A Mental Photo

Damon Runyon

Well sir, my old lady is very much interested in a proposition which she sees in the paper every day, and which is called a Mental Photo.

It seems that the paper gets some prominent guy to answer a list of questions every day, and they print his answers as showing what is in the guy’s noodle, if anything.

Well, my old lady is much hopped up about this matter, because she figures she is getting a line on these prominent guys, but when I look over the questions and some of the answers I can see right away where the boys are holding out a little. I can see right away where they are doing plenty of lying, and maybe worse.

Anyway, my old lady gets to thinking that maybe it will be a good idea for me to fill out answers to these questions, and send them in to the editor to give one and all a Mental Photo of me, because my old lady says many persons have a wrong notion of me. Many persons, my old lady says, think I am a low down, no good sort of guy, on account of me running around so much with this Chelsea McBride.

My old lady says that this notion is a big rap to her among her friends, who figure she is married to a hard guy, and she thinks if I can get this Mental Photo in the paper it will be a boost for me among these parties. Naturally I do not care a cuss what my old lady’s friends think of me, because, as far as I can see, they are a lot of doorknobs, anyway, but of course I wish to please my old lady at all times.

So I look up a list of these questions and fill out the answers and send them in to the paper, and I tell the truth, so help me, as far as possible, but after my Mental Photo is printed my old lady does not speak to me for a week, and then only in little short words.

And what she is sore about I cannot figure, because I certainly put everything the way it is, and the way I put it in is as follows:

Mental Photo of A. Mugg.

Your favorite virtue?—

None of your business.

Your favorite quality in a man?—


Your favorite quality in a woman?—


Your favorite occupation?—


Your idea of happiness?—

Three square meals a day.

Your idea of unhappiness?—


Your favorite colors?—

Harry Payne Whitney’s. [race horse owner]

Where would you prefer to live?—

The Astor Bachelor Apartments.

Your favorite prose author?—

Nick Carter.

Your favorite poet?—

The guy who wrote “Frankie and Johnny.”

Your favorite painter?—

The Boston Sign Painting Company.

Your favorite composer?—

Irv. Berlin.

Your favorite hero in real life?—

Jesse James.

Your favorite heroine?—

My old lady.

Your favorite aversion?—

Mr. Volstead.

What character in history do you dislike the most?—

Mr. Volstead.

Your favorite motto?—

Shoot it all.