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Every quarrel has its roots in misunderstanding, as the Good Book says. What Good Book? I fancy you'll find it on the police docket. And that there may be no misunderstanding. I am not the man who stuffs birds, nor the Crime colyumist who stuffs Harvard. I came in here while the real poseur was out astonishing the natives of Hanover, and I haven't the manner, no, nor the acquaintance with Central Square duennas, required to write this column.
But an hour spent at South Station last night, watching, the suckers who took the excursion to Niagara return, and ten minutes, spent watching the Memorial Day paraders straggle down Mass. Avenue, have emboldened me. Even one who has never been present at one of the soirees at the Lamb's Club, or has never baited poor literatae from the Convent up Brattle Street, dares to have his fling. And since I'm asking, how do you like your fling?
The life of the intimate colyumist must be a hard one. All the little idiosyncracies which make him delightful must be expended, paraded, with none of the fine brave martial music which excuses so must exhibitionism. His is no uniform but motley, and the whole Cambridge store of that is down Plympton Street, at the corner of Mount Auburn. And now Lampy, not satisfied with being thought bats in his belfry, has belled his belfry. It's like belling the cat, to keep him from nodding off to sleep, no doubt. And so all the caps and bells, and all the cap pistols too, in Cambridge are concentrated there, and what sort of ammunition is there for such a poor criminal as myself.
I understand that they are soon to parody me, or rather my other self, not the holiday self who plays usurper. And the parody does not become them, for as one fool to another I would remind them that we fools must stick together, or be stuck apart, like so many flies in the glue-paper atmosphere of Cambridge-in-exam-time.
This is a bit of cowardice of which the rightful denizez of this lair would not approve, for I am sure he is a firm believer in standing up for his lack of principles. Principles are like ginger-ale, the paper the better.
Oh, don't weak my ear so, yes, you're right, you know what's got me, it's the band has got me. Why back in dear old Battleboro, where even the Baptists keep armored shells, there was no day quite like Memorial Day, so much so that all the villagers used to say. "Why it's al-most Memorial Day" and some of them even went so far as to say. "Why it's almost Memorial Day again." And then they'd get out their Fords, pack up a picnic lunch and leave town. But it never mattered how many left town there were always flights. Sometimes there were as many as two fights a day. That's because they were hard-shelled Baptists. There's nothing funnier than a hard-shelled Baptist in hot water, unless it's one in butter. I always liked better best, and also best butter. It always came in a crock. Really there's nothing better with which to crock a man over the head than a crock.
And so I say that the band marched past Max Keezer's, where I was standing in the window, hired out for the day as a clothing dummy, and a very good dummy I make too, as Max allowed when he agreed to return my last year's flannels for two hours of standing in his window. I was, you see the first part of the display, the Before Cleaning. But never mind, never mind anything except that the parade was short, which is a vice in parades, and a virtue in women, depending on what the women are short of. And so as I stood there I thought of Battleboro, and the Battleboro feeling for Memorial Day came over me, and I wanted to run, but I had on my own pants, and I knew that if I ran they'd shoot me in the pants. So there I stood, and the Boy Scout band passed, and on the drum there was labelled "Rotary Boy Scouts of Cambridge", and I wondered, if a boy scout does a good turn daily, what's the difference between a rotary boy scout and a whirling dervish. Hoping you are the same.
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