheNovemberelections to anyone who reports a bona fide instance of this item having appeared on the silver screen.  NARCISSUS.

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