Friday Fable. George Ade’s “THE FABLE OF THE MARTYR WHO LIKED THE JOB”*

Posted by jlubans on October 28, 2016

20161028-martyr.jpg
Caption: The Martyr in the Kitchen by CLYDE J. NEWMAN, 1899.

“Once in a Country Town there was a Man with a Weak Back. He could put a Grindstone into a Farm Wagon if any one wanted to bet him the Segars, but every time he lifted an Ax, something caught him right in the Spine and he had to go into the House and lie down. So his Wife took Boarders and did the Cooking herself.
He was willing to divide the Labor, however; so he did the Marketing. Only, when he had bought the Victuals, he would squat on a Shoe-Box with the Basket between his Legs and say that he couldn't see what Congress wuz thinkin' of.
He had certain Theories in regard to the Alaskan Boundary and he was against any Anglo-American Alliance becuz Uncle Sam could take care of himself at any Turn in the Road, comin' right down to it, and the American People wuz superior to any other Naytionality in every Way, Shape, Manner and Form, as fur as that's concerned. Then his Wife would have to send Word for him to come on with the Groceries so she could get Dinner. Nearly Everybody Sympathized with her, because she had to put up with such a big Hulk of a no-account Husband. She was looked upon as a Martyr.
One Day the Husband was Sunstruck, being too Lazy to move into the Shade, and next Day he Passed Away without an Effort. The Widow gave him the best Funeral of the Year and then put all the Money she could rake and scrape into a Marble Shaft marked ‘At Rest.’
A good many People said she was Better Off without him, and it was certainly a Good Riddance of Bad Rubbish.
They hoped that if she ever Married again she'd pick out Somebody that wuzn't afraid to Work, and had Gumption enough to pound Sand into a Rat-Hole.
There was General Satisfaction when she became the Wife of Mr. Gladden, who owned the General Store. He built a new House, hired a Girl and had the Washing sent out. She could go into the Store and pick out Anything she wanted, and he took her riding in his new Runabout every Evening.
Consequently, she was very Miserable, thinking of the Jewel she had lost.

Moral: “If the Woman thinks he's All Right, you keep on your own Side of the Fence.”
_________________
Why does this remi
nd me of ye olde phrase, “one man’s pleasure is another man’s poison”?
And, I am reminded of when out of the blue someone comes up to me, say at a “meet and greet”, and begins to praise a mutual acquaintance. A paragon, a "Jewel" to the one oozing forth. To me, the exalted individual is naught but a prissy fuss-budget.
Well, like those domestic disputes the police find themselves in, beware the frying pan in the spouse’s hand does not hammer you – the peace officer - when the abusive partner is taken off to dry out.

*Source: George Ade. “Fables in Slang.”

For more about George Ade, see one of my first posts of his fables.

© Copyright John Lubans 2016
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