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February 07, 2017


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Michael A. Black

I actually did know who Anteaus was, chiefly due to an old sword and sandal movie that is one of my favorites. And as far as the upside down ad, I immediately thought of a disgruntled, young Samuel Clemens, who had to set the type for a newspaper early each morning and had to pluck each letter from the various boxes. These letters were tiny blocks of one character each, and were called sorts. Unfortunately, the guy who disassembled the set forms for the typeset pages after that day's edition had gone to press was purportedly a notorious drunk who would mistakenly put the sorts in the wrong sorting boxes. Thus Clemens had to look at each letter as he grabbed them. Because the tintype letters were backwards, it was fairly easy to distinguish them, with the exception of the lower case p and q. Thus, the saying that Clemens had to "mind his p's and q's" came into being. Perhaps, in an effort to get revenge against a boorish newspaper editor, that particular typesetter decided to put the ad in upside down. How's that for a short story?


I think the villain in the grocery store ad is the woman's husband. Perhaps the grocer is a handsome man and has professed an attraction to the dear lady, bestowing her with a little extra hamburger when she orders meat from him, or giving her a free apple or two. The husband has found out and forbidden her from shopping there. And yet, she insists, swearing to him that it's only for the savings.


Hi Mike! Oh I love it!! Great premise for a story! (I actually thought you were recounting a real event... it rings so true!)


Hi Staci! HA! That's a good one. I see another story in the making... :-)

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