Ethel’s Dream House

Damon Runyon


October 12.

DEAR SIR the other day my wife Ethel showed me the picture of a house in the paper and she ses look Joe here is Mister Roosevelts dream house.

I ses what is a dream house Ethel? She ses why it is a house that Mister Roosevelt has been dreaming of a long time and now he is going to build it for himself. He is going to build it just exactly the way he has always dreamed about it.

I ses what is the matter with the White House Ethel? I ses that is not hard to take is it? She ses O that is not Mister Roosevelts own house Joe. That is just where he lives while he is President of the United States. I ses well nobody has told him to move yet have they? She ses no Joe but he wants a house of his very own like he has always dreamed.

I ses what about that house of his up the Hudson? I ses I saw a picture of that one day and it is no shanty either. I ses it would do for me in a pinch and Ethel ses yes but Joe he did not build that house and he did not have the say about how everything in it should be. I ses well I never heard of any man having the say about how everything should be in any house if he was a married man and Ethel ses why Joe you can have the say about anything in this house you want. What do you want to have the say about?

I ses well for one thing I do not like that thing there in the corner and I wish you would hide it somewheres and Ethel ses why Joe that is a lovers seat and very stylish and I would not think of hiding it. I ses all right now that I have had my say about everything in this house I think I will go to bed and she ses no wait a minute. I want to talk more about Mister Roosevelts dream house. I have got a dream house too Joe.

I ses you have? She ses certainly I have. I have had it ever since we was married. I ses where is your dream house? She ses well Joe that is just it. I have not decided just where to have it. What do you think of Bay Ridge Joe? I ses I have never thought about it. She ses it is beautiful there. Flushing is nice too. I ses those places are too far from my work Ethel.

She ses Joe I think I will have two bed rooms so when we have a guest for all night they will have some place to sleep. I ses I can see you have been talking your dream house over with your Moms Ethel and she ses why yes Joe how did you know? I ses I just took a guess at it. I ses now I have to get a little sleep and you can set here and think about your dream house and she ses I am going to have everything in pale blue Joe.

Then I went on to bed and the next morning at breakfast she ses Joe I have been thinking ever since I got up what a cute little breakfast room I will have in my dream house so you will not have to set in the kitchen and eat your breakfast. I ses what is wrong with the kitchen if the bacon and eggs is all right? She ses yes but you will look so much nicer in my cute little breakfast room Joe. I have changed my mind about pale blue though.

I ses Ethel give me a kiss and then I went to work and when I got back that night she ses Joe I was downtown today and I saw some of the loveliest furniture you ever laid eyes on for my dream house. I ses Ethel you remind me of a friend of mine by the name of Scabooch. She ses O I know him Joe. He is no good.

I ses well anyway Scabooch talked so much about a taxicab he was going to buy for himself that one day he went out and bought a chauffeurs cap. Ethel ses well what else happened? I ses thats all. She ses did he ever buy the taxicab? I ses no. Ethel ses why then he was crazy to buy the cap. I have decided that Mister Roosevelts dream house looks too flat Joe. It is only one story and I want two stories. I can even have another bed room then and I do not have to furnish it right away.

I ses that is well Ethel and she ses another thing Joe I have decided to have a little powder room down stairs and everything will be in rose instead of pale blue. Do you like rose Joe? I ses why I guess I do Ethel and she ses I have been thinking it over and it will not be too far to work for you from Bay Ridge if you get up earlier. I am going to have creton curtains on my windows but no pictures on the walls at all. They are too old fashioned. Do you like pictures Joe?

I ses Ethel I am just this way and that about pictures. She ses I wonder what I will do with that crayon of Moms in the living room. You remember she gave it to us for our wedding present and she might be hurt if I left it off the wall but it will spoil everything. I ses Ethel I am just this way and that about your Moms picture too but I can see what you mean when you say it will spoil everything. Ethel ses well I will have to think what to do about that.

That night she woke me up out of a sound sleep and she was crying and she ses O Joe I just happened to think of something. We cannot afford my dream house now any more than the man in the moon and I ses well Ethel baby someday I will buy you a whole town of dream houses and she ses thanks Joe and another thing I know now what you meant about Scabooch.