Author: Victor, Metta Victoria Fuller, 1831-1885
American wit and humor
Newspapers — Fiction
The Bad Boy at Home, and His Experiences in Trying to Become an Editor
THE BAD BOY AT HOME,
AND HIS EXPERIENCES IN TRYING TO BECOME AN EDITOR.
THE FUNNIEST BOOK OF THE AGE.
By Walter T. Gray
J. S. Ogilvie & Company.
A Gentleman, Wants to Inter Vuehim.
I Crep Outer Bed and Lit the Gas.
It Was Ony the Wurk of a Minnit to Pry Open The Lid
And Rote Bout 10,000 Notes
Then I Hawled off My False Mustash
WHY HE CHEWSES A PERFESSHUN.—HYFALUTIN PROLOG, WITH SUM
BARE POSSIBILITIES.—PROSPECTUS OF THE “DAILY BUSTER.”
I’ve been intending ever since I got home from Yourope, to begin ritin’ in a diry, but I ain’t had no time, cos my chum Jimmy and me has been puttin’ in our days havin’ fun. I’ve got to give all that sorter thing up now, cos I’ve accepted a persisshun in a onherabel perfesshun, and wen I get to be a man, and reech the top rung of the ladder, I’m goin’ to mak’ New York howl.
Pa, he wanted me to go to skule, but I culdn’t see it a tall, cos a feller wot’s alwus goin’ to skule don’t never kno nothin’ but base-ballin’ and prize fitin’ wen ‘he gets thru. All them fellers wot rite in dirys begin by usin a lot of hyfalutin wurds wot sound orful big but don’t meen nothin; so I guess I’ll be in the fashun, so here goes:
You’re only a quire of “common noose” paper, Mr. Diry, so you needn’t put on so menny airs over your cleen wite dress, wot only needs a morocker lether mantel and gilt braceletts to make you look like you b’longed to the Astor house dude.
We all know you was maid of rags, and them rags might once have bean in the mazey, lacey laberinths of wite linnin wot audashusly pressed ‘gainst the tender form of Lillyan, the dudine.
If you warn’t there you mite have ben all ablaze with chane stitches and crushed oniyun stripes, closely incircling a cupple of been-poles—no, not eggsactly been-poles, but the sharpley, shadderly lower lims of Sarah Jane Burnhard, the actress wot got mashed on Dam-all-her.
Then, agen, you mite have ben on some infantile prospecktive Preserdent, but you didn’t stay on him long, cos baby’s and safety-pins maid you tired.
Enyway you’ve got a histery, cos them littel black spots on your rite bussum looks like they mite wunce hav ben part of Mrs. Dr. Walker’s patent backackshun, maskuline, dress-reform trowsers, wot she sent to the paper-mill to get ground up inter paper to mak books for the enlitenin of the wimmin of our country.
How’s that for high, Mr. Diry? My muse come playguey neer running away with me, so I had to wistle “down brakes,” and slow her up. Now I’ll begin to record my doins on your pages, so that, shuld the toes of my boots be applide to the patent bucket early in my useful carreer, the hull wurld’ll kno wot a treassure socieaty has lost. I ain’t givin you eny biled lasses candie, but don’t you let your memmerizin orgins lose site of the fact that I, Georgie, the Bad Boy wot’s ben to Yourope, ain’t no slouch.
My pa sez I’m a geneyus. I guess he’s ’bout rite, ony he orter sed I was a buddin’ one, ‘cos my hankerin’ after a perfeshunal carrieer has led me to axcept a posishun in the publick-opinyun-moldin’ shop wots known as the Daily Buster, Joe Gilley, edittur and proprieat-her. Subskripshun price, $5 per yare. No trubbel to sine receits.
N.B.—Speshell arrangements with ex-Senater Satan enabels us to give our delinkent subskribers cheap excurshun rates to the Hot Sulfur Baths, via the Haydies Short Line, our fitin’ edit-her corndoctor. This paper is run on red-hot indypendant principels, in a spicey, sparklin’ manher. In pollyticks our motto is: “Onhest men, regardless of partie, candy-dates with barr’ls xcepted.”
The above is the prospecktus of the journalistick venture in wich I have mbarked in the capacerty of typergraffickal devil. So now Mr. Diry, look out for the brakers.
HIS FIRST INTERVUE.—WILL THEY BE CONSINED TO A PLACE THAT
IS HOTTER THAN THIS.—A LABER-SAVTN’ MASHEEN.—BEER,
GASSERLIN AND PROHIBISHUN.
I’ve jest got my supper, so I guess I’ll tell you ’bout my first day’s xperience on the Dailey “Buster.” I was down to the offis at 7 ‘clock, and the mannergin edittur, he detaled me to intervue, the old papers and dust, on the floor. By the ade of a broom, wot was so old, it was most bald-hedded, I suckceeded in completely ridden the floor of its surplus stock of litterature, and terbackhey balls, wot them printers spit out, wen they warnted to use there mouths, to consine sum feller, wot rote orful to Hallyfax, or sum other mild climat.
I wunder if everybodie, wot them printers dam, goes to Hades, cos, if they do, and all printin’ offisses is like ourn, I guess us fellers wont have much compenny in Heaven wen we get there. They all ap-pare to have a pertickler spite ‘gainst a Mister Copy, cos I hearn him bein’ dammed, more an a hundred times to-day. I guess the poor feller ain’t got no sho a tall.
I never seen the wurkins of a edithers sanktuary before. I useter wonder, how they rote all them long artickels wot everybodie sed show’d the grate geneyus of the edittur, but I never knowed till this mornin’ bout the laber-savin’ masheen, wot is maid of two peeces of steal, with sharp points on one end, and two rings on the other, wot slip over the editturs fingers. Wen he’s got them on, he takes off his shoes and stockins, and waids inter a lot of old noosepapers, clippin’ out littel bits here and there, and pastin’ ’em on a sheet of wite paper. The masheen wurked splendid, and Mister Gilley sez its a sure anty-dote agin skribler’s parallysis, wot all great riters is trubbelled with.
Jest ‘fore dinner the edit-her begun to get orful dry ritin a artickel hedded, “Pernisshus Pizen; or, Holesail Slaughter,” caused by the adulterashun of beer with arsernic, so he sent me down to the barroom next door to get him a bottle of beer on thirty days time. I’d jest got back to the sanktum, and was takin’ out the cork, wen the Metherdist minnysteer cum in to arrange ’bout a big prohibishun rally wot comes off next week. He looked orful suspishus at the bottle, till the edit-her told me to take that bottel of gasserline, to the forman, and tell him to wash the forms with it, and be sure not to get it neer a lite, cos gasserline was orful ‘xplosive.
I guess it got ‘xploded cos, wen the minnyster was gone, I went out to get it, and I culdn’t even find a smell of it, so I had ter go round to the next block for another, cos the edittur’s face wasn’t good for morean one, in the same place, in one day.
Say, Mister Diry, did you ever get a whiff of the smell, throne out by the paste-pot, in an edittur’s offis, wot was ‘stablished in ’49? Cos, if you never did, you can’t apreshiate how deliteful the consentrated ‘xtract of half a dozen glew factorys would be, in comparyson. This afternoon the edit-her perlitely requested me to consine the contents of ours to their last restin’ place in the ash-heep, in our back-yard. Menny a silent teer did I shed over the cold and clammy remanes of hundreds of cockroaches, whose young and usefull lives came to such a sad and untimely end, in there brave efferts to ‘xplore the mystear-ious and fathemless depths of the “Buster’s” paste-pot.
I guess I muster forgot to wash my hands ‘fore supper, cos pa’s down in the sellar settin’ a trap for a polecat, and ma she swares she’s goin’ to have a carpinter take up the dinin’-room flure tomorrer mornin’, and hunt up the rat wot crawled under there and died.
THE XCHANGE FYEND.—SHEECARGO ALL QUIETT.—THE FYEND GOES
ABROAD.—HIS GRATE SPERIT APALLED.—THE BERRIED HOPES OF A
Our offis has got wot is called a xchange fyend wot comes in every mornin wen we get the male and looks over all the papers, cos he’s too meen to buy his own readin matter. I knovv’d by the way the edittur looks at him, he’d like to kick him down 3 flites of steep steps, but I guess he borrowed a dime from him, bout ten years ago, and he’s ‘frade he’ll ‘tach the offis furniture for it. I alwus like to help my ‘mployers outer a tite place, so, this mornin, I run ‘cross a paper that was printed this day sevral yares ago, so I lade it down on the tabil where the Fyend’d strike it the first thing, and then I got orful busy dustin the book-case. Wen he cum in, he picked up the paper and looked down the hed-lines. I seen he was gettin orful xcited, then he snatched up his hat and segar stump, and run like he was chased by litenin. Purty soon, there was more an 5,000 peepel on the street in front of the offis, and the edittur got orful scared, cos he thought they was goin to run him outer town, on account of the big soshill scandell wot he published yesterday, so he sent me to the door to see wot they all wanted. Wen I got there the peeple was most crazey for noose from the Sheecargo fire. I told em to hold on and we’d hav out an xtra in a few minits, and then I showed the edittur the paper wot the Fyend was reedin, wot gave a big account of the Sheecargo fire. Wen we got out our extra, we sold ’bout 10,000 coppies, with a artickel, wot red like this:
“The latest despaches from that city report Sheecargo all quiett, thanks to the forethort of the Mayor, in swarein in a large number of extra perlice, for service durin the sittin of the Youmorists Conven-shun, and the grate precaushuns taken by Common Counsil to see that no lickher was sold to delergates!” You bet there was a mad crowd, wen they found out there warnt no fire a tall in Sheecargo. The ‘xchange fyend’s gone to New Jersey, cos it’ll have time to blow over, ‘fore Congres can promulgait a xtrodishun treety, with that government.
This afternoon, I was appalled, my grate big spirit fell down into my shoes, like a Jump of led. Alass how grate the breech is, tween the orthor, and the columns of a noospaper, and how short the rode, wot leeds to the waist basket, espeschially the one, in a printin offis like the Daily “Buster,” were the basket covers bout a square akrc of flore. I was put to cleenin up the waste basket, so as we’d hav the paper reddy, for the junk man, wot calls round with his six horse teem of goverment muels, once a week, I coldn’t help lingerin over the contents, and sying, wen I thought, of the hopes wot lied burried thare. There was one littel peece of poultry, rittin on a sheet of ‘lectric blue paper, and sented with otto of roses, and indited to “My dare George.” I wunder if the poultryess ment me, wen she rote it, cos if she did, she struck it jest rite, for Ive got it stowed away, in my pants pocket next my hart.
There was a nother roll of manerskript, wot wayed a pound, and come by xpress, without bein pade. I guess the edittur was mad, wen he paid 50 sents charges, and found out it warnt no berthday present. A note with it, red like this:
My dare Edittur Buster—
The enclosed storie entitled “Dudish Dick, the Flirtin
Corn-Doctor of Horse-car No. 36,” is wurth $500, but in
complerment of the high standin of your valewbel jurnal, I
will allow you to publish it for notthin, if you will send
me papers containin it.
Sammy Lane, Author.
Wat unappreciatin beins editturs are! Wen they wuld let a geneyus wot was capable of pennin the follerin lines go unrewarded:
A big politishun named Kelley,
Had a gripin pane in his belly.
He used St. Jacobs oil,
And now he’s nussin a boil,
But his pane has left him by golly.
HE AIN’T NO TYPERGRAFFICKAL CYCLOPEEDA.—SERIUS
COMPLERCASHUNS, WITH A TEMPORY ABBERASHUN.—A PRINTIN’ OFFIS
I’m in a peck of troubel to-day, wot I’ll have ter trust ter Providence to get me outer. A typergraffickal devil ain’t s’posed to know everything, enyway. Now the hull offis is mad at me, ‘cos I ain’t a walk-in’ cyclopeeda of typograffickal turm.
In the fust place, the foreman of the composin’ room’s mad, ‘cos wen he tole me to fech him a long stick, I went down street and hunted round till I struck a house wot was bein plasturd, and brot him back a good lath. Wen I giv it to him I thot there was a erupshun from a volcano, the way he swared at me. He sed he’d a noshun to brake it over my back, for not havin cents enuff to kno that he bot his fire wood by the cord. Y didn’t he tell me in the fust place he wanted that thing wot printers use to set type in.
Now the casheer’s on his ear, cos he sent me out ter buy a wooden galley. I know’d very well I couldn’t make no mistake there, cos I’m posted on ship’s kichens,
so I arst him how big a one he wanted. He sed medeyum, so I went up to Johnny Roache’s ship-yard and had them send a galley down to the offis, wot would be big enuf for a good sized skooner. You orter seen the casheer’s face, wen the six-horse teem stopped in frunt of the dore. The driver was goin to leeve the galley enyway, but the Casheer pade him to hawl it back, and rote Mr. Roache that there boy was laberin under a slite abberashun of the mind wen he ordered it. But I think its his mind wots got the abberashuns instead, from sittin up so late with the red-hedded grass widder wot keeps the bordin house crost the street from our house. If it hadn’t, y didn’t he tell me he warnted a galley for keepin type in, wen the composin stick’s full. Fellers like him orter be put on ice, cos there too fresh to keep long. He only needs a tale to be a thorobred dude, cos he’s got everything else wat blongs to one.
On my way home, at noon, I stopped to see a feller wot was sellin prize packits, at the corner of Nassau street, so I didn’t get time to ete much dinner. I was gettin orful hungry bout 4 ‘clock, wen the edittur arst me if I thot I culd clere up the pie wot was on the imposin ston. I didn’t warnt to let him see I was so orful hungery, so I told him I didn’t kno. “Well,” sed he, “there’s nothin like tryin; the fore-man’ll sho you wear it is.” I couldn’t keep back my grattyfycashun, so I thanked him three or four times. You bet I was mad, wen I fownd out there warnt no cherry or mince pie, not even dryed appel, but only a lot of type wot had got mixed up. I think its reel mene to make a littel boy like me think hes goin to get a big feed, and then not give him enything but a lot of led wot nobodie else wuld try to ete.
You orter see our imposin stone; it must be orful valewble. Its a grate flat peece of marbel, tattooed, all over, with funny hyroglifficks. I guess its one of the old toombstones wot come from anshunt Troy. Its a wunder the edittur dont sell it to the Smithsoyun institute, sted of using it for layin forms on, its so orful imposin.
A VISIT FROM A DISTINGUSHED ANTY-MONOPERLIST TYPERGRAFFICAL
TOREWRIST.—HE EXPOSES A MURDERUS CONSPIRACY.—A THRETEND
This mornin our offis was onhered by a visit from a typergraffical torewrist, wot in-terduced hisself as John McNamee. He sed he’d just returned from a xtensive visit in the Western States, ware he’d been for sum time, for the benefit of his health. He is one of the most distinguished members of the perlitikel partis, called Anti-Monopolists. I admire a man wot praktices wot he preaches. Now, this Mr. McNamee has never been known to contribute a cent to surportin our grate ralerode mo-noperlists, altho he has travilled all over the United States by rale. Beside that, he wouldn’t axcept any accommodashuns short of a green-line sleeper. Wen I arst him y he didn’t ware his gold watch-chain and silk hat, like all other pollytishuns, he sed his partie was endevourin to freeze out the big clothin monopolies by wearin their does till they fell off. I notissed his bus-sum swellin with pride, as he spoke of the fruits there labor had brot forth in the failyure of so menney grate clothin furms.
He condersended to thro in sum type, and wen he got thru, him and a cuppel of our printers adjurned down stares to partake of a shampayne lunch. I guess he warn’t used to drinkin lite wines, cos he’s been sleepin under the paper-cutter all the afternoon, dreemin that he was bein nom-minated for Preserdent on the great anty-monoperlist ticket. Jest before dinner the edittur told me to tell the make-up man to kill Lawrence Rickard. Now, his store is ware my pa buys all his groseries, and his wife and ma’s orful good chums, and b’long to the same sewin’ sircle. Mr. Rickard alwus treeted me rite, and I didn’t like to see a cupple of bludthursty villanes kill him without givin’ him tim to say his prayers, so I called inter his store and told him he’d better skip out or lay lo, cos the edittur was orful mad at him, and had ordered a nuther feller to kill him. He sed he’d fix ’em. So rite after dinner a cupple of perlice cum up to the offis and arrested Mr. Gilley and the make-up man for conspiracy to murder, and they had to xplane it, and pay all the costs.
I took a littel vacashun this afternoon, and went out fishin’, cos I remembured wot pa says after he’s kissed ma by telerfone,
“Distance lends enchantment to the vue.”
So I thot them two bad men wyld be more enchanted with me if I kep at a safe distance. I’m orful frade my jurnulistick carrieer’s goin’ to be broken off short, but I don’t think they orter blamed me, cos the edittur shutd er told me to tell the make-up man to take out that local notis wot red: “Fresh vegetabels and grene truck received daily, at L. I. Rickard’s Grocerie,” insted of makin’ me tell him to kill Mr. Rickatrd, Well, if I can’t be a jurnulist and make a fortune, I’ kno wot I can be, I’ll go to the offis in the mornin’, and if there’s eny music in the air, I’ll resine and berry my hopes. Then I’ll leese Dennis Ryan’s old blind muel, wot’s too week to kik, and go to peddlin’ fish. The Buster will bust ‘fore they make enything outer this chickin; ain’t that so, Mister Diry?
THE CLOWD SHEW’s ITS SILVER LININ’, AND GEORGIE DOES HISSELF
PROUD.—THE RED-HEDDED OLD SNOOZER QUAKES BEFORE THE DEVIL.—
HE’S GOT THE GALL.
To-day has ben a glorius day for me, cos it seems like I’d done sumthin wot was a onher to the perfesshun.
Wen I went down to the offis I felt like my resignashun wuld be axceptabel, cos my servises could easyly be dispensed with. I left the door opin wen I went in so as I’d have a avenew of ‘scape in case a mine ‘xploded. Jest as I got in the press-room I hearn a muffelled voice say: “Georgie, my boy, is that you?” I answered: “Yes, sir.” Then I seen the edittur reclinin’ in a recumbent posishun, under the big sillinder press, lookin’whither ‘an a sheet, and tremblm’ like he’d seen his grandpa’s gost. I arst him wot was the matter, and he sez:
“Georgie, there’s a man in the offis wot I sed was a red-hedded old snoozer wot ort to be run outer town. Tell him I’ve gone to Coney Ileland to fite a duhell with Sullivan, or say I’m out takin’ my mornin’ pistil practise. Tell him enything, only get schutt of him.”
I sez: “You becher life, I’ll fix him.” So I went inter the sanktuary, like I own’d the hull bisness, and I seen his oner walk-in’ up and down, swarin’ to hisself, like he was repeetin’ the responces in the ‘Piscopal church.
Soon as he cot site of me, he sez:
“Young man, where am that red-hedded, shaller-braned, lantern-jaw