It is a matchbook that I found on the valuable literary research site eBay from the Grodno Tavern […]. But what makes it museum worthy is that on the inside it has a gag. You can’t see it, so I’ll read it to you. […] This is the kind of gag […], but it’s got kind of a hidden agenda. It’s not just the lifestyle of a guy who drinks too much; he drinks, he gambles, he steals the coal to heat his house from his neighbor, you know, pay the rent next week, get the groceries on credit, everything’s about vice essentially. But that hidden thing about the wife’s insurance policy, the wife’s burial club, and then you cut out the wife’s beer. There’s more than a little hidden sexism here. And it’s always nice to dig into artifacts from the past where you’re looking for one thing, I was looking for the ‘good girl’ art […] and then you get this other bonus historical record of tavern culture.

How to Live on $15 A Week
Whiskey and Beer $8.00
Wife’s Beer 1.65
Meat, Fish, Groceries on Credit
Rent Pay next week
Mid-week whiskey 1.50
Coal Borrow neighbor’s
Life Insurance (wife’s) .50
Cigars .20
Movies .60
Burial club for wife .50
Hot tip on horse .50
Dog food .60
Smokes pick up butts
Snuff .40
Poker game 1.40
Telephone Use Slugs

Total $16.65
This means going into debt
So cut out wife’s beer

This belongs in the Museum of Ancient Disgusting Practices from American History and Hidden Sexism

Exhibited by Bill Savage

Transcript edited by Serena Washington

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