Which is Happy to Be Cooking Up Something Besides Reports
It’s in the Eye of the Beholder, But is it Beauty?
“I’m thinking of growing a beard,” said the Cat.
“In the name of all that’s holy, why?” demanded the Mouse, for once startled out of his usual composure.
“No particular reason,” the Cat replied. It’s just that everybody’s doing it.”
“I am not,” retorted the Mouse, “but of course I’m not a member of the everybody’s-doing-it generation.”
The Cat gave him a suspicious look of one who thinks he is being insulted but has to make sure, “Whaddaya mean, a member of the everybody’s-doing-it generation?”
“Simply somebody who does what he does because a lot of other somebodies are doing the same thing,” the Mouse explained. “Young people make up the bulk of it, but it isn’t so much a matter of age as it is a state of mind. Anyone who has not achieved sufficient maturity to form his own opinions and/or make his own decisions slides into it.”
“Some people certainly grow beards for other reasons than that,” said the Cat, deliberately ignoring the probability he was not one of them. “There was a lot of anti-war feeling, and many young men preferred not to look like a recruiting poster. There was also the matter of women wearing man-style clothes. The men retaliated by letting their hair grow.”
“Whence was born unisex,” put in the Mouse, “and a bonanza for clothing manufacturers. Matching his and her outfits from the skin out. Ruffled bright colored shirts for men on the basis nature has always given the male the brighter plumage. Pantsuits for women who claimed they, too, were entitled to safe, comfortable clothes for work and leisure. I suppose the next thing will be transex.”
“I never heard that word before,” said the Cat, suspicious again.
“Neither did I,” the Mouse assured him, “but I doubt if I’m the only one who’s coined it. It should mean the sexes are changing places. Women want to be treated like men. In many instances that is desirable, provided that they do not insist on being treated like women at the same time. Then there are men who want what they regard as the traditional rights of women: protection, courtesy, financial support and loving fingers tangling in all that hair at night – which may be another reason they grew it.”
“Wouldn’t equisex be better?” asked the Cat, taking his turn at word coining.
“I’m afraid we already have it,” the Mouse said, “and I am not sure whether it’s for better or worse. The trouble is each sex ignores its own virtues as being dull, and picks up the vices of the other on the assumption they’re fun. At least women can’t grow beards, for which I am grateful. A beard probably won’t show much on you, either.”
“Nevertheless, I shall grow a beard,” replied the Cat. “It’s what I want to do, and I am a firm believer in a person doing his own thing.”
“Then I have just one more question for you,” said the Mouse. “Are you actually doing your thing when it’s the same thing everybody else is doing?” And he wondered off, leaving the Cat thoughtfully rubbing his chin; whether in search of thoughts or first stubble remains uncertain.
Moral: Hair is all right until somebody gets in it.
The Department of Utter Nonsense
A. Walrus, Editor
It’s a Man’s World
Or Who Sold Women That Bale of Goods?
What has become of the man who mowed,
Trimmed the hedge and spaded and sowed?
All of the ads are depicting his wife
Equipped with a pruner, an edger, a knife –
Tools designed for a woman to use ‘em –
Mowers so mobile she just can’t refuse ‘em.
Always this frail little female appears
Riding a plowlet, or up to her ears
In peat moss and plant food, in cuttings and seeds,
Spraying the insects, digging the weeds.
In short, all the work once denoted as rough,
Is retooled and promoted as feminine stuff.
So what has become of the man we had?
Find him displayed in another ad,
Dressed in tuxedo, a patch on one eye,
Gallantly lifting his bourbon or rye,
Toasting the men with the gray flannel look
Who’ve taken him off of the garden hook.
This issue by Louise Lincoln and A. Walrus at Tucson, Arizona 85710
The presswork is by Alf Babcock, 40 years a printer, and more to come we hope!