It’s only gossip if you repeat it

The Sunday Times used to run a column with all the town’s gossip, but few identifying details.

Anyone who was the subject would know who they were, as would their friends and neighbours, but the newspaper trod carefully to enable maximum humiliation with minimum chance of a libel suit.

So, although I have no idea who the subjects were, Dodgy Perth still presents the gossip from the week ending 20 November 1927:

We hear…

That South Perth is the forcing ground for a scandal that will probably wreck several homes.
That a chance word from a mere baby set a social blaze that will take a lot of extinguishing.
That as the little boy had been allowed to see far too much it was the family’s fault.
That if the rumpus gets to the ears of their farmer relative he will make out a new will.

That a married couple from North Perth caused hearty smiles in a tram leaving the Esplanade for home.
That as it was a hot evening, pa and ma reclined on the grass to await the arrival of a picnic launch.
That when they entered the tram, all hands grew merry over the grass-seeds on the coat of pa.
That by the time they arrived at their destination half a hundred passengers had loud laughs.

That a much advertised wedding-to-be may not be if a certain bundle of letters comes to light.
That the owner of the said epistles has been keeping them for many a long year since his jilt.
That an attempt to steal them resulted in the burglar being caught and made to confess.
That as they have also been well photographed, the denouement may be sudden and sulphurous.

That the practice of a Claremont wife of slandering her decent husband recoiled upon her last week.
That as he devotedly gives her all he can in the way of motors and theatres, a pretty lady visitor heard him libelled.
That she discovered that the wife did it to prevent the visitor from falling in love with him.
That in one case the lady visitor fell in love with hubby out of sheer pity for his misery.

That why White City is being saved from slaughter is a mystery no reasonable citizen can fathom.
That this accursed gambling hell has incited many boys and girls to become hooligans and jazz-flappers.
That the type of brawler it breeds is exemplified by the weedy wasters who nightly enter it.
That as bottled beer and pinky is always planted for the closing hour, the subsequent capers would shock a savage.

That a cheeky swain in a northern township bas been given the key of the street over the piracy of several poems.
That for a long time he has been giving the retired farmer’s daughter verses allegedly composed by him.
That he has laboriously copied them from several volumes of poetry by Lord Byron and Bobbie Burns.
That when the schoolmaster relative came along and exposed the fraud the cavalier called no more.