Weathering It

Damon Runyon

DEAR SIR the other day when I got home I ses to my wife Ethel hay Ethel this has been a hot day. She ses thats what you ses when you came home yesterday. I ses well it was a hot day yesterday too but it was no hotter than it was today. I ses it was sizzling down town. I ses I don’t think I have ever seen a hotter day in Brooklyn. I ses my gracious its hot.

Ethel ses yes I guess it is Joe and I ses you guess it is? I ses don’t you know it is? I ses see here Ethel don’t you feel the heat? She ses certainly I feel it Joe. I feel the cold when it is cold too but I don’t think the weather is a very interesting subject and I was taught when I was a little girl not to talk too much about it. I ses who taught you that Ethel? She ses my Moms did. My Moms did not allow anybody to talk about the weather around our house.

I ses why thats the craziest thing I ever heard of Ethel. I ses whats wrong with talking about the weather? Ethel ses O there is nothing wrong with it Joe but my Moms ses for twenty years from the day they were first married when my Pops would come home from work the first thing he ses was its hot or its cold. It finally got on her nerves Joe. One day she told him that when she married him she did not think she was marrying a weather bureau and they had one of their few big fights so after that she did not allow anybody to talk about the weather in our house.

I ses well thats a fine thing Ethel. I ses I guess thats the most unreasonable thing I ever heard of. I ses what can be more harmless than talking about the weather. Ethel ses O its harmless all right Joe but my Moms ses it got to be very boring to her after twenty years when she would be sitting in the house sweating like a Turk after working all day over the wash boilers and the stove and sweeping and dusting and scrubbing and my Pops came home and ses its hot. My Moms ses he always ses it as if it was news to her when she knew it was hot better than he did. How does a Turk sweat Joe?

I ses I don’t know Ethel and she ses well I guess a Turk sweats big Joe because my Moms always talks like sweating like a Turk when she means sweating big. I ses look Ethel. I ses a nicer word is perspire. Ethel ses I know Joe but my Moms ses sweat. She ses sometimes she would be going around the house with an old coat over her and half freezing because she was trying to save all the coal she could and then my Pops would come home and say its cold as if that was news to her too. So one day she threw his lunch bucket at him only it was empty and did not hit him and then she sat down and had a terrible crying spell. Her nerves went to pieces Joe.

I ses well Ethel I guess it was just a case of nerves in the first place and what your Pops ses about the weather did not have anything to do with it. I ses her nerves would have gone to pieces if he had never mentioned the weather because she was overworked.

Ethel ses no Joe she kept on working just as hard afterwards and it did not bother her nerves but that was because they had an agreement that my Pops was never to mention the weather again even if it was good weather. Did you ever say its hot or its cold to my Pops Joe?

I ses well I suppose I have and Ethel ses do you remember what he ses in reply? I ses well come to think of it he just ses so what? Ethel ses thats right Joe. Thats all either my Moms or my Pops ever ses when somebody ses its hot or its cold to them and they brought me up the same way only of course I never ses so what to you Joe because I wouldn’t want you to think I was giving you a short answer. I ses O I think I am commencing to see what you are driving at Ethel. I ses you have gone a long way around trying to tell me you don’t like to hear me talk about the weather.

Ethel ses well Joe when somebodys husband comes home every night day in and day out and ses its hot or its cold when somebody already knows its hot or its cold I guess somebody commences to realize about my Moms nerves and I ses Ethel lets you and me drive down to Coney Island and forget the weather and she ses why Joe thats wonderful. Now I know why I love you so much. You are a very understanding husband. And it is hot Joe.

Yours truly