Dec.16, 1943: Oh Be Joyful Tyler goes into the giving advice business but he’s not doing it for nothing | History

Dec.16, 1943: Oh Be Joyful Tyler goes into the giving advice business but he’s not doing it for nothing | History

The fellow who is free from dope; the fellow who never uses tea, coffee, sugar, salt, milk, tobacco, alcoholic liquor or eats dead animals; the fellow, in short, who has driven the same Morgan horse from New Hampshire to California, using four different wagons and six mates and stayed overnight and at dinner with 200 ranchers, is going into the advice business.

For the sum of one dollar, Oh Be Joyful Tyler, of Pittsfield, Massachusetts, who is all the things mentioned above, will dispense valuable advice on any subject. He says so on a card; in fact, on 10,000 cards, printed blue on one side and red on the other. So far he’s gotten only 10 cards back, but he sees something in this volume of return which is somewhat obscure to the layman and plans to have another 10,000 printed immediately.

Oh Be Joyful views the whole project with an ethereal non-commercial air which makes the dollar seem quite incidental. After all, he points out, most of us fail to keep in touch with friends we meet on trains, busses, airplanes and Morgan horses. But if you have a card to leave with them, the friendship can be preserved.

Oh Be says one man wanted to preserve their friendship but apparently wanted to preserve it at the bargain rates by sending two questions and only one dollar. Oh Be immediately thought out the answer to one of the questions and sent it off with the companionable footnote that as soon as the second dollar arrived, he would be delighted to answer the second question. As yet, the friendship isn’t any riper.

To help him out with his answers, Oh Be is interested in finding a wife who can take shorthand in the dark — he does his best thinking in bed, but finds it annoying to have to turn on the light every time he wants to record a thought hot off the cerebrum. That isn’t all he wants in a wife, but it will do as a basis for further negotiation.

Oh Be is reluctant to reveal what questions or answers he has dealt with to date for fear the questioner will go away owing him a dollar, but he will give 35-cent hints for free, such as the fact that one person has asked him what he should look for in a mate and another how to make money on the stock market. He answered both. For two bucks you can find out how.

This Story in History is selected from the archives by Jeannie Maschino, The Berkshire Eagle.


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