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Please help an ignorant Brit!
Posted by: marian2 (
Date: August 29, 2003 07:18AM

I was looking for Maud Muller and found Franklin P Adam's excellent parody of it at adams/something02.html - 38k. I was wondering if the second line of the last verse related to Prohibition - did it come in on 1st July, or is it a reference to something else. Can't seem to find an accurate date for Prohibition, just 1920. Enlightenment would put me out of my intellectual misery!

Re: Please help an ignorant Brit!
Posted by: Hugh Clary (
Date: August 29, 2003 10:45AM

Which line is that again? You lost me.

Maud Muller Mutatur

In 1909 toilet goods were not considered a serious matter and no special department of the catalogs were devoted to it. A few perfumes and creams were scattered here and there among bargain goods. In 1919 an assortment of perfumes that would rival any city department store is shown, along with six pages of other toilet articles, including rouge and eyebrow pencils.

--From "How the Farmer Has Changed in a Decade: Toilet Goods," in Farm and Fireside's advertisement.

MAUD MULLER, on a summer's day,
Powdered her nose with Bon Sachet.

Beneath her lingerie hat appeared
Eyebrows and cheeks that were well veneered.

Singing she rocked on the front piazz,
To the tune of "The Land of the Sky Blue Jazz."

But the song expired on the summer air,
And she said, "This won't get me anywhere."

The Judge in his car looked up at her
And signalled "Stop!" to his brave chauffeur.

He smiled a smile that is known as broad,
And he said to Miss Muller, "Hello, how's Maud?"

"What sultry weather is this? Gee whiz!"
Said Maud. Said the Judge, "I'll say it is."

"Your coat is heavy. Why don't you shed it?
Have a drink?" said Maud. Said the Judge, "You said it."

And Maud, with the joy of bucolic youth,
Blended some gin and some French vermouth.

Maud Muller sighed, as she poured the gin,
"I've got something on Whittier's heroine."

"Thanks," said the judge, "a peppier brew
From a fairer hand was never knew."

And when the judge had had number 7,
Maud seemed an angel direct from Heaven.

And the judge declared, "You're a lovely girl,
An' I'm for you Maudie, I'll tell the worl'."

And the judge said, "Marry me, Maudie dearie?"
And Maud said yes to the well known query.

And she often thinks, in her rustic way,
As she powders her nose with Bon Sachet,

"I never'n the world would a' got that guy,
If I'd waited till after the First o' July.

And of all glad words of prose or rhyme,
The gladdest are, "Act while there yet is time."

Re: Please help an ignorant Brit!
Posted by: Marian-NYC (
Date: August 29, 2003 01:24PM

I'm not aware of any "July 1" associations that are helpful here.

Prohibition did NOT take effect on that date:

"On Midnight of January 16, 1920, one of the personal habits and customs of most Americans suddenly came to a halt. The Eighteenth Amendment was put into effect and all importing, exporting, transporting, selling, and manufacturing of intoxicating liquor was put to an end."

Re: Please help an ignorant Brit!
Posted by: Hugh Clary (
Date: August 29, 2003 03:25PM

Oh, I see it now:

[] />
"What the 18th Amendment did was to ban "the manufacture, sale, or distribution of intoxicating liquors." It went into effect July 1, 1920. The Volstead Act also known as the National Prohibition Act was enacted in October, 1919 to provide for enforcement mechanisms. It gave federal authorities the power to prosecute violations. Also, it defined intoxicating beverages as those containing more than .5 percent alcohol."

another aside ...
Posted by: ilza (
Date: August 29, 2003 06:38PM

I am a fan of Mr. Franklin P. Adams,
who was "one of the most influential and durable newspapermen of this century"
a member of the Algonquin group, close friend of Dorothy Parker, Ross, etc a panelist, he had a famous column The Conning Tower which appeared daily for 35 consecutive years !!!

and one of the most sad lines I ever read comes from
The life and times of Franklin Pierce Adams,
by Sally Ashley :
Many people were surprised to discover that Frank had only just died.
They'd hought him dead long before.
Hushed conversation skirted the unspeakable, then faltered.
How did you make conversation about the sordiness of a nursing home,
all those helpless old people sitting around, staring at the wall.
The old mourners, the ones who'd known him best, shuddered and tried to think of other things.
Not of FPA, stuck in a nursing home with a cranky practical nurse feeding him and wiping his chin with a paper napkin.
Not Frank.

Re: Please help an ignorant Brit!
Posted by: Hugh Clary (
Date: August 29, 2003 09:47PM

Yeah, I remember that from the 'life and times' book you mentioned. He enjoyed a great life for the first 90% of it though. And a fine tennis player, I believe. A sport where even modest competence still eludes me after decades of dedication.

Re: Please help an ignorant Brit!
Posted by: marian2 (
Date: August 31, 2003 08:59AM

Thanks for the information, everyone - I'm confused about the mechanics of the sequence of events, since the two different sources (Marian's and Hugh's) give different dates, but the fact that 1 July 1920 is quoted in one as being a significant date re prohibition, confirms that's what Adams was referring to.

The biographical extract is terribly sad - one can always hope that he remained a 'character' and was thereby the life and soul of the old people's home he inhabited, but it's a fairly forlorn hope from the extract given.

Sorry about the confusion over which bit of the poem I meant, Hugh - I'm becoming innumerate in my old age (better than incontinent, but I may have that pleasure to come).

Re: Please help an ignorant Brit!
Posted by: Hugh Clary (
Date: September 01, 2003 02:56PM

Yeah, confusing timeline of events. See also:

[] />
Just guessing, but it appears they made it against the law while failing to fund the enforcement. This is normal for USA politics.

Re: Please help an ignorant Brit!
Posted by: Pam Adams (---)
Date: September 02, 2003 04:16PM

To add another parody to the list- I found this one by Ogden Nash.


The Beggar
(After William Blake)
Beggar, beggar, burning low
In the city's trodden snow,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy dread asymmetry?

In what distant deep of lies
Died the fire of thine eyes?
What the mind that planned the shame?
What the hand dare quench the flame?

And what shoulder and what art
Could rend the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to fail,
What soft excuse, what easy tale?

What the hammer? What the chain?
What the furnace dulled thy brain?
What the anvil? What the blow
Dare to forge this deadly woe?

When the business cycle ends
In flaming extra dividends,
Will He smile his work to see?
Did He who made the Ford make thee?

Re: Please help an ignorant Brit!
Posted by: marian2 (
Date: September 03, 2003 04:17AM

Thanks Hugh - I think I have it straight now - they prohibited alcohol in the middle of 1919 (midnight 30 June/1 July) under emergency legislation to do with the aftermath of the war, and then ratified it in a Constitution amendment which took effect in January 1920 and lasted till 1933.

Thaks for the super parody, Pam, I hadn't met that one, and Ogden Nash is a favourite poet of mine.

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