Let Us Also Prohibit ----
by Ellis Parker Butler
One of the things we should keep in mind at this New Year season is reform. A public official of Muscatine County, Iowa, in searching for old documents has discovered the first records of the meetings of the county authorities. Among the first acts were the issuance of two licenses at $100 each. One was for the sale of intoxicating liquors and the other was for the sale of clocks -- wood or brass.
This discovery calls sharp attention to something we have all overlooked. We have prohibited the sale of intoxicating liquors but we have neglected to prohibit the sale of clocks. Yet the menace of clocks was recognized by the authorities of Muscatine County, Iowa, as long ago as 1838, as being equal to that of intoxicating liquors. A movement to prohibit clocks should be started immediately.
The clock is one of the greatest menaces we now have to face. The clock, wood or brass, marks time; it tells the hours. Have you ever stopped to think that every crime is committed at an hour and minute marked by the hand of some clock? Not until the hands of a clock marked six minutes past five did Henry P. Cutz murder his grandmother. Had there been no clocks in America no American clock would have marked six minutes past five and Henry P. Cutz could not have murdered his grandmother. If there were no clocks there could be no crime. Let us prohibit clocks.
I call attention to the menace of industrial unrest. From demanding the eight-hour day the workers have come to demanding the seven-hour day, the six-hour day, the five-hour day. If this keeps on there will be a conflict between labor and capital that will make the World War look like a wet firecracker. It is all due to clocks. If there were no clocks there would be no hours. Friends and fellow citizens, do you realize that? Let us prohibit clocks before it is too late and the world is in chaos!
It is possible that we will meet with opposition in our fight to prohibit all clocks. If so, let us battle to prohibit the most deadly clocks first. Let us fight to prohibit that monster of iniquity, the nickel-plated brass alarm clock.
Have you ever stopped to think that no man commits crime in his sleep? Have you ever stopped to think that alarm clocks are the great awakeners of men? I have gathered statistics that show that of 287,965 crimes committed in America last year 287,965 were done by men while awake. I hold the alarm clocks directly responsible for all this crime.
I look forward eagerly to the time when all clocks, sundials, hourglasses, watches and time-recording candles will be abolished. I demand the prohibition of wristwatches especially.
The wristwatch, until the year 1914, was undoubtedly responsible for practically all the male effeminacy in America. After 1914 the wristwatch dragged our youth into still greater hideousness. Almost immediately after buckling a wristwatch on his wrist the American youth became bloodthirsty, crossed the ocean and began to fight and kill. It must be evident to all that the World War was the direct result of the heinous watchmakers. Not satisfied with producing watches that dragged our youth down to effeminacy they created -- for the sake of the dirty profits -- wristwatches that turned our peaceful boys into bayonet jabbers. Let us prohibit all timepieces, my friends!
Let me not mention here the dread work of the ankle watch. This is a subject not to be taken up in a respectable periodical, but I have with my own eyes seen girls -- beautiful girls -- who might have been safe in respectable homes, dragged on to the stages of public theaters and made to caper and dance by the watches strapped on their ankles. The subject is too delicate to carry further.
Let us prohibit all timepieces. My friend, do you know that timepieces mark the hours, and that hours are what make days, and that days are what make years? Do you know that old age and decrepitude are the direct result of years? Let us prohibit clocks and there will be no more hours to make days to make years.
Ponce de Leon, poor imbecile, sought a Fountain of Youth! We know now that youth cannot be given by a fountain. Youth is due to an absence of years in the human ego. Years can only be done away with by abolishing days; days can only be abolished by doing away with hours; hours can only be ended by prohibiting clocks.
My friends, are you aware that as a master Time is an evil monster? Who are his servants? Every convict is serving time. Nine out of ten politicians are timeservers. I have statistics to prove that before the invention of clocks there was not one convict in Sing Sing prison. I know one case -- a most pathetic case -- of a sailor ashore on leave. He loitered and when the time came for him to take his watch he took another man's watch, including a gold chain and a charm containing the tooth of an elk. He only wanted a good time, and he got it -- two years and six months.
I demand a constitutional amendment prohibiting clocks and I ask -- I beg -- every reader to write his senator and representative demanding immediate action in Congress. If you do not know the name of your senator or representative write to Santa Claus.