Damon Runyon

DEAR SIR last night my wife Ethel was reading a book and I ses whats that you are reading Ethel? She ses its a book Joe. I ses I can see its a book sweets but what is the book about? She ses it is about etiquette and it was loaned to me by Mazie Groody. Etiquette means the way to act Joe.

I ses see here Ethel I know what etiquette means as well as you do. Ethel ses you do? I ses certainly I do. She ses well Joe I am very sorry to tell you but even if you do know what etiquette means you do not know how to do etiquette. I ses how do you mean do it? Ethel ses Joe you would be surprised to know how many etiquettes you do wrong.

I ses O I would hay? I ses what etiquette do I do wrong? Ethel ses why when you introduce somebody to somebody you always ses let me make you acquainted with so-and-so. I ses well whats wrong with that? I ses besides I do not always put all that in. I ses sometimes I just ses meet so-and-so. Ethel ses thats wrong too. That’s very wrong Joe. You ought to just speak the names of the two somebodies you are introducing to each other.

I ses how do you mean Ethel? She ses well suppose you were introducing Hazel Quigg and Freddy Kugler. You ought to just say Miss Quigg Mister Kugler. I ses wait a minute Ethel. I ses you know very well I did introduce Hazel Quigg and Freddy Kugler quite a while ago. Ethel ses yes I know that Joe but I was just using them to suppose. I remember you did not introduce them with etiquette.

I ses how did I introduce them? Ethel ses you ses hi there Hazel I want to make you acquainted with Freddy Kugler. You should have said Miss Quigg Mister Kugler. Joe can you imagine how embarrassed I would be for you if you were introducing Emily Post to somebody and ses hi Emily I want to make you acquainted with so-and-so? I would be really mortified.

I ses who is Emily Post? Ethel ses she is the one who wrote this book of etiquette. I ses well Ethel in the first place I do not know Emily Post and in the second place if I did know her I would not introduce her to anybody. Ethel ses why not? I ses well I would want to talk to her myself and if I introduced her to somebody they would want to talk to her and interrupt us.

Ethel ses what would you want to talk to Emily Post about? I ses I would want to talk to her about etiquette of course. I ses I would like to find out from her what difference it makes how you introduce somebody as long as you get them together the way I did Hazel Quigg and Freddy Kugler. I ses then I would ask her how to unintroduce somebody so Hazel and Freddy would be like they had never met. I ses Ethel baby I am almost off my gazoop listening to that Freddy Kugler tell me his troubles about Hazel.

Ethel ses yes thats what I was going to talk to you about Joe. I ses has Freddy been around here telling you his troubles? Ethel ses no but Hazel has. She is crazy about him Joe but they fight like cats and dogs. She ses its all his fault. I ses well he ses its all hers. I ses if they ever get married I pity them both because it will be something terrible. I ses I am sure sorry I ever introduced them. Ethel ses yes especially when you did not introduce them right.

I ses look Ethel I suppose I ought to hunt them up and introduce them all over again the way your book ses and Ethel ses O Joe would you do that? I ses what do you mean would I do it? I ses I was just making a joke. Ethel ses well I am serious. It would be a nice thing if you did it Joe. They have not been speaking to each other for three weeks and Hazels heart is breaking. If you took Freddy around to her house and ses Miss Quigg Mister Kugler I bet they would have to laugh and that would make them up.

I ses why sweets they will only have a falling out again in a few days and Ethel ses what difference does that make Joe? They will have the fun of making up this time. Will you do it for me Joe? I feel terribly sorry for Hazel. I ses certainly I will baby. I ses I will do anything for you but don’t blame me if it does not work out and Ethel ses Joe you are a lamb.

So I went down to the Schultzes and found Freddy Kugler in there drinking beers and I ses come along with me Fred and he came and I took him right around to Hazel’s house. He started to squawk when he saw where I was taking him but I had a good hold on his collar so he could not get away and I knocked on Hazels door and when she came out I ses Miss Quigg Mister Kugler.

She started to laugh and Freddy laughed too just like Ethel ses and then they kissed and made up. So I went home and told Ethel and she ses Joe you certainly are a lamb. It was a very serious quarrel this time. I ses what did they quarrel about baby? Ethel ses it was about the way Freddy always goes out of doors ahead of her and walks on the inside when they are in the street. Why Joe do you see what they quarreled about? Why it was etiquette. I just realized it Joe.

Yours truly