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Jeremy Rosen

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“There is a Great Amount of Traffic Upon the Republic’s Road-Paths”
An Essay of a Humorous Nature By R.G.H.L. Sneed, Bovineuticist and Farmer

One of my cows threw a shoe on the day previous to yester’s day. For indeed, I am the sort of person who shods their cattle. Elsewise the cows would get their feet wet. This would force the payment of a doctor’s fortune in bills for drying out cow socks as it is wet in their pastures. Why, it’s quite possibly as bad as what the farmwomen give term to as “blasted bladder” when the milking be not done on time.

When one of my cows, a fine one I call “the Sunday after next’s beef-steak,” threw her shoe it forced me to board my carriage so that I might venture to the county-seat to make purchase of a new shoe and have several rotted teeth pulled from my head at the same time, for it is convenient to do so. Of course, I would have to stop at the public house before that as they provide better distilments for pain soothment than does the smith.

After hitching up my horses, Buttercup and Horse, I headed up the main road toward the highway for a furlong and a half before I turned about upon the realization that I left my cow at home, having forgotten it. A bit again I set off, this time with the cow hitched to the carriage, so to save my horses the wear. Take the horse to town as often as the knife to whetstone, I always say.

Thus I again wended my way through a furlong and a half. Then wending I did pass another quarter league, passing quickly by Mrs. Transom’s ill-reputed establishment for fear of my immortal soul, before I was set upon by scabrous abomination. No, it was not the Devil, nor was it an uneasily dismissed tinkerer.

Instead it was that thing belched forth by the former and indubitably worked upon by the latter: a horseless carriage. The machine perambulated about like a locomotive off of its laid track. As a locomotive that had had a glass too much of sherry. If you follow my manner of speaking.

Behind its vomitous of fume and bilious miasma I traveled for at least fourteen stones’ throws and a ha’mile more as some birds may choose to flit through the sky, until finally it turned onto the road toward Savannah. Here I stopped my journey by the Culpepper’s scarecrow and said a short prayer that the Good Lord protect the people of Savannah from that horrid device which was ever-thwartling toward them. The scarecrow gave appearance to agree with me.

Why would man, forged from some very hard substance in the image of his Creatitian, choose such immoral travesty over a standard carriage? I need not remind you, as my little wife Penny Smetters Sneed (wise yet for her 16 years) pointed out, that Christ rode an ass into Jerusalem though it was within God’s mighty strength to call forth a horseless carriage if He had so desired. This was not the case, and it makes me glad, for I would shudder to see a stained-glass representation of Our Lord bedecked in a rider’s apron and goggles.

Perhaps some gentlemen enjoy kerosene powered contraptions; the motor-coach or the motor-kite. Next that Mr. Edison will attempt to invent a motor-table or a motor-chair; perhaps even a motorized rabbit which moves across one’s estate eating the grass.

Mind you, of course, some think this new Era need be about movement. Movement in steam-driven ships, movement in aero-plane-craft, movement in motorized carriages. To me, the whole thing, and I must remind literate ladies to read no more of this particular sentence, reminds me of a different sort of movement, one made in the privacy of an outing house.

Whatever some gentlemen may feel as progress, I see as another sort of fancy; a foolish, frivolous fancy that weakens the mind and constitution. Humbug, pure humbug. Excepting, of course, that I did exchange my unshod cow for a mechanical cow; it runs on kerosene. By Jove, when in Rome, do as the Romans do, they say. Good day now.

From Axes & Alleys: Volume 112-AA3, Issue 06, Pentember 1907 A.D.
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