The Juvenile and Mankind By George Ade

Once there was a Kid who wore a Uniform that fit him too Soon and a Cap on one Ear. His Job was to answer the Buzzer and take Orders from any one who could show 25 Cents.

In the Morning he might be acting as Pack-Pony for some Old Lady on a Shopping Spree and in the Afternoon he would be delivering a Ton of Coal.

He had been waved aside by Butlers and ordered about by Blond Stenographers and joshed by Traveling Salesmen until his Child-Nature was hard and flinty.

In answering the Call of Duty he had gone to the Dressing Room and taken a private Flash at the Magazine Beauty before she began to attach the hair or spread the Enamel.

He had been in the private Lair of the Sure-Thingers when they were cooking up some new Method of collecting much Income without moving out of their Chairs.

He had been by while Husbands, with the Scotch standing high in the Gauge, collaborated on the Lie which was to pacify little Katisha, waiting in the Flat.

Before delivering this Masterpiece of Fiction he would have to do a little Sherlocking and finally locate Katisha in one of those Places where they serve it in Tea-Cups.

In the Homes of the Rich and Great where he delivered Orchids and Invitations and perfumed Regrets he would overhear Candid Expressions which indicated that every Social Leader was trying to slip Knock-Out Drops into somebody else’s Claret Cup.

Around the Haunts of Business he would stand on one Foot while the Boss carefully worded the Message which was to read like a Contract while leaving a Loop-Hole about the size of the Hudson Tunnel.

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One night the Kid was returning homeward with a Comrade in Misery. As the Trolley carried them toward that portion of the City where Children are still in Vogue, they fell to talking of the Future and what it might have in Store for a Bright Boy who could keep on the Trot all day and sustain himself by eating Cocoa-Nut Pie.

The Comrade hoped to be a Vaudeville Actor, but the Kid said, after some Meditation: “During the past Two Years I have mingled in all Grades of Society and I have decided to round out my Career by being a Deep-Sea Diver.”

Moral: A little Learning is a dangerous thing and a good deal of it is Suffocating.

The Juvenile and Mankind – Knocking the Neighbors

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