Recently, I received four pages of an undated newspaper known as The Monday Wash, distributed by “The Young Woman’s Auxiliary of the Monday Club,” and advertised as “A Newspaper of No Character.”
Solomon New was editor of the paper that appeared to date back to about 1940. The paper’s serious aim was noted in an editorial: “For several years now, we’ve had no Monday Wash. The depression took most of the laughter from us and gave us so much to worry about that we lost, at least temporarily, our sense of humor. This year we have attempted to give you a few laughs in a paper, which is designed not for the purpose of making fun of people or hurting anybody’s feelings. The proceeds of the sale will be used for civic work.”
The newspaper’s rates were $.25 daily, $.25 weekly and $.25 yearly.” The paper did not print communications whose authors were revealed to the publishers. They claimed to have three libel suits and desired more. Submitted manuscripts had to be accompanied by a deputy sheriff.
A lengthy article titled “Knights of Bantam Chanticleer” spoke of an organization for the prevention of cruelty to bachelors. Part of the 379-word oath stated: “I being of sound mind and having an inordinate indisposition to bestow my worldly goods upon any woman of the female sex, realizing the uncertainty of married life, which I believe to be a scheme upon the part of woman to inveigle man into paying her board bill for life and recognizing the certainty of the joyous and untrammeled life of the bachelor, do by those presents, in the presence of these assembled Knights, herby …”
Another article mentioned a trek of the “Hick, Hack, Hike Club.” The group left Johnson City, hiked to Alta Pass (NC), trekked to Greeneville (TN) where a light lunch was enjoyed, took a 20-minute rest break, journeyed on foot to Gatlinburg, to Erwin and thence to the foot of Buffalo Mountain. The group then walked an hour, skipped an hour, trotted the next 30 minutes and ended the third hour with “a decided gallop.”
Another story was of a stranger stopping at Central Baptist Church in the middle of the Sunday morning worship services while Dr. William Rigell was preaching. The visitor slipped into a back seat alongside a member and whispered to him, “How long has your minister been preaching?” He was told “about ten years.” “Well,” said the stranger, “I think I’ll stay; he must be nearly through.”
A testimonial was sent from George Barnes, City Judge, to Mr. Stevedore Smith of Jones-Vance Drug Store, whose occupation was listed as “Pharmaceutilist and Mortician”: Gents, I suffered from tendium, languor of spirits and a disinclination for work for nigh on to 40 years. I tried 38 and a half bottles of your ‘Git Up and Go Prophylactic,’ and got up the next morning feeling fine. Since then, I have ‘worked’ over 30 men with good results.”
About the only earnestness in the paper were advertisements: Masengill’s, Zimmerman’s News Stand. Office Supply Company, Remine Monuments, Windsor Hotel, George E. Treadway & Sons, Free Service Tire Company, Vee Bee Grocery, Central Coal Company, Mrs. Lyons Taylor Fruit Cakes, Snyder-Jones Pharmacy, Mrs. W.W. Belew Cakes, Bobie’s Chili Parlor, The Hat Box Millinery, The Marguerite Hyatt School of the Dance, Beckner’s Jewelers, Dosser’s, Mecca Restaurant, Appalachian Funeral Home, King’s, The Floral Shoppe, The Charlie Cargille Studio, Bonnie Kate Beautify Salon and H.E. Hart Jewelers.
And then there was this clever news bit: “At a recent Rotary Club meeting, Doc. Wheeler had a congestion of traffic on the Esophagus Road to his stomach. He tried to run a load of hotdogs through a red light.”