Bapopik at AOL.COM Bapopik at AOL.COM
Sun Sep 5 17:00:30 UTC 1999


    The Of--Off-Broadway Fringe Festival (www.fringenyc.com) concluded last
weekend.  I saw six shows--some with strange titles such as URINETOWN (the
    I asked a woman in line behind me what shows she liked.  "MY PENIS," she
immediately replied.  This title had the most jokes at the festival, with
people asking:  "How long is MY PENIS?"  "Is MY PENIS being extended?"
"Wasn't MY PENIS great?"
    Marga Gomez brought he one-woman monologue JAYWALKER to the festival.
It's a (semi) autobiographical piece about her going to LA without being able
to drive, although it could have been titled MARGA DOES LOS ANGELES.  "In
Spanish, they called me 'La jaywalker,'" she said.
    I did additional research on "jaywalker," but I haven't found anything
useful and I didn't have enough time.  Here's a brief look at the NEW YORK
TRIBUNE, which should have had it:

5 June 1917, pg. 9, col. 1--Franklin P. Adams' famous column uses
21 June 1917, pg. 8, col. 4--A letter to the editor is titled "Pity the Poor
Motorist."  Jaywalker is not used, although the letter discusses, "Take a
ride any day and watch the number of pedestrians who, in the middle of the
block as well as at crosswalks, step out in front of cars without stopping,
looking or listening."
23 June 1917, pg. 8, col. 4--Another letter also does not include jaywalk,
but has, "The streets are full of men and women who walk defiantly in front
of automobiles, on and off cross walks, and deliberately risk injury in
reliance upon the prejudice against the drivers and the rule that pedestrians
have the right of way."
26 June 1917, pg. 6, col. 4--Another letters refers to "some of these 'I own
the street' citizens."  No jaywalker.
27 June 1917, pg. 8, col. 4--A letter signed "PEDESTRIAN" also does not use
28 June 1917, pg. 9, col. 4--A letter signed "DAILY VICTIM" also does not use

    It appears from these NEW YORK TRIBUNE letters that "jaywalker" must have
been a new term for New York City and the rest of the country in 1917.  I
have not yet found the newspaper that created it.


    I finally found two other clippings I collected on this.  (FWIW: The NY
Times is raising the daily price to 75 cents.)

21 August 1999, pg. A10--Obituary of Robert Byck waits until paragraph 15 to
tell you: "Robert Byck (pronounced bick)."
21 August 1999, pg. A11--Obituary of Nancy Guild waits until the end of the
third paragraph to tell you: "Movie ads urged viewers to 'meet that Guild
girl; she rhymes with wild.'"


    I'll be in Switzerland for two weeks an will return on September 19th.

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