Thursday, April 22, 2010

Does the Waltz Cause Syphilis?

Dear Messrs Kneebone and Pyle,
Our daughter Miriam is a gay and frivolous creature – the vices of youth one suspects - who will one day make a fine and deserving wife. To this effect, we are arranging her coming out ball. Now, this child has requested dancing, specifically this new European craze the Waltz. Without wishing to trouble her appropriately empty little head, but for my own peace of mind, I would like to confirm or dispel a most disturbing rumour. Sirs, let me cut to the chase. Does this waltz cause syphilis? It is hardly necessary for me to point out the prospects of marriage for a spoiled maiden.

Uriah Perry


Dear Sir,
On this issue we are all fathers. We could never forgive ourselves if all it took was a little enlightenment and a tight rein on adolescent boisterousness to curb the “French Disease” and we let the opportunity pass. For this reason Thadeus and I, bags heavy with the contraptions of science, travelled to Newgate prison. After pressing a thruppence into the gatekeepers palm we slipped into the bowels of that forsaken place. There we rounded up a straight-jacketed handful of syphilis demented felons and demanded of them, in the name of Science! if they had ever occasioned to waltz. At first there was some reluctance or perchance incomprehension in the convicts; but after Jebediah egged on convict A with a crack across the eyes from his cane, the truth, as it always will, tumbled out. Convict B immediately reminisced about an interlude where he and Queen Victoria waltzed upon the moon. This loosened the traps of our other test subjects, who in order, confessed to waltzing with a spoon; a daschund named Colin, and Black Friars Bridge. There you have it sir, of every subject infected with syphilis, so every subject had indeed performed the waltz. Cause and effect has irrefutably been proved. This dance Sir is a dance with delirium and disease. Myth confirmed.

We remain, your humble servants

Thadeus Pyle & Jebediah Kneebone Esq.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Does Onanism Cause Blindness?

Dear Messrs. Pyle & Kneebone,
I returned home early from my shift at the mill yesterday and came upon my son Aloysius in delicto solo fragrante. So fevered were his manipulations, he seemed bent on beating his member as though it owed him a King’s ransom.

After several hours of beating the devil from his mortal soul, he has confessed to a string of Onanistic wickedness.

Will this cause blindness? As I am 42 years of age, I was looking to Aloysius to leave school at 12, and enrol at the mill to support me in my frail dotage. A blind child will leave me no option but to cast him into the Thames.

Your obedient servant

Festus Sweedlepipe


Dear sir,
A blind child is an abomination and an affront to God, man and nature and as such we spared not a second investigating this chilling myth. Mr Sweedlepipe, let us walk you through our methodology.

Firstly we scoured the good neighbourhood of Mayfair; wrenching urchins of a similar age to your boy from their chimney sweep duties and returned them to our private auditorium. Once gathered, we projected various images of a pornographic nature onto a wall and bade them to commence the sin of Ona. Soon they were hunched like monkeys stripping husks off a coconut.

At the height of their fevered self-abuse and at a pace of no more than 12 feet we held aloft and in plain view, standard eye chart tests and asked them to identify every letter. My good Sir, the results were mortifying. Children who would normally spot a penny through a sewer grate were uniformly unable to even identify the boldest consonant we showed them.

It is our considered and scientific belief that this myth is confirmed, and we humbly suggest that you purchase Dr Abernathy’s Anti-Masturbation Harness™. It protects against the sickness of self-abuse; its internal penile-lacerating feature curbs arousal while attempted removal causes possible mutilation. For the sake of your son’s temporal health and to spare him eternal hell-fire we urge you to order yours today.

We remain, your humble servants

Thadeus Pyle & Jebediah Kneebone Esq.