Why not trade other public entertainers as the big leagues do ball players? At any time you can pick up a paper and read “Aleck to Redlegs?” or “Hornsby Traded—Rumor.” By internationalizing the trading of public assets in personality, stories like this would occur:
To Swap Clemmy
Paris, France, Feb. 5.—A report is current that France is in the market for a couple of good statesmen to replace Georges Clemenceau. Although his legs have gone back on him, the Frenchman is thought to have several good years of statesmanship left and it is reported that a number of nations will put in a claim for him via the waiver route. He was at one time internationally known as the Tiger of France.
What a boon to a community like Toronto, which doesn’t know what else to do but elect officials who will keep on running. As in this case:
Church Goes Over
Toronto, Feb. 16.—Unnamed parties have completed negotiations between the Toronto City Council and the Hamburgervolks-parteiverein of Hamburg, Germany, for the exchange of Mayor Thomas Church in return for 20,000 tons of German shipping. Hamburg being in desperate need of civic and industrial re-establishment, it turned naturally to Church, whose remarkable success with Toronto is internationally recognized. Toronto, in turn, having acquired its power, light and now its street railway to public ownership, is anxious to add to its utilities by owning some ships to grace its new harbor. In an interview confirming the trade, Mayor Church said: “I regard this opportunity to further Toronto’s public ownership plans as a significant honor from my people.”
What about those great cultural influences, the newspapers?
Tele for Times
London, England, Feb. 10–In recognition of a mutual need, the municipal governments of London, England, and Toronto have agreed to exchange the TORONTO TELEGRAM for the LONDON TIMES. The university professors who constitute a large percentage of Toronto’s population are growing insistent in their demand for a local paper of the TIMES’ intellectual status. As for London, it has long been in need of a thorough blowing up. And in the matter of Lord Mayors, this city has fallen into the habit of electing a fresh one every year. It is expected that the TELEGRAM will correct this.
Novelists and literati in general would make excellent trading material:
Scribes Must Pack
Washington, D.C., Jan. 30.—In the biggest literary deal of the decade, articles were signed yesterday transferring Anatole France, Jean Jacques Rousseau and Voltaire from France to the United States in exchange for Harold Bell Wright, Owen Johnson, Robert W. Chambers and $800,000 in gold. The trade is said to be due to the present low rate of exchange of the franc. Rousseau and Voltaire, whose first name could not be learned at a late hour, are dead.
Occasionally a trade might not be consummated—See this dispatch in the N.Y. TRIBUNE.
Canada Spurns Our Jack
Ottawa, Jan. 7.—Canada yesterday refused an offer of Jack Dempsey and $200,000 in exchange for the province of Manitoba. Jack Kearns, Dempsey’s manager, in making the offer, said that Dempsey would be known as the Canadian champion and would at once become naturalized as a Canadian citizen. Manitoba is noted for wheat.
Visualize the nationwide rejoicing at an exchange of this sort—
Shakespeare New Yank
Stratford-on-Avon, England, Feb. 22.—An impressive ceremony marked the celebration here yesterday of Shakespeare’s American citizenship.
The little English town on the Avon was decked with American flags and all the buildings were placarded.
“We Wanted Bill and We Got Him” and “Yea Bill! You Brought Home the Bacon” were the legends on some of the placards. Floats were borne in a parade depicting Shakespeare wearing the clothes of a widely advertised American tailor and bearing this sign—“Big Bill Shakespeare—One Hundred Percent American.”
An American whose name cannot be used, who was one of the big movers in obtaining Shakespeare’s citizenship for the United States, when approached on the Bacon controversy, said, “If need be, we will buy Bacon’s citizenship, too.”
Or it would give the greatest couper of our age a workout—
Etna to Sweden in Big Match Merger— D’Annunzio Coup Planned
Rome, Italy, Feb. 24.—Articles were signed here yesterday for one of the biggest trades of the year. Sweden is to receive a ninety-nine-year lease to Mts. Etna and Vesuvius in exchange for the title to all Nobel Peace prizes for a period of twenty years. Sweden has been dickering for the mountains for some time to relieve the present shortage of sulphur in the Swedish match industry.
Naples, Italy, Feb. 24.—Special—Gabriele D’Annunzio has occupied both Mt. Etna and Mt. Vesuvius. In an ultimatum last night the poet-warrior said: “I hope to die on both of these glorious mountains if frozen Swedes ever touch one powdered fragment of their holy sulphurs.”
(Source: William White, ed. Ernest Hemingway: Dateline: Toronto.Simon and Schuster, 2002.)