Excuse Enough To Swear
While researching a story for an unusual name (Purkaple), I came across an article in the Chanute Daily Tribune (19 Feb 1912). It seems Dudley L. Purkaple of Denver was in a St. Joseph, Missouri restaurant when he spilled a hot cup of coffee in his lap. He was arrested and hauled before a judge. Was it illegal to spill hot coffee in one’s lap (ouch!)?
No, but it was illegal to swear. Purkaple admitted to using bad language, “but, your honor, I could not help it. I spilled a cup of steaming hot coffee all over my trousers and under the stress of great pain and much embarrassment I swore I begged the pardon of the restaurant man, but a policeman arrested me.”
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