At this point Cadger Tandy as he interrupted the account of his youth to deliver a few home truths. You’ll notice that when he is in a serious mood he doesn’t talk west quite as much as he does when he is telling a story. You’ll also notice maybe that his speech here also mixes elements of turn of the century events with more contemporary doings.
When you’re a bairn, how do you even talk about those sorta whim whams–the kind when you’re left high and dry and you’re fed up and languorous and filled with the hopelessness of ever getting anywhere or making straight course to find safe harbor? I guess some folks calls it ‘the doldrums’. Ye hear tell of all the tales of heroes and villains and all their foolish doings, but you never get any of the real know-how from none of these stories–never once do you read about how Rudolf Rassendale was having problems with the employees down at the lumber mill, ner about how Pauline was having a visit from her little friend and wasn’t up for orienteering, or about how for one whole day Abie the Agent was so damned unambitious he just didn’t feel like getting out of bed–but what does he DO, anyway, when he ain’t scheming and wheeling and dealing–and for that matter, you never do hear tell about the private life of Mutt and Jeff–is Jeff a punk? And I also want to know where they get the money to dress so fine when neither of ’em seem to have a job and Mutt spends all of his money down at the racetrack? Who supports Little Jeff? T’say nothing of Barney Google. And Moon Mullins! Not t’mention Kayo.
You might think this is the delirium of an old man. But when you’re on the bum you always got nothing to do but think and plenty of time to do just that. And there was always lots of questions that bothered me, even when I was a kiddie. Like, did Buffalo Bill smell like Buffaloes? If so, he must have stunk to high heaven all the time. Wasn’t it lead pipes that led to the fall of the Roman Empire? Then why did we put the very same lead in our paint? Painters is mostly crazy, and drunks. Cooks, too. And people as work at gas stations. And why was we always mucking around with those banana republics? Nothing down in those parts but Malaria and Senoritas with crooked teeth. Not one of them Dagoes knows how to behave decently. And little Billy Hearst wanting to be president–hah! Allus looking to sting his senses to a fresh thrill. Could he have kept his pecker in his pocket long enough to make the announcement? Had to be a warmonger and a kingmaker if he couldn’t be the king. The Yellow Peril? Faffgh! We’re just so many white devils to them. Let Rooshia sort ’em out. Burn ’em all.
I never cared a straw about riding the rails and beating the railroads of a fare–that was the least of my worries–hell, they were swindling everybody, every which way–the gummint, the farmers, the passengers who was forced to rely on them. Jeepers Crow, I would of rather walked most of the way, and for a goodly while, I did. I warn’t no rubber tramp.
I’ll tell you who you don’t want to mess with–it’s The Mob. Them Jacketeers won’t take an insult sitting down. You try throwing them in jail in the afternoon–none of them bums ever get up when the rooster crows–and they’re back out in the streets in time to see the opera-show. Another rough bunch–the coal miners. They got little enough to lose–a 30 day spell in the hoosegow must seem like a heaven-sent vacation to the likes of that crew. It’s hard on the families though. I’ll bet all of ’em are married men with a wife and some kiddies to support. Otherwise why would they ever go down in that shaft? Hostages to fortune.
I see a day some day in the future when there won’t be no more hamburgers, ice cream cones, peanut butter and iced tea. Instead, people will eat tasteless frozen food under bare light bulbs. I saw this in a dream, back when I was on the lam from some brakies who caught me riding the rods and told me to get off at Stew Junction, only I didn’t. So much for those muckers. When you go down south, y’know, you sweet backs and summer birds, it’s best to watch your tongue. Folks down there is very particular about cussing around ladies. You’d be better off in Sonora Town if they haven’t yet got into the habit of breaking the heads of bindlestiffs. The Scottsboro Boys–they got a bad break, but that’s just the way the dice roll. So t’ speak. I’m betting they didn’t have no bidness down there anyway. That kid–what was his name? Down in Mississippi? He was a snotty yellof anyway. Not saying he deserved what he got, but I’m not saying he didn’t. It’s easy to judge, but just you try to live it and you find out soon enough who’s who and what’s what.
Gee, I remember when the General Slocum burned–it liked to of wiped out half the East Side.
And I remember too how everybody went around singing about they were a Yankee Doodle Dandy. Damn bunch of fools. Bosses to the left of ’em and their hired thugs to the right, but they’re eating bananers from Panama and crowing about how the sun shines in! Gee, but 1904 was a lousy year! Strikers were striking, Drys were bawling, boodlers of all sizes was getting their cut, but the ordinary Yellof put on a pair of hoss blinders to the miseries that was all around ’em. I’m not one of them devil-dodging Reds–not by a long chalk–but it don’t take a radical agitator to know why the people was sore. Even tourists said ix-nay on the red talk, but every so often one of them would get into a spiel and would manage to sorter captivate us. Even me, a punk kid as didn’t give a hoot about Jerusalem Slim on one side ner the Money Power either. Insolence and aggression was just wordy words. But ever so often we would hear an angry man with some brains commence in to talkin’. And we was all ears.
MY BOY LOLLIPOP
ME AM WEIRD
THE STRANGEST COMIC BOOK STORIES EVER TOLD
IT’S THE END OF THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT–BACKWARDS
“Liquor Store in Noxtown/Liquor Town Today.”
LAST KIND WORD BLUES
PICK POOR ROBIN CLEAN
5*AVATAR OF THE ZEITGEIST
BY JAMIE ALLIOTS
16 CARTOONISTS WHO CHANGED THE WORLD
WHAT TO EAT WHEN YOU’RE BROKE
MAC & KATIE KISSOON
CHIRPY CHIRPY CHEEP CHEEP
11* DEVIATIONS FROM THE PREPARED TEXT: A REVIEW OF OTHER MEDIA
LANDSLIDE: LBJ AND RONALD REAGAN AT THE DAWN OF A NEW AMERICA.
By Jonathan Darman.
The presidential election of 1964. It was the height
of the Democratic Party’s success, and President Lyndon Johnson was
riding high. Just before election day, a well-known B-movie actor and
public speaker gave a televised half hour speech in support of
candidate Barry Goldwater. This speech galvanized the conservative
True Believers and launched the speaker’s own career in politics. That
man was Ronald Reagan, and Darman ingeniously traces the rise and fall
trajectory of the sitting President and compares it to the rise of
Reagan, a future President, as the two men and their airy promises and
contending ideologies occupied an increasing portion of the national
CONTROVERSIES IN POPULAR CULTURE.
764. A HEARTWARMING CHRISTMAS TALE
A kid saves up his allowance money so he can buy his mean dad a present that will make him love him. He carefully saves up every penny, earning more money by running errands and collecting soda bottles. Christmas day arrives. Angry Dad gets a genuine imitation leather belt. Which he promptly uses to whup the boy, for having given him such a cheap present.