Monday, February 03, 2014

Reader's Diary #1090- Minnie Douglas: A Bachelor's Valentine

Last week I came across an archive of an old New York newspaper called the Evening Telegram. I'd actually been looking for a short story in the Evening Telegram, a St. John's, Newfoundland newspaper (I'd forgotten that they'd changed their name to simply the Telegram). In any case, the New York paper had a Valentine's short story, so I figured I'd hold it on to it until February.

"A Bachelor's Brother" is  about a man named Landis who, alone on Valentine's Day, begins to wonder why he wasn't invited to a Valentine's party that was hosted by Jeannette, a girl whom he's obviously smitten with. He begins to doubt his standing with the girl, though he was on friendly terms with her father and sure he'd have had his approval. Before long the girl shows up, and there's the expected happy ending.

It's an okay story, though a bit hard to read (it's a pdf of the original newspaper so the font is a bit small and smudgy) and dated (I doubt you'd read any modern story with the phrase "he mentally ejaculated" in it, unless of course, it meant something entirely different). It was also a little unsettling how much older the bachelor was than Jeannette. I know when both parties are adults we're not supposed to care about age, but he mentions having watched her grown up, and I couldn't rid myself of Woody Allen's image after that.

In any case, it's still worth checking out, if for nothing else to get a look at a newspaper from 1910. Be sure to check out the prize for the short story contest and the ad for Duffy's Pure Malt Whiskey.

(Did you write a post for Short Story Monday? If so, please leave a link in the comments below.)

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