Sunday, December 15, 1912

by Elizabeth

The Daily Illini bored me again today, so once again I turned to my copy of the Siren, the university humor magazine. Here is an article I found there:

Tea drinking, to our mind, is a vicious habit and a dangerous weapon. To our certain knowledge this herb has been instrumental several times in late months, to bacheloricide with malice afore thought, or marriage in the first degree. And this under our very eyes;—perpetrated by honored ladies of the faculty;—consummated under the shadow of a statue of learning.

The plot is this. Two or more ladies, of culture and graces beyond question, combine resources and establish quarters wherein they may furnish tea and aesthetic language to eligible bachelors on the faculty.

The unmarried males arrive. Tea is served. The males speak thus: “What de-l-icious tea!” “Yes, simply go-orgeous.” “What charming apartments!” “So bohemian!” Oh gracious, I have spilled a drop of tea on my trousers. Oh no—nevermind—not at all! It will not hurt them a bit.” This occupies the first hour.

Then comes the dirty work. The ladies begin to smile naughtily and make such appalling jokes as: “When the mice are away the old cat must play” (High tenor giggle from the men) or “What would Mrs. So-and-So say if she knew” (frightened little laugh) or “I just love these little parties—they are so deliciously naughty. But you mustn’t tell a soul” (pursed lips and mockingly stern finger).

The deed is did. Murder is out. The demoralizing atmosphere is too many for the Professors—they succumb.

The women must be women. Have they not in care the instruction of younger women? The men are surely men for they are intrusted with the making of other men. Yet—well—I suppose it’s that darned tea.

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