Arriving Places

Damon Runyon


December 8.

DEAR SIR the other night when I got home I ses to my wife Ethel hay Ethel what do you think? I ses the boss told me today he may have to send me on a trip around the country to see the customers and if he does I can take you with me. I ses Johnny Walker the regular traveling fellow has got lumbago.

Ethel ses why Joe that is the strangest thing. I ses there is nothing strange about it. I ses Johnny has been getting lumbago now and then ever since I can remember. I ses he generally gets it at this time of year and it cripples him all up. Ethel ses O I do not mean that Johnnys lumbago is the strangest thing.

I ses all right then what is the strangest thing? Ethel ses it is the strangest thing that I was just setting here thinking when you came in of how I would pose if I went traveling when I arrived places. I ses what places? She ses why any places that you arrive at when you are traveling.

I ses Ethel what in the world are you talking about? She ses why Joe dont you ever look at the pictures in the papers of important people like movie stars when they go traveling and arrive places? I ses I may have seen them but I dont remember them and Ethel ses why they are always in the papers. They are always waving at somebody when they arrive places and that is the only thing that bothers me.

I ses look Ethel you are getting me all confused. I ses I wish you would explain what you mean and she ses why Joe supposing a movie star like Carole Lombard or somebody goes traveling. I ses all right I am supposing that. Ethel ses well when she arrives some place the photographers are always at the train to take her picture for the papers and they always take it when she is standing on the car steps. That is when she waves at somebody.

I ses who does she wave to? Ethel ses why it must be to somebody she knows and that is what bothers me. I could not wave because I would not know anybody to wave at in all the places I arrived if I went traveling. I could wave to my Moms and my Pops and my Uncle Dan if I arrived in Brooklyn but who do I know somewhere else to wave at?

I ses why sweets you could wave at me. I ses I would be standing back there somewheres so you could see me and I would wave at you too and Ethel ses yes but you would be with me when I arrived and it would be silly for me to wave at my own husband when he was with me. I ses well you could wave at the photographers and she ses yes but I do not know any photographers. I ses I hear they are not hard to meet and Ethel ses Joe I am serious. They generally have armful of flowers too when they are getting off the train.

I ses do you mean the photographers? Ethel ses no Carole Lombard or whoever is traveling and arriving places. I ses well the flowers are a cinch. I ses I can always get you flowers anywhere and Ethel ses O I have decided that I would not want flowers. I think holding a dog in my arms would be cuter. Its name would be Chubby and they would put that in the paper with my picture. Dont you think that would be cute Joe?

I ses why Ethel we have not got a dog named Chubby and Ethel ses I know it but I was just thinking that it would be nice if I had one by that name to pose with when I went traveling and arrived places. I wish we could be on a ship Joe because then I could pose setting up on something showing a little of my legs.

I ses see here Ethel what kind of talk is that about showing a little of your legs? I ses that sounds immodest to me and Ethel ses why Joe you dont know anything that is going on do you? Everybody that is important if they are a lady sets up on something when they are traveling on a ship and arriving places and shows a little of their legs if they have got good legs. I have got good legs Joe and you know it.

I ses well what if you did not have good legs what would you do if you were on a ship arriving places? Ethel ses why then I would just stand at the rail and wave at the statue of Liberty or keep on a long fur coat.

I ses well Ethel I guess you do not have to worry about how you will pose if you go with me on that trip. I ses in the first place it is no cinch Johnny Walker does not get over his lumbago and in the second place if we go we will go in the old can and not on a train or a ship. I ses; that is the way Johnny Walker travels and that is the way we will travel if we go and Ethel ses O Joe you know I love to travel in the car.

I ses I dont think there will be any photographers looking to take pictures of your arriving places either Ethel because we are only little people and she ses O pooh who cares about pictures Joe? I have only one thing to worry me now. I ses what is that? She ses I have to worry if it is wrong to hope Johnny Walker keeps on having lumbago but not too painful.

Yours truly