from Putnam's Two-Way Question Book
by Ellis Parker Butler
The Two-Way Question Book, which you have just opened at this page, is undoubtedly the greatest invention since a lesser genius discovered how to utilize the last squeal of the stockyard pig by using it as static in radio. The practical soul of the Great American Public demands that no by-product shall go to waste, and for some years the air has been rent by the cries of the multitudes who have answered the queries in the many Questionnaires and "Ask Me Another" books: "Now that we have got the answers, what shall we do with them?"
I remember that when I was a young man I learned to "crack" the big toe of my left foot by flexing it suddenly inside my shoe while resting my heel on the floor. This caused the toe to give forth a noise like the explosion of a small pistol. As art this was admirable but when I asked my father, "Can you crack your toe like this?" he replied, "No; I have not found that cracking my left big toe was an accomplishment necessary for the proper keeping of a set of books in a wholesale grocery." The economist in me saw the truth in this. Toe-cracking had no utilitarian value and thereafter I gave it up except as a diversion at social affairs, such as weddings, parties, etc.
The inventor of the Two-Way Question Book meets the utilitarians' query, "Now that I have got the answers to the questionnaires, what shall I do with them?" by replying, "Use them to solve Cross-Word Puzzles."
Thus one more by-product becomes of value and answering questionnaire takes its rank with other great American industries. The world does move.
In the answers in this book you will find "Aar" and "Zed" and nearly every word between them, the book thus constituting a practically complete cultural education, so that those who study it can answer even such queries as "Who was Peer Gynt's mother?" and "What is the New York night-club periodically subject to?" and thus save the time and expense of a college education.