Date: 04/07/2020
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A Funny Thing Happened On My Way To The Twenty-First Century

by John M. Joyce (Oct. 2008)

Oh, don’t get me wrong – as centuries go the twenty-first is not too bad, so far; I’ve known worse, but I’ve also known better. Take the nineteenth one, for example. Now that was a good century. Hoi polloi knew their place and even the street urchins touched their forelocks as I walked past (well, in some cases they touched where they fondly imagined their forelocks to be). Respect was solid coin back then, something to be earned, not enforced by a sharp knife. A man knew where he stood and what he stood for – and, frequently, what he stood in, but the urchins would be soundly thrashed until they lay down and let gentlemen such as me have something clean, well cleaner, to walk on. Being as how they were proper English urchins I am sure that they enjoyed it – well, the thrashing, at any rate.