Baltimore Evening Sun (20 June 1912): 8.


THE OFFICIAL FORECAST. [The super-Mahon in his weekly paper.]

When the showdown comes, he [1] will be unanimously nominated for Vice-President.

Boil your drinking water! Boil your drinking water! Boil your drinking water! Boil your drinking water! Boil your drinking water!

From the assiduous Hot Towel of June 10:

Mayor Preslon’s candidacy * * * has been highly indorsed by some of the leading statesmen of the nation.

From the immoral Evening Sunpaper of June 13:

A can of bear’s grease for the name and address of each and every such statesman.

Reply of the assiduous and courageous Hot Towel:

The Hon. Thomas Taggart, National Committeeman from Indiana. The Hon. Edmond H. Moore, Insurance Commissioner of Ohio. The Hon. Roger C. Sullivan, National Committeeman from Illinois. The Hon. Martin J. Wade, National Committeeman from Iowa. The Hon. A. J. Daly, National Committeeman from Alaska.

A quintet of “leading statesmen,” to be sure. The Hon. Mr. Taggart is the old-fashioned boss of Indiana and a principal owner of the resort at French Lick Springs. The Hon. Mr. Sullivan is the boss of Ohicago. On July 17, 1906, William Jennings Bryan demanded that he resign from the National Committee on the ground that he was elected “by a fraud” and on the further ground that it was “impossible for honest Democrats to associate with him.” This leaves the Hon. Messrs. Moore, Wade and Daly. Of these only Wade is of enough consideration to be mentioned in “Who’s Who in America,” a publication so hospitable that it gives 21 lines to the super-Mahon himself. Wade, it appears, was once a petty judge in Iowa and served a term in Congress.

However, let us not be too critical. For the sake of peace, let Taggart and Sullivan stand together as one “leading statesman,” with Moore, Wade and Daly making another. Thus two cans of bear’s grease await the order of the estimable Towel. Use it well, dear hearts. The hair of the Customer is full of electricity and stands melodramatically on end!

Here is a practical example, as plain as a pikestaff, of the high communal cost of a heavy death rate, and here was an obvious opportunity for self-elected saviors of the city to do a useful work. But, as I have shown, the boomiferous attitude toward the death rate has been, not to combat it, not to denounce the Health Department’s effort to conceal it, but to help in that concealment. In that single fact, I believe, there appears ample evidence, not only that boomery may be useless, but also that it may be actually dangerous. Progress is not merely a matter of banqueting and bellowing: it is far more a matter of patient grappling with evils. Certainly no theory could be more false and pernicious than that which grounds it upon evasion and illusion and makes it inimical to honest efforts at improvement.

But, as I have said, the Merchants and Manufacturers’ Association now withdraws from its old position. It still solemnly declares that “the slum is unknown in Baltimore,” despite our miles of negro shanties, but it has at least abandoned its ancient fiction about the death rate. Every Baltimorean who thinks that the association has a real usefulness before it will welcome its abandonment, if even only partially, of the methods and principles of boomery. Whenever it has endeavored to discharge its real flinction--that is to say, whenever it has sought to solve a definite trade problem in an intelligible, straightforward way--it has achieved the business with dignity and success. But whenever it has ventured into the field of mere tub-thumping and wind music, it has failed miserably and made itself ridiculous.

From a home-made and holographic interview sent to The Sun by the Hon. John Turner, Jr., M. D., regius professor of the principles and practice of medicine to the super-Mahonic administration:

Dr. Turner, when interviewed, picked Mencken’s tail feathers and flayed him roundly. “Poor old Mencken,” commented the Doctor when asked his views concerning the Free Lance Editor. “It is a mighty good thing that his lance is free, for very few would buy it. So far, I have never seen the rare bird; if I ever do I shall shun it as unclean and ignore it professionally. Of course, any jackass can bray!” “Dr. Turner, what is your idea of Mr. Mencken, who seems to give you lots of free advertising daily?” “Mencken! Why, I haven’t given him much thought. Is he a man? Haven’t met him; yet I know most all the reporters in town, and they are a fine lot of energetic, brainy men. This fellow who writes for the Free Lance, sometimes, I think, is suffering with a Tapeworm.”

There is gratitude for you! Every time I have mentioned Dr. Turner I have heaped upon him the praises of a sincere and eloquent admirer. I have compared him with Osler, Flexner, Metchnikoff, Ehrlich, Behring and Mueller. I have called attention to his incomparable contributions to medical science. I have touted him as hygienist, bacteriologist, anatomist, physiologist. I have pictured him as one consulted eagerly. and copiously by the Hon. the super-Mahon, that master of all the arts, that miraculously sagacious judge of genius.

And what do I get for all my enthusiasm, for all my flattery, for all my sweating? What is my reward? My reward, in brief, is that the ungrateful Doctor sets himself down before his writing table and composes a long interview with himself (not forgetting the questions of the gaseous reporter), and fills that interview full of bile and wormwood, and then dispatches it to the A. S. Abell Company. and then waits maliciously for the A. S. Abell Company to tie a can to me and send me bawling down Baltimore street!

For shame, John! Is that the way for a great pathologist to act? Are such shines becoming to a prosector of anatomy? I hope not. It would grieve me to think so. But, meanwhile, I shall be glad to print the rest of the interview in daily sections, and to let the great masses of the common people judge. My fate and John’s are in the hands of the vulgar.

Twenty-nine cheap but noninfectious cigarros to the Hon. Henry A. McMains, camerlengo, etc.

Tip for the Maryland Antivivisection Society, the maudlin, the moribund:

At the Johns Hopkins Hospital yesterday afternoon the hyperdolichocephalosity of a blackamoor from Charles county was remedied by rushing him through a wash wringer head first. No anesthetics were used.