“The Menace of Monday”*

Posted by jlubans on November 16, 2020


Back in 1919 Edgar Wallace, the prolific and popular writer (173 books and 17 plays plus movies), included the following screed in one of his usual “the fiend in the coal bin” thrillers, The Green Rust:
“There is a menace about Monday morning which few have escaped.
It is a menace which in one guise or another clouds hundreds of millions of pillows, gives to the golden sunlight which filters through a billion panes the very hues and character of jaundice.
It is the menace of factory and workshop, harsh prisons which shut men and women from the green fields and the pleasant by-ways; the menace of new responsibilities to be faced and new difficulties to be overcome.
Into the space of Monday morning drain the dregs of last week's commitments to gather into stagnant pools upon the desks and benches of toiling and scheming humanity.
It is the end of the holiday, the foot of the new hill whose crest is Saturday night and whose most pleasant outlook is the Sunday to come.
Men go to their work reluctant and resentful and reach out for the support which the lunch-hour brings.”
This sounds more like Karl Marx than Edgar Wallace. Of course, Karl never had a sense of humor, so he would raise his fist and exclaim, “Right on, Bro!” or it’s Socialistic equivalent.
No wonder given the worker's "reach(ing) out for the support which the lunch-hour brings", British pubs opened from Noon to 2.30PM.
Blimey, mate, make that a double!
Wallace was a hard worker, often writing (actually dictating!) several books at the same time. Not a syndicate with a stable of writers, he was a one man show with dozens of dictation takers, typists and clerks.
His books were in such demand in the UK and the USA that they often skipped proofreading, hence plots changed midstream, characters changed names or went missing, and typos abounded.
I’ve been reading Edgar Wallace since finding him in my family’s Maine summer cottage, back in the 1960s. Those books are still there.
Anyway, I think this bit of purple prose may sum up for many their feelings about yet another workweek even though most now get Saturdays off.

*Source: The Green Rust by Edgar Wallace. Get it at Gutenberg.

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© Copyright all text John Lubans 2020

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