Hoax with a Smile

Hoax with a Smile

Hoax With a Smile

Alan Abel was a professional jazz drummer, comic, writer, campus lecturer, filmmaker, satirist and prankster who made a point in his work of challenging the obvious and uttering the outrageous.

So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.

Early Start

Joke’s on Us

^
1959

SINA

Alan’s first major hoax, the Society for Indecency to Naked Animals, or SINA, took place in 1959 and enlisted the help of Buck Henry.

^
1964

It Gets Betta

Yetta Bronstein, a New York grandmother, ran for president on a platform of flouridation, sex education, a national bingo tournament, and replacing congressmen’s salaries with commissions.

^
1967

Topless String Quartet

Abel formed the first Topless String Quartet. Frank Sinatra offered the lively ensemble a recording contract on his label.

^
1970

Taxpayers Anonymous

Taxpayer’s Anonymous demands to examine the IRS’s books and records and ordered the government to bring all of its cancelled checks to Abel’s house in Westport.

^
1971

International Sex Bowl

Members of the press were invited to attend an Olympic-style competition which was billed as the most “shocking sporting event ever to be staged.”
^
1971

Howard Hughes

A large group of reporters were in attendance at the NYC press conference where “Howard Hughes” announced he would be cryogenically frozen and reanimated when the stock market peaked.

^
1974

Missing 18 1/2 Minutes

Alan Abel posed as a former White House employee who had the infamous 18-and-a-half minute gap missing from the Watergate tapes.  He was shocked to find that his tape had also been erased when playing it for reporters and cameramen.

^
1975 - 1988

Omar’s School for Beggars

Alan created a character named Omar, the founder of a School for Beggars that taught people how to panhandle professionally.

^
1976

Deep Throat

An actor posed as Deep Throat and met with reporters at the Hilton Hotel in New York City to explain his involvement in feeding Woodward and Bernstein information.

^
1979

A WASP Wedding

Abel orchestrated an elaborate green card wedding between former Ugandan dictator, Idi Amin, and a young White Anglo Saxon Protestant woman.

^
1980

NYT Obituary

Alan Abel successfully faked his own death by getting his obituary published in The New York Times, where he was called “a satirist.” For his second death, the Times called him an “Ace Hoaxer.”
^
1980

Oil on the Court

A man named Prince Emir Assad mysteriously appeared in full garb at the Red Cross Pro/Celebrity tennis tournament. He proceeded to play tennis with Penny Marshall, Sonny Bono, and pro players Bill Scanlan and Vijay Amritraj.

^
1980

Super Bowl XVII

An unofficial official called four plays at Super Bowl XVII before being chased down the sideline by a cop. The cop was an actor too. 

^
1984

Females for Felons

As a commentary on recidivism within our nation’s prison system, Females for Felons, a group of former members of the Junior League who provided sex to men behind bars for rehabilitation, was formed.
^
1985

Phil Donahue Faint-In

Seeking to poke fun at the sensationalism creeping into the talk show genre, Abel had several plants in the audience of a live national show. Each one would collapse as Phil approached them with the mic. The studio was evacuated in fear of a gas leak.
^
1986

Iran Contra Affair

Mehdi Bahremani, an Iranian arms merchant who made six million dollars in commission on the sale of U.S. arms to Iran summoned the media to announce that he wanted to give the money back. All major media attended the press conference. The story was never questioned and it wound up on the national news.

^
1990

Lottery Winner

When the news got out that an attractive single woman had won the state lottery and was “making it rain” at a Manhattan hotel, reporters were all over the story.
^
1991

KKK Symphony Orchestra

When former Klansman David Duke was running for governor of Louisiana, Alan formed the KKK Symphony Orchestra to promote a “kinder, gentler” image of the Klan. Duke actually accepted an invitation to their concert.
^
1992

Kidney or Lung

As a favor for a college student looking for work, Alan placed an ad in the Village Voice offering the student’s kidney or lung for $25,000. They were inundated with calls.

^
1993

Euthanasia Cruises

Alan formed a fictitious cruise line called Euthanasia Cruise for people who wanted to expire in luxury. Tickets were one-way only.

^
1994

Jenny Jones

Alan appeared on the Jenny Jones show with his “wife” who glued his penis to his butt after she found him in bed with another woman.

^
1995

Jenny McCarthy

A man named Stoidi Puekaw marketed “Jenny’s Pint O’ Pee” after a controversial ad starring Jenny McCarthy. He claimed that there was a warehouse filled with 500,000 cases of her urine stored in Mexico, packaged and ready for shipping.
^
1999

Private Dicks

Alan answered a casting call for documentary about men’s genitalia. He claimed to have the smallest penis in the Guinness Book of World Records. The producers fell for his story and made him a featured subject in the film.
^
2000 - 2005

Citizens Against Breastfeeding

Abel founded a conservative group that sought to abolish this act of immoral perversion.

^
2006

$365 Million Powerball

When the national Powerball Lottery reached $365 million, the biggest jackpot in American history, Alan took the opportunity to dust off one of his most successful hoaxes.
^
2006

National Fat Tax

Every family should weigh in at the post office, on or before April 15th, and pay $5 a pound for each member, including pets. This aggregate amount will give Uncle Sam as much, if not more, than taxing income.
^
2009

Bird Porn

Alan created a faux campaign to label bird watchers as voyeurs. The team protested during the 2008 Democratic campaign and drew more reporters than President-Elect Obama.

^
2008

Homeland Security Color Levels

Alan staged an informal picketing of the White House to protest Homeland Security’s use of a color code. It left color-blind citizens unprotected.

^
2019

NYT Obituary

We have it on good authority that he really died. 

Plasticity

Buck henry 

Alan Abel’s friend and co-conspirator, Buck Henry, was versatile writer, director and character actor who co-wrote and appeared in “The Graduate, and “Heaven Can Wait.” He also created the classic 1960s spy sitcom “Get Smart” with Mel Brooks. Short and deceptively mild, wearing black-rimmed glasses, Henry was an established film and television writer who became widely recognizable during the early years of “Saturday Night Live.” He hosted numerous times and played such memorable characters as the creepy babysitter Uncle Roy and the father of “Nerd” Bill Murray. His gift for satire and knowledge of current events fit perfectly with the brash outlook of the young cast and writers. “SNL” producer Lorne Michaels would praise Henry for teaching him “a whole other level of things.”

All Profits Go to Charity

PAYBACK

LIMIT TWO PER CUSTOMER

KIDNEY

A kidney transplant is a surgical procedure that’s done to treat kidney failure. The kidneys filter waste from the blood and remove it from the body through your urine. They also help maintain your body’s fluid and electrolyte balance. If your kidneys stop working, waste builds up in your body and can make you very sick.

 

$25000 1992 Dollars

LIMIT TWO PER CUSTOMER

LUNG

Lung transplantation, or pulmonary transplantation, is a surgical procedure in which a patient’s diseased lungs are partially or totally replaced by lungs which come from a donor. Donor lungs can be retrieved from a living donor or a deceased donor. 

$25000 1992 Dollars

Look for the SINA Label

DOG PANTS

Clothes can hide your dog’s body language and you are likely to miss signals he displays when meeting another dog at the park or during a walk. But decency today means morality tomorrow.

There is a long tradition of very specific functional clothing for animals. Ancient Greek armies would put leather boots on the feet of their horses to protect them against snow. Police animals can be dressed in fluorescent covers.

But pants will stop the panting.

Starboard Style: One Million Dollars
Stern Style: One Million Dollars

The Key to Earning Hundreds of Dollars a Week

Panhandler’s Handbook

Omar Rockford, founder of Omar’s School for Beggars, teaches out-of-work men and women how to creatively panhandle for a living. Successful, high-income begging on the streets requires imaginative deception. Omar demonstrates hundreds of foolproof methods in this handbook. You’ve got to have a glib tongue, a sense of urgency and a believable story – also proper dress and courtesy are a must. The first few weeks can be rough, since one isn’t easily adjusted to the embarrassment of being turned down. It takes about a month to become a real pro and practice does make perfect. With this practical guide, you’ll never need to work a real job again.

Handbook: One Million Dollars
Semester: One Million Dollars
Degree: One Million Dollars

Wish You’d Stop Being So Good to Me, Captain.

Wish You’d Stop Being So Good to Me, Captain.

Boldly Go

The West Islip Kindness Project began in a small village on Long Island during the summer of ’52. The baby boom had been detonated and several friends gathered in the home of Bob Keeshan to discuss the fallout. They didn’t realize it at the time, but this great generation was forming the nucleus of our country’s soul in a post-war world.

The Concord Village

Boom

^
1952

Launch Pad

Clarabell the Clown says “goodbye, kids” and launches The Concordian with Lawrence Elliott (Editor, Coronet Magazine) and Pat Cleary (mother of Peg and Kathie.)
^
1955

Countdown

Bob Keeshan jumps at the chance to become “Captain Kangaroo.”  Pat Cleary sewed his prototype jacket (Simplicity 4107.)

Without Bob Keeshan:

AN EDITORIAL

Someone said it must be a lot like learning to swim: all the other times, the instructor was right there holding your head above water. Then you make your first strokes unaided and he’s gone. You’re on your own.

Bob Keeshan was more than the Concordian staff’s instructor: he was the glue that held it together, the gasoline that set it into motion, and the wings on which it flew into being.  Now, because there are only 24 hours in every day, because he has a family, a tremendous job with WABC-TV and other civic responsibilities, Bob has resigned.

It would be innocuous to say we’re sorry to see him go. We’re a little awed at the prospect of a CONCORDIAN future without him and tremendously aware that we now face a challenge almost as intense as the one Bob himself must have faced when he first conceived the notion of this community newspaper.

To a man, the CONCORDIAN staff wish Bob Keeshan and his family the very best of everything. But we will not say farewell, or anything nearly so final. We still expect to hear from Bob, frequently, and we want him to know that we’ll always be listening.

[Trish’s note: …to a man??]

  

^
1962

Lift Off

Lawrence Elliott pens “A Little Girl’s Gift” and joins the editorial staff of Reader’s Digest.

^
1976

Studio 54 & Beyond

The Captain has left the building, and the famed TV studio became Studio 54. 

Concord Village West Islip

MORE GOOD NEIGHBORS

Village Person

Jeff olson 

Jeff Olson, the Cowboy in the Village People, lived next door to the Cleary’s on Alwick Avenue in Concord Village. Jeff and Peg Cleary were playmates. In fact, they were so close that they strung two tin cans between their bedroom windows to keep in touch. Jeff is credited with saving Peg’s life the day she fell asleep in a pipe at a construction site.  Peg, in turn, didn’t tattle on Jeff when he removed the pegs from the lobster claws at the fish market. Jeff got caught in his own net, anyway, when mom found the pegs in his pockets on laundry day. 

It was a true case of puppy love. So much so that when the Olson’s bitch gave birth, the Cleary’s got pick of the litter. In turn, Tige, the puppy, had his pick of retainers. He started with Kathie’s.

We’re not sure what happened to Tige, but we all know what became of the boy next door.  We have him on retainer.

The Man

Richard Kiley

With six kids in the family, the Kileys always had a full house. The best seats, however, were in the painted station wagons circling the block. Open windows, summer nights and a view of Richard getting ready for his next roll was the stuff of impossible dreams. The ladies behind the wheels loved to hear Richard Kiley narrate their stories. They spared no expense. 

 

A Condensed Gift

LARRY ELLIOT

With three girls in each family at the time, the Elliotts and the Cleary’s formed a formidable flock of females. Barbara and Ellen quickly paired up and were inseparable for the first nine years of their lives.

Larry Elliott, already the recipient of the Freedoms Foundation award, went on to author several biographies of inspiring people. As an editor at Reader’s Digest, he wrote A Little Girl’s Gift, a touching, true story of a child whose courage changed thousands of lives.

All Profits Go to Charity

TIME TO GIVE BACK

Buy More and SAVE!

CORNEAL TRANSPLANT

The cornea is the clear, dome-like window covering the front of the eye, which enables us to see. Injury, hereditary conditions, and disease can damage the cornea, causing severe loss of vision and even blindness. Since 1961, nearly one million corneal transplants have restored sight to men, women, and children.

 

$13,965 surgeon-cut 

$12,659 precut

Adopt a Joey

BABY Kangaroo

Kangaroo tastes like a cross between venison and buffalo meat. It has a wonderful gamey taste that adds a lot of flavor without being overpowering.  The texture of the meat is not quite as dry as deer but it’s leaner than buffalo. 

Warning: Consuming overcooked kangaroo may increase your risk of guilt.

 

Wildfire Sale

$25 1 lb. sausage

$50 2 lb. boneless loin

 A tooth is much more to be prized than a diamond 

FULL TILT

Ho, there, foul monster! Cease the knocking at thy craven knees and prepare to do battle! 

Thirty Windmills: One Million Dollars

Forty Windmills: One Million Dollars

 

 

Sterling, Cooper, Draper, Pryce

Sterling, Cooper, Draper, Pryce

The Patented Punch

May 25, 1965 was a day for breaking barriers.  

We went to a hockey game and a title fight broke out.

The most memorable moment in boxing history took place in a no-frills arena built for high school hockey games. In all the controversy that surrounded the rematch between Muhammad Ali and Sonny Liston, one thing was clear: a punch was thrown, and, invisible or not, something powerful happened that night in Lewiston, Maine.  

The Phantom Punch

GET UP AND FIGHT

In the world of Mad Men, the day that Sonny Liston fought Muhammad Ali was a day for putting ideas on the canvas and taking punches. Peggy Olson proved she was a hard case as she sparred with her boss over a Samsonite campaign.

Don Draper put $100 on Liston and passed on Joe Namath that day. He redeemed himself, however, by placing a better bet on his copywriter. It stung like a bee, but it was a good move. After all, it was Peggy’s birthday.

The most powerful punch of the day, however, came from a different Don and the United States Patent Office. On May 25, 1965, the recorder power supply invented by Donald F. Cleary was issued patent number US3185912A. 

US3185912A

Recorder Power Supply 

Inventors: John W Smith, Donald F Cleary
Current Assignee:  Hogan Faximile Corp

Conversion of ac power input into dc power output without possibility of reversal by static converters using discharge tubes with control electrode or semiconductor devices with control electrode using devices of a thyratron or thyristor type requiring extinguishing means using semiconductor devices only in a bridge configuration with control circuit with automatic control of the output voltage or current.

BATES COLLEGE

New england’s first
coed collegE

“The world’s most expensive form of contraception.”
– Meadow Soprano

 

“Worth it.”
– Pat Cleary

A Modest Proposal

A Modest Proposal

It is a melancholy object to those, who walk through this great town, or travel in the country, when they see the streets, the roads, and cabbin-doors crowded with beggars of the female sex, followed by three, four, or six children, all in rags, and importuning every passenger for an alms. These mothers, instead of being able to work for their honest livelihood, are forced to employ all their time in stroling to beg sustenance for their helpless infants who, as they grow up, either turn thieves for want of work, or leave their dear native country, to fight for the Pretender in Spain, or sell themselves to the Barbadoes.

I think it is agreed by all parties, that this prodigious number of children in the arms, or on the backs, or at the heels of their mothers, and frequently of their fathers, is in the present deplorable state of the kingdom, a very great additional grievance; and therefore whoever could find out a fair, cheap and easy method of making these children sound and useful members of the commonwealth, would deserve so well of the publick, as to have his statue set up for a preserver of the nation.
But my intention is very far from being confined to provide only for the children of professed beggars: it is of a much greater extent, and shall take in the whole number of infants at a certain age, who are born of parents in effect as little able to support them, as those who demand our charity in the streets.

As to my own part, having turned my thoughts for many years upon this important subject, and maturely weighed the several schemes of our projectors, I have always found them grossly mistaken in their computation. It is true, a child just dropt from its dam, may be supported by her milk, for a solar year, with little other nourishment: at most not above the value of two shillings, which the mother may certainly get, or the value in scraps, by her lawful occupation of begging; and it is exactly at one year old that I propose to provide for them in such a manner, as, instead of being a charge upon their parents, or the parish, or wanting food and raiment for the rest of their lives, they shall, on the contrary, contribute to the feeding, and partly to the clothing of many thousands.

There is likewise another great advantage in my scheme, that it will prevent those voluntary abortions, and that horrid practice of women murdering their bastard children, alas! too frequent among us, sacrificing the poor innocent babes, I doubt, more to avoid the expence than the shame, which would move tears and pity in the most savage and inhuman breast.

The number of souls in this kingdom being usually reckoned one million and a half, of these I calculate there may be about two hundred thousand couple, whose wives are breeders; from which number I subtract thirty thousand couple, who are able to maintain their own children, (although I apprehend there cannot be so many under the present distresses of the kingdom) but this being granted, there will remain a hundred and seventy thousand breeders. I again subtract fifty thousand, for those women who miscarry, or whose children die by accident or disease within the year. There only remain a hundred and twenty thousand children of poor parents annually born. The question therefore is, How this number shall be reared and provided for? which, as I have already said, under the present situation of affairs, is utterly impossible by all the methods hitherto proposed. For we can neither employ them in handicraft or agriculture; they neither build houses, (I mean in the country) nor cultivate land: they can very seldom pick up a livelihood by stealing till they arrive at six years old; except where they are of towardly parts, although I confess they learn the rudiments much earlier; during which time they can however be properly looked upon only as probationers; as I have been informed by a principal gentleman in the county of Cavan, who protested to me, that he never knew above one or two instances under the age of six, even in a part of the kingdom so renowned for the quickest proficiency in that art.

I am assured by our merchants, that a boy or a girl, before twelve years old, is no saleable commodity, and even when they come to this age, they will not yield above three pounds, or three pounds and half a crown at most, on the exchange; which cannot turn to account either to the parents or kingdom, the charge of nutriments and rags having been at least four times that value.

I shall now therefore humbly propose my own thoughts, which I hope will not be liable to the least objection.
I have been assured by a very knowing American of my acquaintance in London, that a young healthy child well nursed, is, at a year old, a most delicious nourishing and wholesome food, whether stewed, roasted, baked, or boiled; and I make no doubt that it will equally serve in a fricasee, or a ragoust.

I do therefore humbly offer it to publick consideration, that of the hundred and twenty thousand children, already computed, twenty thousand may be reserved for breed, whereof only one fourth part to be males; which is more than we allow to sheep, black cattle, or swine, and my reason is, that these children are seldom the fruits of marriage, a circumstance not much regarded by our savages, therefore, one male will be sufficient to serve four females. That the remaining hundred thousand may, at a year old, be offered in sale to the persons of quality and fortune, through the kingdom, always advising the mother to let them suck plentifully in the last month, so as to render them plump, and fat for a good table. A child will make two dishes at an entertainment for friends, and when the family dines alone, the fore or hind quarter will make a reasonable dish, and seasoned with a little pepper or salt, will be very good boiled on the fourth day, especially in winter.
I have reckoned upon a medium, that a child just born will weigh 12 pounds, and in a solar year, if tolerably nursed, encreaseth to 28 pounds.
I grant this food will be somewhat dear, and therefore very proper for landlords, who, as they have already devoured most of the parents, seem to have the best title to the children.

Infant’s flesh will be in season throughout the year, but more plentiful in March, and a little before and after; for we are told by a grave author, an eminent French physician, that fish being a prolifick dyet, there are more children born in Roman Catholick countries about nine months after Lent, than at any other season; therefore, reckoning a year after Lent, the markets will be more glutted than usual, because the number of Popish infants, is at least three to one in this kingdom, and therefore it will have one other collateral advantage, by lessening the number of Papists among us.

I have already computed the charge of nursing a beggar’s child (in which list I reckon all cottagers, labourers, and four-fifths of the farmers) to be about two shillings per annum, rags included; and I believe no gentleman would repine to give ten shillings for the carcass of a good fat child, which, as I have said, will make four dishes of excellent nutritive meat, when he hath only some particular friend, or his own family to dine with him. Thus the squire will learn to be a good landlord, and grow popular among his tenants, the mother will have eight shillings neat profit, and be fit for work till she produces another child.
Those who are more thrifty (as I must confess the times require) may flay the carcass; the skin of which, artificially dressed, will make admirable gloves for ladies, and summer boots for fine gentlemen.
As to our City of Dublin, shambles may be appointed for this purpose, in the most convenient parts of it, and butchers we may be assured will not be wanting; although I rather recommend buying the children alive, and dressing them hot from the knife, as we do roasting pigs.
A very worthy person, a true lover of his country, and whose virtues I highly esteem, was lately pleased in discoursing on this matter, to offer a refinement upon my scheme. He said, that many gentlemen of this kingdom, having of late destroyed their deer, he conceived that the want of venison might be well supplied by the bodies of young lads and maidens, not exceeding fourteen years of age, nor under twelve; so great a number of both sexes in every county being now ready to starve for want of work and service: and these to be disposed of by their parents if alive, or otherwise by their nearest relations. But with due deference to so excellent a friend, and so deserving a patriot, I cannot be altogether in his sentiments; for as to the males, my American acquaintance assured me from frequent experience, that their flesh was generally tough and lean, like that of our schoolboys, by continual exercise, and their taste disagreeable, and to fatten them would not answer the charge. Then as to the females, it would, I think, with humble submission, be a loss to the publick, because they soon would become breeders themselves: and besides, it is not improbable that some scrupulous people might be apt to censure such a practice, (although indeed very unjustly) as a little bordering upon cruelty, which, I confess, hath always been with me the strongest objection against any project, how well soever intended.
But in order to justify my friend, he confessed, that this expedient was put into his head by the famous Psalmanaazor, a native of the island Formosa, who came from thence to London, above twenty years ago, and in conversation told my friend, that in his country, when any young person happened to be put to death, the executioner sold the carcass to persons of quality, as a prime dainty; and that, in his time, the body of a plump girl of fifteen, who was crucified for an attempt to poison the Emperor, was sold to his imperial majesty’s prime minister of state, and other great mandarins of the court in joints from the gibbet, at four hundred crowns. Neither indeed can I deny, that if the same use were made of several plump young girls in this town, who without one single groat to their fortunes, cannot stir abroad without a chair, and appear at a playhouse and assemblies in foreign fineries which they never will pay for, the kingdom would not be the worse.
Some persons of a desponding spirit are in great concern about that vast number of poor people, who are aged, diseased, or maimed; and I have been desired to employ my thoughts what course may be taken, to ease the nation of so grievous an incumbrance. But I am not in the least pain upon that matter, because it is very well known, that they are every day dying, and rotting, by cold and famine, and filth, and vermin, as fast as can be reasonably expected. And as to the young labourers, they are now in almost as hopeful a condition. They cannot get work, and consequently pine away from want of nourishment, to a degree, that if at any time they are accidentally hired to common labour, they have not strength to perform it, and thus the country and themselves are happily delivered from the evils to come.
I have too long digressed, and therefore shall return to my subject. I think the advantages by the proposal which I have made are obvious and many, as well as of the highest importance.
For first, as I have already observed, it would greatly lessen the number of Papists, with whom we are yearly overrun, being the principal breeders of the nation, as well as our most dangerous enemies, and who stay at home on purpose with a design to deliver the kingdom to the Pretender, hoping to take their advantage by the absence of so many good Protestants, who have chosen rather to leave their country, than stay at home and pay tithes against their conscience to an episcopal curate.
Secondly, The poorer tenants will have something valuable of their own, which by law may be made liable to a distress, and help to pay their landlord’s rent, their corn and cattle being already seized, and money a thing unknown.
Thirdly, Whereas the maintainance of a hundred thousand children, from two years old, and upwards, cannot be computed at less than ten shillings a piece per annum, the nation’s stock will be thereby encreased fifty thousand pounds per annum, besides the profit of a new dish, introduced to the tables of all gentlemen of fortune in the kingdom, who have any refinement in taste. And the money will circulate among our selves, the goods being entirely of our own growth and manufacture.
Fourthly, The constant breeders, besides the gain of eight shillings sterling per annum by the sale of their children, will be rid of the charge of maintaining them after the first year.
Fifthly, This food would likewise bring great custom to taverns, where the vintners will certainly be so prudent as to procure the best receipts for dressing it to perfection; and consequently have their houses frequented by all the fine gentlemen, who justly value themselves upon their knowledge in good eating; and a skilful cook, who understands how to oblige his guests, will contrive to make it as expensive as they please.
Sixthly, This would be a great inducement to marriage, which all wise nations have either encouraged by rewards, or enforced by laws and penalties. It would encrease the care and tenderness of mothers towards their children, when they were sure of a settlement for life to the poor babes, provided in some sort by the publick, to their annual profit instead of expence. We should soon see an honest emulation among the married women, which of them could bring the fattest child to the market. Men would become as fond of their wives, during the time of their pregnancy, as they are now of their mares in foal, their cows in calf, or sows when they are ready to farrow; nor offer to beat or kick them (as is too frequent a practice) for fear of a miscarriage.
Many other advantages might be enumerated. For instance, the addition of some thousand carcasses in our exportation of barrel’d beef: the propagation of swine’s flesh, and improvement in the art of making good bacon, so much wanted among us by the great destruction of pigs, too frequent at our tables; which are no way comparable in taste or magnificence to a well grown, fat yearling child, which roasted whole will make a considerable figure at a Lord Mayor’s feast, or any other publick entertainment. But this, and many others, I omit, being studious of brevity.
Supposing that one thousand families in this city, would be constant customers for infants flesh, besides others who might have it at merry meetings, particularly at weddings and christenings, I compute that Dublin would take off annually about twenty thousand carcasses; and the rest of the kingdom (where probably they will be sold somewhat cheaper) the remaining eighty thousand.
I can think of no one objection, that will possibly be raised against this proposal, unless it should be urged, that the number of people will be thereby much lessened in the kingdom. This I freely own, and was indeed one principal design in offering it to the world. I desire the reader will observe, that I calculate my remedy for this one individual Kingdom of Ireland, and for no other that ever was, is, or, I think, ever can be upon Earth. Therefore let no man talk to me of other expedients: Of taxing our absentees at five shillings a pound: Of using neither clothes, nor houshold furniture, except what is of our own growth and manufacture: Of utterly rejecting the materials and instruments that promote foreign luxury: Of curing the expensiveness of pride, vanity, idleness, and gaming in our women: Of introducing a vein of parsimony, prudence and temperance: Of learning to love our country, wherein we differ even from Laplanders, and the inhabitants of Topinamboo: Of quitting our animosities and factions, nor acting any longer like the Jews, who were murdering one another at the very moment their city was taken: Of being a little cautious not to sell our country and consciences for nothing: Of teaching landlords to have at least one degree of mercy towards their tenants. Lastly, of putting a spirit of honesty, industry, and skill into our shopkeepers, who, if a resolution could now be taken to buy only our native goods, would immediately unite to cheat and exact upon us in the price, the measure, and the goodness, nor could ever yet be brought to make one fair proposal of just dealing, though often and earnestly invited to it.
Therefore I repeat, let no man talk to me of these and the like expedients, till he hath at least some glympse of hope, that there will ever be some hearty and sincere attempt to put them into practice.
But, as to myself, having been wearied out for many years with offering vain, idle, visionary thoughts, and at length utterly despairing of success, I fortunately fell upon this proposal, which, as it is wholly new, so it hath something solid and real, of no expence and little trouble, full in our own power, and whereby we can incur no danger in disobliging England. For this kind of commodity will not bear exportation, and flesh being of too tender a consistence, to admit a long continuance in salt, although perhaps I could name a country, which would be glad to eat up our whole nation without it.
After all, I am not so violently bent upon my own opinion, as to reject any offer, proposed by wise men, which shall be found equally innocent, cheap, easy, and effectual. But before something of that kind shall be advanced in contradiction to my scheme, and offering a better, I desire the author or authors will be pleased maturely to consider two points. First, As things now stand, how they will be able to find food and raiment for a hundred thousand useless mouths and backs. And secondly, There being a round million of creatures in humane figure throughout this kingdom, whose whole subsistence put into a common stock, would leave them in debt two million of pounds sterling, adding those who are beggars by profession, to the bulk of farmers, cottagers and labourers, with their wives and children, who are beggars in effect; I desire those politicians who dislike my overture, and may perhaps be so bold to attempt an answer, that they will first ask the parents of these mortals, whether they would not at this day think it a great happiness to have been sold for food at a year old, in the manner I prescribe, and thereby have avoided such a perpetual scene of misfortunes, as they have since gone through, by the oppression of landlords, the impossibility of paying rent without money or trade, the want of common sustenance, with neither house nor clothes to cover them from the inclemencies of the weather, and the most inevitable prospect of intailing the like, or greater miseries, upon their breed for ever.
I profess in the sincerity of my heart, that I have not the least personal interest in endeavouring to promote this necessary work, having no other motive than the publick good of my country, by advancing our trade, providing for infants, relieving the poor, and giving some pleasure to the rich. I have no children, by which I can propose to get a single penny; the youngest being nine years old, and my wife past child-bearing.