“Why did he burn the churches down?”

Divine punishment is an ever recuring theme in urban disasters. However, sometimes the situation does not quite fit the morals. In 1906 an earth quake hit the San Franscisco region. Fires broke out in the city, 3.000 citizens lost their lifes and 80% of the city’s buildings were destroyed. One of the buildings that were saved was the warehouse of Hotaling & Co., a local liqour company. Hotaling printed a postcard with the image below on one side and this short poem on the other:

If, as they say, God spanked the town
Because it was so frisky,
Why did he burn the churches down,
And saved Hotaling’s whiskey?

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