"carusoing": what the hell is it?

Sam Clements SClements at NEO.RR.COM
Fri Feb 13 01:25:36 UTC 2004


I think your "monkey house" cite is the key.

I pulled up the only early cite from newspaperarchive.
Nov. 2, 1907  _Frederick MD. Daily News_

(I'll try to hit the highlights as the story is long)

  "A bitter arraignment of Mrs. Mabel Orton Buttle of 260 Lafayette street,
New York city, on a crowded Forty second street car by Dr. Lazare
Wischnewetzky, a medical specialist, whom Mrs. Buttle had never seen before,
caused great excitement and resulted in the arrest of the physician.
   Wischnewetzky declared he was "cursading against Carusoing."
   Mrs. Buttle is a young widow of striking appearance and dresses in good
taste.  Her husband left her a comfortable fortune five years ago.
   Mrs. Buttle entered the car alone.  A man and a boy squeezed over to make
room, and she sat down on the crowded seat.  She had gone a couple of blocks
and was looking out the window when Dr. Wischnewetzky, who had been watching
her narrowly from his seat near her, suddenly arose and, shaking his finger
in her face, began his denunciation in an excited manner....
   "I have been watching you, you miserable woman," shouted the excited
specialist.  "It is women like you who drive men to the monkey house.
   "I have been studying your type, and I have been studying you.  It is
such women as you who corrupt the morals of the young men and women of our
cities, who send them to perdition.  I saw you nudging the man sitting next
   <snip> (a few passengers come to her rescue, the police are called by the
woman.  They arrest the Dr. The Doc says at his arraignment  '...Every time
he went into a car women began edging up to him and elbowing him to attract
his attention.')
  "They are always trying to 'Caruso' me." he said.

They sent the Dr. to Bellevue for observation.


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