This article has been transcribed from a copy of the Cardiff Times in the online collection of scanned Welsh newspapers 1804-1919 in the National Library of Wales, with grateful recognition of the free access accorded to all readers. Paragraph breaks have been introduced for easier reading. —— David Skilton

The man who is always meditating practical jokes, and who emphatically ought to be sat on.

eople who ought to be sat on – and what a lot at them are to be found, sir. Stalking about in our long-suffering midst unchecked, unchided, unrebuffed, tolerated – yet intolerable – nuisances. Many men go through life in the character of people who ought to be sat on – and crushed; but somehow no one takes the trouble to sit on them – to tell them that they are nuisances, and to take ‘em down considerable pegs. Thus it is that we have amongst as duly licensed bores, who add as considerably almost as taxes, piano-organs, tea-fights, and penny weekly papers to the sum total of human misery. It is terrible to think of when you come not to think of it, isn't it? But, after all, life is full of terrible things to think of – what with debt collectors, tract distributors, telegrams, and men who sign petitions on behalf of murder[er]s. Talk about folks who want sitting on, just think of the men we meet every day and everywhere who know everything about everything – and a good deal more. There is, for instance, the man who, when you mention Seringapatam, Vancouver, or any other distant part, always has a relation there, even if he doesn't lie and say he has been there himself, and who on that account, of course, knows infinitely more about it than you do who have lived there for years. You know the man, sir, the somewhat supercilious man who is at once by his own account cousin to Henry Irving, a near relation of Gladstone's, a school-fellow of Lord Wolseley, and the personal friend of Lord knows who. I meet him often, sir, and although I know that be is not able to put together a slip of printable ‘copy’ to save bis life, I at the same time listen aghast when I hear him tell what he would do if he, took up pen and showed all the rising litterateurs of the day how to do the trick. Particularly well do I know that variety of him, sir, who ‘knows everybody on the stage’ – the man who talks about ‘Lal Brough,’ ‘my friend, Johnny Toole,’ ‘dear old Nellie Farren, an old sweetheart of mine,’ ‘Said I to Kate Vaughan as we sat side by side,’ &c. Oh, what a fibber and an impudent cad that man is; and to think that people can actually be led to believe in him. How he ought to be sat on – and how he does get sat on when your own Samuel meets him.

The man who slaps one on the back. Hands not actually this size, but they seem so.

Then what a nuisance is the man who says, ‘Might I have five minutes' conversation with you?’ (He might just as well say five years, considering the way in which he usually prolongs the conversation.) That man is sure – absolutely sure, to be a bore of some kind, or he would not ask for five (or any number) of minutes' conversation with anybody, but would fire ahead and get done with it. He is either a man who feels the tightness of the money market or wants to borrow – an accountant who usurps the position of a solicitor and creeps about dunning for debts he has bought up (a sort of mixture, to mind, of a worm and a bailiff), or he is one of those arrant fools who desire your confidence in their matrimonial or love affairs; or he is a man who wants to pump you for his own purposes: or he is that odious being, the man who wants ‘a good word in the papers;’ or he is – well, he always is a confounded, pestilential nuisance; and ought to be sat on or stuffed, or something or other to restrain him.

The man who has a good thing for the papers to tell you: ‘so funny, you know’ –about as funny as a funeral.

Think of the ‘funny’ men, so-called, who want sitting on. What about the man who presents people with explosive cigars? What ought to be done with him, think you? What about the man who asks you at this season at the year, ‘Is this hot enough for you?’ What about the fiend, the wretch in human form, who says he thinks he should like a trip to Roath Park [Cardiff] only they are whitewashing the ceiling? What about the grown-up, double-dyed lunatics who at seaside places were lately stalking about with an india-rubber ball at the end of a piece of elastic, bobbing the ball into other folks' faces? What about the odious sea-side young men snobs who affect all the colours of the rainbow to their garments and don genuine (as to shape) old-fashioned pirate caps, such as used to be delineated in connection with Captain Kidd [the pirate] (who certainly was all ‘kid’ [leg-pulling]) on the penny plain and twopence coloured sheets of our youth ? What about all these people? Ought not they to be sat upon?

Dire results produced by the sea-side india-rubber ball fiends.

And then turn your attention to the men who insist upon reciting ‘Eugene Aram's Dream.’ What of them – and of amateur reciters generally, the awful prigs. What of the man who is fond of slapping his acquaintances on the back – the man who seems, although personally, a little insignificant mannikin of a fellow, to have a fist of about a ton in weight and the hardness of wrought steel? What of the men who drop in to have ‘a quiet chat’ with you just about the time that you are writing like mad against time, knowing that the printers are ‘standing’ for want of ‘copy,’ and that your editor is certainly not in outward seeming or language anything like one of the Angelic Choir?

This is not the ‘Black Pirate of the Blue Sea:’ he is simply a respectable tourist got up in the latest fashion.

Every sphere in life has its people who ought to be sat on – starting with German princes and travelling downwards to other applicants for relief, the starvelings who walk up the centre of a street reciting a hymn, and then suddenly bursting forth with a record of many miles they have travelled and how long it is since they have tasted food. The man with an iron grip who insists, when he has had one or two extra glasses, upon shaking hands innumerable times is a man only fit to be stamped upon, as also the dyspeptic person who insists on describing his symptoms on every possible and impossible occasion. But there, it is no good talking; were a man to go through life with the righteous intent of waging a crusade against all the folks who want sitting on and pulverising, the very people who suffer most wouldn't back him up. The great B.P., or British Public, can't exist without its necessary evils, just as it can't forego its grumble at everything it characterises as ‘unputupable.’ I suppose we must grin and bear it all. Ah, well, it is a weary world and a vale of tears, upon my word it is.

Last modified 13 March 2022