The Gloomy Guest
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The little girl in the car was a pest. She crossed the aisle to devote
herself to a dignified fat man, to his great annoyance. She asked
innumerable questions, and, incidentally, counted aloud his vest buttons
to learn whether he was rich man, poor man, beggar man or thief. The
mother regarded the child's efforts as highly entertaining. The fat man
leaned forward and addressed the lady very courteously:
"Madam, what do you call this dear little child?"
"Ethel," the beaming mother replied.
"Please call her then," the fat man requested.
* * *
Johnny, who was to be the guest at a neighbor's for the noonday meal,
was carefully admonished by his mother to remember his manners, and to
speak in complimentary terms of the food served him. He heeded the
instruction, and did the best he could under stress of embarrassment.
After he had tasted the soup, he remarked as boldly as he could
"This is pretty good soup--what there is of it."
He was greatly disconcerted to observe that his remark caused a frown on
the face of his hostess. He hastened to speak again in an effort to
correct any bad impression from his previous speech:
"And there's plenty of it--such as it is."
* * *
On Johnnie's return from the birthday party, his mother expressed the
hope that he had behaved politely at the luncheon table, and properly
said, "Yes, if you please" and "No, thank you," when anything was
Johnnie shook his head seriously.
"I guess I didn't say, 'No, thank you.' I ate everything there was."
* * *
The teacher used as an illustration of bad grammar, for correction by
the class, the following sentence:
"The horse and cow is in the pasture."
A manly little fellow raised his hand, and at the teacher's nod said:
"Please, sir, ladies should come first."
* * *
The man sitting in the street car addressed the woman standing before
"You must excuse my not giving you my seat--I'm a member of the Sit
"Certainly, sir," the woman replied. "And please excuse my staring--I
belong to the Stand and Stare Club."
She proved it so well that the man at last sheepishly got to his feet.
"I guess, ma'am," he mumbled, "I'll resign from my club and join yours."