Ezra Kendall's SPOTS OF WIT AND HUMOR (1899)

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Fri Sep 28 23:12:11 UTC 2001

Helman Taylor Co.
Cleveland, Ohio

   A gem.
   This book sold over 250,000 copies.  Ezra Kendall's next book, GOOD GRAVY, sold over 300,000 copies.

Pg. 21:
   Have you ever been down to Coney Island? (...)
   Did you try any of th' games down there--th' one where you throw th' base balls at th' babies--and every time you hit a baby on th' head you get a good cigar?  I couldn't hit one.
("Close, but no cigar"--ed.)

Pg. 34:
   If I'd stayed there I'd been broke myself.
   She says, "If you want change try the baker next door, he always has th' dough."

Pg. 69:
   I says, "Your money or your wife."
   "Why, go ahead and take her," he says, "and save me alimony."
   I says, "Hold on, I'm a little rattled.  It's your money or your life."
(Jack Benny is thinking about it--ed.)

(The following "Fruit and Vegetable Handicap" is useful perhaps for "Big Apple" in horseracing.  This routine was probably a horseracing cliche in the early 1900s--ed.)

Pg. 66:
   The next race was a sort of (Pg. 67--ed.) Fruit and Vegetable Handicap.
   In th' paddock, before th' race, I heard one of th' trainers say to a jockey, "Water Melon, and warm up Potatoes."
   "I'd like to win a stake with Mushrooms, but," he says, "If that California pair gets ahead of Lettuce you'll see Sugar beat."
   "Of all th' string, Beans is th' best;
   Asparagrass tips are no good."
   When th' race was being run I was in th' pool room, listening to th' telegraph operator.
   He says, "They're off--Grape's in th' bunch."   Th' man next to me must have had Grapes, for th' minute he heard "Grapes" he had gripes.  And Grapes in th' bunch (Pg. 68--ed.) was enough to give a man gripes in th' bunch.
   Then th' operator went on, "Onions coming strong; Skin on th' outside; Raddish wins--pulled up."
   And th' judges scolded th' jockey for pulling up th' horse--Raddish.

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