Monday, October 15, 2018

Old inscription and a lighthearted threat of missed turkey

The above inscription appears on the first page of The Sick-A-Bed Lady, an actual hardcover book that was published 107 years ago, in October 1911.

The book, by Eleanor Hallowell Abbott, is actual a collection of stories. It's not just one long novel about a lady who's sick in bed, because that might become ponderous quickly. The title page gives this fuller title (which clearly would not fit on the cover): The Sick-A-Bed Lady and Also Hickory Dock, The Very Tired Girl1, The Happy-Day, Something That Happened in October, The Amateur Lover, Heart of the City, The Pink Sash, Woman's Only Business.

The frontispiece, still protected by tissue paper, has the caption "That will help you remember where your mouth is," and I'll just leave it at that. The book is dedicated "To The Memory of Two Fathers."2

The last line of the book is "Across the young, tremulous, vibrant greensward I heard the throb-throb-throb of a man's feet — running." I think greensward is just a fancy word for lawn, and I'm not sure how it could be "tremulous."

Anyway, throb-throb-throb aside, the interesting part of this book is the aforementioned inscription, written in lovely cursive ink. It states:
It may be lots of fun to be a sick-abed Lady, but if you don't get well "P.D.Q." you'll miss the turkey.
P.D.Q. was a polite way of saying "Pretty Damn Quick" — immediately, directly, forthwith, pronto or straightaway. Does anyone out there still use it in 2018?

1. Possibly a prequel to The Sick-A-Bed Lady.
2. Possibly Greg Evigan and Paul Reiser.1

Secondary footnote
1. Do you think Paul Reiser got eaten by that xenomorph? Or do you reckon he talked his way out of it?

1 comment:

  1. Published 107 years ago -- in October 2011...?!?

    Of course, you meant October 1911, as shown here:

    This text is now considered to be in the public domain. Happy reading:

    -- M.F.