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

The Fable of The Bureau of Public Comfort & The Man in Charge

    THE Druggist stood in his Place of Business surrounded by Capsules, Hot Water Bags, Perfumes and Fluid Extracts. A Man came in and said he wanted to look at the Directory. Then he asked if "Murphy" was spelled with an "f." He looked at the Hair Brushes, whistled a few bars of the "Spring Song" and went out.

    A Small Boy entered and wanted to trade two empty Bottles for a Piece of Licorice Root. The Deal fell through, because the Bottles had a Name blown in the Glass.

    A Woman came in and said she was waiting for a Friend. She had the Druggist bring her a Glass of Plain Water. She said she could not drink Soda Water because the Gas got up her Nose.

    Another Woman came in for a Stamp. She did not have any Change with her, but was going to come in and hand him the Two Cents some time; that is, if he was Small enough to remember it.

    The next who came in was a Man with hardly any Chin. He wanted a Free Sample of Liver Pills and an Almanac telling the Date of the Battle of New Orleans, when the Sun rises and sets and why the Chicken crossed the Road.

    After him there came a Man who was in a Hurry and wanted to use the Phone. He was vexed when he learned that Skinner & Skinner did not have any Number. He asked the Druggist why it was. The Druggist said he was sorry and would See to it before the Man came in again.

    Soon after two little Girls came on a Run and helped themselves to Picture Cards. They left the Door open, and a Boy in Overalls stepped in to ask if he could hang a Lithograph in the Window. The Druggist went back into the Laboratory and got a large stone Pestle. He was just ready to beat the Life out of the Cash Register when an Elderly Gentleman came in with a Prescription.

    The Druggist Stayed the Blow and chirked up quite a bit. "This is where I catch even on the Day," he said.

    It was no Mirage. He had to and he did.

MORAL: Don't Blame the Druggist.

Next: The Fable of Uncle Silas and The Matrimonial Game