Grandpap Mugg

Damon Runyon

For many years my family is much handicapped in getting on in society back in my old home town out West because of my Grandpap Mugg.

It is not that anybody has anything in particular against him personally, as he is a fine old pappy guy in every respect, but it is on account of the things he pulls off, which are most embarrassing to one and all, and especially to my family.

You take my sister, Matty, for instance and you will find if you talk to her much that she is in favor of a city law against my Grandpap Mugg because he embarrasses her something scandalous, and furthermore causes her to lose one of the very best prospects she ever has in the way of an ever-loving husband.

My sister Matty is certainly very indignant about my Grandpap Mugg, and nobody can blame her, at that, because she does not have so many prospects for ever-loving husbands that she can afford to lose them. In fact, my old man often says it looks as if we are to have Matty left hanging on the old family tree, what with her not being any too young, and not so good looking that you can notice it. But of course Matty is a very lovely girl, and K. O. in every respect, and has a fine character, and all this. Furthermore, she can cook biscuits pretty fair, so if anybody is looking for an ever-loving wife, I hope and trust they will not take anything I say about Matty as a rap.

Well, sir, who comes visiting to my old home town one time but a guy by the name of Lord Bloomsbury, who is a sure enough Lord over yonder in England, and has the papers to prove it, if necessary. He is not much to look at, being somewhat old, and dusty, without many teeth, but he is a real Lord, all right, and nobody can deny it.

This Lord Bloomsbury owns a piece of a gold mine not far from my old home town, and he comes there to take a peek at it, to see if there is any gold in it, which of course there is not. If there is any gold mines around my old home town our citizens will be using it themselves, and not selling the mines to Lords.

Anyway, this Lord Bloomsbury stays in my old home town quite some time, and naturally he causes pretty much of a stir, what with us having seen very few, if any, Lords before, and not figuring to see many more at that. Everybody is entertaining him around and about, especially when it comes out that he is a bachelor, and what happens but he meets my sister Matty at the country club, or some such, and takes quite a fancy to her.

Nobody can quite figure this, although my old man says that maybe the Lord is somewhat blind, but naturally my sister Matty is much pleasured up, and the way she goes after the Lord is nobody’s business.

I hear afterwards the Lord thinks us Muggs are very rich people, and as he is not very dirty when he first comes in with money, he is looking around to see what is what. Anyway, we all commence chucking a terrible swell, and nobody around our joint ever gets so much to eat in their lives as when Lord Bloomsbury is hanging around.

My Grandpap Mugg is not in town while all this is going on, being out on our ranch in the country looking after some sheep, and everybody figures this a great break in the luck, because nobody can ever tell what my Grandpap Mugg may do when be is around.

Well, it looks as if everything is jake for Matty, and one night she is sitting by the fireside with Lord Bloomsbury, and anything is liable to come off any minute, when in comes my Grandpap Mugg just back from the sheep ranch. It is pretty cold outside, and my Grandpap Mugg is swinging his arms and rubbing his ears to warm them up somewhat after his long ride.

My sister Matty tries to shoo him out of the joint, but all my Grandpap Mugg can see is the big old fire blazing away, so he backs himself right up against it. When he commences to warm up some anybody can imagine themselves out on the sheep ranch without much trouble, because my Grandpap Mugg is there over a week.

He does not tumble this Lord Bloomsbury much, on account of being so cold, and finally he draws up a rocking chair, and hauls off his boots, and sticks his two feet up against the fire. As my Grandpap Mugg never wears socks, naturally this is somewhat embarrassing to one and all.

Well, personally I never blame my Grandpap Mugg, because I know how it is when a body’s feet are cold, but it seems Lord Bloomsbury takes the air on my sister Matty, and you will think, to hear the squawk that goes on around our joint for a month, that my Grandpap Mugg commits some terrible crime.

But all my Grandpap Mugg says is like this:

“Why,” he says, “Gosh dang it, I tell you my feet are nigh onto friz!”