Poetry of Kansas

"Nothing in the Paper"

"There's nothing in the paper" is a very common
Perhaps it may have come to us from pre-diluvian
No doubt when Noah and his sons were fitting up
        the ark,
The folks who read the Daily Squawk would sit
        around and bark
And wonder why the editor devoted gobs of space
To a cranky preacher-carpenter with whiskers on
        his face.
"There's nothing in the paper," the sad subscriber
"Except that Mrs. Isaac Smith is calling on Miss
Or Jinks has roofed his hen house or cut his crop of
Or that Schnickelfritz, the grocer, sells farm and
        garden seeds."
When there has been a holocaust, a murder or a fight,
The reader takes an interest, you see his features
He yells unto his neighbor who lives across the way:
"Why don't they give us news like that to read about
        each day ?"
He does not seem to realize that when the paper
The headlines, red and screaming, with their toll of
        grewsome facts,
That everything is lovely with neighbor, friend and
And the town is jogging onward in the way it ought
        to go.
So when you find no rank detail of some revolting
Just fold it up and thank the Lord "There's nothing
        in the paper."

Verdigris Valley Verse
Albert Stroud
(Coffeyville, Kansas: The Journal Press. 1917)
Pages 116-117

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April 29, 2003 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas / howell@kotn.org

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