June 7, 1909


Suggestion Comes After Visit to
Topeka, Where Turkish Bath Es-
tablishments Have Monopoly
in Alcohol Business.

"During my recent visit to Topeka," said Frank Jones, formerly of Caldwell, Sumner county, Kas., "I believe I discovered a serious flaw in the prohibition law. While the lid, to all intents and purposes, is squeezed on thoroughly tight, I was informed that the leading Turkish bath establishments at the capital are still advertising alcohol rubs.

"Now alcohol is alcohol and whether you drink it or have it put into you by rubbing it through the pores seems to me to be a distinction without a material difference.

"Of course, I never heard of an alcohol rub making anyone intoxicated. Still the flaw in the prohibition law is there and why cannot the Turkish bath men take advantage of the law and elaborate on their programme?

"The unlimited advertising that Topeka would receive, were the plans which I have in mind, put into execution, almost takes me to the first train for that town with a view to buying up all the real estate on Kansas avenue. The plan? I knew you would be getting your oar in when I began to talk real estate.


"The scheme is simple enough. If alcohol rubs are allowed, mark you, rubs, why limit the rubbing to alcohol? By that same rule could the Turkish bath man not rub a man with German cologne, Holland gin or corn whisky? You would be rubbing it in, wouldn't you? Of course you would.

"I hatched this beautiful plan while we were leaving Topeka, bound for Kansas City. The conductor told me that the train was running at the rate of 65 miles an hour and I told him that if the engineer was as dry as I was he'd be running 100 miles an hour. At the present stage of the game one can not leave Topeka too rapidly.

"If the suggestion is adopted the Turkish bath managers will immediately rearrange their establishments and inaugurate an entirely new procedure. There will be the bath, naturally. We have to have the bath. That misnomer will have to stick. Very few men who buy a Turkish bath anywhere need a bath. They need a rest.

"After the bath the big show begins. The attendant simply asks his customer what sort of a rub he wants. By that he will mean rye or bourbon.


"Following the rye or bourbon rub the victim, I should say the bathee, will be led to the champagne shower bath and from there to the beer plunge. Then from the beer plunge the happy man is taken to the cooling room de luxe, in other words, the cold storage.

"Under these new regulations the Turkish bath house will be an institution of many parts. The prescription that I have just written is intended for men of means. There is nothing in the law which says what shall be in the tub. Therefore, the patron of the modern Topeka Turkish bath can purchase a plain ticket, entitling him to one Old Crow tub bath. If he wants to go a little stronger he can order an extra in the form of a gin fizz spray.

The piece de resistance of the entire joy rule is the beer plunge. Therein would lie competition in the Topeka Turkish baths. It would be a seductive bait for the breweries. The agents will simply be falling over themselves in an effort to get the respective establishments to use their beer in the plunge.


"Furthermore, the bath men will become active. In my mind's eye I see Kansas avenue lined with Turkish bath establishments and such alluring electric signs as:

" 'This house changes the beer in its plunge daily.'

" 'An innovation for Topeka: The only Turkish bath plunge in the world using daily in its immense plunge imported beer.'

" 'The beer in our plunge changed daily and guaranteed under the pure food and drug law, etc.'

"What do you think? Isn't she a whopper?"

"I was thinking this," was the reply. "I used to live in Topeka. Do you know what would happen if this Utopian Turkish bath scheme of yours should be put into effect?"

"Haven't the remotest idea," said Mr. Jones. "Appears to be a grand scheme."

"Well, the Topeka city council would hold an extraordinary session and pass an ordinance requiring every man in the town to wear a muzzle."