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

The Fable of The Household Comedian & The Lady Shopper's Unexpected Come Back

    A HUSBAND worked up many Grinds on the Better Half. For example, he thought it was great Sport to tell how she would do a Sheridan's Ride to a Department Store, just as if she was going to sweep the Shelves, and after she got there she would have Tracy, the Blond, show her all the Spring Importations, after which she would buy a Dimity for 9 cents and about a Nickel's worth of Veiling and have them delivered on a Rush Order. She was a regular Hawk on spotting Bargain Sales, and the Monologue Artist that lived with her used to tell his Friends that she would claw her way into a Jam of Women and scrap like an Amazon to capture one of the marked-down Remnants.

    The Husband lectured her about chasing around from Store to Store, annoying the Salesmen, blocking up the Aisles, pawing all kinds of Expensive Materials and criticizing the Merchandise, finally ducking away without even showing the Color of her Money. He said a Woman would take one of these undersized Valises containing a Powder Puff, a Chew of Gum, a Glove-Fastener, and just enough Car-Fare to land her back Home again, and she would go out and do more Jimming and Four-Flushing than a Man would do if he was going to buy a House and Lot. He said there was no need of giving a Parade and making a lot of Grand-Stand Plays every time one went out to purchase a few Necessities of Life. He said that on a Pleasant Day a Gang of Women could throw out more Flounces and stop more Cars and use up more Floor Walkers for the Amount of Coin they put into Circulation than any one he ever saw.

    One Day in the early Summer he came home ahead of his Wife. He always claimed that when a Woman went out on a Shopping Spree she made it a Point to loaf Down Town until about 5.30 so that she could elbow into the Evening Rush and compel some holloweyed Man to clutch a Strap all the way home.

    When she appeared it was evident that she had been gallivanting through the Scrimmage. Her Sky-Piece had a List to the Starboard, her Frizzes had straightened out on her and the Belt Buckle was scrouged around until it had her facing sideways. Here was a Grand Opening for the Humorous Husband, so he fell back on his Stock Joke.

    "And what has little Angel-Face been running down to-day?" he asked. "Did Sunshine buy a Paper of Pins or a nice Eleven Cent Coil of Black Braid?"

    "Nit!" she replied, stopping short and turning the Mackerel Eye on him. "You have jolted me so often that I have turned over a New Leaf. I knew how you hated to have me price Goods and then push them back, so today nothing went back. I have bought six Embroidered Shirt-Waists, a Lace Parasol, 22 Yards of Silkalorum that looks like Silk and wears better, and a lot of Articles that you wouldn't know what they were if I told you the Names. Your little Bird didn't make any Water-Haul to-day, I can promise you that, and if you think I am stringing you, wait until you get the Statement. I ran it up to an even Hundred Samoleons so that you would not have to bother with any Small Change."

    She waited for him to Rally but he gave no sign of returning to the Scratch, so she sought her own Room, leaving him all Flattened Out.

MORAL: So long as she is Happy, don't compel her to spend more Money.

Next: The Fable of The Hungry Man from Bird Center And the Trans-Atlantic Touch