Amy Vederman

Damon Runyon

Amy Vederman was a homely girl. She was the homeliest girl in Our Town. In fact, she was the homeliest girl in our county.

Some said she was the homeliest girl in our state.

Jack Moroso, the gambler, offered to take a price that she was the homeliest girl west of the Mississippi, bar Iowa.

Jack Moroso came from Iowa.

But in spite of being homely, Amy Vederman had the happiest disposition of any girl in Our Town.

She was happy about everything.

She knew she was homely, but she did not worry about it. She was happy she had her health. She was happy she had enough to eat. She was happy she was alive.

Amy Vederman’s father was Vincent J. Vederman, who had a nice wholesale furniture business. He was able to give Amy everything she wanted. She moved in good circles. She went to all the dances at the Country Club, although nobody ever danced with her because she was so homely.

She was a wallflower from infancy.

She was born to be an old maid.

But she was happy just the same.

She was so happy that everybody said it was a sin and a shame she was not better looking. Many of the prettiest girls in Our Town had terrible dispositions, but they always got attention.

When Amy Vederman was about twenty-five years old, there was a big dance at the Country Club, and Billy Chairs got the idea of making Amy Vederman the belle of the evening without her knowing it.

Billy Chairs was a handsome young fellow who worked in the Stockgrowers’ National Bank. He was very popular with all the girls and had a kind heart. He said that a girl as happy as Amy Vederman deserved more enjoyment in life, so he took all the girls and boys in the Country Club bunch to help out in his idea.

The girls did not mind Amy Vederman, she was so homely.

So the night of the dance, Amy Vederman found herself constantly the center of an admiring group of young fellows, while the other girls sat on the sidelines.

She had a partner for every dance. The boys waited on her, hand and foot, and took her out under the trees for strolls between dances, and in general made her feel like she was the queen of the occasion.

They thought they were doing a good deed and adding to Amy Vederman’s happiness, but before the dance was over, she was barely nodding to the other girls.

She thought it was all on the level, and she got so swelled up that nobody could get near enough to hand her a ripe apple. She never learned it was all a put-up job.

Amy Vederman is now forty-three years old, and is the unhappiest woman in the whole United States.

She never knew another happy moment from the night of the dance because she has never been able to enjoy another triumph like that.

Everybody in Our Town always said that Billy Chairs was a mean fellow for doing such a thing to Amy Vederman.