It’s hard to pinpoint the date for this column, but based on the haircuts, glasses and chauvinism, sometime in the late 1950s seems about right. The newspaper in question, the New York Daily Mirror, went out of business in 1963. If you’re having trouble reading the font of the answers:
- Miguel Santos, Brooklyn, counterman: “Why not? If they don’t know how to behave by the time they’re adults, they should be treated like children and spanked. That ought to make them grow up in a hurry. If it doesn’t at first, they’ll soon get the idea.” (Adulthood: beating adults that act like children into submission.)
- Frank Desiderio, Brooklyn, barber: “Yes, when they deserve it. As a barber, I’ve got a lot of faith in the hairbrush. I think there are certain cases when it is advisable. When it is, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t go right ahead and do it. I can’t knock the idea. In my business, a man sets a lot of store by the results he can get with a hairbrush properly applied.” (Ah, the lost art of using the hairbrush as a weapon.)
- Teddy Gallei, Brooklyn, parking lot attendant: “You bet. It teaches them who’s boss. A lot of women tend to forget this is a man’s world and a lot of men who stepped down as boss of the family wish they hadn’t. Spanking might help get back some of the respect they lost.” (After all, might is right — and the parking lot attendant is mighty indeed.)
- William Davis, Brooklyn, toy factory owner: “Yes, most of them have it coming to them anyway. If they don’t, it’ll remind them how well off they are. I subscribe to the theory that an ounce of prevention is a pound of cure.” (The beatings will continue until morale improves.)
This better not turn out to be a Photoshop hoax, or from the 1950s equivalent of The Onion.