“Yob,” said Count Justin Victor to Cadger Tandy, “the midget man usually has a midget intellect, as his mind has been distorted by the complications of being a sawed off runt in a world of real men. I once knew a man with only one arm. I guess he got it blowed off in an explosion down in the mines. He was subsisting on a small pension, and making up the difference with some petty grifting on the side. He was a right gee. Didn’t even mind if you called him ‘Wingy’. But if you got too personal with him about his accident, he would blow his top. You could see his skull a-startin’ in to throb like his scalp was about to open up and say Blooey. I tried real hard not to ever rile him up. His good arm was as strong as a gorilla’s. It wouldn’t do to trifle with him when he got a belly full of ruckus juice, and that’s for sure.
“Everybody has an Ethiopian in the fuel supply, as it were. Everyone has that one sore spot you that it mought well behoove you to uncover and then avoid, if you know what’s good for you. Or exploit, if that’s how you’re so minded. F’r example, your typical chumps seem to pride themselves on their ability to do things well–particularly when they can hardly do them at all. Oftentimes it’s a dame. Like the fleshy zook who gobbles bon bons and still thinks she’s a beauty queen. Or the thrush who can croak an Irish ballad when in her cups but thinks she can sing opera at the Met. Or the lady who regards her pesky yapping fice as some kind of certified blue-ribbon purebred.
“Sometimes you’ll find queers peddling this line of puff. Like the ambidexter who thinks he is the apotheosis of manliness and can lick the Benicia Boy if given half a chance. Or the highfalutin’ University Professor with stuck-up notions above his station who goes to boxing matches, not because he likes ’em, but so that you’ll think that under all his double dome line of palaver he’s really a man’s man at heart. But he ain’t got the sense that God gave a goose, and of course, nobody at all is fooled.
“Cops are the worst in this regard. Count on it. They’ve got to deal with nuts all the livelong day, and after awhile it tends to make them goofy, and prone to liquor-fueled arguments betwixt themselves whenever they’re off duty. But the old-timers ain’t the worst. No, it’s the new man on the force. And I’ve seen many a freshly minted copper think he’s some pumpkins. None of those boys are exactly as smart as a steel trap, you know. Especially your typical raw recruit. Who gets into his noggin the backards notion that he can take on any and all of the Rip Raps, Plug Uglies, and Short Boys in Blowtown. Of course, an older, grayer head will soon attempt to pull his sleeve and try to gentle him down. He’ll tell him to go easy on the Thugs and not have hisself a conniption fit over any of their so-called depredations. He’ll let the Greenie know that the B’hoys and their G’hals tend to feud only ‘mongst themselves, and seldom clobber the honest citizens residing on Nob Hill and other such places. And besides, the Mayor relies upon the B’hoys on every election day to vote early and often, so why do you want to go trifling with them, only to get a lump on your bean and a twin set of shiners for your troubles? After he’s been rowed up the Salt River a couple of times, the Greenie usually gets the picture. Otherwise, it’s an express trip to the morgue for him. Or maybe he leaves the force and becomes a night watchman, or a rail yard bull instead, and takes out his excess energy on flogging starving hoboes with a knout.
“Have you ever seen a stupid old man bend down to pick up a shiny new penny, thinking it will bring him luck, only to throw his back out and have to hobble home? Well, that’s the human condition in a nutshell, Yob. Every time we get above our station, there will always be something out there as will knock us down. Anyway, the old are often the wisest folks, but also the most gullible. If a pretty gal winks at him, why, the old fool will walk around like someone just handed him a five thousand dollar vacation. Old folk, you see, are superstitious, and they believe in the power of omens and such like. Senile, I calls it. You know how they all seem to embrace God as they reach the last ditch? It’s all a part of that credulity I’m talking about. They try so hard to understand the doings of younger men, but mostly it’s beyond them to do so, so they fulminate in the dark and grumble about how they have a hankering for the olden days, when things wasn’t so g-damned complicated.
“I’m all in favor of this state of affairs, of course, because the old boys are the ones who have the money, and their superstition and pride makes them quite easy to swindle. ‘Foxy Grandpa’ my ass. He’s supposed to be some sort of genius because he can outwit two small boys? Bring him over to me; I’ll skin him but good…and give him a reg’lar tanning in the bargain.”
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Eat fish brains. One way for you to save money on meds.
Why are fish considered brain food? A gasping trout is the stupidest-looking animal I’ve ever seen.