Dreamed late 1930s by Elizabeth Kew
When paying a call upon Mrs. Profits, I felt a twinge of envy as I admired her handsome new gown. She was tall, of dignified carriage, and as she moved across the room, I saw with astonishment that in the middle of her back there was a large silk tab bearing the name of the firm where the gown had been made.
She noticed my gasp of surprise, and smilingly said: "My husband and I have hit upon an ingenious way of advertising. We find it is contributing well to our income. I would like you to see Jack's new suit. The waistcoat is blazed with gold and red letters telling the name and address of his tailor."
"But do you mean that he will wear such things in public?"
"Certainly, and you will see me wearing a beautiful coat and hat adorned with attractive advertisements when I go to pay calls."
I remarked that "I would rather walk the streets between sandwich-boards"; nevertheless, on my way home, I became particularly wishful for a chance whereby I could help my depleted income, and inspiration came to me as I drew near to Gotit's the florist. I entered the shop and asked Mr. Gotit what it would be worth to him to have an artistic advertisement for his famous slug-killer painted around our front porch. He warmed to the subject, and suggested that he should paint an attractive picture of slugs devouring a large lettuce, and underneath in block letters "Buy Gotit's slug-killer!"
This interview so encouraged me, that I hurried home and wrote with coloured chalks a number of advertisements that could be worn upon my coat, in praise of the groceries to be had at Rancid's shop.
These advertisements I packed in my bag, and tucking it under my arm, I set off to interview Mr. Rancid, and was within a dozen yards of his shop when my precious bag was suddenly snatched away. With a loud cry of "Stop thief!" I swung round and quickly ran into the arms of a policeman.
As I gasped: "My bag has been stolen!" he whipped out a note-book and pencil. Then he demanded my name and address. But for a few seconds I was speechless, for there, almost at my feet, sat a pavement artist who had already written in coloured chalks, under the sketch of a pig, "Buy your bacon from Rancid." He was now engaged upon my list of advertisements for groceries.
In wrath I pointed my finger at the man, as I stammered, "There's the thief! He stole my bag and is passing off my work as his own."
"Pooh-pooh!" cried the policeman, "you've been drinking, Madam, come, I must smell your breath." Then as he touched my arm I uttered a faint scream and awoke.
account from The Dream World (Ed. R.L. Megroz, 1939).
Megroz comments "this delightful nonsense dream seems to have been "touched up" by the waking mind of the dreamer." He could be right--the proper names sound like a waking touch to me. Still, I think it's a real dream; Kew sent this piece to Megroz specifically for his anthology about real not fictional dreams.
Also, I have to point out that Kew's vision, absurd in 1939, turned out to be embarrassingly prophetic. Human beings so degraded they'd submit to putting ads on their clothes? We've sunk lower than Kew's satire! Do our logo-makers pay us to wear them? We're so dumb we'll advertise for free. Cheap dates! At least Kew and Mrs Profits had the good sense to whore.
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