The Louis-Schmeling Fight

Damon Runyon


June 24.

DEAR SIR last night I took my wife to see Joe Louis and Max Schmeling fight and we had seats in the bleachers that my boss gave me for a present and as soon as we sat down Ethel ses Joe where do you suppose Robert Taylor is setting?

I ses what Robert Taylor? She ses why the movie star. I read in the paper that he would be at the fight and I would like to get a look at him. I ses I do not know where he is setting but I guess he is down there in front somewheres. She ses do you think he will like the fight Joe?

I ses Ethel what do I care if Robert Taylor likes the fight or not? I ses I only hope I like it. She ses do you think you will Joe? I ses I will if Louis murders that guy. She ses what guy? I ses Schmeling of course. She ses well what if Schmeling murders Louis? I ses then I will not like it. I ses I have two bucks bet on Louis with Fredie Krausemeyer. Ethel ses Joe do you know Robert Taylor came a long ways to see the fight? He came all the way from California. Dont you think that is interesting?

I ses Ethel I came a long ways to see it myself and I am still a long ways from it back here in the bleachers. I ses I might as well staid in Brooklyn and got it on the radio at Grogans. Ethel ses O no I am glad to be here. I may get to see Robert Taylor yet. Joe can I holler here like I do at the fights at the Ridgewood Grove?

I ses honey you can holler all you want and she ses can I holler kill him? I ses you can holler kill him to Louis but not Schmeling and she ses why Joe I like to holler kill him at whichever one is pounding the other fellow and I do not care whichever one it is. I ses well think of my two bucks and do not holler that to Schmeling. She ses why he could not hear me from back here and I ses no but it is just the idea of it.

She ses all right Joe but I wish I had borrowed somebodys field glasses and then maybe I could see Robert Taylor even from here. I ses Ethel what is the idea of being so anxious to see Robert Taylor when a big championship fight is going on? She ses why Joe what is the sense of going some place where Robert Taylor is and not seeing him? I ses all right all right all right and she ses Joe I wish I had some peanuts. I always like to eat peanuts when I am setting in the bleachers at the baseball game.

I ses this is not a baseball game and Ethel ses I know that but it reminds me of one because I am setting in the bleachers and I would really like some peanuts. I ses all right baby and I looked around for a fellow selling peanuts but there was none of those fellows in sight and Ethel ses Joe I guess you will have to go down to one of those places under the stand. I saw a place there where they was selling peanuts when we was coming in.

I ses all right Ethel and I went down under the stand to find the place but I could not find it right away and while I was looking around there was a lot of yelling and I ran back up into the bleachers to my seat and Ethel ses did you get my peanuts? I ses no what happened? She ses why Joe everybody ses he knocked him out. I ses who knocked who out? She ses why everybody ses Louis knocked Schmeling out.

I ses did he? She ses well everybody ses he did. I ses didn’t you see it? She ses why no Joe. I was setting here looking away off down yonder and wondering where Robert Taylor was setting and when everybody jumped up that big old fat man there stood right in front of me and I did not see a thing. I just set here and hollered kill him but I did not know whichever one I was hollering at. Joe I wish you would speak to that big old fat man about standing up in front of people at fights especially ladies.

I ses it is a fine thing for a fellow to come all the way from Brooklyn to see a fight and then get sent looking for peanuts and not see it. Ethel ses maybe you did not go to the right place Joe. I saw a place right under the stand where they was selling them when we came in. I ses yes it is certainly a fine thing for a fellow to get free tickets to a fight he has been dreaming and thinking about for weeks and then not see it because he has to go looking for peanuts. I ses I will remember it as long as I live.

Ethel ses O I do not want any now. I ses any what? She ses any peanuts. Besides Joe how can you remember something as long as you live that you did not see? I ses I am going to remember not seeing something. I ses Ethel lets you and me go home now. I ses I am terribly disappointed about not seeing the fight and she ses why Joe there is nothing to be disappointed about because it did not last hardly any time at all. Besides think of how disappointed I am in not getting to see Robert Taylor. Anyway Joe I think it was sweet of you to go after those peanuts even if you did not get them.

When we was on the way home in the subway Ethel started laughing and I ses what are you laughing about? She ses I am laughing about Robert Taylor coming all the way from California to see a little short something like the fight. I bet he is pretty mad. I ses I bet he is not as mad as I am and Ethel ses O Joe that reminds me of another thing. You never did speak to that big old fat man about standing in front of me.