Sports are Hypocrites

Damon Runyon


November 11.

DEAR SIR the day after election my wife Ethel ses Joe the paper ses Mister Dewey sent a telegram of congratulations to Governor Lehman on getting elected again. I ses thats right what of it?

Ethel ses well Governor Lehman beat Mister Dewey in the election didnt he? I ses I hope to tell you he did. I ses why Ethel you was listening to the radio and you heard it the same as me. I ses whats the idea of asking me a question like that?

She ses Mister Dewey wanted that job of Governor pretty bad himself didnt he? I ses I don’t know how bad he wanted it Ethel and she ses he wanted it bad enough to work with might and main making speeches and everything else didnt he? He went all over the state shaking hands with everybody and talking to them didnt he? Why Joe you know he did because it was in the papers.

I ses now wait a minute Ethel. I ses you tell me what you are getting at without first trying to wedge me into a corner and she ses well Joe when you send congratulations to somebody it is because you are glad about something nice that has happened to them. Isnt it like having babies or birthdays or getting married?

I ses maybe and Ethel ses was Mister Dewey glad that Governor Lehman beat him in the election? I ses well I dont suppose he was tickled Ethel and she ses then why did Mister Dewey send congratulations to him? I ses Ethel a loser in anything generally sends the winner congratulations and she ses why? Does the winner ever send the loser congratulations Joe?

I ses look Ethel you have been to prize fights with me lots of times and you have seen fellows that got licked shake hands with the fellows who licked them. I ses that is the same as sending congratulations only they do not have to do it with telegrams. She ses yes Joe but I never thought they was on the level.

I ses do you mean the prize fights Ethel? She ses O no Joe I mean the fellows that got licked who shake hands with the fellows who licked them. I watched a fellow who got licked one night shaking hands with the fellow who licked him and he had a mean look. I dont think he was sincere in shaking hands with the fellow who licked him.

I ses well Ethel maybe he was a poor sport. I ses a fellow who gets licked and is not willing to congratulate the fellow who licked him is a poor sport. Ethel ses well I saw another fellow who got licked at the Ridgewood Grove one night try to kick the fellow who licked him in the shins instead of shaking hands with him and I liked that fellow Joe, though the crowd booed him something awful.

I ses I remember that Ethel and I booed him myself and he deserved it. I ses I am surprised to hear you say you liked a poor sport like that Ethel. She ses he was no poor sport Joe. He was just not a hypocrite. I will bet you anything in this world Joe that every fellow that gets licked feels more like kicking the fellow that licked him in the shins instead of shaking hands with him even in politics.

I ses Ethel that is the wrong spirit and she ses maybe it is Joe but if I was in politics and somebody beat me in an election I would not feel like sending them congratulations especially somebody that had been going around saying mean things about me like fellows do in politics on the radio. I would send them a box of thumb tacks. I ses what on earth would you send them thumb tacks for? She ses for them to go sit on thats what for.

I ses now you see Ethel that is just why most women should not be in politics. I ses they are just like you. I ses they are liable to be poor sports if they get licked and she ses well anyway they are not liable to be hypocrites and send congratulations to somebody they would like to kick in the shins. By the way Joe what did you put in your telegram to Sammy Wooluf?

I ses what telegram to Sammy Wooluf? I ses what would I be sending a telegram to that bum about? I ses why Ethel you know I do not even speak to Sammy Wooluf any more and she ses do you mean to tell me you never sent him a telegram of congratulations the time he licked you? I know you did not shake hands with him Joe because you could not get up in time but I thought you must have sent him a telegram anyway. You are not a poor sport are you Joe?

I ses listen here Ethel you know Sammy Wooluf copped a sneak on me and flattened me when I was not looking. I ses what would I have done to that bum if he had not run off before I could get going? She ses what would you have done Joe? I ses I would have murdered him and you know it. I ses let me tell you something while I am on the subject. I ses Ethel I never liked the way you stood there laughing that night either.

Ethel ses Joe I was not laughing at you. I was laughing at the way Sammy was running. Would you feel like kicking Sammy in the shins or shaking hands with him Joe? I ses you know very well what I would feel like doing Ethel and she ses yes thats why I love you Joe. You are no hypocrite.

Yours truly