Archive for May, 2013

Parlier Man Says Life Is Funny Proposition

(In going through my recently deceased father-in-laws ‘things’, I came across the following newspaper clipping, a letter to the editor of the Fresno Bee—a vintage piece of sardonicism passing itself off as Twainesque humor  written on the eve of the great depression. Enjoy. Apparently my father-in-law was so taken by its misanthropy as to clip and save it, and I am so struck by that as to give it a new lease on life in the Internet.)

Editor of The Bee—Sir: A man comes into this world without his consent and leaves without his will. During his stay on earth his time is spent in one continuous round of contraries and misunderstandings.

In his infancy he is an angel, in his boyhood he is a devil; in his manhood he is everything from a lizard up; in his duties he is a dam fool; if he raises a family, he is a chump; if he raises a check, he is a thief and the law raises hell with him; if he is a poor man, he is a poor manager and has no sense; if he is rich, he is dishonest but is considered smart; If he is in politics he is a grafter, and a crook. If he is out of politics you cannot place him and he is an undesirable citizen. If he goes to church he is a hypocrite and if he stays away from church he is a sinner.

If he donates to a foreign mission, he does it for the show; if he doesn’t he is a tightwad; when he comes into the world, every one wants to kiss him; before he goes out, they all want to kick him; if he dies young, there was a bright future before him. If he lives to a ripe old  age, he is only in the way and is living to save funeral expenses. In order to be entirely health, he must eat nothing, drink nothing, smoke nothing, and see that the air is properly sterilized before breathing. Life is a funny proposition, and is just what we make it,and we must learn to take the bitter just as we do the sweet.

Yours respectfully,

W. H. M’Connell
Parlier, California
February 16, 1929

Parlier, CA is a small central valley town ~30 miles SE of Fresno, population as of 2010, 14,494.

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