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The hot stuff right straight at you—
Interlocutor. Gentlemen, be seated. (The entire company sit in unison, placing tambourines at the side of their chairs at same time. The Interlocutor retains chair and addresses Mr. Albright.) So we are all gathered together again this evening and everybody looks happy. How are you this wonderful evening, Mr. Albright?
Albright. I feel in de same class wid a Chinese fire stick.
Int. That's a peculiar comparison. What do you mean, feeling in the same class with a Chinese fire stick? Albright. Punk!
Int. And on a nice night like this? Mr. Bender, I hope you are not feeling what this gentleman calls punk?
Bender. I don't know nothin' 'bout punk, but I do know whateber dat man saays am bunk. What I feels like de most am a stove lid.
Int. A what?
Bender. De toppermost part ob de stove, de stove lid.
Int. How do you account for feeling like a stove lid?
Bender. I feels like a stove lid 'cause I'se so doggone flat. Man, I'd gib fo' bits if I were a millyunaire.
Int. Yes, I think there are a few others who would do the same thing.
Bender. Yes, sah; an' if Mr. Cater dere would pay back mah two bits I'd gib seventy-five cents to be a millyunaire.
Cater. Whar yo' git dat stuff? I ain't owin' nobody no two bits. I
Int. Here, here. What's the trouble, Mr. Cater? You seem very easily upset this evening.
Cater. Upset? Dat's jest de word, jest de word. Upset. I guess I got dat way from eatin' too many apple turnobers fo' dinnah. But I ain't owin' no two bits
Int. Never mind the two bits. And, Mr. Dennis, what makes you look so glum?
Dennis. Yo'all know what a lamp am?
Int. I certainly do. When I was a boy on the farm we used lamps, but
Dennis. Wall, I feels jest 'zactly like a lamp; a common ord'nary lamp.
Int. I don't get the connection. Why do you feel like a lamp?
Dennis. I went to see mah gal las' night.
Int. Yes? Did you enjoy a pleasant evening?
Dennis. I didn't injoy nothin' a-tall. She didn't treat me right. She done told me somethin' that made me mad an' I didn't stay long, I didn't.
Int. What did she say that caused you to leave?
Dennis. She said, "Beat it." Guess she thought I were a egg.
Int. But you haven't explained as yet why you feel like a lamp.
Dennis. She turned me down, didn't she?
Albright (interrupting with a loud laugh). Dat's good. Mah, mah. Like a lamp. Say, Mr. White, I bet yo' she turned him down 'cause he smoked.
Bender. Maybe it were 'cause he went out too much.
Int. You seem to have them guessing, Mr. Dennis. Now just why does your girl turning you down make you feel like a lamp?
Dennis. She turned me down account ob me gittin' lit up ebery night.
Int. (not appearing to understand). Lit up? A man in my position is never very familiar with slang
Cater (sarcastically). Bang!
Int. (ignoring them). And not being familiar with said slang I do not quite understand you unless you mean to become intoxicated.
Dennis. It sho' don't take yo' a long time to git edjumacated in de ways ob de world. Dat's jest what I means. But listen heah, Mr. White:
A little moonshine now an' den
Int.. Well, I for one am a very strong advocate of prohibition. I might say that I even object to the custom of christening ships with champagne.
Dennis. Dat's whar yo' is all wrong, Mr. White; all wrong. Don't yo' know dere am a pow'ful temp'rance , lesson c'nected wid dat?
Int. How can there be a temperance lesson connected with christening a ship with intoxicating liquor?
Dennis. Well, immejiately aftah de fust bottle ob wine de ship takes to water an' sticks to it eber aftah.
Int. Very poor illustration. Even the lower animals of life have sense enough to leave intoxicants alone.
Dennis. I don't know 'bout dat.
Int. Do you mean to tell me that you know of animals addicted to the liquor habit?
Dennis. Didn't yo' eber heah ob a stewed lamb?
Albright. An' didn't yo' eber see a storm brew?
Bender. Or de moon git full?
Int. Wait a minute
Cater. An' didn't yo' eber see a lot ob hops in a dance hall? Int. But
Dennis. An' were it ungraceful fo' a man to git half shot in a battle?
Int. You are all getting away from the subject. What is whiskey, anyway?
Albright. 'Bout fo'teen dollahs a qua't.
Int. (laughing, rises quickly from chair, advances toward front center and announces). Mr. Bert Bender will favor us with a parody on that old familiar song, " When You and I Were Young, Maggie."
(interlocutor returns to his seat. The orchestra at once plays the introduction. Mr. Bender, or whoever else may be called upon, takes front center, arriving there just in time to take up the first note of the song.)
I wandered to-day to the still, Maggie;
That's why I'm home so late.
The smell of the brew made me ill, Maggie,
And I could hardly find our gate.
The sidewalk seemed moving around, Maggie,
And once it up and at me sprung—
They don't make good stuff no more, Maggie,
Since you and I were young.
Two bits for a shot just like that, Maggie;
They take dynamite, so they do, Maggie,
And mix it up with gasoline.
They stick in quinine, so they do, Maggie,
That's what sends you on your bean.
They put in some ars'nic, they do, Maggie—
Oh, them leggers should be hung!
They don't make good stuff no more, Maggie,
Since you and I were young.
(Soloist immediately takes seat and if applause warrants it he may repeat last verse accompanied by entire company, if desired. As soon as applause subsides Mr. Albright takes up the dialogue. Care should be taken that no lulls occur.)
Albright. Say, Mr. White, I saved a beautiful girl's life dis mawnin'. Oh, she were beautiful. Int. You did?
Albright. Yes, sah. She were de mos' beautiful girl I eber seed. Mmmmm! Baby! She had eyes like de stars, an' hair like de sun, an' a mouth like a—like a— like a
Albright (unconsciously repeating). Like a volcano —who said anythin' "bout a volcano? She had a mouth like a—like a
Int. But you said you saved her life, Mr. Albright.
Albright. So I did, so I did. But dem eyes—dem ears—dem nose—dem
Int. Never mind the artistic description. What we want to know is, how did you save her life?
Albright. Wall, yo' all 'member dat seegar yo' gib me las' night?
Int. That was one of my favorite brand.
Albright. Man, yo' don't hab to brand dem seegars. Dere ain't nobody goin' to steal 'em. Wall, I were in de lobby ob de (local name) Hotel.
Int. (surprised). You weren't stopping there?
Albright. I sho were. Fo' 'bout ten minutes. Anyway, I were smoking dat seegar wot yo' gib me. Pretty quick dis girl wot were right 'side ob me said, " Dat seegar am killin' me." So I threw de seegar away an' saved her life.
Int. Why, that was a good cigar. That was a genuine Salome cigar.
Albright. A genaline who?
Int. Salome! Salome!
Albright. Guess I neber met de gen'man.
Int. She wasn't a gentleman. She was a woman who was carried up a stairs without any clothes on.
Albright. Oh, my! She didn't hab no clothes on a-tall?
Int. Not a bit.
Albright. She oughter ob been 'shamed ob herself. Nothin' on a-tall? Int. No, she had nothing on.
Albright. Why didn't she slip on de top step or somethin'? An' de name ob dat seegar was de same as de woman without no clothes on?
Int. The same name.
Albright. Ah, now I know, now I know.
Int. Now you know what?
Albright. Now I know why dat seegar's wrapper were missin'.
Cater. Mr. White, I done quit smokin'.