Wednesday, May 1, 2019

"THE GRIP": or, How We Can Keep Ourselves Ethereal

This appeared in “The Grip” (a Toronto publication) on 5th April 1884: 



One mystic, miserable night, 

I felt myself expanding; 

My corset, gloves and boots grew tight, 

And I was left demanding 

What can it mean?

I slowly swelled like leavened dough 
'Twas surely barely human 
In one brief night that I should grow 
Into a side-show woman, 
So very stout.

My gloves flew from each swelling hand, 
My ripped boots left their places, 
My corset vainly made a stand, 
But, pop! bang! went the laces, 
And it was gone. 

And still I grew with fearful haste: 
My gloves were twenty seven, 
The tape around my swollen waist 
Proclaimed me Five-eleven 
Feet and inches!

I shuddering woke; it was a dream! 
My waist still graceful tapers; 
In "twos" my feet still glance and gleam, 
And carry on their capers, 
My gloves are fives. 

I warning take; my tiny waist 
Shall smaller grow in smaller corset; 
Here, Mary Jane, I must be laced 
Until it meets: there, force it 
Tighter and tighter!

There, fifteen inches, that will do. 
I scarce can breathe without a doubt, or 
Brag, the pain is fierce, but whew! 
Far better pain than growing stouter 
Any day!