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Full Online Book HomeLong StoriesPeck's Sunshine - A Trying Situation
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Peck's Sunshine - A Trying Situation Post by :MrsWebb Category :Long Stories Author :George W. Peck Date :May 2012 Read :2702

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Peck's Sunshine - A Trying Situation

It was along in the winter, and the prominent church members were having a business meeting in the basement of the church to devise ways and means to pay for the pulpit furniture. The question of an oyster sociable had been decided, and they got to talking about oysters, and one old deaconess asked a deacon if he didn't think raw oysters would go further, at a sociable, than stewed oysters.

He said he thought raw oysters would go further but they wouldn't be as satisfying. And then he went on to tell how far a raw oyster went once with him. He said he was at a swell dinner party, with a lady on each side of him, and he was trying to talk to both of them, or carry on two conversations, on two different subjects, at the same time.

They had some shell oysters, and he took up one on a fork--a large, fat one--and was about to put it in his mouth, when the lady on his left called his attention, and when the cold fork struck his teeth, and no oyster on it, he felt as though it had escaped, but he made no sign. He went on talking with the lady as though nothing had happened. He glanced down at his shirt bosom, and was at once on the trail of the oyster, though the insect had got about two minutes start of him. It had gone down his vest, under the waistband of his clothing, and he was powerless to arrest its progress.

He said he never felt how powerless he was until he tried to grab that oyster by placing his hand on his person, outside his clothes; then, as the oyster slipped around from one place to another, he felt that man was only a poor, weak creature.

The oyster, he observed, had very cold feet, and the more he tried to be calm and collected, the more the oyster seemed to walk around among his vitals.

He says he does not know whether the ladies noticed the oyster when it started on its travels, or not, but he thought as he leaned back and tried to loosen up his clothing, so it would hurry down towards his shoes, that they winked at each other, though they might have been winking at something else.

The oyster seemed to be real spry until it got out of reach, and then it got to going slow, as the slickery covering wore off, and by the time it had worked into his trousers leg, it was going very slow, though it remained cold to the last, and he hailed the arrival of that oyster into the heel of his stocking with more delight than he did the raising of the American flag over Vicksburg, after the long siege.


*****


The sleeping car companies are discussing the idea advanced by the _Sun_, of placing safes in the cars, or iron drawers with locks, into which passengers can place their watches and money. We trust the iron drawers will be adopted, as the flannel drawers now used are not safe by any means. It is true they are sometimes tied with a string in the small of the back, but the combination is not difficult for even a stranger to unlock, unless it is tied in a hard knot. Give us iron drawers in a sleeping car by all means. To be sure they will be cold; but everything is cold in a sleeping car except the colored porter.


*****


Several proprietors of eastern resorts have announced that only adults will be entertained, and that no children will be admitted as guests on any terms. At first we would be inclined to say that a hotel proprietor who would make such a distinction could have no soul, but when we reflect that the proprietor is catering to the pleasure of a majority of his guests, then we conclude that the guests are devoid of souls.

What kind of a place would a summer resort be without happy children? It would be a hospital for decayed roues, very old maids, women who hated children, smart Alecks who were mashers, dead beats and sour curmudgeons. The day would be put in in gossiping, exercising old flirts with stiff joints, drinking at somebody's expense, and fishing for rich husbands with graveyard coughs, and angling for women who wanted to be caught and didn't care a continental who caught them.

The atmosphere about such a place would be a blizzard of heat and cold, filled with fine sand, and would make a person with a heart, who loved children, think he or she was in hell looking for an artesian well.

A hotel proprietor who will thus insult the better part of the human race, should be ignored entirely by all who love children, and he should be compelled to stand on his deserted verandah all the season and see his rival across the way, who entertains children, surrounded by the richest and best guests, and the soulless creature, and the few soulless, dyspeptic boarders that he has, should be obliged to listen to the laughter of thousands of happy children running races and playing tag up and down the lawn of the man who has a soul.

No one who would patronize a summer hotel that refuses little children a breath of God's fresh air should enjoy a moment's pleasure. Mosquitoes should bore them, and country dogs should bark all night and keep them awake. Be they male or female resorters, we pray for ants to crawl up them, for bugs and worms to go down them, for snakes to frighten them out of their boots or gaiters, for country cows to run them out of pastures, and fleas to get inside their night gowns and practice the lancers all night. May their food disagree with them, their clothes fail to come back from the laundry, and their bandoline lose its staying qualities.

And may those at the house where children are welcome have health and happiness, and may they get to heaven, eventually, with the children, and while on the way up there may they throw a bundle of prepared kindling wood into the pit below where the child haters are sighing for zinc ulsters.

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