The Teetotaler [6 May 1923]

[Editor: A humorous anecdote. Published in The Sunday Times, 6 May 1923.]

The Teetotaler

She loved her medicine

By Adohr.

Some years ago mum was “run down,” so obtained the services of a household worker who had been recommended as a particularly reliable young woman.

Mum asked her one day to bring a braised rabbit from town, and named a shop whose bunnies were particularly nice. She looked awfully pained as she said. “Oh, no! not from that place — why, they sell wine there!”

Mum noticed a bottle of medicine on her dressing table one day and found that, according to the label, it contained 95 per cent. proof spirit. When mum questioned her she said it was a “real good medicine.” She wanted mum to sign the pledge once, and mum said she would if she would give up drinking medicine that had 95 per cent proof spirit to its make-up, but this she absolutely refused to do. She said it “warmed her up and made her feel happy,” and then mum said “so did rum” she got quite huffy and threatened to leave.

There was a nice young chap who wanted to marry her, but he refused to give up his daily “pot,” so she threw him over. She’s married now to a blue-ribboner, but she always has a bottle of the medicine in the house. She says it keeps baby quiet. When she told mum that, mum said “So does gin.” She says Joe takes it for a cold (Joe’s the blue-ribboner), and mum says she’s glad dad sticks to plain whisky when he has the ’flu!

The Sunday Times (Perth, WA), Sunday 6 May 1923, page 28

Editor’s notes:
blue-ribboner = slang for someone involved in the Blue Ribbon Movement, which was a temperance organisation that originated in the USA and spread to other countries, including Australia; therefore, “blue-ribboner” was also used to refer to teetotalers in general (i.e. non-drinkers of alcoholic beverages) [see: “The Blue Ribbon Movement”, The South Australian Advertiser (Adelaide, SA), Thursday 11 January 1883, page 5]

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