Corned Beef and Cabbage Night

Damon Runyon


November 14.

DEAR SIR the other night when I got home from work Mildred Swanson was there and I ses hello Mildred hows Hunk? She ses I dont know how he is and I dont care. I ses well I was just asking. I ses how are you then? She ses I am miserable and my wife Ethel comes in and ses O Joe heres Mildred.

I ses yes I see her and Ethel ses she had left Hunk for good and all. I ses what again? Ethel ses yes but this time it is for good and all. I ses its always for good and all every time. Ethel ses yes but this time its really for good and all and Mildred ses thats right Joe its really for good and all.

I ses now what is the trouble? Mildred ses O there is no trouble except Hunk would rather throw his money away on the horses than provide for me and I stood all I could and then just got up and left him. I ses for good and all hay? She ses thats right for good and all. I ses well Mildred I am sorry to hear. I ses I would hate to have my little old Doll Baby here leave me. I ses Ethel sweets how about a big kiss and Ethel ses why sure Joe.

Mildred ses O Joe you need not worry about Ethel ever leaving you because nobody in this world is as good natured as you or a better provider. I ses well Mildred old Hunk is not such a bad guy and she ses O he can be awfully sour when he wants to. I never saw you sour Joe.

I ses Mildred that is because I am so happy with Ethel here. I ses what in the world would I have to be sour about? I ses Ethel give us another kiss and then lets all put on the feed bag. I ses I am hungry enough to eat a horse hair and all. I ses Ethel just lead me to that old corned beef and cabbage and Mildred you come along with me and stop worrying about Hunk for awhile. I ses Hunk is all right but I guess he can be tough to get along with now and then.

Ethel ses O Joe I am so sorry there is no corned beef and cabbage tonight. I ses why not? I ses it seems to me this is corned beef and cabbage night unless I have got my dates mixed. Ethel ses thats right Joe. It is corned beef and cabbage night all right but Mildred came in just before I started to get dinner and she had to tell me about her trouble with Hunk and I was so interested I forgot everything else.

I ses now wait a minute Ethel. I ses let me get this straight. I ses you mean you forgot to get me up my corned beef and cabbage on corned beef and cabbage night? She ses thats right Joe. I ses you mean there is now no corned beef and cabbage ready for me or boiled potatoes with the jackets on either? She ses well Joe I can open a can of beans or something or maybe we can go out and take Mildred with us.

I ses look Ethel on corned beef and cabbage nights I start thinking about it at noon. I ses I hardly think about anything else the rest of the day. I ses I always think that is one way your Moms did me a favor showing you how to cook corned beef and cabbage but here I come home as happy as a clam and what do I find? I ses I find Mildred Swanson and no corned beef and cabbage.

Ethel ses why Joe there is no sense taking on that way about a little thing like no corned beef and cabbage. I ses you call that a little thing do you? I ses that is a big enough thing to make a fellow leave home and Mildred started to laugh and ses thats funny. I ses whats funny? Mildred ses why thats what Hunk ses. I guess fellows are all alike. I was setting home last night thinking of a fur coat I can get for eighty-six dollars and I forgot to make the dinner and Hunk got mad when he came home and that started our trouble and caused me to leave.

I ses I thought you ses it was because he would not provide for you and Mildred ses thats right. He would not provide the fur coat. I ses look here Mildred you got plenty of nerve coming around my house with your troubles and taking up my wifes time and making her forget to get my corned beef and cabbage. I ses you have spoiled the whole day for me and its a good thing for you that you are not a fellow.

Ethel ses see here Joe Turp you cannot talk to my girl friend that way. I ses Ethel I would talk to anybody that way when they make me miss my corned beef and cabbage and Ethel ses Mildred you wait a minute until I get my hat and coat and we will go over to my Moms. I ses well you can go for all of me and just then the phone rang and it was for Mildred and pretty soon she came back smiling all over and ses it was Hunk and everything is all right. He had a winner today and is going to provide me with that fur coat. Well Joe and Ethel I will be seeing you.

I ses not if I see you first and Ethel began crying and ses I am going to my Moms by myself just the same and she started for the door and then she stopped and ses O Joe you know my Moms has corned beef and cabbage tonight too if you hurry. I ses I am practically running now Ethel and on the way to her Moms she ses Joe do you know what? I ses no what? She ses I hate Mildred Swanson and I ses Ethel you can put Hunk in too.