Saturday, September 24, 2011

Untimely Fate of a Coney Island clam?

You know how every so often you see one of those stories that you just don't get? Well, here is one of them, from 1851. There is actually a nice rhyme and meter to it, though, if you can put up with the nonsense.

THAT HUNDRED DOLLAR TALE.--As the "extended time" is wearing away, and rapidly approaching "All Fool's day," the penny a liners are brushing, their wits, and striving to give each other "fits," while laboring to increase the size of original tales to win that "prize." 'Tis said--we can't say that it's true--that Puffer Hopkins has written two--either of which he thinks will do; one, after the style of Bungraham, of a "local" interest and weight, recording the untimely fate of an innocent Coney Island Clam; while the other soars in fancy's realms, and transcendentally overwhelms with "thoughts that breathe and words that burn," all those who say a paper can't turn at least six times in two short years, to any clique whose purse appears the readiest to reward long ears…

--Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Wednesday, March 19, 1851

So April Fool's Day was around in 1851. I guess that's something!

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