Whether decreed by Fate, Lady Luck, Blind Chance, Happenstance, or the certainty that "the truth will out," one of history's most hotly-disputed claims was unwittingly laid to rest by a would-be suicide. This happened some time ago, in an age when affairs of the heart were taken seriously and betrothed couples remained faithful to one another.
The fact is, this hotly-contested claim was permanently interred the day a lovesick youth, unable to rid his mind of memories of the dewy-eyed lass who had thrown him over, decided to do away with himself. To that end, the poor benighted soul took himself to the bridge linking Salem and Beverly and climbed to its very top. He then dove headfirst into the turbid waters of Beverly Harbor ... only to instantly rise to the surface dripping mud, slime, bilgewater and sludge!
Wiping the gunk and goo from his eyes, nose and ears, the would-be suicide began to swear and curse as only a native-born Marbleheader can. The grief and despair that had brought him to such a sorry state had evaporated; now he was mad, damned mad, as mad as the proverbial wet hen!
Shaking a clenched fist in the direction of the Garden City, he snarled:
"Beverly! Beverly! How'n hell can such a *+&#+&*# jerkwater city claim it's the Birthplace of the American Navy when its #*+&*#&+ stinking harbor ain't deep enough to drown in ... let alone float a schooner!?!"
* * *
When Joe Doakes's wife became sick, her doctor handed Joe a small package of powdered herbs. The doctor told Joe that they were medicinal herbs, and that a dose taken once a day would cleanse and comfort his wife's spleen, revitalize her liver, and siphon off the windy vapors and noises arising from what he diagnosed as the dry-bellyache.
"How much do I give her?" asked Joe.
"Just enough to cover a dime," replied the doctor.
A few days later, Joe appeared at the doctor's door. His wife was worse, he said ... in fact, much worse.
"Did you dose her every day, the way I said ... did you give her the amount I prescribed?" queried the doctor.
"I sure did, just as you told me to," Joe replied. "But not having a dime to my name I had to use a nickel and five pennies to measure it."
* * *
"You're a no-good bastard!" snarled an irate customer.
"True," the storekeeper replied. "But I was lucky. I was born one...you had to work to become one!"
* * *
One evening, the "town scold" tartly ordered her husband to fetch a pail of water from the family's well.
Quietly donning his coat, he stepped forth into the night and vanished ...
Two years later, he returned, a pail of water in his hand.
His wife, glowering at him, snapped:
"What's taken you so long, you lazy *#&3*X# slowpoke!"