The Happiness Joneses

Damon Runyon

The Joneses were a happy family.

Everybody talked about how happy they were.

“As happy as the Joneses,” was a saying in Our Town.

They were poor in this world’s goods, but richer than the Rockefellers in happiness.

The Joneses were Stella, Bella, Ella, Nella, Fred, Ted, Ed, Jed, and Papa and Mamma Jones. The children were all pretty well grown, and most of them worked, and several lived together in a funny looking old frame house on Rambold street, and people used to pass that way just to see the Joneses in their happiness.

They were certainly a happy family.

In fact, they were known far and wide as the Happiness Joneses.

They loved one another dearly.

Some of the girls and boys were married and had children; others were of marriageable age, but these said they would never think of marrying, because they did not wish to leave the happy home on Rambold street.

One day a man by the name of Mr. Morgan, with a taking smile, came along selling tickets on a big sweepstake and all the Joneses chipped in a few cents apiece and bought a ticket because they liked the way Mr. Morgan talked.

Mr. Morgan was a slick fellow.

Some of the Joneses chipped in a few cents more than the others to make up the full amount of the ticket. It cost $2.60.

The ticket won $150,000.

That was a lot of money for Our Town.

It was a lot of money for any town.

Everybody said it meant the finish of the Happiness Joneses. Everybody said Stella, Bella, Ella, Nella, Fred, Ted, Ed, Jed and Papa and Mamma Jones would soon be quarreling like a lot of cats and dogs, especially when those that contributed the most cents got to figuring they were entitled to more of the swag.

But when the money came, the Joneses just put it out on investment in a lump sum, and lived off the income.

They did not quarrel at all, but continued as happy as ever, even down to the grandchildren.

In fact, they were happier than ever, because they now had enough money for all their needs, and did not have to scrimp and save.

Everybody in Our Town was good and hot about this.

Everybody said that nobody had a right to all that money, and happiness, too.

Some say now they do not believe the Joneses won any money, anyway, because they are so happy, even as long as this since they bought the ticket.

Everybody in Our Town really has been sore at the Joneses ever since.