You just can't make up this stuff. (We return to our regular programming!)
Whether this was a written jest, a parody, or reporting on an actual prank, it was the kind of thing people would say about Anderson. We'll try to have more on him in future posts.
GRISLY GHASTLY BANQUET
An Excentric Salem Saloon Man Dishes Up A Skull
Makes a Free Lunch, That Turns His Customers Stomachs Yet Appeases Cravings of Hunger
A little ad. in The Journal, announcing a free lunch nearly caused a riot this afternoon at the Bill Anderson saloon. He announced a fine free lunch, and quite a crowd of the devotees of potato salad and cold sliced horse meat congregated tos ee what the old eccentric had to offer, as he had not offered any free lunches since a man gorged himself to death on free turkey and Tom-and-Jerry a few years ago on Thanksgiving day.
It was a hot surprise, sure enough. A big dishpan was filled to the brim with lettuce, cold slaw, and other vegetables with dressing, and in the midst was a grinning skull, fresh from the dissecting room of some medical college, shreds of flesh hanging to the bone, and the partly open jaws disclosing the tongue still in the head.
Many who saw the dish were compelled to turn away, and run out for fresh air, Constable Lewis going home unable to eat his dinner, and losing what he had partaken. Piled all around the chef d'oevre were sandwiches, which the hungriest had not the hardihood to touch, and the whole lunch went untasted, so far as the crowds were concerned. There was some talk of having Bill Anderson arrested for cruelty to the free-lunch fraternity, his advertisement raising mouth-watering expectations that were disappointing to a maddening degree. The skull is believed to have been that of a deceased convict, who was turned over to the medical students and preserved in alcohol.
Now that we've got your appetite up...Most of you already know Venti's is now open Sundays - today. Go celebrate with a beer!