Everything within: the business of the bitchy letter

Just as some of the earlier “business of the home” considerations remind us of the rarity of electricity at the time of publication, so does this next section remind us that a telephone was also an infrequent sight. Need to ask your landlord a question? Want to let you maid know you’ll be back early from a holiday? Want to complain about slime in your milk? Well, what you need my son is to write a letter.

Hang on. Slime in milk? *shudder*
But yes. As well as that Sunday afternoon call to your mum, the swift text message telling hubby what train you’re catching, and the Facebook update to all your family about your newborn son- you would have done everything by letter. Even slag off the milkman. Or the green grocer, or that terrible maid who was always coming in an hour after curfew smelling of sherry.

I do quite like this one though, you see a dodgy type loitering in the back alley somewhere, up to no good. What do you do? Run out and tell them to jog on? Stand somewhere well lit and make it clear you see them? Or go to your desk and carefully write out a letter to the police, send it, and, presumably wait for a reply. Reminds me of the time I saw a letter in the agony column of the Pink Paper about a gentleman who had come a cropper while “misusing” the hosepipe of a Hoover. We were supposed to believe he had similarly calmly penned and posted (somehow) his missive while still attached to his peculiar partner. Agony column is probably about right 😉

quotes from “Everything Within: A Library of Information for the Home. Ed. A.C. Marshall, London, George Newnes Limited, [1931?]


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