The Cop Says Get Back There

Damon Runyon


July 15.

DEAR SIR I had a day off yesterday and so I got out the old can and drove my wife Ethel down to Floyd Bennett Airport to see Howard Hughes come back from around the world. There was a big crowd there and it was pretty hot and we had to stand around quite awhile waiting behind a wire fence and every now and then a cop kept saying get back there. Finally my wife Ethel ses look cop why dont you get back there yourself? The cop ses get back where? Ethel ses why back there where you mean for us to get back there to. The cop ses O a smart dame hay? I ses see here cop that is no dame. I ses that is my wife Ethel. The cop ses what am I supposed to do about that? I ses well you are supposed to be a little polite to somebodys wife and he ses tell her to stop asking me riddles then. Get back there.

Ethel ses Joe I have always told you not to pay any attention to cops. If they knew any better they would not be cops. The cop ses any better what? Ethel ses never mind and he ses get back there. I ses cop I see Mayor Laguardia over there and suppose I went and told him how impolite his cops are? The cop ses well you would have to be a bull frog or something like that to jump over this fence to see him. Get back there.

Ethel ses is that all you know? The cop ses all of what? Ethel ses get back there? The cop ses lady please. I am just a cop and I do not want any trouble with you. Get back there. Ethel ses I bet you do not live in Brooklyn. The cop ses no I am up in the Bronx and Ethel ses thats just what I thought. The cop ses yes you are a smart dame all right. Get back there.

I ses cop what time does Mister Hughes get here? The cop ses what time do you want him? I ses O I was just asking because we are getting tired of waiting. He ses you are getting tired are you? Well take a look at me. Get back there.

Ethel ses Joe what makes people fly around the world? I ses why because it is a wonderful thing to do. She ses is it fun? I ses how do I know if it is fun? I ses I never flew around the world myself. Ethel ses I do not see how it could be any fun. The paper ses they are always in an awful hurry and they never have time for shaves or to look around and see something. The paper ses all they do when they get some place is to put in more gas.

I ses look Ethel this is something very big. I ses Mister Hughes is goin around the world quicker than anybody ever did it before and Ethel ses yes I know. I read it in the paper but it is awfully expensive and nobody else can afford to go that quick so what good is that? Joe I wonder if Katherine Hepburn is anywhere around here?

I ses what would Katherine Hepburn be doing here? Ethel ses the paper ses she is very much interested in Howard Hughes so I would think she would be here to see him zoom in. I am here and I am not very interested in him the same way except I want to see him when he zooms in. I ses what do you mean zooms in? Ethel ses the paper ses that is what he always does. He zooms in. Joe ask that cop if Katherine Hepburn is here. I would like to see her. She is awfully cute in the pictures.

I ses look cop and the cop ses get back there. I ses well all right but I was just going to ask you a civil question. The cop ses O it is you again is it? Get back there. Ethel ses Joe do you know he is the lanky millionaire? I ses who this cop? Ethel ses no Howard Hughes. The paper always ses he is the lanky millionaire. He has got all kinds of money. Joe if I had all kinds of money I would not want to go around the world so fast. I would want to stop off at places and spend some of my money and have a good time.

I ses Ethel you do not understand that this is a great thing for science and she ses O yes I do. I read that in the papers myself. It is a great thing for science and for the Worlds Fair. I ses what has the Worlds Fair got to do with it? Ethel ses why the paper ses Grover Whalen with the moustache sent the lanky millionaire around the world to advertise the Worlds Fair. You can ask that cop. The cop ses get back there.

By and by Howard Hughes plane showed up all right and Ethel pointed at it in the sky and ses now Joe watch the lanky millionaire zoom in. I ses I will if you quit pushing me and she ses I have to push you because somebody is pushing me. Hay cop suppose you stop this pushing? The cop ses get back there. When the plane landed and Howard Hughes got out Ethel ses why Joe the lanky millionaire is cute. I wonder how it feels to fly around the world and have all kinds of money.

I ses Ethel you are looking at a great guy who has done a great thing. Ethel ses yes I am looking at the lanky millionaire. I ses I tip my hat to him for what he has just done and Ethel ses well I can always say I saw him zoom in. Now we better get started Joe or we will get caught in an awful jam on the roads. I ses all right Ethel and she ses cop we are going now. The cop ses get back there.