Once a Week Won’t Kill You

Once a Week Won’t Kill You
Original Publication DateNovember 1, 1944
Salinger.org Rating

A very conversational piece about a man leaving for World War II. Everyone’s always sitting heavily or something, not one of JDS’ best.

“Aunt–Uh–There’s a war on. Uh–I mean you’ve seen it in the newsreels. I mean you’ve heard it on the radio and all, haven’t you?”

“Certainly,” she snorted.

“Well, I’m going. I have to go. I’m leaving this morning.”

“I knew you’d have to,” said his aunt, without panic, without bitter-sentimental reference to “the last one.” She was wonderful, he thought. She was the sanest woman in the world.

Once a Week Won’t Kill You is difficult to locate. It only appeared in a single volume, Story magazine, which thankfully was at least somewhat plentiful and preserved. I was able to locate a copy at a well-stocked University library and others will likely have the same luck if they persevere. The story is of sufficient quality to warrant a trip on its own, and a bonus is that any library with this issue is likely also to have copies of Elaine, The Long Debut of Lois Taggett, and The Young Folks.


  • Story XXV (November 1, 1944) 23-27