Excerpt from Arrowsmith (Sinclair Lewis)

“Nautilus was one of the first communities in the country to develop the Weeks habit, now so richly grown that we have Correspondence School Week, Christian Science Week, Osteopathy Week, and Georgia Pine Week. 

A Week is not merely a week. 

If an aggressive, wide-awake, live-wire, and go-ahead church or chamber of commerce or charity desires to improve itself, which means to get more money, it calls in those few energetic spirits who run any city, and proclaims a Week. This consists of one month of committee meetings, a hundred columns of praise for the organization in the public prints, and finally a day or two on which athletic persons flatter inappreciative audiences in churches or cinema theaters, and the prettiest girls in town have the pleasure of being allowed to talk to male strangers on the street corners, apropos of giving them extremely undecorative tags in exchange for the smallest sums which those strangers think they must pay if they are to be considered gentlemen.

The only variation is the Weeks in which the object is not to acquire money immediately by the sale of tags but by general advertising to get more of it later.

Nautilus had held a Pep Week, during which a race of rapidly talking men, formerly book-agents but now called Efficiency Engineers, went about giving advice to shopkeepers on how to get money away from one another more rapidly, and Dr. Almus Pickerbaugh addressed a prayer-meeting on “The Pep of St. Paul, the First Booster.” It had held a Gladhand Week, when everybody was supposed to speak to at least three strangers daily, to the end that infuriated elderly traveling salesmen were backslapped all day long by hearty and powerful unknown persons. There had also been Old Home week, a Write to Mother Week, a We Want Your Factory in Nautilus Week, an Eat More Corn Week, a Go to Church Week, a Salvation Army week, and an Own Your Own Auto Week.”

About Ravenmount

Independent science nerd/writer/music blogger/arts enthusiast/theorist currently in Colorado.
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