Friday Fable: George Ade’s “THE FABLE OF THE LAWYER WHO BROUGHT IN A MINORITY REPORT”*

Posted by jlubans on December 09, 2016

20161209-minority_report.jpg
Caption: Preparing the report. Illustration by CLYDE J. NEWMAN, 1899

“At a Bazaar, the purpose of which was to Hold Up the Public for the Benefit of a Worthy Cause, there were many Schemes to induce Visitors to let go of their Assets. One of the most likely Grafts perpetrated by the astute Management was a Voting Contest to Determine who was the Most Beautiful and Popular Young Lady in the City. It cost Ten Cents to cast one Vote. The Winner of the Contest was to receive a beautiful Vase, with Roses on it.
A prominent Young Lawyer, who was Eloquent, Good Looking, and a Leader in Society, had been selected to make the Presentation Speech after the Votes had been counted.
In a little while the Contest had narrowed down until it was Evident that either the Brewer's Daughter or the Contractor's Daughter was the Most Beautiful and Popular Young Lady in the City. The Brewer and his Friends pushed Ten Dollar Bills into the Ballot Box, while the Contractor, just before the Polls closed, slipped in a Check for One Hundred Dollars.
When the Votes were counted, the Management of the Bazaar was pleased to learn that the Sixty-Cent Vase had Netted over Seven Hundred Dollars. It was Announced that the Contractor's Daughter was exactly Nine Dollars and Twenty Cents more Beautiful and Popular than the Brewer's Daughter.
Thereupon the Committee requested that the Eloquent Young Lawyer step to the Rostrum and make the Presentation Speech. There was no Response; the Young Lawyer had Disappeared.
One of the Members of the Committee started on a Search for him, and found him in a dusky Corner of the Japanese Tea Garden, under the Paper Lanterns, making a Proposal of Marriage to a Poor Girl who had not received one Vote.”

“Moral: Never believe a Relative.”
_________________

Our ricochet moral may help explain why Mr. Ade never married. Like our elusive lawyer, George knew when to make himself scarce, frustrating any matchmakers seeking to link - in perpetuity and wedded bliss - this “Eloquent, Good Looking, … Leader in Society” with the “Most Beautiful and Popular Young Lady in the City”.
Or, maybe the off-stage, proposed-to “Poor Girl” is none other that “the one that got away”, leaving George lovelorn. Ade often claimed, it is said, that he was a lifelong bachelor because "another man married my girl."
Let’s hope the Contractor’s check did not bounce.

*Source: George Ade. “Fables in Slang”, 1901.
For more about George Ade, see one of my first posts of his fables here.

© Copyright John Lubans 2016

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