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Forty Modern Fables, by George Ade, [1901], at

The Fable of The Knowing Friend Who Tipped off Her Star Recipe

    IN a shady Street there dwelt two Maidens who had their Traps set and baited.

    "Come on, Boys," is what it said over the Door. They were at the Age when they lived on Caramels and Excitement. All respectable Males who could talk back and who kept their Hair combed were more than welcome.

    One of the Girls was a grand little Piece of Work and she had a slew of uppetty-up accomplishments but for some reason her Turnstile did not check as many Visitors as that of her Chum across the Way. The other Girl might not have copped off many Prizes at a Beauty Contest and it had been remarked that her Piano-Playing was Fierce, and yet she caught a majority of the Callers.

    One Day as the two Friends were chatting, the one who had the Looks entered a Complaint.

    "Why is it," she asked, "that you continue to stand Ace high with a lot of the Boys who seem to have passed me up? I know I am counted more of a Beauty than you; my Musical Education cost twice as much and I have got you sewed up in a Sack when it comes to Correct English, yet you draw the Crowd. Where do I fall down?"

    "Deane, I hate to let any one else in on a Snap, but I suppose I must," replied her Companion. "I will admit that as a Grammarian you are a Peachamaroot, but do you ever stop to consider the Topics that you spring on your Young Men? You sit in front of them and you tell them what a bother it is to Shop all Afternoon and what Girls you saw down town and what a Time your Mamma has been having about a Cook and how Grace said something that just made the other Girls shriek. For a whole Evening you Blat about your own Affairs. Of course, Common Politeness requires the Gentleman to throw on the Fixed Smile and pretend to Follow you, but he is Bored. No Man cares much for what she said and then what you said to her. You never can win a Home by sitting around and talking about yourself and your Girl Friends."

    "And how do you manage it?" asked the other.

    "Oh, I suppose I don't know a Thing about the Male Sex, do I?" asked the Popular One with a Squint. "From the Minute that any Charley-Boy shows up at my Work-Shop, I talk about Him and nothing else. I make him tell me about his Clothes and how he has his Room fixed up. I repeat all that I ever heard any of the Girls say about him. If I can't recall a good Phulopene, I vamp one. Anything to keep him Warmed Up. I throw the LimeLight on him all Evening. He has the Center of the Stage and makes all the Hits and gets all the Flowers. I am simply present to feed him his Cues and demand Encores. Sometimes it is hard work to Boost all Evening but I seldom fail to land him. When he gets up to go at 11 o'clock, he is thrown out in front like a Russian Sleigh. Naturally, he thinks I am just about the Main Lady of the whole Works and he is back to see me again next Evening."

    "But we are not Orientals," said the Good-Looker, proudly. "If there is to be any Flattering or Incense-Burning, let the Men do it. I do not believe that Modern Woman should put Man on a Pedestal."

    "Some Day I will single out one and marry him," said her Friend, in a confidential Whisper. "And when I do, be won't stay up on any Pedestal more than Twenty Minutes. You know me."

    "I begin to Tumble," said the other, thoughtfully. "I think I can find use for your little Pointer."

MORAL: It is better to hold back a few kinds of Conversation for those long Evenings at home.

Next: The Fable of The People's Choice Who Answered the Call of Duty and Took Seltzer