orchid crushers

sagehen sagehen at WESTELCOM.COM
Wed Jan 21 20:00:34 UTC 2004

>I don't want to alarm you folks in the heartland, but I was reading in the
>newspaper just the other day about another menace to the morals of the
>youth of America that is widespread in NYC and no doubt ready to spread
>throughout the country.
>"The tea dances have not invaded Chicago yet, and I hope they will not.
>What we want is daylight between the dancers, and not around them.  One of
>the disgusting features about these dances seems to me to be the activity
>of old men who are old enough to be the fathers of the young girls with
>whom they dance, and the no less pernicious activity of the young men who
>assume the role of orchid crushers.  I don't know whether your readers
>will know what I mean by "orchid crushers," but --" and the Dean, without
>going into explanations, intimated that they were a distinctly undesirable
>element in the community.  ***  New York Times, April 10, 1913, p. 6, col.
>The speaker is the Rev. Dr. W. T. Sumner, Dean of the Cathedral of Sts.
>Peter and Paul, Chicago.
>George A. Thompson
>Author of A Documentary History of "The African Theatre", Northwestern
>Univ. Pr., 1998.
Are we to assume, from the general sanctimoniousness of the tone, that the
Dean is not intending a sly double entendre here?  The subject line led me
to suppose we had a euphemism for "ballbreaker" under discussion.
A. Murie

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