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Title: Dumbells of Business
Author: Proff. O. U. Bojack (Bus. Doc.)
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Dumbells of Business" ***

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DUMBELLS OF BUSINESS

[Illustration: Earning Bus Fare]



DUMBELLS OF BUSINESS


    by

    PROFF O.U. BOJACK (BUS.DOC.)

    AUTHOR OF “LITTLE NIFTY LESSONS IN
    SALESMANSHIP,” “LITTLE NIFTY LESSONS
    IN BUYING,” “LITTLE NIFTY LESSONS IN
    LOVE & MARRIAGE,” ETC.


    Fighting Editor

    “BOJACK’S NOISY EXPORTER”


    Pruned of Profanity by LOUIS C. M. REED


    [Illustration]


    1922
    THE STRATFORD CO., PUBLISHERS
    Boston, Massachusetts



    Copyright, 1922
    The STRATFORD CO., Publishers
    Boston, Mass.


    The Alpine Press, Boston, Mass., U. S. A.



_THESE playful biffs on the beak of Business appeared originally in a
little House Magazine called “Auto Suggestions.”_

_Many of them have been completely revised for the purpose of this
volume, over the rasping nasal protest of Proff Bojack who believes in
letting Well Enough alone until it crawls up and bites you in the leg,
as mentioned somewhere in the text—then roll over on the other side._

_The characters are drawn from the daily life of the average American
business organization where men are somehow sweating through to Success
against the cordovan inertia of the Dumbells of Business._

    —_THE PRUNER_



[Illustration: Proff O. U. Bojack (Bus. Doc.)]



    DEDICATED WITH A WARMTH OF FELLOW
    FEELING TO ALL BEDEVILED
    BRETHERN OF THE BUSINESS WORLD

                            _The Author_



Contents


  Hot Sketch
     No.                                        Page
     1 The Plant Cured of Mossbackitis             1
     2 The Lurid Lot of the Leaker                13
     3 The Self Abnegationist And His Finish      21
     4 The Bird Who Berated Business Assn’s       29
     5 The Advertising Genius of Squirrelville    39
     6 The Salesman Who Became Buyer              47
     7 The Pampered Dealer                        59
     8 The Efficiency Expert                      69
     9 The Road Rat Who Gave Up Home Comforts     85
    10 The Man Who Organized Manufacturers       103
    11 The Perpetual Planner                     113
    12 The Twin-Six Philanthropist               123
    13 The Yob Who Let Business Slide            131
    14 The Would-Be Sales Promoter               139
    15 The Young Satellites of Stallville        157
    16 The Benedict Who Wisdomed-Up              165
    17 The Business Baggers of Punkton           173
    18 The Picayune Planet                       183
    19 The Passing of the Buck Passer            191
    20 The Executive With The Clerk’s Mind       199
    21 The War Winning Patrioteer                209
    22 Typical American And Critical American    219
    23 When Mental Leech Meets Mental Leech      233
    24 The Export Group Grafter                  245



HOT SKETCH NO. 1

THE PLANT CURED OF MOSSBACKITIS


OUT among the gnarled oaks of Squirrel Cove there buzzed a busy
manufacturing plant.

It had been established since Time wore a bib, and, as far back as
History could recall, had been handed down from Whiskers to Whiskers
without a break.

The same old Superintendent with his chew of Fine Cut tucked away in a
back-cavity, was always on hand each generation to bury the father and
drill the son into the mysteries of Production and Distribution. Old
Faithful used to love to take off his beaver cap and stroke the top
of his glazed Summit while he told some eager visitor all about the
industrial heirloom and his long and watchful connection with it.

In the course of centuries the Concern had of course worked up some
business around the County, but at no time did there ever occur what
you would call a Sensational Increase in trade. In fact, careful
scrutiny revealed nothing in the whole town that could be associated
with a sensation of any kind.

The annual output of the particular Hive of Industry under discussion
went wholly to Old Customers who had been buying regularly since
Washington hurdled the Delaware. If any attempt was ever made to get
New Business it was altogether an unconscious act, and no record of the
perpetrator remains.

At the time of which we are now yodeling, the current Owner and
Proprietor was closing in on his sixty-fifth Milestone, and, like his
father and grandfather before him, he believed in letting Well Enough
alone until it crawled up and bit him in the leg. Then he would roll
over on the other side.

It is only natural that such a highly strung temperament as this should
be accompanied by more or less radically advanced views on Business
in general. This was indeed the case, yes. And he was a horrible
spendthrift when it came to Advertising. In the course of say two lunar
years his total linage amounted to about as much as a Fourth Avenue
delicatessen. He never counted the cost of any plant installation
under one figure.

If anybody had suggested travelling the Trade, the proposition would
have met with the same enthusiastic endorsement that a Shell Game would
get at a Dunkard picnic.

All salesmen were looked upon as a species of unclassified bandit that
victimized Firms and Customers alike, and revelled at nights with
Champagne, Chickens and Chant.

Now it so happened that our Captain of Industry had a daughter. In
looks she was strictly neutral, and in intelligence just sort of
medio-semi. Her heart was laced to a young Scrod she had met when she
was East at School learning to parry and thrust with knife and fork.

She had never seen anything like this rollicking Young Buck from one
end of her shaved-neck County to the other, and so she went limp the
first time he threw a ray in her direction. He was a thoroughbred
at that, and could get in and out of a Taxi without furring up his
Top Hat, and pay a dinner check without stopping his story and then
forgetting afterward what he was talking about.

It required no profound psychoanalysis to tell from Daughter’s manner
that there was only one kernel in the crib so far as she was concerned.
As for the tall-collared gentry of Squirrel Cove, the entries were
closed and they knew it to a man and gave her the whole runway.

Now ever since Daughter was a baby blowing bubbles out of the corners
of her mouth, Papa had lived in Mortal Dread of a day when she might
buckle up with a man who would be only after his Thirty Dollars which
he had slowly and painfully piled up through pluck, perseverance and
pre-natal pull. And so when he saw her temperature rising and her
appetite falling, he dug out her secret and then started on a quiet
hunt to find out whether the daring Disturber was Grade A, or tinnif.

As he had feared, the Rat proved to be a Baltimore Luncher pulling down
Fifteen Dollars per week and washing his own clothes in the bath tub.

This discovery caused a Family Upheaval which for pep, polish and
all-round proficiency had all Mexican Mixups looking like a harmless
after-school scamper at Hop Scotch.

Every evening at sundown when Father would come home from the din and
roar of his quarter-acre Plant, the neighbors would gather at their
windows for the latest war news. Sometimes the Carranzaists would be on
top; at other times the Villaists and Zapaists would have it.

Daughter protested hotly during these Bloody Encounters that her king
was Poor but Honest, but father had him sized up as a Single Cylinder.

One night when the walls were being freshly inlaid with flying
furniture and bric-a-brac, Daughter ducked out of the peaceful abode
and down to the Railway Station and caught the Milk Train for New York.
The following Wednesday at 4 P. M., Kendallville Time, she took Philip
Darlington Wakefield for Better or Worse and wired Father for his
blessing and $100 to come back home on.

At first Father was all for raising his hand to High Heaven and
pronouncing the Irish Cottage Curse with all the spine-chilling heroics
about darkening the Threshold, but Mother looked quietly over her
goggles and told him to cut the cheap melodramatic stuff and behave
like a white man, and tell the Young Folks to buy a couple of postcards
of the Woolworth Building and come back home.

Under this stinging philippic Father melted into the big armchair and
became human, and a couple of days later the Bride and Groom blew into
Squirrel Cove and turned all Main Street into little groups of excited
goatees.

Philip Darlington gave Father the first Hoyo he had ever smoked and
took the old gazunk completely off his underpinning by showing a
knowledge of Industry and Finance that only a Fifteen Dollar New York
clerk can possess. On the strength of it he landed a job in Father’s
mighty Works and wasn’t there a week before every yunk in the place was
plotting for his destruction.

The reason, tersely and succinctly expressed, was that Phil proved to
have Ideas and nobody around the Works cared to deliberately expose
himself to the danger of infection. But Phil went right ahead and
shifted men and things here, there and everywhere, and put in Time
Clocks and Cost Systems and all kinds of efficiency effects.

He took the dusty correspondence off the long wire and had it filed in
steel filing cabinets, and reduced the length of the Daily Conference
from three cigars to one cigar. He relieved the Shipping Clerk of
the Sales end of the Business, and established a separate Purchasing
Department, thereby lifting this important work from the shoulders of
the Night Watchman.

Phil also got out the first and only Catalogue the concern had ever
had in all their 4,000 years of aggressive Trade Building, and had the
whole force threatening to strike when he announced that he was going
out for New Business.

After a twenty-one round Go with Father-in-Law over the
revolutionary question of Advertising, Phil got in touch
with a Big Agency and listened to them reel off the usual
now-you-want-to-start-off-with-a-page-in-the-Saturday-Evening-Post
advice, after which he proceeded to map out his own campaign as is
Customary with the Laity about to advertise.

Phil also had to back Father-in-Law up against the silo and sew up
both his eyes and put a pair of vacuum-cup lips on him before he could
get the Old Man to see the necessity of sending a force of bright-eyed
Salesmen out on the Road to sell the Stuff. Phil said there was no use
manufacturing a good article and then keeping it a secret.

Every day there was something unusual doing around the Works, and of
course it was all very thrilling, but when the bills began to roll in,
Father-in-Law threw thirty different kinds of foaming spasm, followed
by Sinking Spells that threatened to lay him ’neath the Mossy Mound.
But Phil was always there with the pulmotor and the Soothing Word to
pull him through.

One day when everybody around the Office was getting all ready for
the Last Sad Rites on account of all this frenzied expense, business
suddenly began to pour in like beer out of a busted vat. Consternation
thereupon Reigned Supreme and acted like a drunken sailor.

The little Plant squeaked and groaned and heaved and puffed until it
fairly burst its little panties trying to keep up with Orders. All
Squirrel Cove, from the Mayor down to the Poundmaster, was given a
job at something or other, and Phil was heralded all the way from
Angusville to Jowett Junction as the greatest Organizing Genius the
County had ever known.

When the Fiscal Year ended and Father-in-Law took a happy peep at the
Balance Sheet and saw that he had holed-out more coin than all his
Ancestors put together, he called Phil to his parental side and shifted
the following Beautiful Tribute from his proud bosom:

“My boy,” he said, “I feel like a tan-eyed gnat for having charted
you up as a parasite when I first saw you looming up on the Links.
I thought you were marrying my daughter just to romp off with her
father’s little Yen Bag. I would have thought the same of any man who
didn’t have a few crullers of his own. I didn’t realize that there
might be a chance of my getting a dumsight more out of you than you
could ever get out of me. Henceforth you are a fifty percent owner
of this Dugout, and what’s more, here is a little present for you in
recognition of your sterling worth.”

Phil stood the cotton umbrella in a corner and soled off to break the
gladsome tidings to his wife and found her tossing tennis balls with
some Tea Toad in a green Sport Coat. Later Phil spied the two walking
together through the Big Grove and she was listing to starboard.

“H’m,” he h’md, “I’ve got the Old Man, but it’s cost me the gal.”

He turned sadly away, mumbling something about what he thought of a
Life that kept a fellow always manoeuvering for position.

Over the hills came the floating fragrance of frying fishballs, while
in the tall whiffletree above him a chipmunk chipped softly to its mate.

    _Lesson for Today:_ When you set out to cure Industrial
    Mossbackitis, the dangers are great.



HOT SKETCH NO. 2

THE LURID LOT OF THE LEAKER


A YOUNG man had a job with an old organization.

The job was not that of General Manager.

Nor was it Department Manager.

It was not a managership of any kind, character, quality or
description—all claims to the contrary notwithstanding.

It was just a job.

It was the kind of job that any young man with an eye on ideas and a
finger on the future, might have with any old Organization steeped in
stability and pickled in policy.

In other less alliterative language, we might smooth down our
shirt-front and say that the young man had A Chance.

If we cared to toss off all restraint and emphasize the statement with
grape-juice profanity, we might say that the young man had a Very, Very
good chance.

But he didn’t know how to take care of his chance.

He took chances with his Chance.

And one day it got away from him.

When the Boss handed him his passports, he asked for an explanation,
and the Boss passed him one, medium well done.

It ran as per follows, WITNESSETH:

“Young Man,” heaved the Boss, scratching his right ear pleasingly with
his left thumb, “the reason we are decorating you with the Order of the
Canned is because we have found that YOU LEAK. And any concern that
does not plug the leak the moment they locate it, will soon be sitting
around garter-high in the mire of misunderstanding.

“Were it not for the red-nosed fact that here and there in this
Organization is a man foolish enough to be loyal to the institution
that enables him to close down his troubles when he closes down his
desk, the whole Office would by now be torn with internal strife like a
rat-tailed Roadster, and we would be headed for the rocks of riot and
rebellion.

“Your up-stairs piping is so defective that everything you take in at
the ears runs out of your mouth. You hear one man spill some remark
about another, and you scamper off with your little red eyes to tell
the other.

“Then when the other comes back with a rib-rocker on the first man, you
scamper back again and break the news to Number One.

“The other day you eared-in on a conversation I was having with my
partner about one of our men, and in exactly eleven minutes by our
beloved Office Clock the whole Force had tabulated the tidings.

“Before I had a chance to talk to the man myself, he came at me with
the logical deduction that he had a right to be informed at first hands
on a matter concerning himself that seemed to be as well known around
the Works as the hour for Knocking off Work.

“And WITNESSETH: Sometimes when Party of the First Part has been
discussing important matters in conference with himself or others, you
have hopped around like a coolie with the dhobe itch, trying to sniff
out some clue on which to ground a bit of gab.

“I have never walked through the office that I did not spot you back
of a door holding a whisper-fest with somebody, and, if my memory isn’t
fooling me, we have never yet talked here in the office about lifting
or lopping prices, or changing selling plans, or shuffling Salesmen,
or shaking up the territory, that it has not leaked out to the Road
Robbins long before we wanted it to.

“We now know for a cinchety that you are the guilty goop because
you fell for a plant that we had cleverly framed up with the kindly
assistance of myself.

“AND, since we propose to run this roost harmoniously—radiating a wee
wisp of sunshine and fellowship wherever we can, and making Business
a pleasure instead of a punch-up—there does not seem to be any place
around these puritanical precincts for a leaky radiator.

“You are bright and clever, and you don’t injure your spine trying to
get out of the path of an idea, and, by all the rules but one, you
should shoot right to the top of any business.

“The one rule that you have not yet sponged up is that Success is more
than brains and bustle. Success is the art of closing up the Exhaust
occasionally.

“I can find no doubt in any hole or corner of my mind that you have
many times scratched your busy little head and wondered why you have
remained in the same job all these centuries while other men not so
clever as your oblique self have sailed right past you into the harbor
of Heavy Responsibility With Correspondingly Light Pay. The reason is
as stated in yon foregoing.

“Be it known to you further that no Business can succeed without
Loyalty and Co-operation. Modern Business demands of every man that he
be loyal, or be off.

“Pin-headedness, tale-peddling and office politics are barnacles on
the barque of Business, and the Firm that does not scrape them off is
doomed to decay.

“Any man with a brow an inch over all, should know that the lot of the
Leaker means to be ultimately despised by the very men he has made
confidants of.

“Every time you have started one of those
he-said-that-you-said-that-I-said stories of yours, you have rawed up
all the decent men of this Office.

“Today you stand about as popular around here as a hair in the butter;
but you don’t know it, because, like all back-fence babblers, you
are foggy up on the perceptive plane, and you think that the man who
listens must like yourself be loose.

“Some day you will learn, young man, that a tight tongue makes a
sagacious sky-piece—that to speak well is to cheat hell—that the chain
of Successful Business is linked with loyalty—and the Leaker lands in
Limbo long before the last lap’s run.

“Thanking you for your kind attention, and asking you to now kindly
consider yourself sunk without warning, I beg to remain etc, etc.”

Having spake after the manner of the hereinbefore mentioned, Comrade
Boss removed his eyes from the transgressor, and wheeled around in his
chair.

And, taking his pen between his index finger and the back of his hand,
began to sign yesterday’s mail.

So.



HOT SKETCH NO. 3

THE SELF ABNEGATIONIST AND HIS FINISH


THERE was a Large Employer with fantail whiskers who got good and sore
at his Help.

They didn’t have the interests of the business At Heart, he said. All
they cared about was to fist-in their salaries and see that the Office
Clock was accurate.

Any time any of them did any dweedling little thing in the shape of
exceptional work, they expected credit for it, he murmured.

If the Sales Manager pulled up his sales, he would pull down his vest
and bid for congratulations.

If the Credit Man lost only 1/40th of 1 per cent on the year’s
accounts, he would dodge around in front of the throne expecting to be
caught and laureled.

If a stenographer got her dictation at four o’clock, and then jumped
into the saddle and won the race before Big Whistle, she would expect
her Dictator to say she was Some little hustlerine.

Even the Office Squirrel looked for commendation every time he
discharged the responsibilities of his Office without fumble or fizzle.

What this Employer wanted, he contended, was employees who would work
for the good of the Business and not be always thinking about their own
good. He said he hadn’t a man around the place who could sink Self with
the rock of Gibraltar tied around its neck. The reward for doing a good
thing, he preached, was in having done it.

       *       *       *       *       *

Now it so happened that Our Hero was a Town Pillar, and although he did
not at any time lean toward the philanthrop stuff hard enough to push
it over, still he felt that he’d like to do a few Good Things for the
Community before he hopped the Styx.

In his mental unfoldment he had forged clear past the point where One
feels that One has done One’s full duty when One takes care of One’s
own wife and One’s children.

He felt that every man owed a responsibility to the Community in which
he lived, moved and had his Three Squares.

So he decided to erect a public drinking fountain with a lion spitting
fresh water from between its teeth.

He went and got some good news prints of himself, then called in the
reporters and announced his decision. The announcement was followed by
a shower of publicity in the local Press that would have cost Father
John a hundred dollars.

One newspaper that gave him only a Stick and didn’t print his picture,
was forthwith put upon the Drab List and the Standing Ad of his
Business was withdrawn for life.

When the fountain was all set up, Our Hero declined to pay the bill
until the name of the donor was carved in large letters in some
conspicuous place, according to the Conditions of Agreement. So the
Town Council met and decided to carve it on the southern view of the
lion.

The minister of the Church which comrade Hero attended heard of his
munificent gift to the Town. His Reverence got in some fast legwork
and ran down the modest philanthropist just as the aforesaid latter was
ducking into his office.

The following Sunday morning when the congregation assembled for a
quiet snooze, the Minister got up in the turret and announced the
recent donation of a beautiful stained-glass window.

In due time the window was puttied in, showing a patriarch with a
staff and a cloven hat. But when Old Sol turned on his spotlight, did
it reveal the graceful and modest inscription, “Donated by A Friend?”
It did—NOT. It revealed the full and complete name of the generous
benefactor in letters about the size of a small barn. The price he paid
for the complete job was left off, however.

Sometime afterwards the Town got the community development bug. Our
Hero stood up on a vinegar barrel at a mass meeting and told the
assembled whiskers that there was no reason on the face of God’s Green
Earth why they shouldn’t be as big as New York, and that if every man
would Put his Shoulder to the Wheel they could make Chicago look like
a way-station.

When the cheers died down, Our Hero was made Chairman of the Might and
Main Committee. He took off his Prince Al and got on the job.

For six months he worked like a Zulu wharf-boy, and through his
Untiring Efforts the town copped several new industries, and was lifted
from the 34th to the 24th city of the State in point of population and
municipal purity.

New York did not exactly get jealous and call for a re-canvass of the
Census, but there was no question about the enhanced Well Being of the
community as a result of Our Hero’s unselfish public spirit.

When the next mayoralty election came around, one of the lesser members
of the Might and Main Committee, who had attended but one meeting
and slept throughout, put himself up as a Candidate and offered the
Committee’s record of achievement as the reason why all Patriotic
Citizens should toss their votes in his tub.

Doc Hero tried to cut in and tell the excited Populace who it was that
did the Real Work of the Might and Main Committee but he could not
break through the line. The candidate was elected by an “overwhelming
majority,” to coin a phrase.

Whereupon Uncle Hero sat him down and quilled a Public Letter to Ye
Editor in which he Regretted Deeply that his work was not Appreciated
and that he got no Credit for all he had done for the Town.

    _Lesson for Today:_ When a man gets beyond the desire for
    personal praise he has got beyond the grave.



HOT SKETCH NO. 4

THE BIRD WHO BERATED BUSINESS ASSN’S


ON A hell-hot Saturday afternoon in August a certain American
manufacturer sat in his executive oven mopping like a German chef.

The Cashier came in and spread before him the weekly Worry Sheet, and
then chugged off for the week-end in his little threshing machine.

All the other Help had of course already gone, for it was about ten
minutes before closing time.

The only man left around the Works was the afore-specified
manufacturer. He couldn’t get off because he was the Boss.

Suddenly, without warning, prologue, or advance copy for the Press,
he launched a vicious right-arm jab at two million flies that were
mobilizing on his occiput, and then lammed out the following trenchant
blank verse:

“Blankety blank my hide if I ain’t getting hankety-pankety sick of
this blank country and its laws. Here I am, week in and week out,
sweating like a Somali dock-hand to make both ends meet, and instead
of being charted up as a useful, constructive factor in the country’s
development, I’m hooted from the house-tops, shot at from ambush,
chased up trees, and hounded like a pole-cat.

“The goods I make are clean, legitimate, honorable goods, and a public
necessity. By their manufacture and sale, thousands of people have it
soft on both the productive and distributive ends of the line. If it
were not for this business, this two-spot town would be fanning for air
inside twenty-four hours, and hundreds of happy homes would be hurdling
to Hades.

“Not a week goes by that I’m not digging up for some Church, School,
Library, Fair, Famine, Hospital or some form of wallet-puller. I pay
more town, county, state and federal taxes than the whole loafing lot
of Timber Tops at Washington put together.

“And yet every move I make, or don’t make, I’m yanked up before some
inch-browed Investigating Committee to explain why I didn’t do what I
did, or did do what I didn’t.

“First they fan me for maintaining prices and then for cutting prices.
They lower freight rates so I can compete in a certain market, and then
just when I’ve gone to the expense of advertising and traveling it, the
State and Interstate Commissions get into a dog-fight and they shoot
the freight rates up again.

“They charge me an Income Tax on what I make, and an Income Tax on what
I lose. They compel me to fill out long, winding webbed-up Forms that
they don’t understand themselves, and that would be sufficient to dam
any Office Boy in the land for business incompetence.

“Out of the taxes that I and my impotent kind are soaked with, they
send a lot of clerks over the globe to write high-school tracts on
the Old Stuff about our Great Trade Chances Abroad, and then spring a
Seaman’s Law joker that tosses American Shipping into the Discard and
puts our goods at the mercy of ships of Nations that are out to stick
tacks in the tire of American Trade.

“For twenty years sane men have been struggling to pull the Tariff out
of the toils of Party Pilferers and give Industry a chance to tell
where it’s at, and yet to this muggy day it is made the mule on which
Boneheads in black fedoras ride in and out of Congress.

“I maintain that the backbone, brains and belly of this Nation is
BUSINESS, and yet when it comes to enacting legislation, Business
hasn’t the voice of a pink-eyed chigger. It is forced to operate under
laws made by men that couldn’t hold a bill clerk’s job in a Brooklyn
kiosk, and I for one am getting good and dam sick of the whole frowsy,
fiddling farce.”

With this perorational explosion, Comrade Manufacturer slapped down the
corrugated cover of his Roll Top, jammed his hat on a bent ear, and
soled off home to take it out on The Folks.

       *       *       *       *       *

Monday morning came around, according to cosmic custom. The much
admired face of the office clock smiled out the hour of ten, and the
last story of the week-end’s mush had been passed along Bookkeeper’s
Row.

A neatly harnessed young man with a well-groomed superstructure
appeared at the General Office Door.

“What is the nature of your business?” inquired the Office Rat in a
ripsaw crescendo.

“Tell him I am a Field Secretary of the National Business Men’s
Phalanx, lately organized to express the collective business sentiment
of the Nation to the law-builders at Washington,” replied the Field
Secretary. “And tell him,” he added, handing out his official
pasteboard, “that I am here to explain to him why he should become a
member.”

The boy bowlegged off to an adjoining office and returned with the
pleasing tidings that the Boss was Too Busy.

“Go back and tell him that it is to _his_ interest that I be allowed to
come alongside now,” said Field Secretary.

The boy reluctantly went away again, and in a moment later came back
and told the F. S. to take a seat. Whereupon the F. S. took it,
and then for one long, lonely newspaper-reading, thumb-twirling,
watch-glancing hour he held it down without a whimper.

Finally he called the boy again and told him that he’d like to see the
Boss during the present era if possible. The boy waddled off once more
to the secret chamber of the Great and Grouchy One. When he returned he
brought back this cheery message:

“Tell the gentleman I don’t believe I care to go into the matter. I am
Very Busy today, and besides, I am not in favor of these Associations
that cost a lot of money and produce no results.”

“Very well,” replied the Field Secretary sweetly, “I’ll consider myself
null and void.”

“But just kindly inform your intelligent Boss for me,” he continued,
“that the reason these Associations cost a lot of money is because of
the time they lose in hanging around waiting to get possum heads like
himself to see their own Game. And the reason they ‘produce no results’
is because stupid men can’t see that they’ve got to get together to
produce results.”

“And tell him further,” went on Field Sec., edging toward the door and
raising his voice just high enough so that it could be heard about
seven miles, “that while I shall expect to lose my good hundred-dollar
job for it, I can not restrain myself the pleasure of telling him
and his visionless ilk that they deserve just exactly the kind of
legislation they are getting, and that as far as I myself am concerned,
they can all go and take a great big jump into the seventeenth
sub-basement of hell. Good-NIGHT!”

And with this impressive Valedictory the Field Secretary departed,
slamming the door so hard that it jarred the ledger out of balance and
woke up every clerk in the place.

    _Lesson for Today:_ There are none so blind as the trusting
    husband and the bright-eyed business man.



HOT SKETCH NO. 5

THE ADVERTISING GENIUS OF SQUIRRELVILLE


THERE was a Hotel Clerk in a one-ply town who yearned to become an Ad
Man.

He could have yearned to become President of the United States if he
had wanted to, but there wasn’t so much money in the president business.

His name was Fred, but they called him Chesterton for short.

During his incarceration as Glad Hander at the McGlook House,
Chesterton had lived to see one of the Town Terriers go down to New
York and hoof up great clods of turf in the arena of Successful
Advertising.

This fired his Ambition, and when later he learned that the reporter
on the Squirrelville Banner had just landed a good job as Advertising
Manager for a nearby manufactory which had begun to stretch, he just up
and heard the voice of Destiny calling him through a railway megaphone.

Thus it was, one Gladsome spring morning, that Chesterton backed away
from the little pine hotel-desk for good, and plunged eye-deep into the
intricacies of the Advertising Art.

Chesterton’s first clever move was to procure copies of The Banner
and analyze all the local Advertisements, but after close scrutiny he
concluded that they all leaned heavily to The Rotten.

Which they did.

Which they did beyond the slightest shadow of a little round doubt.

The Liveryman’s Advertisement, for instance, didn’t “Tell The Story,”
reflected Chesterton who had already begun to show an easy familiarity
with Publicity Terms. And he observed also that the reminder which
stood all the year around in the daily 3 in. dbl. col. Display of the
Elite Stationary & Supply Store to the effect that Prospective Patrons
should do their Christmas shoplifting early, did not appear to be
timely copy for July.

Let not the thought here sneak into your mind, Gentile Reader, that
our embryonic George Creel confined his observations solely to
advertisements committed by local craftsmen. On the contrary he went to
the Eureka News Shop and procured copies of all the national magazines
and periodicals that carried advertising to enliven the reading matter,
and every Ad in them came under the sweep of his cold unemotional eye.

“One common fault I find in all of them,” mused Chesterton. “They all
lack The Punch.”

Which criticism should be sufficient to prove to The Reader that
Chestie old toppo was now a full-feathered Ad Writer. In the bright
lexicon of Publicity there is no word that mouthes so smoothly. When in
doubt, talk about The Punch!

To make a long story about seven pages shorter, we will now brush the
dandruff off our coat-collar and say that Chesterton accidentally ran
across the Three Ball Column of one of the magazines where the Frayed
Boys of the Advertising World are accustomed to hanging up their best
belongings.

The first one that caught his eye was this:

    “PULLEM PETE—The powerful penster who pulls peppy potent
    phrases for particular patrons—try him—6c for a sample
    slasher, or 50 individual humdinging follow-ups for 40c.”

Following this sizzling specimen of alliterative skill, Chesterton ran
across this one:

    “AD MAN ARONSON penned one pep and paprika sales letter that
    pulled $80,000,000 worth of business. He can do the same
    for you. Specimen letter, 11 cents and postage. Lock box
    4-11-44, Spinach Corners, Conn.”

By this time Chesterton was all het up for he saw where all these Sales
Letter Builders were making their big mistake and he felt the feathers
of his guardian angel’s wing tickling his spine all the way up.

Intuitively he knew that his footsteps had been guided at last to the
big bronze door of Opportunity, and that all he had to do was to knock
on her and she would be opened up Unto him. He was politician-sure that
he had the password. And the password was PRICE!

And so Chestie sat him down at his little school-desk in the attic,
which he had fixed up neatly as his office with a newsprint of St.
Elmo as his patron saint, and after three non-union days’ labor he
carved out this modest little synopsis of his advertisorial equipment:

    I AM CHESTERTON OF SQUIRRELVILLE—I write serial follow-ups
    that tear the teeth out of indifference, pull the wool off
    the sky-piece of scepticism, rouse interest to a frenzy and
    send the prospect screaming down the aisle to pay tithe
    to the titillating tin box. A sample letter will cost
    you $100.00. Three letters for $200.00. Cash with order
    regardless of rating. Business already booked makes delivery
    of copy impossible to guarantee under seven months after
    order is placed.

Looking the copy over once more, Chesterton decided that there was only
one thing the matter with it. The price was too much to the Clothing
Sale. So he raised it another $100.00 and then fired the copy off to a
couple of good advertising media.

Then he lit up a piece of tampa twine and walked out in the backyard
and put chicken-wire around all the trees so the goats would not bark
them when the stampede commenced.

One week later the Postman was rolling up Chesterton’s mail in
barrels. One year later, all Squirrelville was working in various
departments of the Chesterton Advertising Agency.

    _Lesson for Today:_ If you’re going to “do,” then do;
    otherwise, don’t.



HOT SKETCH NO. 6

THE SALESMAN WHO BECAME BUYER


BILL was a Salesman with a series of chins, who chewed the ends of his
cigars and was by nature Very Sociable.

The bell sprints would all stampede for his Leathers when he arrived
at a/an hotel, and the Clerk always had some little confidential
pleasantry to whisper into his large jovial ear when handing him his
Room Key.

Bill abhorred all forms of convention, had no use for vests, and never
called any man “Mr.” past the introduction, no matter how high the
social or financial pinnacle from which the party breathed his ozone.
In the course of a twenty-minute conversation a Mr. John Wanamaker
would become plain “Wanamaker,” then “John” and finally “Jack,” whether
Jack liked it or not.

Truthfully speaking, it cannot be said that Bill’s particular brew of
bon-hominy made as big a hit with the average Buyer as it did, for
example, with the drayman who juggled the trunks up to the Hotel. As a
matter of bald clean-shaven fact, most of the Larger Buyers in Bill’s
territory threw up a redoubt of icy Reserve every time he wheezed in
to see them; and, to anyone of Bill’s Genial and Sunny Nature, such an
aggressive exhibition of unsociabiliousness is sure to prove a thorn in
the flank.

Thus it was that Bill in time made no dark secret of his Real Opinion
of any man who thought he had to starch all up like a Bank President
just because a pull with the Powers had made him a Buyer instead of a
Bill Clerk.

He didn’t see, he contended, why a Salesman representing a Concern that
covered forty acres Under Roof and made all their own castings, was not
just as good as the man he was trying to sell.

So far as Bill was concerned, he was getting foddered up to the gills,
he said, trying to be friendly with certain deaf and dumb Yappoos that
sit twirling paper-knives and eyeing a Salesman with the critical eye
of an alienist just because he is doing his damdest to cheer them up
and make them act Natural.

The wise Buyer, argued Bill, is the man who treats Salesmen like pals,
because he can get more out of them that way; and moreover, Salesmen
are always in position to do the Buyer a Good Turn in the Trade, as
well as up at the Factory when the Complaints come in.

Now it was the custom of Bill’s firm to use some of their Salesmen in
the home office when the men came in off the road between seasons. It
was a good custom because it not only enabled the Salesmen to earn a
portion of their salaries during the dull months, but also got them
into the habit of breakfasting before Noon.

Bill became particularly adept at this Indoor Exercise especially in
the Purchasing Department where he helped at odd jobs, besides helping
himself to cigars that were daily presented to the Purchasing Agent in
the sacred cause of bribery.

It was soon discovered that Bill had a keen and steady eye when it came
to judging materials and prices, and the Purchasing Agent got sort of
in the habit of mistrusting his own flickering wick and turning over a
good deal of his work to Bill, especially when he was Very Busy, such
as selecting from a mail-order catalogue some kind of a suitable cap to
wear on his forthcoming fishing trip.

One day, as Luck would have it, Comrade Purchasing Agent suddenly up
and kicked off his mortal cocoon, leaving behind him a wife and a
gallon of gasoline for his motorcycle. Bill was chosen to fill the
vacant chair, and putting it Very Mildly yet informingly, the news did
not exactly crush him to death. On the contrary, he went out in the
Coat Room and shook hands with himself until he had two lead arms and
one limp theologian’s grip left in his Gripper.

Bill’s first week as Buyer saw him billy-sundaying every salesmanic
trail-hitter that struck the Works. But somehow the Open Arm stuff
seemed to convey to visiting Salesmen the impression that Bill as Buyer
for the Works intended to lay in a million dollars’ worth of their
Stuff. When he told them that he wasn’t in the market, they couldn’t
seem to assimilate the tidings and just continued to hang on until the
whistle blew and the regular daily imitation of the Rush from Pompeii
commenced.

Bill’s second week as Buyer saw him giving Explicit Instructions to
the Office Spaniel to bring to him the card of every visiting Salesman
before letting the gunk in. In this way quite a few zeppelins were put
out of commission before they reached the First Line Trench, and Bill
got several minutes each day in which to Attend to Business.

But Bill’s heart was still too full of the mush-and-milk of Human
Kindness to long hold down the lid on his Buoyant and Bubbling nature,
and so he continued to spend most of his conscious hours watching the
skilful Air Navigators loop-the-loop from dizzy heights. Besides, there
was in Bill himself a lingering love for the sport which he found it
hard to curb, and which caused him to forget his position as Buyer
every once in a while and ascend as high as any of The Boys—though
always to regret it when he came to earth again.

Bill’s third week as Buyer found him with his Office moved back a
mile and a half from the front door and all approaches barb-wired
and mined. Out in the Reception Office hung a sign, “Salesmen seen
Thursdays ONLY, between 10:30 and 11:30,” and while the lettering was
not large enough to be seen across the river, it was plainly visible to
everything this side.

Such Salesmen as were fortunate enough to receive an invitation to
visit Bill’s imperial headquarters were escorted by two gendarmes
with secret Road Maps that enabled them to find the way; and these
Luckies were then permitted to stand unheeded in the doorway from 20
to 30 minutes twirling their little dollar derbys and snapping the
rubber-band on their leather covered catalogues until such time as the
Honorable Bill had finished dictating his daily batch of Third Reader
essays.

The idea in keeping these few privileged Samsons of The Sale hovering
around the entrance to the refrigerator was to give them time to apply
the Air Compressor after observing certain ominous signs which Bill had
hung around the walls and which read: “Be brief,” “Tell it, and Tell it
Quick,” “Come to the point. If there isn’t any STAY OUT!”

If the visitors were not thoroughly cowed by these sinister signals,
they could proceed further and read an additional warning painted on
the back of the Visitor’s Chair which read: “This is no Park Bench.”
The letters were about the size of the name on the side of a Neutral
Merchantman.

Whenever Bill said to a waiting Salesman, “Come in,” you could see his
breath like on a crisp winter morn. After that, he wouldn’t say another
word until the Salesman had finished a five-minute Oration. Then Bill
would say, “Not interested. Good day.”

Under this policy of Frightfulness, Bill naturally became the target
for a shower of shrapnel every time The Boys got together in the
Smoker. What one would forget to call Bill, another would think of,
thus thoroughly canvassing the Field of Invective at every session.

One fine day an Old Customer to whom Bill had once sold goods when he
himself was a livery-bumping County Hopper, blew into the Office as the
Representative of an Advertising Novelty House. It seems that Business
had gone bunc with the Old Customer and he had been obliged to knit
up with a Road Job to keep the wolf off the door-mat. He was sure he
could land his old friend Bill as a new customer for his almanacs or
some other neat and fetching advertising novelty, and thus make a
Killing with his Firm. He sent word back to the barracks where Bill was
entrenched saying that he was waiting in the offing and wanted to see
him. Bill frowned when he saw the card but told the sentry to show him
in anyway.

A few moments later the poor misguided Yob, who had read his Human
Nature all awry, appeared at the door of the Cold Storage Plant, and,
catching sight of Bill who sat stalling as usual and didn’t see the
Approach, rushed into the room with an extended bronze paw the size of
a Smithfield ham and yelled: “Hello Bill old socks!”

The shock was too much. To have been “Billed” by this brazen intruder
would have been bad enough, but to be “Socked” at the same time was
the belt-below-the-belt that laid Bill low. With one hand clapped to
his heart and the other to his head, he staggered to his feet and
then fell heavily to the ice-bound floor—a victim of heart failure
superinduced by acute inflammation of the Ego.

    _Lesson for Today:_ To get a calm view of the bull, you’ve
    got to be on the opposite side of the fence.



HOT SKETCH NO. 7

THE PAMPERED DEALER


A CERTAIN condescending old zambuck thought he was doing his Town a
large comprehensive favor by being in the hardware business.

Whenever a Customer entered his store, carrying the door-webs through
on his hat, the grouchy one would look over his glasses to see who it
was, and then go on reading his newspaper until he got good and ready,
thereby justly rebuking the intruder.

Salesmen who called to sell him their flawless Goods used to grow old
and hoary sitting around the dumpo waiting for him to say officially
that he didn’t care to look at the stuff.

Then they would salaam low and in a galley-grind’s voice thank him for
the interview, and back out of the place on their shirt-fronts, and go
sell a lot of Small Bills at high prices over the County at the expense
of Dear House, and then come back and beg the Civic Benefactor to
accept the bouquet at 50 percent profit to himself by placing an order
covering only the bare quantity they had sold for him.

With a show of reluctance and drab boredom seldom seen outside the
Banking Business, the old Nawab would finally put his influential
signature to the Order, but only on condition that the manufacturers
consented to run an Advertisement at their own cost in the local paper
featuring his progressive and popular Establishment. Of course if they
cared at the same time to slide in a few 5-point words about their own
goods, why he would have no special objection.

If it so happened occasionally that he so far lost his balance as to
buy one dollar and sixty cents’ worth more stuff than had already been
sold for him by the visiting Salesman, he would sit himself down on
his comfortable chair-pad of old newspapers and write off a starchy
hand-tooled letter to the House—on stationery that had been printed for
him free of charge by some Easy Eugene of the manufacturing world—and
insist emphatically upon having a Special Man from the factory payroll
to help him dispose of the surplus as well as wait upon customers,
assist in taking Inventory, and be generally useful about the premises.

It is not recorded that any of the manufacturers who were privileged to
sell their goods to this highly respected and pampered posh went so far
as to pay his store rent for him or defray the expenses of his family
wash.

But through their tripe-eyed vision of Sales Promotion they ultimately
succeeded in swelling his super-structure to the point where he was
able to snuggle down into the comforting hallucination that he could
throw any one of them into the bogs of bankruptcy at any time by simply
holding back his thirty-cent orders.

Now it came to pass that a certain young Lochinvar of high voltage
had been tiptoeing about for a favorable Town in which to weigh-in a
blooded Hardware Store, and he happened to hear of this martyr to the
noble cause of service.

In fact every Salesman that Young Loch met told him the same story
about the old crabbino, but some of them heralded the tidings with less
profanity than did others.

Young Loch did not have to get a powerful field-glass to see the
Opportunity that lay before him and stretched out its arms. He could
see it with his eyes tied behind his back.

So forthwith he sallied to the Particular Town to which we have up and
alluded, and in due season he opened him up an establishment that had
old Puffed Bean’s place looking like a Hongkong junk hole. The swellest
cry in Hardware Shelving was installed, and you could close your big
searching eyes and walk all over the place without tangling up with
nail kegs, rope, barbed wire and other embellishments peculiar to the
small-town hardware dispensary.

When the erstwhile Dictator first got news of the coming invasion, the
crust began to crack slightly around the edges of his aloofness. He
commenced saying Good Morning to his Customers and introduced other
revolutionary changes in the business.

Also he began a quiet but systematic campaign of subterranean rapping
against Young Loch, having scratched up the buried fact that Loch’s
grandfather had once swiveled the books when he was County Treasurer.

But Loch was so busy connecting up with desirable Agencies that he paid
about as much attention to the Opposition as if it had been located in
Portuguese West Africa.

One by one those manufacturers who had been supplying their exceptional
wares in driblets to old Punko, decided to give Young Loch exclusive
control for the following sound and sufficient reasons, to-wit and as
follows: first, because he was willing to place a decent-sized order on
Regular Terms with no overhanging strain in way of Special Conditions;
and second, because of the reason just stated.

Loch also ran 6-inch dbl. cols. at regular rates in the influential
Local Sheet advertising the Lines he carried and received many free
cols. in the restricted Reading Pages where he was heralded as a young
man of Exceptional Promise, and his project as a Valuable Addition to
the Large And Growing Commerce of Our Town.

Young Loch did not ask the manufacturers to contribute anything
toward this smashing publicity campaign, except Electros of their
thrice-inspected Goods, which they promptly forgot to send, according
to custom.

When old Maharaja Magoop saw his Customers dropping off like crumbs
when the table-cloth is snapped, he began to get very irritabilious
and petulant, and told the Town Folks in a wavering falsetto what he
thought of the civic spirit of a community that would desert a Lifelong
Taxpayer for some young Upstart who had never helped the Town in any
way.

Several people, who could not conveniently pay their accounts at the
time because they had told the Ice Man to bring ice every day, were
inclined to agree with him right up to the doggone roof; but even
these few anti-penults were obliged to patronize Young Loch’s place to
a certain extent because The Latter now had the exclusive agency for
certain leading Implement Lines formerly held down by The Former, and
which required Repair Parts that must fit perfectly, but usually didn’t.

At last it was brought home to the once Mighty Monarch that any Dealer
who controlled a well-advertised and popular Line of Goods enjoyed a
Valuable Asset and was supposed to move a muscle once in a while in
the direction of selling the stuff, and not expect the manufacturer of
it to do all the chores.

Into his concrete cone was also drilled the tardy knowledge that a
Customer is entitled to some slight measure of Service, and in the
sanctified name of Profit should not be regarded in the light of a
blaspheming intruder if he fails to wiggle in on an abject stomach and
apologize for leaving some of his money in the joint.

In short, old Rigid Neck came to see ultimately that he was in the
Discard good and fine. With ever-increasing grouchiness he gradually
jelled down in the old sagged Cane Seat where the merry little spiders
could spin their silvery webs in peace above his cosmos.

The last heard of him, he had rented out his Store window to an
itinerant printer who installed therein a nice little Foot Press and
was doing very neat calling-cards for 50c per 100.

As for Young Loch he kept up the Good Work full many a year and came
to be most highly respected by his Fellow Citizens, including the
President of the Enterprise Real Estate & Investment Company whose
budding daughter Loch plucked off the rosebush of Love before his
red-eared rivals got within a mile of the garden.

Loch was also beloved by Salesmen everywhere, for he never asked them
for an Inside Five, a breakage allowance, or donation of Goods for a
Church Fair Raffle.

And he always got through with The Boys in time for them to get away on
the Four Forty-Five and see a good Show in the Big Town that night.

    _The Lesson for Today:_ He who serves most is the King Pin.



HOT SKETCH NO. 8

THE EFFICIENCY EXPERT


THERE was a Piece of Cheese.

He wore a stand-up collar, broken-lot size, and had a/an Adam’s Apple
that used to romp up and down the highway every time he swallowed.

Also he was the busiest bee in the swarm.

After supper each night he had to rush down to the Depot to see that
the Railway Boys escorted the 7:12 in and out of the Town all right,
and then he’d rush back to the Cigar Store to hear the phonograph play,
and lay down a few sound rules on International Relations until the
President of the First National Bank came in to buy his after-dinner
cigar and it was time to lock up.

After that, he would tear madly over to the Kelly House and there drop
a few pearls of wisdom before the Night Clerk while that dignitary was
out at the curb cleaning the big tin cuspidors that had served in their
day to emphasize many a heated argument between rival groups of local
parliamentarians.

Ed Galloway was the name of our genius-in-the-cocoon and wherever Ed
was to be found, you knew that something of importance was pending. He
seemed to have a gift for being on the spot. If you saw him streaking
up Mill Street, you might wonder where he was going, and he might
wonder where he was going, but before he got a block away, a barn or
something would be sure to catch fire just as he was passing it, or a
horse get his hoof caught in the trace, or somebody would be driving
a stake just a wee bit off center, and straightaway Ed Galloway would
find an avenue for his services or advice. He was present everywhere
but Church.

Of course there were certain narrow, quibbling spirits, just as there
are in every hamletto, who objected to Ed always chiseling in on
everything, but there were not lacking those who, like Jeff Webster,
Sole Owner and Proprietor of Webster’s Bus Line, believed that Ed
Galloway had pretty near the right hashish on things, nine times out of
ten.

Away off somewhere in Thibet or in Sumatra there may have been some
petty local question that Ed was not wisdomed-up on, but everything
that took on the character of a national or international issue, he
could discuss from basement to belfry. He was as much at home in the
busy arena of Politics and Business as he was in the wide realm of
Science and Philosophy.

There was one thing that Ed had in common with all great political
leaders, whether they were fully aware of it or not. It was a positive,
ultimatum-like tone in which he rendered his decisions in all cases,
regardless of their importance to you, to him and/or to the world at
large.

If, for instance, Ed happened to pass a cup of water from the Court
House pump to the stranger within the gates, he would say: “That water,
Sir, is the purest, freshest water in this here whole State.” He’d
say it with a sweep of the arm that seemed to include not only the
State but the whole Universe, neither of which territories had he ever
canvassed.

And invariably the stranger, after drinking the ordinary every-day
water from the ordinary every-day Court House pump, would smack his
lips and agree with Ed and have another go at it.

Now everybody in every town of every State of every Nation says the
same thing about the water of his particular pump, and there is nothing
of news-value either in this observation on our part, or in the
statement re pure water on the part of said kanoops the world over.

But whenever Ed Galloway up and said that water was pure, or the Tariff
was doomed, or that Stocks would go to a New Low, or that we were going
to have rain, you had a sense that here was a man who undoubtedly had a
corner on all outstanding knowledge of the subject.

Ed’s words always carried a certain vanadium finality that clinched
the case and demoralized rebuttal, but there was always left in the
heart of the Vanquished a sort of half-formed desire to call Ed a liar
on general principles, although with no hopes of course of proving it;
for Ed was always there with The Figures, which he dug up out of the
vasty deep of his Imagination to support his side of the case, while
his opponent usually was equipped with nothing but a village vocab of
short jerky monosyllables and a chew of tobacco.

One day Ed met the owner of the Plow Factory in the barber’s chair
getting his chinchillas chipped and told him right off the keyboard
that his plant was doing but 8-3/4 percent of the total plow business
of the county.

The old wowser gasped like a gaffed sturgeon at this impertinent news
and attempted to swing back more or less crushingly, but the lather got
in his mixer, and so all he could do was to lie there and let Ed go
ahead and throw the short-horn.

Ed proceeded to tell him exactly how many farms there were in the
County, State and Nation, the acreage under cultivation, the average
number of plows per farm, and so on.

And then Ed wheeled suddenly about, and pointing his finger accusingly
at his be-lathered and outstretched victim, exclaimed: “How many of
these four thousand three hundred and thirty-two plows did YOU sell in
Crooked Creek County last year!”

The old man did not say so, but he as much as admitted that he was a
dub at the facts of his own business, and later on when he was putting
on his overcoat, and Jake the star wielder of the rasp was helping
to pull his undercoat down where it didn’t belong, he turned around
pseudo-casually to Ed and told him to drop around to the factory some
afternoon and have a chat.

       *       *       *       *       *

Now it so happened that the Young Man who had charge of the Sales and
Advertising end of the Plow Factory was a very faithful and steady
Young Man. His conduct was at all times “exemplary,” to coin a word.

Every morning as the Court House clock struck eight, he could be seen
dismounting from his tin bicycle at exactly the same spot in front
of the office door. He had never been late but one morning in his
episcopalean life, and that was after a thick night at the Welfare
Social when he went in too strong for the strawberry-whisp.

He was one of those Young Men you can always Rely Upon. You know the
kind—always the same. He did the same thing this year that he did last
year: (a) and at the same time: (b) and in the same place: (c) and in
the same way.

The same Copy that stood in the Ads last year, stood in the Ads this
year—and occasionally got tired and sat down in the valuable space.

All his letters to The Trade opened and closed the same way like a
door—“Replying to yours” and “Hoping to have.”

He also wrote Weekly Letters to the Men on the Road and talked in
the earnest, measured phrases of a requiem, about Punch and Pep and
Live Wire. There was almost enough live wire in these salesmanic
scintillations to singe the hair off an apple. After you got past the
waxed opener beginning with the inevitable “Well Boys,” the stuff went
like a warm home-brew.

There was another thing about this Young Man worthy of eulogy. He was
one of those Model Employees who always pitch the ball so the Boss can
hit it. Whenever the Old Man would ask him a question he would burst a
blood-vessel straining to answer it so that it would stack four-square
with what the O. M. thought about the matter.

To sum up, this young Sales and Advertising Manager of the hitherto
tabulated Plow Factory, was, confidentially speaking, habitually
scared to a pea-green that he would offend the Boss and lose his good
hundred-dollar job.

       *       *       *       *       *

That is why he never told Dear Boss about a/an Idea he had perfected
for increasing Sales, and never dared slip it into operation on his own
account either.

But that night when Ed Galloway met him coming from the Revival and
began to ask him all kinds of questions about the factory and the plow
business in general, so as to shape himself up strong for his coming
interview with the Big Flash, the Young Man unsuspectingly opened up
and told Ed all the things he could do for the Works if he were only
given half a chance.

The next day Ed, primed like a new pump, blew out to the Factory. When
he asked to see the Boss, all the little time-clock punchers in the
place began to twitter and twutter. They knew Ed of old and logically
concluded he was booking himself for a thorny turn-down. But he wasn’t.

The Boss told Ed to come right in and take a chair. Ed took it and
brought it as close to the Boss’s desk as he could without rubbing it
against the Old Man’s chest. Then he sat down on it and said he only
had a couple of minutes to spare but would like to lay down briefly a
plan he had worked out for building Sales.

And with that business-like prelim, Ed proceeded to put into concrete
and fearless expression the very Idea that the Model Young Man had
confided to him the night before.

The Old Man scowled pleasingly,—a token of endorsement, which, had it
been directed to any regular inmate of the place, from the Manager
down to the Office Roach, would have emboldened the Trusty to ask for
a salary lift. But Ed Galloway preferred to ignore the democratic
outburst and continued right on, just as if the Boss had told him to
get out.

He adjusted his adams-apple, threw an effective knit-brow, and said
that what We must first do was to find out Our strength in the Trade.

“The way to go about it,” he said, “is to first send out a return
post-card to every farmer in Crooked Creek County asking him how he
likes his Arrow Plow. Farmers are irish-loyal to any farm tool they
like—see? They won’t exactly genuflect to it, but they’ll yell and wave
and that sort of thing—see? And they love nothing better than to write
letters to Firms.

“All right, then: if they are already using an Arrow Plow, they’ll say
so all over the return post-card and up the margins. And if they’re
using some other make of plow—see?—they’ll be just as proud to tell
what plow it is. Get it?”

“Now then,” continued Ed, grabbing a pencil and commencing to figure
on the Old Man’s shirt front, “the returns will be 90 percent easy—and
from these returns we can get the Arrow’s actual strength as well as
the strength of the Competition in the terry-tory, thus enabling us to
focus first on the weak spots and then throw our whole force against
our competitors’ strong-hold. Get me?”

       *       *       *       *       *

Now there is no sane reason why this little tale should be dragged out
to the length of a Turn Verein entertainment, and so we are not going
on to tell you how the Boss got all het up over this and other plans
that Ed Galloway got from the Model Young Lobster and then presented to
The Boss, nor how Doc Boss finally gave Ed _carte blanche_ and things
like that, and told him to go ahead and put the various campaigns
through.

Nor are we going to mention the coincidental visit to the Plow Factory
of an Advertising man from one of the big national agencies—a dashing,
dynamic, daredevil, who would dare anything on somebody else’s
money—and who mapped out for Ed Galloway an original and corking
national campaign which Ed promptly submitted to The Boss as the child
of his own brilliant brain, and which the Agency Man didn’t care a dam
about so long as he scythed in his good old fifteen percent agency
commission, and which went through with a whoop and proved to be one
big snorting, pawing, red-nostriled, fiery success.

Nor are we going into a lot of yawny detail all about how the Factory
rose from its musty Rip and became one of the greatest farm machinery
organizations in the country and put up a mammoth electric sign so
that passengers on the Limited could see “THE HOME OF THE ARROW PLOW,”
and almost got news of its erection on the Associated Wire (dam the
censors!) and how the Company stood up $500,000 against Andy Carnegie’s
$500 for a Library for the Town, and got new engraved letterheads
showing a birds-eye of the whole town as the factory with the name of
Edward Galloway as General Sales & Advertising Director.

All we are going to mention is that in time Ed put off the
straight-stand collar, and put on some flesh over the adams-apple,
and quit getting his neck shaved clear around, and began making
abstract speeches, (written by somebody else because he was so busy) on
“EFFICIENCY” before Ad-Men’s Clubs and Civic Bodies, until at last he
stood Big Favorite wherever talk is talked.

Today Edward Ewart Galloway, Efficiency Engineer, sits in his own
luxurious suite of solid mahog in New York, surrounded on every side
by Brains to which he adds Guts and clears 85 percent net on the
combination.

Every little while he gets an emergency call from some big industrial
patient who pays him a steel magnate’s salary to come out to their
plant and sit around smoking dollar cigars and twisting his moustache
and looking wonderfully wise until such time as he can quietly find out
what their own Sales Manager’s plans are for the coming season, and
then in a Confidential Report to the Board, recommend them as his own
good, original, incomparable stuff.

And the moral of it all is this: If you would rise in the Boss’s
estimation and in salary, tell him occasionally that he doesn’t know
what he’s talking about. It’s the only compliment he’ll stand for.



HOT SKETCH NO. 9

THE ROAD RAT WHO GAVE UP HOME COMFORTS


THE Whiffles did not exactly dwell on any Estate sweeping the green
hills. They lived, moved and had their boiled cabbage in one of those
sedentary little dumps that get their air through the keyhole in winter
and smell like a Subway Local on a wet day.

The Whiffles had a son by the name of Ezekiel. On top of it he wore a
readymade tie with a corset-stay on the back to keep it from looking
human.

Ezekiel’s father had jute whiskers that blossomed from the chin out. He
used to sit in the kitchen in his stocking-feet making nothing out of a
piece of old wire. This hasn’t anything to do with the story, so we are
tabulating it before the action begins.

It was Ezekiel’s daily custom to drop in at the Kelly House to find out
if the Four Twenty was on time and thereby live more abundantly.

On this particular day, while Ezekiel was discussing the momentous
issue with the diligently idle crowd of local Chair Polishers, he got
acquainted with a Travelling Salesman from Whopps Corners, Ind., who
always registered from New York City and wore a golden-pheasant vest.

Ezekiel had been reading about the Opportunities that were standing
around on the corners of every big city getting bowlegged waiting for
competent men to come and get them. So he asked the New York Salesman
from Whopps Corners how about it.

The Salesman was modest and retiring, in keeping with the traditions of
his profession, and it was therefore under considerable reluctance that
he admitted to Ezekiel, with rather long easy puffs of the hessian,
that as for himself he was only fetching down about a thousand dollars
a month salary, plus a reasonable monthly unearned increment from his
Expense Account. In spite of his shyness he seemed to give off the
general impression that the Selling Game was one rosy-cheeked cinch.

Ezekiel thereupon decided that of all the fine arts, Salesmanship
appeared to offer opportunities of the most scopeful circumference for
becoming a millionaire in one reel.

So he went home and changed his socks in a devil-may-care fashion, and
started for Chicago that same night, determined to land a job with some
big House that travelled snappy men and did not grieve about Expense
Accounts.

He was shrewd enough before leaving home to re-inforce his proposition
with several strong To-Whom-It-May-Concerns from men of high standing
in the community. One was from the Mayor of Squirrel Cove and another
was executed by the Proprietor of the Crescent Hand Laundry who up and
spoke in no uncertain tone respecting the high esteem in which our
fellow townsman, Ezekiel Whiffle, was held by one and all.

       *       *       *       *       *

Here let it be set down truthfully, with malice toward none, that
Ezekiel Whiffle was no speckled yobbish when it came to doing the thing
he packed off to do. He had a life-long record of accomplishment as
clean as a willow whistle from the day he set out as a youth to shingle
the silo, down to the last leg of the last stove he set up at the
Hardware Store before his departure.

Thus it did not take Ezekiel one thousand years to land a job in
Chicago, although the parking facilities for men less energetic were
very tempting in the City of Basement Restaurants.

Within one week of his first lap round the Loop, Ezekiel had secured a
comfortable berth as County Hurdler for a large Manufacturing Concern
that was struggling to make both ends meet on 142 percent net profit
after paying State and Federal squeeze.

Ezekiel’s very earnestness impressed the Boss, even if his Letters of
Recommendation did not cause any wild demonstration around the Works.
His lack of experience gave him a fresh point of view. He was quite
free from the customary we-never-did-it-that-way advice to men who had
been running their own business successfully for twenty years.

When the matter of salary was mentioned, Ezekiel had to remove his
ear-muffs to be sure he heard the figure correctly. But he decided to
go to it anyway and prove that he was worth more than the sixty dollars
a month.

During the following fortnight Ezekiel overalled it in the various
departments of the big Works getting grease on his face and gathering a
rustic headful of practical information which resolved itself finally
into a beautifully webbed mass that made the last estate of the poor
goop worse than the first.

Zeekie was assigned by the Sales Manager to Luke’s Rock, Iowa, for
the initial sales bombardment. The Sales Manager, with his well-set
little New England head, had of course never been there himself, just
as he had never been any place else, but he talked as though he had
been making the dorp for years, and assured Ezekiel that there were
wonderful possibilities at Luke’s Rock and said he would be greviously
disappointed if Zeke did not pull out of there with fourteen carloads
scored up in his Order Book.

“We are expecting big things of you,” he said.

“That’s more than I am expecting of you,” replied Zeke. But he replied
it strictly to himself.

Then the S. M. gave Zeke one of those Boston handshakes and a modest
bunch of Expense Money and told him to track.

       *       *       *       *       *

Let us now be seated while we study Human Nature a little, and see if
it is not a fact that when you hand a good Job and a bunch of Expense
Money to a beadle who has never had either, you are liable to put
a crimp in his psychology and enlarge his ego until he can’t find
anything to fit it.

Take for illusample: When Ezekiel went from the Office to the Railway
Station to catch his train, he felt so goshdanged good that he could
have punched a hole through a limousine window for sheer ebullience of
spirit.

But when he found that his train was late, he went up to the ticket
window and told Mr. Vanderbilt just what he thought of the whole ratty
System. And he told it so that everybody around the room could hear it
and marvel at his courage and knowledge of railroading. He spoke as in
behalf of an injured constituency.

When he boarded his train and got the hang of things, he commanded the
porter to raise a window here and lower a shade there, and he ignored
the cuspidor entirely every time he took a chew.

When he arrived at his metropolitan destination he gave the owner of
the yellow Bus a beautiful bawl for not helping him with his little
belly-leather suit-case, and on the way up to the hotel he complained
to his fellow passengers about the rickety old boat, and wondered why
there were no taxicabs in the dump.

When he was assigned to his room at the Luke’s Rock Hotel he kicked
like a trapped rabbit because it was a walk-up. And when he saw the
room he threw up both good old farm-knotted hands and said it wouldn’t
do a-tall. They gave him another room and he went over and felt the
bed and said the mattress was about as soft and responsive as the Town
Scales.

When he came down for breakfast next morning and the Proprietor with
his little strive-to-please face asked him how he had slept, he growled
back “Rotten!” and lumbered into the dining room.

When the food came on, he complained that the butter was rancid, the
rolls were doughy, the coffee was like turpentine, the eggs were
boiled 3-3/4 minutes instead of 3-5/8 minutes as ordered, and the
service was fierce.

A silent, contended-looking man sat opposite Ezekiel. He thanked the
waitress with the thin Face and receding Future every time she brought
him anything, and he seemed to relish the little meal as much as
anybody could with a 72-centimetre dub sitting opposite.

Finally Ezekiel addressed the silent man. “This Road Life is certainly
fierce, ain’t it?”, he said, pushing back his plate and yanking his
napkin from under his red chin.

“It is,” replied the Man. “But it wouldn’t be, if four-flushers like
you would keep off it.” Zeek stared, with jaws ajar.

“You are just an ordinary single-cylinder rum,” went on the stranger,
“that never knew anything better than a corn-husk mattress and large
beans soaked in hot water, until you got a job on the Road. Some day
you may learn that the man who has travelled most, kicks least, and
that the quickest way to tell a cheap staller is to see how he adapts
himself to Road conditions.”

And with this caustic valedictory, the speaker got up from the table
and left the room. Ezekiel, flushed and fast foundering, intended to
get up too, and tell the fellow what he thought of him, but decided to
keep his seat when he saw about nine feet of man arise from the table.

       *       *       *       *       *

Now Ezekiel Whiffle might have sieved through something of benefit from
this experience had he been given time for reflection. But he had to
turn his thought to selling those 14 carloads that his Sales Manager
had told him were crouching for a chance to spring into his brand new
Order Book.

Besides, he was in no position to get a close-up on himself while he
still had a Roll and represented the largest factory of its kind in the
country.

Thus when he went to see the Trade his ego again got in the way and
he couldn’t see that in this grand, free game of Commerce, it is the
Buyer who has the right of Free Speech while the Seller must temporize
and simulate. At least the Seller must temp and sim up to the time the
Order is signed.

[Illustration: Hypnotizing the Buyer]

He can then go around the corner, if he wants to, and put his thumb to
his nose or call the Buyer anything he can think up that doesn’t carry
too far along the etheric waves. But to indulge any such feeling before
one is off and premises is to invite probable loss of Sale and possible
kick in neck.

But Zeekie, the poor smelt, got it all twisted and thought it was
war-time and that Buyers were going to come up and kiss him when he
arrived and ask him how all the folks were, and carry his suit-case for
him, just because he had something to sell.

When they didn’t do it, but on the contrary, went right on reading
and signing letters and transacting routine office business all the
time he was talking to them, as Buyers in normal seasons enjoy doing,
Zeekie felt that his dignity was being shot at from ambush, and so he
began telling his Prospects different things that they could do if they
didn’t want to buy his celebrated goods.

While no physical harm befell Ezekiel during these clashes, no orders
befell him either, and after working the whole surrounding county
and netting nothing but a large ostrich egg, he sat down at the wabbly
hotel writing-desk on Saturday night and sent the Sales Manager a
Report about those fourteen carloads that made that astute little Baked
Bean shoot to the scantlings when he read it on Monday morning.

It took the Bostonian about one full minute after he struck terra
cotta again to realize that Ezekiel was down with a violent case of
Sales-manic Inflation that could be cured only by the knife. So he
promptly cut off Zeke’s job and wired him to take the Fifteen Dollars
he still had of Dear Firm’s expense money and paddle back to the Old
Home Hamlet with it.

Now we come on with the anti-climax, the fall of the action, and the
close, thus preserving the dramatic unities and giving our readers that
sense of relief which a concluding announcement of ours always brings.

When the Hotel Proprietor received the fateful telegram Monday noon
and delivered it personally to Ezekiel Whiffle at the breakfast table,
the large bucolic appetite which Ezekiel had been vigorously feeding,
suddenly and unceremoniously departed, leaving a whole shredded wheat
biscuit midway between his incisors and the outside of his face. In
fact he entirely forgot it was there until he came to, several minutes
or aeons afterward, and tried to pass a glass of water along the
parched pathway of his oesophagus.

On the thirty-seventh reading of the Farewell Proclamation, Ezekiel
pulled himself together sufficiently to get up from the table and go
out and announce to the Proprietor he was leaving for Chicago on the
3:37. The painstaking little Prop observed for the first time a human
note in Zeke’s way of putting things.

He suggested that there was a fast train an hour later that carried
all Pullmans and got in four hours sooner, if Zeke cared to drive over
to the B. Q. & X. junction a mile away. Zeke thanked him (1st thank
recorded) and said he had just as soon take the Day Coach Train as he
was only going to be on it a day and a night.

Zeke went upstairs to pack his things and had a feeling that his room
somehow was much larger and more comfortable than he had thought it
was, and he sort of hated to give it up.

When the yellow bus came alongside for the 3:37 and the driver
attempted to toss Zeke’s suit-case up on the roof, Zeke took it away
from him and said he guessed he’d walk to the station and get the fresh
air. The driver asked if he might take the suit-case anyway; but Zeke
feared a nickle tip might be expected and he pulled it back and started
off for the Station.

The Bus rumbled past Zeke on the way and Zeke thought they had painted
it or something. Fifteen minutes later when he was still a half mile
from the Station with but 10 minutes to spare, and had just shifted
his baggage from hand to hand for the eleventh time, and was sweating
like a Madras coolie, he got to thinking what a nice accomodation a Bus
was anyway for a little jerkwater like Luke’s Rock, and wished he had
hopped it at the Hotel.

The 3:37 was one hour and fifty-nine minutes late but Zeke didn’t have
anything to attend to at destination that he couldn’t do just as well
sitting here; so he continued his reflections about Life in general and
didn’t grouse even to himself.

After riding a hundred and fifty years on the Day Coach, Zeke finally
reached Chicago with a stiff neck and swollen underpinning but meek as
a mujik. As he was hobbling out of the busy Railway Station a Red Cap
passed him toting two big suit-cases. They had a million labels pasted
all over them and as Zeke humped along behind, he began to inspect the
curiosity.

He was reading “Bombay,” “Constantinople,” “Cairo” and a lot of other
names that he had never heard before, and was wondering what State they
were in, when he heard a voice just behind him call to the Red Cap:
“Here, Boy, put them on this taxi.”

Ezekiel looked up and beheld the Big Silent Man—the man who had
imparted the much needed but disregarded advice on the occasion of
Zeke’s first meal at somebody else’s expense.

“Blackstone Hotel,” said the Big Man as he handed the Red Cap a quarter
and stepped into the Taxi.

That night in a wee inside room on the fourth floor of the Lake Smell
Dollar Up sat Ezekiel Whiffle trying to read the Help Wanted columns
by the dim light that spluttered from a broken gas fixture over the
narrow spring-tooth bed.

He was a sadder but a wiser Ambassador of Commerce.



HOT SKETCH NO. 10

THE MAN WHO ORGANIZED MANUFACTURERS


A TIRED Business Man sat at his busy desk cleaning his nails with his
paper-knife and lamenting in his tired-businessman’s heart the lack of
organization among manufacturers.

The name of this particular t. b. Man was Willyums and he was
well-to-do and had a separate pair of suspenders for each pair of
trousers.

“Just look at the situation,” sighed our fervent plugger for united
action. “Here we manufacturers are, all knifing one another like a
squirming bunch of inch-browed dagoes, when we ought to be solidly
organized and working as a single unit against the iniquitous principle
of labor organization.”

At this point in Willyums’ little round soliloquy the Office Beetle
crawled in and handed him his morning’s mail.

Willyums picked up the letter and read it carefully. It was from a
friendly Compett who complained bitterly about the Government’s unfair
discrimination, and he asked Willyums to offer a suggestion how to head
off all such pernicious activity.

This gave Willyums a great wide opportunity to ventilate his views on
the crying necessity for cooperative action among manufacturers.

He dictated a letter that was all muscle and fibre. In it he urged the
importance of all manufacturers organizing for their mutual protection.
He stated that only through unselfishness on the part of Each, could
the good of All be served; and original things like that.

Willyums then drafted another snorter to send out to such other
manufacturers as he was on speaking terms with, and he pleaded with
them to put their shoulders to the wheel and make every sacrifice for
the furtherance of the Cause.

He said that any man who would not give up his time whole-heartedly to
the work was a stumbling-block in the march of Progress, and he coined
other metaphors and epigrammatic phrases that made his letter sizzle
and spit like a war-whooper at the Big Grove.

When the “copy” was typewritten and delivered back to Willyums to read
and enjoy, he scanned it hurriedly a few dozen times and then handed it
to his Advertising-Manager and told that groove-dweller to cut out all
the personal pronouns so the Trade wouldn’t think it came from J. Ham
Lewis and then gallop the letter off to all the names on the list.

The responses that fluttered back were very encouraging. Everybody
seemed strong for organizing at once, and several letters indicated
subdued excitement.

A number of leading manufacturers soon got together and perfected a
temporary organization and selected a name for the new Association that
read like a serial story.

Business matters of a pressing nature prevented Willyums from attending
the first meeting, but he wrote a strong letter of endorsement and
it was read at the morning session and was much enjoyed by All Those
Present as well as himself.

At this Conference it was decided to hold a big meeting of the whole
Trade and get things going like a busy shipyard, and the place and
date were fixed well in advance so that nobody could stall out.

Willyums wrote the Secretary back another shoulder-to-the-wheel letter
and said he would be there positivoli. But when the time slid up for
him to set sail, he and his wife had a Breathitt County difference of
opinion which threatened to end in Woodlawn Cemetery. It started about
her always leaving the icebox door open, and finished up with a pungent
polemic on his sensitiveness and all-round worthlessness as a marital
leaning post.

Willyums naturally wanted to stick in the ring till the finish, so he
was obliged to wire The Boys that he couldn’t be at the meeting and to
go ahead without him.

The Meeting proved to be a Great Success and a date was fixed for the
First Annual Convention which was to be held at Wagon Springs, Va.,
and all members were notified to be on hand and to bring their wives
and colorless daughters along to enjoy the Entertainment Features and
drink of the health-giving waters generously provided by the Hotel
Management, with the slight assistance of Nature, at five cents per
glass or one cent per paper cup.

Willyums invited Comrade Wife to accompany him and helped her to get
her hat-box through the door and shut the cover of her yawning trunk
and pack into his own little tin-trimmed steamer all the things she had
forgotten to put in her travelling bungalow.

When Willyums arrived at Wagon Springs the Hotel people gave him the
customary welcome of The Hotel Successful which consists in telling
the train-tuckered visitor that they have no record of any reservation
for him and that he will have to sleep on the Town Pump or up in the
pigeons’ quarters.

Willyums smoothed out the bulge in his shirt-bosom and told the Emperor
back of the desk that he was there to attend The Convention, and as
soon as he said this, he lost the two good sleeping-chances referred to
up-page.

This made him as sore as a blistered heel and he went straight to the
Twelfth Assistant Manager and told him (the 12th Ass’t Manager) that
if it had not been for him (Willyums), there would be no Convention at
all, and that he (12th Ass’t Manager) would not be running full-up
in his (Mgr’s) old Hotel, and that if he (M) did not at once provide
him (W) with suitable accomodations, there was going to be a small but
efficient funeral around there.

Willyums got the accomodations all right, including a washstand and
neat little ash tray to put his ashes in; but it was so late when he
and Mrs. Willyums hit the hessian that they did not open up until 10
o’clock next morning, and then he had to go and dig up the lost luggage
so that Madame could drape her matronly Fig. in a new child’s dress.

As a consequence Willyums did not get to the opening session of the
Convention but he pumped palms with a number of delegates and said he
would see them surely at the afternoon session.

The afternoon session was scheduled for 2 o’clock, and so the delegates
got there promptly at 3. Willyums was somewhere about the 3rd hole when
the meeting was called to order because Mrs. Willyums was just a cub at
golf and insisted on doing the 18 no matter what happened. They sweated
back to the hotel along about sundown, barely on speaking terms
because he had told her that the woman did not live who would not cheat
at golf.

The next morning Willyums announced solemnly to his unselfish helpmeet
that he was going to attend the remaining sessions of the Convention
or bust. Whereupon Mrs. Willyums let loose a torrent of real tears and
told him what a shrimp he was to bring her along and then keep her
cooped up in a little ingrowing room when they might both be riding in
the mountains and getting some fresh air.

Willyums was a highly sensitized man and could not endure lachrymal
leaks, and it did not take him long to give in. In fact he caved in,
and accompanied his considerate little wife on horseback, and they had
a very nice time and both agreed that the afternoon would positively be
his to spend at the closing session of the Convention.

When they returned to the Hotel Willyums learned that the Convention
had disposed of all pending matters at the preceding session and had
decided to adjourn _sine die_ and give the last afternoon over to
Unalloyed Pleasure.

Willyums met several delegates coming out of the Convention Hall and
they told him they did not know what they should have done without his
generous cooperation, and thanked him for the Great Assistance he had
been to them all since the very beginning.

    _Lesson for Today:_ A Trade Organization never grew strong
    on Absent Treatment.



HOT SKETCH NO. 11

THE PERPETUAL PLANNER


FLOPPINGHAM WATERDELL sat in his office, feet erect, smoking his
morning sisal.

And nursing along his habitual grouch against Dear Firm.

Six months before, Floppingham Waterdell had been stricken with the
honor of Branch Manager.

It was the biggest job he had ever managed to throw in all his long
speckled career, but for some foolish reason Dear Firm thought they had
hold of a Whale when they fished him out of the deep blue sea of Job
Searchers.

“The utter planlessness of their work,” sighed Floppingham, re-crossing
his unexercised legs and taking another long, legumenous puff at the
root of all evil.

“They send me here to take charge of an office that has heretofore
been conducted absolutely without system, and then they expect me to
go out and do business without telling me where they want me to go, or
how they expect me to go about it. They scuttle my plans and they don’t
offer any themselves. All they say is, ‘Go get the business.’”

“All work should be planned beforehand,” continued Floppingham,
reflectively. “No business man should attempt to do business until he
knows his territory thoroughly and the character of his Prospects—even
down to their peculiarities and hobbies, thus eliminating lost motion
in the Approach, and simplifying the road of ingress.”

From the foregoing irridescent little exerpt from Floppingham
Waterdell’s daily conferences with himself over the deficiencies of his
Firm, the reader has come to the conclusion, or not, as the case may
be, that Floppingham was himself a rhinoceros of no small heft when it
came to Business Efficiency.

And indeed Flop was.

Every file in the office, every colored thumbtack on the map, every
drawer of his desk, every card-index, chart, letter and cuspidor sang
of The Office Efficient.

And all accomplished within six short, shrimpy months!

For examp: When Floppingham took charge of the dump, you couldn’t
find a letter in the files without looking for it. Three months later
you didn’t have to go to the files at all when you wanted to look
at a letter. You would go to a Card Index where you found all the
meaty paragraphs of the letter arranged on a card alphabetically,
chronologically and hypodermically, including the writer’s telephone
number and all such other thrilling news as appears at the apex of the
average letterhead.

As a check against error, you then would get out the original letter
from the regular files and compare the card with the letter, or the
letter with the card, or vice versa, and the trick was done! Positively
no plush curtains or false bottoms to deceive you!

It took one girl only four months to get this system in shape so she
could take off the skid-chains.

Before Floppingham assumed charge, nobody around the office even knew
how many steps a thirsty bookkeeper had to take to make the water-tank
at the opposite side of the room and get back to the revolving perch.
Nor did anybody know the amount of time that was consumed per step in
such a wild orgy.

But Floppingham, through his original system of Step Reduction, figured
out that if the bookkeeper would lengthen his stride to the Thirst
Muffler, he would thereby reduce the number of steps; or, in other well
selected words, reduce the time consumed in wasting Dear Firm’s time
drinking water.

Thus if ten steps were saved through Step Standardization, and each
step consumed one second, that would mean a net saving of ten seconds
per trip to the Trough. Granted that six trips per day were made during
the winter months, and six hundred during the Dog Season, the result
would be a grand total of umpty-ump hours per year per clerk, or a net
saving of ifty-ift dollars per year to the Business.

And just to show you to what a fine point the reasoning of the
Efficiency Engineer can be spun out without snapping, we will add
that Floppingham always took into consideration the length of an
applicant’s legs when hiring a clerk.

These were but a couple of Floppingham’s efficiency installations. He
had a million of them. They ranged all the way from Sales Planning to
counting the number of puffs to a hemp panatella. He wore out the seat
of his trouserial furniture figuring them out.

One day Dear Firm sent him a letter swathed in purple satire,
suggesting that Efficiency was a means, not an end, and that if he felt
that his Branch could do a little Business once in a while without
greatly impairing its uselessness, they would send him a bright young
man with a plaid vest to help him make sales.

Whereupon Floppingham Waterdell adjusted his glasses, took up his
efficient pen that had pulled him through many a stall, and wrote
out plans and specifications covering the kind and quality of man he
desired.

It is possible that the talent and virtues and experience of the Human
Race, taken as a whole, might have perhaps been able to squeeze up to
Floppingham’s requirements as set forth by Flop under numerous heads
and sub-heads designated as (a) (b) (c) and so forth—the kind, you
know, that many Government employes and other bluffologists revel in.

When Dear Firm received from Floppingham this last brilliant
contribution to the records of Commercial Pish, they winked one eye
clear to the roots and then dictated the following Appreciation:

“We don’t know just when it happened, nor just how it happened, but
the Business World today is infested with a new stripe of grafter—the
Efficiency Eel, to which School you seem to have a Rhodes Scholarship.

“Efficiency Eels are Word Wizards and Figure Fixers of a very clever
order, and we poor uneducated kanoops of the workaday-and-night world
have been caught by the swing of their phrases and the flare of their
‘facts.’

“Not a yap of them ever did a day’s work since he left college, and
couldn’t get out and sell a bill of postage stamps at 50 and 5. Instead
of planning for business, they make a business of planning. They
are always getting ready, but they never start. They are piffling
pollywogs on the plane of the Practical, but past grand masters in the
philosophy of Bunk.

“The reason they keep planning and organizing and systemizing all the
time is because they know they are nix glox on Performance. And plans
without performance are like teeth without jaws.

“Show us the gunk that is always laying the blame for his own failure
to lack of efficiency and system in his employer’s business, and we’ll
show you a gunk who is stalling for fair.

“For six months, come Yom Kippur, you have been ‘planning’ to bag a
little business, and if we kept you there for six years, or six hundred
years, you would still be planning. You are a planner and not a worker.
You can MAKE plans all right, but you could not EXECUTE one of them if
it laid its head on the block and handed you the axe.

“It isn’t your fault, Mr. Stall, that we have been slow to get your
curves. We are just like hundreds of other firms—just plain, ordinary
yappoos who would rather hire an outside man at $20,000 a year to do
nothing but plan, than give half the salary to an inside man and
have him perform. But now that we are ON, would you mind considering
yourself submarined and greatly oblige etc.”

    _Lesson for Today:_ One bill of goods sold is worth more
    than a dozen planned.



HOT SKETCH NO. 12

THE TWIN-SIX PHILANTHROPIST


A POVERTY-PANNED mill owner who had only been able to finger in a
bare ten million after twenty gruelling years of grimy grind at Board
Meetings and Stock-holders’ Seances, sat wearily at his flat-topped
Mahogany and heaved a long abdominal sigh at the hellward tendency of
the children of today.

“It’s all due to the Pernicious Activity of these agitators,” he said,
wiping away a great big humanitarian tear. “All that I am today I owe
to the hardships I suffered when a child.”

Here he turned on a few more big salty boys and then continued;
“Poverty is a blessing and an educator, and yet these here agitators
come along and want to take out of my mill the lucky children that are
having a chance through my bounty to become worthy citizens of this
great, glorious Republic of ours.”

He was just on the verge of adding a few trembling mushmellows about
the stars and stripes waving in the free, pure air of America when his
emotion got a hackenschmidt stranglehold on his large oily thorax, and
he couldn’t splutter it across.

When he had recovered his composure and wiped the sweat-beads from
his nice thick neck, he got to thinking some more of all he had done
for the town by giving employment to its skinny-legged children, and
putting more money in circulation, and all that sort of fly-smacked
mediaeval economics, and he choked up again at the thought of how
little his beneficence had been appreciated.

In his great paternal heart he knew that his motive in doing all this
unselfish thing for the thin-wristed tots of the town was as pure as
the lotos flower, and that there was no low-lying thought of the good
old coin he was pulling down on the investment.

In fact he was so sure of it that when he chanced one day to notice a
wee ripple on the sweet still sea of Graft in the shape of a parboiled
attempt to increase the children’s wages from One Penny to Two Pennies,
he was about as indifferent as a gunless man in a tiger’s lair.

Many other little things went to show the philanthropic purpose of King
Paunch’s acts. He had, for instance, a noonday feed served to the child
workers which enabled them to romp joyfully back to the looms twenty
minutes sooner each day, and a little later he again got busy with
his short pencil and long head and figured out how he could cut off a
certain yard space for a playground without cutting off the profits.

He stood wide-legged and willing at all times to prove to anybody that
the children were better off in his mill working ten hours a day than
they would be in their homes, and that when it came to Loving Care and
Attention the laughing loom had any Day Nursery in the land walloped to
a wobble.

There was no opportunity, he contended, for the youngsters to acquire
vicious habits, except a lint-cough, and by keeping them standing all
day catching threads to the rhythm of the loom-buzz, they would not run
up against wicked temptation to Walk the Streets.

Every time he would get through telling about his charitable works, he
would feel for his halo to see that it was on straight.

In certain moments of mental liberality he would concede that his mill
did not include quite all the conveniences and comforts of Heaven, but
generally speaking, it was about the most constructive hangout, from a
physical, mental and moral standpoint, that you could find south of the
Pearline Gates.

There was a touch of pathos in the sight of this willing martyr to the
cause of Progress and Purity getting all sweatted up arguing his side
of the case against those fanatics who were obsessed with the crazy
notion that the place for little children was in school.

Searching through history he found that all the other great and
good benefactors of the Race had always run up against the cross
or the hemlock in time, and so whenever he was not perorating with
fist-pounding positives, he was lying back sad-eyed and resigned,
trying to acquire a forgive-them-for-they-know-not-what-they-do look,
and breathing forgiveness heavily through every pore.

In time—and now we are coming to the weep part of our throbbing
tale—Colonel Razorback’s friends began to notice that he was throttling
down physically to the point where the only thing that could save him
from losing his appetite between meals was to send him to Carlsbad.

Constant worriment over the passage of some Law in the selfish interest
of Public Good by which he might have to give up his 500 precious child
charges to the ruthless and demoralizing influence of home and school,
reacted upon his liver and it began to reach out and kick him in the
spine when he wasn’t looking.

There was not the least sign anywhere around the organic or functional
premises to indicate that his condition was aggravated by the thought
that he might have to employ grown-ups at slightly stretched wages, and
we have therefore no right to diagnose any man’s case afar off.

We shall only say in passing, and without any intimate relevancy to our
story whatever, that Colonel Hogshead was pained to the very quick-sand
to have to leave his young daughter and his little cowlick-headed son
to the tender mercies of a private tutor, a governess, three freckled
servants, and their mother, but he managed to bear up under it, and
sail away to Carlsbad.

Thus, after issuing Strict Instructions that his own precious tendrils
should breathe no second-hand air, nor go out in the heat of the day,
nor study too hard, nor exercise when they were the least bit tired,
nor get less than 10 hours sleep, nor eat anything not raised under
glass, he tore himself away, and, in due time, was lying peaceful and
fat in his deck-chair, rugged in snugly and comfy, sleeping the sleep
of the Righteous, and dreaming contentedly of all that he was today—all
that the blessed privilege of early poverty had made him.

    _Lesson for Today:_ Poverty and toil are blessings which we
    protect our own from enjoying.



HOT SKETCH NO. 13

THE YOB WHO LET BUSINESS SLIDE


SLOBBINGS knew that motor cars had four wheels and were owned by people
who could not afford them.

Slobbings’ wife was equally well up on the subject. She was once
acquainted with some folks who had one of those graceful maroon
tonneaus with the little back door like a Hicksville hotel bus, and she
used to watch them take up the floor and dive down into the basement to
fix the machinery every few miles when something went wrong.

Slobbings knew only too well that the day was coming when his wife
would be asking him why it was that they were always hoofing it while
their neighbors were jerking past in neat little Fords.

He himself was razor-keen to sit back of a steering wheel of his own
and toot a big hebrew horn at jumping pedestrians, but he decided to
lay low and let her spring the inevitable question first so that when
they bought a car he could forever after blame her for everything that
happened this side of Mars.

The issue came up as expected when the Spring flowers began to hatch,
and the smell of new mown gasolene was in the air.

Thus it came to pass that Slobbings and his wife sallied forth one
sunny afternoon to feed the motor microbe.

They passed right by the Ford agency but couldn’t see it because
they hadn’t a telescope. Nothing less than a Twin Eight for them!
They spent about three hours of lumpy stalling around the Automobile
Shopping District pretending they knew what The Man was talking about,
and concentrating on the relative merits of wind shields and ignoring
little unimportant details like magnetos, carburetors, engines, etc.
But after getting familiar with prices, they began to filter down into
the Flivver class along about evening-fall and were ready to stop
feeling upholstery and get down to cases.

Their decision finally perched upon a snappy, unimpeachable, luxurious
top-quality performer which was priced at three figures, the tallest
one of the three being under nine, although not more than two or three
flights under.

They owned the car all of one day when the matrimonial bliss in which
they had been soaring was brought down, and both occupants barely
escaped with their lives.

It happened this way: Slobbings had been under the droll hallucination
that he could drive the thing, and so he waved off the young man from
the Agency who had volunteered to show him how to stay on a fairly
wide road, and started to cut loose with the levers himself, with his
Helpmeet at his right.

When the excitement subsided he took his wife into the house and stood
her in a corner and made her solemnly swear that in future whenever one
was driving, the other was never to cut in with criticism, contumely or
contemptuous comment at critical junctures, but was to either sit tight
or get out and pedal.

The next morning while Slobbings was at his office trying to get his
mind on work, his wife sneaked over and got the demonstrator to throw
away his chew and put on his coat and give her a lesson in driving the
little pelican.

That night when she and Slobbings started out, it was she who insisted
upon taking the wheel, and this gave Slobbings the pleasure of sitting
on the thin edge of Uncertainty and grabbing the Emergency Brake every
time another car could be discerned with the naked eye coming toward
them.

Whenever she tooted the horn to signal their nervous approach, he
would hand her the not-so-loud-dearie caution, hissing said caution
between such teeth as he had not already ground off during previous
hair-breadth escapes.

If he happened to be the one driving, and stuck out his wing to let
the Traffic know he was going to turn a corner in due season provided
he did not stall his engine, his wife would tell him that it was not
customary nor necessary to injure one’s spine hanging so far over
the side of the car. In devious other ways she vented her unstrung
condition and frequently referred warmly to his all-round hopelessness
as a level-headed driver.

There was a demoniacal something that came and sat between them every
time they got into that car. The Dove of Peace never flew within five
thousand miles of the tail light at any stage of the tragedy.

Each got the idea that the other felt there was nothing left around
the car to be learned, and this naturally led to fierce engagements in
which hand grenades were used freely on both sides.

Every time he told her that she shifted her gears like a steam riveter,
she would spring back and tell him between her teeth that he couldn’t
drive a nail, and then she’d follow through with a mighty beanbammer
about his family not being very bright anyway, and no wonder he
couldn’t get anything past the porphery.

She accused him of throwing out his chest when he ought to be throwing
out his clutch, and he retaliated by charging her with imagining she
was Barney Oldfield because she could cut around a moving van without
losing more than one mud guard.

In their refreshing evening drives together, the one who would first
discover that the Emergency Brake was still on, would get right out
on the hood and crow and flap like a Hoosier cock in a congested
corn-crib, making the other naturally as pleased as a pup with its tail
in the door.

History does not recall that Slobbings and his merry mate ever came to
a corner that he didn’t want to turn one way and she another, nor that
both ever desired the Top up or down at the same time.

One day about six months after the Home Breaker had been purchased,
Slobbings met with a serious business throw-back. No one was to blame
but himself. Motoring had interfered with his Business and he had cut
his Office from his visiting list.

Among other things there was an over-ripe note at the bank and he
was obliged to produce the necessary piastres within twelve hours.
So without slipping a syllable to his wife he up and sold the car,
receiving therefor an amount so far below original cost that it made
him dizzy to look down at it.

A few days later he broke the news to the Gentle One, and, after the
lachrymal flood-gates had been opened and closed again in the usual
way, she braced up and said it was all right and they would have to Be
Brave.

A hell-hot evening in the following August found Slobbings and his wife
taking a nice trolley ride out into the country for a sniff of fresh
ozone.

They were sitting side by side, looking over the fields of waving
wollypus, and he had his arm around her.

Both were silent. They were thinking of the same thing.

“Well anyway,” she said at last, “we _did_ have good times with the
little car while it lasted, didn’t we dear?”

“Yes, love,” he replied softly, “those were the happy days.”

    _Lesson for Today:_ We don’t know what we’ve got until we
    haven’t got it any longer.



HOT SKETCH NO. 14

THE WOULD-BE SALES PROMOTER


ONE day a successful Manufacturer who had become strongly addicted to
Efficiency Literature after making his pile, sat down and reasoned with
himself thus:

“Something is wrong with my business. The Sales Increase for last year
was only 120 percent. It should have been 850 percent. The fault lies
with my Sales Manager.”

“True, he is a good slob, but he is not good enough. My Salesmen all
like him and plug hard on his account, to say nothing of their own; but
they don’t plug hard enough.”

“What I need is a Sales Chief who is not stocked up with the dry-bones
of Salesmanship—someone who comes from the outside and brings a fresh,
crisp point of view—someone who knows nothing at all about the Selling
Game. That’s the stunt these days! My present man is in a rut. Raus!”

The morning following this sparkling synthesis, Comrade President
called in the pre-damned S. M. and tied a campbell soup can to his
Promising Career and sent him clattering up Main Street.

Then he grabbed a note-pad, scribbled off a terse Classified Ad,
pressed a button on the waistline of his desk, and told the Office
Poodle to get it into the morning papers and quit spitting on the
radiator.

       *       *       *       *       *

On a high stool in the Bookkeeping Department of a certain Plumbers
Supply House sat an upright and painstaking young gentleman who wrote
an excellent hand, never erred in his posting, and fainted when anybody
turned the ledger pages from the bottom instead of the top.

But of late years he had contracted a serious case of
correspondence-schoolitis and within him was stirring strong the
ambition to Become An Executive And Earn Fifty Thousand A Year.

He was firmly convinced that the only difference between the man
shoveling coal and the man shoveling coin was a difference in Earning
Power, as told graphically in the pictures; and so whenever the Boss
wasn’t looking, he would pull out his book and study up on how to
increase his Earning Power.

On this particular morning this particular young gentleman had been
casually perusing the newspaper for a few hours prior to the Boss’s
arrival, and he had almost finished the twenty-eighth page when his eye
leeched upon the advertisement of our friend the Efficiency President
about whom we were chatting pleasantly before we went off on this spur.

“I feel the fingers of Fate upon my spine,” said the young gentleman
osteopathically, as he clipped the Ad from the paper and slipped it
into the upper berth of his double-breasted white waistcoat.

When the noon hour struck, it took him just two and one-quarter minutes
to slide down the scaffolding of the high stool, grab his little
cardboard derby, and jump a passing trolley in quest of the job.

But when he arrived at the factory, his Nerve suddenly up and left for
parts unknown. With trembling ears, and muscles of the map twitching
like a mare’s flank shivering off flies, he opened the office door. He
didn’t burst it open wildly like a cartman with a delivery receipt for
you to sign, or any important personage like that. He opened it just
wide enough to squeeze through and scrape the buttons all off his coat.

The man in charge knew of course what this flickering taper had oozed
in for. It was a cinch he wasn’t some Kentucky customer calling to
raise hell about the last shipment. Only a man looking for a job could
behave like a seidlitz powder and not arouse suspicion. So he ushered
him in to see the President.

Mister President, pushing back his whiskers for oratorical clearance,
delivered himself thus:

“Young Man,” he said, “have you any reason, either apparent or
hidden about the premises, for thinking that you know any more about
Salesmanship than a squirrel knows about Santa Claus?”

“No sir,” blurted the Dose of Salts, meaning to say “yes” and bluff it
out.

“Good!” broke in Uncle President. “You’ve got the very qualification
I’m looking for.

“And what name do you wag to?” queried Monsieur Le President, well
pleased with his exceptional perceptive faculty.

“Elliott Buc——” But Pres. cut him short. “Never mind the details,” he
said.

“And now Elliott,” he continued, throwing back an emphatic lapel and
hooking his presidential thumb into his vest pocket, “I am going to
make you my Sales Manager. You look and act as unlike a Sales Manager
as anything I’ve ever seen this side of Lapland and that’s why I think
you’ll do. I’m working on a new system. So get up off the floor there,
and say ‘thank you’—and GO TO IT!”

       *       *       *       *       *

Elliott’s full and complete name may be itemized as follows: Elliott
Buckingham Tudor-Smith. But around the office they promptly re-capped
it under the appropriate and musical monicker of “Ellie.”

They also noted that from the instant Ellie landed the coveted job, his
knees and his neck began to stiffen like a steel bar, and there was
something in his manner that seemed to say: “The President should be
congratulated upon his good judgment.”

The whole overburdened Office Staff were stop-work observers of
everything that went on in the office from a giggly conversation among
the girls down to delivering a bottle of crystal spring water for the
ice-cooler, and of course they all saw and remembered how Ellie went
into the President’s office on all fours to apply for the job.

Hence when they now saw him swank past them full of superior swish and
driving his heels to the floor like a Grenadier Guard, they naturally
began to develop that warmth of fellowship toward him that one feels
for the cramps.

Had Elliott not been by profession a Bookkeeper, he would have made
a good Haberdasher. When it came to practical Salesmanship he had
about as much experience as a sponge diver. Hence he possessed many
essential qualifications of the modern blank-cartridge Sales Director,
as psychically discerned by the President at the outset.

While Elliott might be described as a traveled person, he was not what
you would exactly call a globe-trotter in the strict sense of said
term. He had on several occasions joined the Sunday Excursion to
Churubusco, Indiana, with the white duck panties and the blue serge
Double Breasted. Also he had been twice to Chicago; once during his
honeymoon, and once when he went there to get his teeth filled, and in
so doing made the local horseshoer sore on him for life.

We mention this irrelevancy merely to show that when it came to
skipping here and there over the cornbelt, and getting back to the Home
Town safe and sound and unrobbed, Elliott could hold his own with the
best of them.

Elliott possessed still another essential to successful latter-day
sales management. He was one rhinoceros on System. In less than three
months after he had set sail upon the hazardous sea of Sales Promotion,
he had everything on the premises mapped and charted and indexed and
cross-indexed and sub-indexed and super-indexed forty-seven different
ways.

Any ordinary question put to him about the Business or the Weather
would be followed by the pulling out of numerous little drawers and
card-indexes and files and charts and things until the Questioner had
forgotten what it was he asked about, or had gone on to other matters
or to sleep.

Elliott’s highest qualification for his job, however, lay in his
early-discovered ability to write a very superior quality of nagging
letter to the Salesmen under him. When it came to the Quibble & Nag
stuff, Elliott had every corn-fed Sales Manager in the land rolled up
like a carpet.

Having himself never sold a Bill of Goods in his tiny conventional
life, and being barely able to tell the Goods from a large knobby sack
of apples without first walking all around them and squinting at them
from different angles, he was insured at all times against writing the
Sales Force upon anything that might be of any importance whatever to
the Business.

For instance, when the Firm’s crack salesmanic shot of the Western
Territory was aching like an ingrowing toenail for some constructive
suggestion from Headquarters concerning a Big Deal he was trying
to put across, he would receive a three-page Satire from Ellie
criticizing him for scoring up 168 miles in his Expense Book when the
R. R. Guide showed plainly and Unmistakably that the actual distance
from point to point was only 167 miles.

And when some other Sales Wizard would send in a C/L Order from some
dotty dorp off in the scrub of Oblivion where The House had never
before sold a Lincoln Penny’s worth of their fully-guaranteed Stuff,
Ellie would promptly press Button No. 2 (gawd, how Eddie loved to press
those buttons!) and then dictate to the anaemic stenographer a couple
of pages of acid contumely, telling how surprised The Writer was that
an Order from a territory of such potential greatness should not have
called for ten carloads instead of one carload.

Ellie of course never hiked out on The Road himself and therefore never
knew whether a given Territory was potentially great or potentially
punk, nor whether one carload was a slashing big Order or a paltry
pee-wee, but he always had to write cheery stuff like yon foregoing
because this is the particular phobia of the desk-reared Sales Manager.

Ellie never believed in complimenting a Road Rat and running the risk
of impairing the gunk’s proper perspective of his work and maybe cause
him to slap in an extra bus-fare on the strength of it.

In short, Ellie’s skilful management naturally succeeded in putting The
Boys in such excellent spirits that every time they got a letter from
him they felt like shooting up a Home for Incurables.

But in due and good time it came to pass that all those Salesmen on
Elliott’s staff that were not buying clapboard homes on installment,
slapped in their resignations and politely told Ellie and His System to
go to hellenstaythere.

This, however, did not cause so much as a tropical ripple on the sea
of Serenity upon which Elliott Buckingham Tudor-Smith was gliding so
smoothly. As fast as one Salesman would up and kick off his breechin’,
Ellie would hire another, and each time he got a better man than the
man who quit. After a while he had as fine a bunch of Ribbon Clerks as
ever lined up against a soda fountain on a reckless Saturday afternoon.

       *       *       *       *       *

But all things come to him who stoops over when the boot of Wrath draws
nigh. At the end of the Fiscal Year, which is the time of reckoning
and erasing and general all ’round fixing of fake entries, Comrade
President called Elliott into his private office, leaned back in his
executive Swivel, and relieved himself of the following ballad:

“Young man,” he said, feeling for his tonsils to see that they were on
straight, “I have just looked over the Sales Record for the year during
which you have been benching in the Sales Department, and I find that
Sales have fallen so shockingly low that they ought to be in a Rescue
Home.

“When I gave you that job I was following out a plan that has proven
successful in many cases as shown by magazine articles. I thought you
would make a good Sales Manager because you knew nothing about Selling,
just as the best organizers of Business Men’s Associations are
Kendallville Professors who know nothing about Business, and the best
writers of Efficiency Stuff are men who file their correspondence on a
hook, and the most dazzling Shop Management Talksters those who heave a
wheelbarrow over a fence and never see the gate.

“I now see that I was not only Dead Wrong but absolutely bughouse.
I might as well expect to get a good hair-cut by a piano-tuner or
boxing-lessons from a Tea Tenor, as to get a good Sales Manager out of
any man who gets off a train head-first and doesn’t know a Sample Case
from a schmeerkase.

“In twelve long, lanky months you haven’t yet got the lie of the 2nd
hole on the Selling Course, and I have a sneaky suspicion that you
wouldn’t get around the first Nine in ninety years.

“You couldn’t get a Salesman’s point of view if he stuck you in the leg
with it, and for the same reason you couldn’t see the Dealer’s slant
on things, nor the House’s policy if you trained a super-telescope on
them.

[Illustration: Proff O. U. Bojack (Bus. Doc.)]

“Besides all that, you have been so busy trying to think out some new
high-sounding title for your job, and writing brainless Briefs on
Salesmanship for the tired Trade Press, and attending so many noonday
foolishers called Business Luncheons, that you haven’t yet had time to
learn whether our Line of Goods is made to wear or to eat.

“Here and there in this worryful World of Business you will
occasionally find some old moss-chest who still holds that Salesmanship
means SELLING GOODS, and not Charts, Maps, Conferences and After Dinner
Oratory. I now see, after a brief but total eclipse of Horse Sense due
to too much reading and too little thinking, that I am one of those Old
Timers myself.

“I don’t blame _you_,” he went on, unmindful of a pair of quaking pants
before him, “for getting the Bilged Bean right at the crank-up, for you
have never shinned the rough spots of Salesmanship yourself, and you
haven’t got the imagination of a moving van.

“The fault is all mine,” he concluded, “but that’s a matter that
doesn’t cut any cantaloupe now. So get back to the High Stool and ply
your penmanship! I’ve decided to hire a Regular. Voetsak!”



HOT SKETCH NO. 15

THE YOUNG SATELLITES OF STALLVILLE


CLARENCE and Bud lived in the same dotty dorp and went to the same
little red-necked school.

Clarence was a studious piece of Rocquefort and scored 100 in
everything.

Bud’s monthly report looked like the stock quotations in a demoralized
market.

Whenever anything was pulled in the shape of Rough House, Bud was
usually the Chairman of the Board of Directors.

Clarence, on yon other hand, always conducted himself in an Exemplary
Manner and wore leggins.

There was a big manufacturing plant in the town and when the boys
finished school they naturally went to work there. Everybody did. The
whole force was born and raised within sound of the whistle.

The Export Manager had never been clear across the County Line. That’s
why he was the Export Manager.

Clarence was given an important clerkship in the office.

Bud likewise received Four Dollars a week.

Bud pinched enough postage stamps to make it Four Twenty Five.

Time went on.

And on.

Clarence built up a record for piety, punctuality, faithful fidoism and
fussy attention to details that made every aspiring clerk in the place
eat the carrot of envy every time they thought of him and his little
kuppenheimer.

Bud was the only one who couldn’t see even a dim outline of Clarence’s
sterling virtues.

His psychology was as different from Clarence’s “as day is from night,”
to put it originally yet cleverly.

Bud was a wrecker of rules and a punisher of precedent.

He couldn’t see where certain non-essential things cut any large and
influential ice in the great game of Business.

And he voiced his views with such hobnailed frankness that Clarence
daily expected to see Bud popped from the Payroll.

He cautioned Bud repeatedly in a patronizing high tenor to censor his
stuff or be prepared for the Hiking Certificate.

Time went on some more.

Bud still stuck.

The predictions of Clarence and all the other starchy little stallers
proved to be punk and peanutty.

Comrade Boss seemed to take considerable shine to Bud, but none of the
tall-collared gentry could get it at all.

Bud didn’t smoke his cigarettes around in the alley. And he played
billiards on the Sabbath. And his business letters lacked dignity they
said, although the stuff got over.

The reason the Boss liked Bud can be explained very simply, without
the aid of music, motion pictures or other contraptions calculated to
emphasize and impress.

The reason was this: Bud had IDEAS.

Now an idea is something that only Individuals are susceptible to.
Persons never contract them.

Bud was an Individual. The rest of the Office Staff was an office staff.

If an idea had ever wandered in among them, it would have been unable
to establish its identity. Nobody would have known the stranger at all.

Bud didn’t see why things should be done a certain way just because old
man Noah did them that way.

Nor why a business letter should throb with about as much human
interest as a Report on Weights and Measures, just because it was
called a business letter.

Bud was also dead set against office stalling.

He never threw the bluff that he was all fevered up with work when he
wasn’t doing anything but tinker with a hangnail.

And when he worked on a job, he worked to produce, not to prolong.

Further, Bud declined to have it in for the Boss simply because he was
the Boss. And at every session of the Rappers’ League he was as open
about it as a woman with a secret.

All these things Burra Boss quietly eyed-in from time to time, as
Bosses have the lowdown habit of doing.

And so one bright Spring Morning about eleven minutes past ten he
called Bud into the Throne Room.

“Young man,” quoth he, “you have been for several years sitting in with
a bunch of office beadles without becoming one of them.

“It is no simple cinch for a young man to hold himself aloof from
the piffle and puff of Office Politics and to evolve ideas in an
intellectual graveyard. I take this occasion to congratulate you, my
boy.”

“Thank you sir,” quoth Bud, wondering if he was in for something more
negotiable than a congratulation.

“And furthermore,” quoth on the Boss, “I have decided to promote you to
the sales-managership of this hustling hive at twice the salary we have
been smothering you with heretofore.”

Bud attempted to quoth back, but there wasn’t a quoth left in his
quothary.

Too full for coherent utterance, he merely made various motions
indicating large appreciation, such as bowing, tapping his shirt bosom,
winding his watch, and so on.

And then he backed modestly out of the room.

Into the Salesmanager’s sanctum Bud carried the same dashing disregard
for precedent and prehistoric policies that had landed him the
hundred-and-fifty dollar job.

Inside two more years he had established such a ripping record that
the Boss made him General Manager of the Works and raised him to Two
Hundred.

The Boss also let Bud in on a percentage of the profits equaling
one-sixteenth of one percent beginning with the tenth year after it
went into effect.

As for Clarence, he is still sitting neat and erect somewhere in one of
the outer offices checking things at a small desk.

In between glances at comrade clock, he wonders how the Boss could have
possibly made such a busy blunder as to pop Bud to the top and overlook
real genius.

“Mercy!” he ejaculates, and turns once more to his checking.

    _Lesson for Today:_ A stiff neck never supported a thinking
    head.



HOT SKETCH NO. 16

THE BENEDICT WHO WISDOMED-UP


MARK McMARK was one of those good-lord-look-at-this-desk Business Bees
that fish their noonday grub out of a Pie Incubator and rush up and pay
what they think is approximately correct, and then snap back to their
offices like a rubber band.

When it came to Fortune Farming, Mark McMark was cutting a good clean
furrow and he was as happy as the day is wide. In spite of this, he
decided to get married.

He did not first make up his mind to rivet-up, and then roll up his
sleeves and go out on a hunt for the girl.

On the contrary Mark had a keen contempt of large circumference for
that type of male kanoop that sits around his bachelor dugout until
the microbe of Melancholy begins to take up its winter quarters in his
corrugated heart, and then decides he wants a Home and goes out and
sizes up every girl he meets like a bumpkin in to buy a bullock.

Mark believed that Love chases not her own. He said that for every
masculine mammal there was a feminine complement browsing somewhere
along Life’s ranch, and that all you had to do was to stick around and
the Right One would loom up over the hills before sunset.

There was no doubt in Mark’s mind that the Right One had credentialed
in his case. He said he could tell it in any one of a dozen ways, no
matter who held the cards. He was so german-sure about it that he began
to get sort of section-boss with all his bachelor friends and told them
that they were only Half Men and he spread considerable First Lesson
Philosophy wherever he went.

All the married men in the office used to sit tightly non-commital
when Mark raved. Their silence was about as quiet as a Miners Protest
Meeting but it got right by Mark every time. He just kept on baiting
everybody and maintained that no Business Man ever worked at maximum
efficiency until he was buckled and had a man’s responsibility and some
incentive to spur him on to Greater Achievement.

In time Mark and the Right One were lawfully wished on each other and
duly preachered and Lohengrined, and they began to Keep House in an
Apartment, which translated means that they began to stall less and
learn more.

Mark didn’t have time to tell Her any longer about the Big Things he
was going to do. It took all his time to explain the Little Things that
he didn’t do. He got better acquainted with Her every time he forgot to
leave an order at the Grocer’s, or carved the lamb from left to right
instead of from right to left.

Mark also learned that he had oddly shaped ears, mispronounced many
words, walked like a Yiddish cloak and suit maker, and slept with
his face ajar. The breakfast table became a sort of observatory for
physiological and temperamental defects, and the pastime developed to
such an engrossing point, that Mark began to forget about the office
and sort of hung around the house like a haze, fearing to lift, lest he
miss a good opening for a caustic comeback.

Whenever the satire ran low on acid, an ominous lull would follow,
during which nothing could be heard but the sullen click of knives and
forks, and the ebb and flow of coffee along Mark’s aesophagus. Then
suddenly the silence would crack wide open when she would ask him what
was the matter with the potatoes that he didn’t eat them, and he would
retort, “Good Lord, give me time—I can’t eat everything at once, can I?”

At the office everybody began to notice Mark’s speedometer wasn’t
recording very reliably. They also thought he was shifting into Neutral
a good deal for such a positive pussonality. He would sometimes sit for
20 or 21 minutes scratching his roof and looking at nothing concrete.
Then just when he would be verging on the Mattewan Stare he would
recover himself sufficiently to bawl everybody out.

Things went on in this peaceful, happy fashion at home and abroad until
one day when Mark suddenly decided to have a Thorough Understanding
with his Helpmeet. He pulled down his vest and the cover of his desk,
slapped his granite derby on one Ear Hook, and pounded heavily homeward
for the Finals.

Ten minutes later he opened the door of the little round-shouldered
Apartment and called hoarsely to his Mate. There was no answer. Then he
called again not quite so Arizona, but Silence again responded. Mark
heard the water dripping in the kitchen sink. The little alarm clock
on a chair in Her bedroom ticked like a steam riveter. One of Mark’s
twenty-five cent pure silk hose lay on the rocker where She always
sat. There was a needle and thread still in the sock. Everything in
the place seemed kind of stiff and churchy—like a Scotch parlor on the
Sabbath.

Mark hung around the middle of the floor for a few moments and then
flopped on the sofa to think things over. It was boisterously quiet.
The chairs all stood around looking at him like a lot of pall bearers
waiting for the sign to catch hold. A curtain moved slightly in the
breeze, and the rod of it tapped on the window sill. It was a quiet
little tap—kind of uncanny, like a spirit rap.

“I’m beat,” said Mark, after a long pause, packed with ache. “If she
would only breeze through that door right now, I’d chase pebbles up
the beach all day long for her, or swim out and fetch sticks.”

A thought struck him. He got up, put on his o’rourke, and, closing
the door ever so lightly behind him, slipped over to the florist’s. A
moment later he returned with a great armful of lilacs. He looked as
if he had pinched them—there were so many. Every vase in the house he
filled with them, and then stuck the balance in empty milk bottles,
pitchers, tin cans, and back of the pictures.

“There!” he said, surveying the job, “that will fix things up between
us, and please her when she returns.”

Then Mark went back to his office and worked like a stoker.

That night when he returned home, the Right One met him at the door.

“I wish you had not put those old lilacs all over the place,” she
opened up testily, “Just look at that floor!”

    _Lesson for Today:_ What’s the use!



HOT SKETCH NO. 17

TWO BUSINESS BAGGERS OF PUNKTON


IN THE small burdock town of Punkton two rival manufacturing plants
wiggled for supremacy.

The destinies of one were ably steered by a veneered razorback named
Grabit.

At the helm of the other stood one, Fairman by name.

Grabit was a Pillar and had a pew right down front, a little to
windward.

He used to sit ample and contented every Sunday morning listening
to the little chinless preacher extol his Sterling Virtues to the
blank-faced congregation.

Fairman wasn’t cutting any bold slashing figure as a Pillar and he was
the only man in town who wasn’t wasting away worrying about it.

The rest of the burg spent many anxious hours speculating upon the
probable location of Fairman’s residential quarters in the Hereafter.

Grabit thought of his employes in terms of machinery and was a devoted
husband and father, according to custom.

Fairman called his men his “helpers” and had the absurd notion that
they were human.

In Grabit’s mind there was not so much as a peewee doubt that he (i.
e., Mr. Grabit) was a very superior order of genius and that every man
under him was somewhere along about the mollusk stage of unfoldment.

He felt that through Divine favor he was enabled to grant to his men
the blessed concession of working 10 hours per diem for 8 hours payem.
And he tucked his napkin under his chin and was very grateful.

Fairman was so melon-brained that he imagined his manufactured products
to be the result of the pooling of all the brains and activities of all
the men in his plant from the General Manager down to the beetle that
pinched the perfectos from the top desk-drawer.

Grabit stroked his enameled brain-case and reasoned that by paying his
men more wages they would only have that much more to squander down at
the Big Horn.

He figured that men of such muggy mentality didn’t care to spend any
time in their dull homes, and so he couldn’t see any approximately sane
reason for shortening working hours.

Fairman had the comical delusion that by expanding wages and
contracting the workday he could cut off a lot of worry from the minds
of his laborers and their weary wives, and that this in turn would mean
increased bodily vigor, clarity of thought, efficiency of action and
other things that would sound well if we could think of them at this
moment.

With the recklessness of Irresponsibility, Fairman went so far as to
put his spooly ideas into effect. He paid a minimum wage so high that
when Grabit heard about it he let out a roar that shook the apples
all off the trees in an orchard scene that his daughter, Eleanor, had
painted when she was at the Academy.

He swore that Fairman was demoralizing the Labor Market and nervously
pulled scotch hairs out of his dilating nostrils.

Time tangoed on.

Visitors to the plant of Fairman began to comment on the clear merry
eyes of the workers. The men went about their tasks with speed and
accuracy.

And whistled betimes.

And sang, maybe.

The factory’s output increased fifty percent without straining a
ligament. The puddler seemed as interested as the President in
everything that was doing around the Works.

If you had stood on the corner when the morning whistles blew, and
watched the dinner-pailers heading up Main Street, you could have
picked the workers of Fairman from the toilers of Grabit with your eyes
22° off centre.

The Grabiters all had that “I wasn’t-hired-to-do-that” air, and groused
about the Boss in low dismal tones all the way from liver-and-coffee
to forge and furnace, and back again. Every shoulder balanced its
chip; and grouch, gruff and grump settled over the Works so thick you
couldn’t rip it with a rapier.

Every morning when Grabit opened his mail he was regaled with much
pleasing news from Kicking Kusstomers about defective Goods, shortage
and all those things that wallow in the wake of a system of inspection
that has sagged to a dull routine through indifference and the lack of
pussonel interest.

Grabit didn’t sneak behind any door and whisper to himself what he
really thought of the unreasonable dubs that made these complaints.
On the contrary, he called his melancholy stenographer and dictated a
masterful piece of satire and roofraising rhetoric that was calculated
to double them up like a jack-knife.

Now all this kind of thing was planked sirloin for the Salesmen of
Fairman. They shared in the profits of their Concern and didn’t have to
knock down Bus Fares any more in their expense books, and so they were
full of joy and jump.

They got after the disgruntled Customers of Grabit like bees after
blossoms and did not exactly have to shoot up the place to scare any of
them away from their old connections.

Grabit’s Salesmen were drawing down their good old $100 a month salary,
and turning in vouchers for street-car fares, and so when they ran up
against the Order Baggers of Fairman they were able to put up about as
strong a rebuttal as a girls’ debating society.

Each succeeding season saw a new addition to the Fairman works, until
forty acres had been brought under roof and the town had been made a
regular stop for the Fast Express. Grabit noted every progressive step
with increasing pains in the pit of the stomach, but not to be outdone,
he revolutionized things himself by installing a new factory whistle.

Statements of the local banks showed steady increases in the deposits
of Fairman’s workers. Neat little brick homes with phonographs in the
parlors sprouted all over the town and made business good for the
butcher, the baker, and the electric light and power company.

Men with long hair and short hair and no hair to speak of, came from
far and near and from Vedersburg, Indiana, to find out how Fairman did
it, and to get nose-close to the system in actual operation.

Certain yard-stick philanthropists questioned the Ultimate Good of
it all, and there were many sincere and hard-working Business Men
clearing all the way from $1,000 to $5,000 a year in their own
business, who called Fairman “an industrial accident” and believed
down back of their little cramped undershirts that such a thing as an
accidentally successful man could actually be.

Recapitulation: Fairman became one slashing, sensational success
no matter how you looked at the question—whether altruistically,
practically, or through a knot-hole.

As for Grabit, he sits today at his dusty little desk, fingering his
penny Ledger and absentmindedly feeling around in his whiskers betimes
for a wild hair or two. Listlessly he turns the ledger pages and counts
the tombstones, and in gloomy speculation asks himself why all those
old Customers went over to the Competish,

    Why his Salesmen were slipshod
    And his goods built on luck
    Why his best men deserted
    And the worst stuck—and struck.

An echo answers “Why.”

The Office Cat, scrawny and sarcastic, jumps on the window ledge. She
gives Grabit one withering look, puts her thumb-equivalent to her
nose, and disappears into the night.

Grabit is alone.

Isn’t it harrowing though?



HOT SKETCH NO. 18

THE PICAYUNE PLANET


ONCE there was a ball-shaped mass of matter whirling through space
called “The Earth.”

Compared to other masses of matter chasing through the charted
Universe, it was about as big and important as a louse on the leg of an
elephant.

The Earth was covered with millions of wiggling, jiggling, jumping
little gnat-like creatures called “Men.” These “Men” told one another
that they were the highest form of created life.

And believed it.

And thought they had a sense of humor.

They made themselves a god in their own image and likeness and kept
altering and remodeling him from epoch to epoch, to suit their own
selfish purposes. Their aim was to standardize him so that everybody,
whether white or black or yellow or drab, could utilize him profitably
in his business.

For thousands of years these little shrimpy Two Spots spent their time
building up and tearing down. As soon as one set of them would start
anything that promised to pull them out of the inch-browed class and
enable them to stand on their hind legs and look upward, another set
would come along and push them back on all fours again.

All of them were for Progress but none of them knew what Progress
meant. They all stood for Morality, but as they had one Code of Morals
for one set and another Code for another set and kept changing and
shuffling these Codes all the time none of them knew at any stage of
the game whether he was moral or immoral. He had to read the Season’s
Revised Rules before he could tell.

In time certain foxy gazunks arose among them called “rulers.” These
rulers wore a lot of bric-a-brac on their chests and catcher’s masks
on top of their heads called “crowns,” and collected millions of Low
Brows around them and told the L. B.’s that God had selected them to
rule because they were wiser than anybody else. The poor kanoops opened
their heavy jaws and bulged out their eyes in glassy awe, and believed
it.

Each Ruler had his bright, beaming eye on the other’s loafing-stool
called the “throne,” and manoeuvred merrily to pinch it. But he was not
always sure that his knee-bending subjects would follow him and so he
devised a dandy little scheme.

He tore a piece off his royal shirt, painted some hieroglyphics on it,
and went out on the balcony and told the assembled yappoos that it was
their “flag” and that they should always fight for it and defend it,
no matter whether it was used to grab territory with, or to liberate
people who preferred not to be liberated.

At this, they all threw up their sweaty caps and hoorayed until they
were thick-throated and bughouse.

But here and there in the bunch was a party who had managed to wiggle
out of the trough-stage in spite of Civilization, and these came
forward and examined the “flag” and told the crowd it was nothing but
the tail of a shirt waved for pilfering purposes. Whereupon these
inquisitive agnostics were promptly busted on the butcher’s hook with
proper religious ceremonies.

Other Rulers hung out their long lawyer-like necks to pipe the
proceedings and found that the flag was the best all-around little
device that had yet been framed for keeping the blobs ignorant of the
cold-unemotional fact that their rulers were Con Men of keen calibre
and their claim to Divine Right of Rule just common, ordinary, everyday
Class C Shorthorn.

One day one of these rulers happened to turn his head to the right to
sneeze, and while he wasn’t looking another ruler slipped over the back
of his throne, beckoned to his vassals to follow, and sneaked up on
his hands and knees to pull the throne-stool from under the party with
the hay fever. Another Ruler, observing the empty seat of his neighbor
Divine Ruler, started cross-lots to grab it.

But the first Ruler was a crafty little cuss and when he saw this
rearguard action, he and his followers turned around and a mighty,
murderous mix-up ensued.

With a Green Eye on Gain, the other Rulers then buckled on their war
boots and galloped into the muck to help the respective pugs and at
the same time help themselves to anything lying around uncrated.

When they all got thoroughly started, Hell closed its doors and went
out of business on account of the competition.

Each Ruler realizing that he himself couldn’t fight for fried fish,
began to shake his little mad-made god before the eyes of the Deluded,
and through poetry, prose and prayer got them to believe that it was
deity’s own special wish that he should slaughter his neighbor. This
worked like a kaffir charm and all hands went to the slaughter with a
smile that reached from ear to ear and clear around to the back of the
neck.

Every time a certain Divine Righter landed a good old jaw-breaker on
the enemy he would say that it was god’s coaching that did it, and
every time he got one in the abdominal area that doubled him up like a
folding-bed, he would shake his finger at the victor and splutter out,
“You wait! God will punish you yet!” They all had the very same god
working for them and beseeched him to come down and wallow with them.

When the rough-house had progressed long enough to lay them all out
squirming and moaning and praying like a lot of winded dervishes, the
great God of Eternity—the God that forged the Universe of Universes
and set countless worlds a’whirring in one grand harmony of Love and
Service—leaned over the balcony of Heaven, and with the back of His
mighty hand swept them all off the dinky, ball-shaped mass of matter
like ants from a table top.



HOT SKETCH NO. 19

THE PASSING OF THE BUCK PASSERS


THERE was a man of Pep and Potential who owned a large and constantly
stretching Business.

Originally it was the size of a pants button and consisted of one ratty
Rolltop, two rubber-stamps and a nominal assortment of liabilities.

National Advertising had dredged the Business out of the dump of
Dinkyism and tossed it upon the apex of Affluence.

The sudden and unexpected growth had sunk the Boss ear-deep in detail
drudgery, and so he decided to surround himself with men who could
balance some of the burden that rested upon his convex shoulders and
caused forehead-furrows like a first-line trench.

Thereupon he hired for his Sales Manager a calm and collected
caterpillar who had been doing high-class dental work at a leading
Way Station and acting as professional pallbearer on off-days.
Caterpill came Highly Recommended by a frowsy friend connected with
an Advertising Agency that was hoeing in 15 per cent on all business
placed.

The Boss next decided to graft onto the main trunk an expert
Advertising Manager, and so he selected from the 70,000 agitated
applicants a complacent party that knew as much about Advertising as a
first-class dragoman.

Then said Doc Boss to himself, said he: Now that I have the Sales and
Advertising ends of the works hemmed up, I must get me somebody with
brains and ballast to do my buying; also a hot hound to superintend the
plant and a sprightly spaniel to see that the stuff gets shipped during
the same historical epoch in which orders are received.

So he sniffed about the town and soon had these pearly positions filled
with a couple of polliwogs related to his wife’s uncle and his cousin’s
chums, and they brought their letters of Hearty endorsement from the
Pastor and the red-horned Congressman of the District.

Having surrounded himself with the afore enumerated eminent executives,
Comrade Boss leaned back in his revolving Reposer and said: “At last
I am going to cop a wee round of rest and recreation. No more work,
worry, and wiscissitude for me.”

The last syllable had slid gracefully away on the serene, sweet morning
air when the new Superintendent greased in to find out if there would
be any objection to his putting a new hinge on the factory door.

On his way out, the Supe bumped into the Sales Manager on his way in to
ask Governor Boss if he should go ahead and O. K. an Expense Account
upon whose fair bosom rested a Bus Fare charge at Holbrook Hollow where
the hotel leans leisurely up against the railroad station.

Mayor-general Boss smiled sweetly, said “No” (dam you) and turned away
to wrestle with a few speckled doubts that began to creep up into his
Thinkery and nibble at his Composure.

Before he had bottled his irritabiliousness, in flowed the serene
Advertising Manager wanting to know whether he should change the copy
in the Ads every decade or so, or let it stand until it fell down from
sheer exhaustion.

When this genius of initiative had ebbed away, the Boss’s telephone
she rang and he grabbed at the instrument like a straw grabs at a
drowning man, thinking that some diversion in way of a date might be in
prospect.

But he found it was the new Buyer wanting to know which of two
quotations he should accept—the higher or the lower. Professor Boss
replied that it was a knotty case to decide off-palm, but from a
superficial cast-over there might be no grievous mistake in accepting
the lower quotation; and the Buyer naturally said he thought the same
way but didn’t feel justified in taking the responsibility of deciding
all alone by hisself.

When Uncle Boss had hung up the receiver he found the bright-eyed
Shipping Clerk standing at his tired side waiting to be wisdomed-up on
whether he should ship 34,999 lbs. at the L. C. L. rate or pay for the
extra lb. and get the C. L. rate.

Major Boss thought a long time but not about what the Shipping
Clerkerino had whispered. He was just trying to make a choice between
murder and suicide. He decided to do neither, but to just hold onto his
Patience as a matter of self-discipline and try to get in his rest
between Foolish Quesions.

For the first six months he seemed to be making considerable prog.,
often getting several moments to himself, during which aforesaid
moments he fumbled with his cufflinkers and pulled his eyebrows to see
if he could get one out at every pull.

But when the calendar year had begun to run down at the heel, the
demands from the Department Heads became so insistent and insupperable
that one day Cap Boss jumped up on his desk, gave one blood icing yell,
swung his arms wildly in the crisp autumn ozone, and dove head-on into
the cuspidor.

When he had been fished out and revived, he seemed strangely calm and
collected. In a voice that had a weird, far-away-over-the-hills sound,
but carrying in its depths an unmistakable quality of determination, he
called in all his hefty, high-class helpers, told them to be seated,
and spake as hereinafter recorded, to wit and to-wot:

“When I engaged you muskrats I had a feeling that this Business was
slightly pied. I thought you could do the Necessary, and use such
commonsense as you perhaps happened to have, in order to push the
Enterprise to the pinnacle of Power.

“I now find that not a rum of you has the initiative of a set of false
whiskers nor the judgment of a jelly-bean. As Buck Passers you’ve got
everything this side of Congress pummeled to a pulp, and when it comes
to stalling, you are all Class A-Super and no mistake.

“You will therefore please take a long jump into the jungles of
Oblivion, and, as a little souvenir of my regard, I propose to present
each man on his way out with a swift kick in the Kupps.”

When the last kanoop had cleared, Commodore Boss got a new outfit
consisting of non-relatived men of EXPERIENCE and while the thought
of the high salaries he had to pay them made him swallow like a cock
eating corn-meal, he got over it when he found he could get off every
afternoon for 18 holes and fish for a fortnight without fretting a
fret.



HOT SKETCH NO. 20

THE EXECUTIVE WITH THE CLERK’S MIND


A ONE-LEGGED manufactory had a little round office boy.

He used to go down to the Post Office every morning on his roller
skates and fetch up the mail in a leather sack.

We forget the exact dimensions of the sack, but the story can go on
without them until such time as we may be able to call them up.

This office boy was a good office boy and did not carve his initials in
his father’s wooden leg, nor hang around the streets watching a safe
moving in.

The manufactory in which he hopped about and drew his Dollar and a
Quarter a week, was not so big as Standard Oil, but it had a side-track
and a time-clock and involved the activities of seventy-five men,
two of which were old women—the Sales & Advertising Manager and the
Proprietor.

Time scuffled on, and the War came, and with it came some new business.

At first the Proprietor and the Sales Manager were a little sore around
the heart at this intrusion upon their days of peace and quiet, spent
largely in cutting up old envelopes for scratch paper.

But gradually they got used to the upset and flurry, and when the
monthly Balance Sheet began to smile and then to grin, it poked their
Ambition in the ribs and the first thing they knew they were actually
craning their shaved necks for business in the Domestic as well as in
the Export arena.

Men think they push their own business to greatness, but they
don’t. Nine out of ten have greatness thrust upon them by national
advertising, but you never hear of them chasing the Agency that did it
up the boulevard trying to catch and laurel it for pulling them out of
the puddle of commercial provincialism.

Here let us state in calm, well modulated tones that we are not
forgetting about the office boy, around whose life this little
narrative is written, or wrotten. We are letting him alone until he
grows into manhood.

The office boy is now grown and so is the business.

The boy is Alfred William Clerkmind, and he is the President of the
whole outfit.

The old proprietor has long since been mounded and marked, and the
Sales & Advertising Manager, of whom we spoke of, or rather, about whom
we spoke about, is still reading Printers Ink and learning how they put
it over.

Alfred William Clerkmind has been so busy growing up with the business
that he has never had time to travel any farther from home than the
one-lunged Country Club for nine holes on a Sunday morning.

His reading has been confined to his Trade Magazine, his home town
daily, and his competitors’ catalogues.

The people he has met socially are the same earspreaders he used to
know as boys and girls in the days when he was juggling up the mail in
the leather sack, size 24″ x 36″.

The men he has met in a business way, all have come down to the
bowlegged burg to sell him something, and so he has always had eager
listeners whenever he talked from the chest out; so he has been denied
the golden privilege of having men tell him to his cone-shaped face
just what they thought of him and his Ideas.

In other phraseology, Alfred William Clerkmind, executive, is Alfred
William Clerkmind, office boy, with different scenery. His arms and
legs are longer, his body thicker, his head fatter than when he licked
stamps, but his psychology and general outlook are the same.

He tells his New York Salesman that one can live for four dollars a
week at the best boarding house in Skunkton with Neapolitan ice cream
every Sunday, and therefore any man should be able to do the same in
New York—or do better, because there’s a bigger choice in Noo Yoark.

Every time it comes to changing copy in the ads, they have to throw
him and blindfold him to keep him from re-writing it himself and
running in a lot of snappy, pungent stuff of the come-one-come-all,
we-strive-to-please variety.

Alfred William doesn’t understand why a salesman should ride in a
Pullman any more than why the Trade shouldn’t wiggle up on its abdomen
and beg for the Goods.

And since he has not the time to travel, nor read, nor meet people who
do, he has no way of getting at the facts of business.

He feels that he must personally ooze into every part of the works at
all times. And, as a consequence, none of the department heads cares
to assume the responsibility of sealing an envelope without getting
Alfie’s “O. K.”

Sometimes Alfie tries to be a good fellow, and thereupon he slaps
somebody a wooden slap on the back. But there’s something in his
playfulness that makes the recip. feel like turning around and
spreading his resentment all over Alfie’s respectable features.

When anybody is relating a humorsome narrative, Alfie sets a certain
time and place to laugh regardless of the development of the story, and
then there’s no telling how long the rafters are going to hold out.
Then just as suddenly he gets back into his coffin and pulls down the
lid.

At such times Alfie’s voice has about as much merriment in it as a sack
of dried apples, but whenever he decides to burst forth, all the little
office gnats have got to laugh too, for fear they will lose their
Fifty Dollar jobs if they don’t.

Emerson says that every institution is the lengthened shadow of the
kanoop that started it, and we are not mentioning this just to show how
clubby we are with Ralph’s sayings, but to clear up any outstanding
doubt that the institution of which Alfred William Clerkmind is the
head and front, and coat, pants and collar-button, reflects in every
detail the spirit of the big, broad, ruddycheeked Captain of Industry
that steers it.

An idea might walk into that Works and hang around for six months, and
not a man in the whole outfit would invite it to come in and sit down.

The most important business of the week that any of the inmates has on
his mind is how to get the shirt back from the Chinaman’s in time for
the Saturday night dance at the Commercial Ath-a-letic Club.

We started this story with the intention of showing how Alfred William
Clerkmind finally made a trip to Kankakee and broadened out. But he
can’t seem to make up his mind which train he will take, and in the
meantime the space alloted to us for this story has run out.

So we can only say in closing that no business can expect to wax
international when the Chief Executive is carrying around with him the
same cow-licked sky-piece that he used when he was bowlegging up the
street with the morning’s mail in a sack.

    _Lesson for Today:_ As one grows older, the head should
    change inside as well as outside.



HOT SKETCH NO. 21

THE WAR WINNING PATRIOTEER


HE WAS paunchy and broad-beamed and looked like one of Artist Young’s
skippers of industry.

The top of his dome was mercerized but there was a sturdy little hedge
of auburn stubble running west of a line drawn parallel with the top of
his right listener.

This served as a dam to catch the honest perspiration from running down
on his Henry Clay collar.

It also gave him something semi-tangible to comb in the mornings.

His full-orbed jowls were decorated with auburn fenders, parted in the
middle and severely orthodox in their general behavior.

Naturally, with this trimming, he was long on civic righteousness,
religious rallies and other pillar activities.

He was one of those opulent American industrial successes that point
with their thumbs, believe that woman’s place is the home, and go in
and out of an elevator square across, regardless of wedged-in humanity.

Perhaps the most dominant of his virtues was his high-pressure
patriotism. When it came to patriotic oratory he had Patrick Henry
looking like a gaping neutral.

It was only logical, therefore, that he should have become a most
fearless and forensic advocate of Preparedness as soon as the word was
coined. And he did become that same, as hereinbefore itemized.

In 1916, when California decided to elect President Wilson, this
popular pusher for Preparedness was wild with indignation, and tore out
his luxurious side whiskers by the fistful, and jumped up and down on
his little malleable derby.

Everyone with whom he came in contact was assured by him that the
country was heading for helldom on high.

It also gave him a bit of relief to vent his vituperation on Comrade
President for not rushing into War on the day that Kaiser Bill began to
shoot up the high seas like a bar braggart on a busy Saturday night.

Almost any hour you passed his office you could hear him over the
transom telling somebody about the folly of Watchful Waiting,
conciliatory notes and other presidential piffle.

He said that nothing could be nobler than for young Americans to offer
up their lives in defense of flag and country.

And just to show how doggone deep his Nationalism went, he trotted out
and bought a great big American flag for cash and nailed it up back of
his desk.

When Uncle Sam finally decided to throw the little felt kelly into the
international ring, he turned back the lapel of his coat and threw
out his patriotic chest as if he had scored some big personal victory
against the determined resistance of a hundred million Americans.

One day, shortly after the events of which we speak, our War Hero was
found sitting at his Mahogany, with knitted brows and knotted physiog,
steeped in painful, ponderous thought.

Nobody knew just what had struck him until he called his stenographer
and dictated a very private but trenchant letter to the Congressman
of his District and another to his favorite Senator with the wooden
Prince Al, adjuring them to fight against the clause in the War Tax
Bill that threatened to assail his profits.

Having landed a munitions contract in the early days of the war that
netted him a cold, clammy four million in profits, and having drawn
a beautiful mental picture of just how he was going to invest that
million so as to bring a modest return of 100 percent, he was naturally
given over to the ravages of righteous indig when he learned that the
Government proposed to put its large horny fist into his profit bag
and extract a fairly girthful percentage of those profits for use in
helping clothe and feed the young Americans whom he so highly honored
for their Patriotism.

Also he went up in the air ’way beyond anti-aircraft range when he
found that the draft bill contemplated calling into active service
young men between the ages of 20 and 30.

He loudly proclaimed it a ridiculous and preposterous piece of
flumdubble to call upon such young men when every sane man knew that
the Flower of American virility was between the ages of 31 and 41.

His son was 24 and he was 54.

When the first Liberty Bond issue was floated he got sort of backed
into an uncomfortable corner and spent several tortuous nights and
difficult days wondering how he was going to hurdle this issue without
barking his patriotic shins.

At last, after looking up Uncle Sam in Bradstreets, and convincing
himself that Uncle S. would not go bust right away, he made up his mind
to plunge, irrespective of his own future comfort.

So he went down to his bank and bought a nice One Hundred Dollar Bond
which he offered to sell to any of his employes who might not have a
chance to get to the polls before they closed.

The next day he took steps to have his son exempted from the draft on
the grounds that he was the sole support of his motor car—but of course
assured the Board of the young patriot’s eagerness to trek for the
trenches.

He also stopped long enough in his work of figuring out a 100% increase
in the selling price of his wares to get an assortment of little allied
flags and stick them on the hood of his Packard.

In addition, he bought a Red Cross button and put it in the aperature
of his coat lapel.

Further, he allowed one of his clerks to spend several hours on
the Firm’s time to collect a fund for the Red Cross from the other
employes, and he himself led off the list with a Dollar which nobody
had the nerve to collect from him after he wrote down his influential
name.

In fact, patriotism and practical helpfulness to the Nation ran rampant
through his whole family.

His wife started to knit an army sweater at the outbreak of the War,
and as we go to press she is still knitting it. She has got as far as
casting off the neck.

His daughter also started in energetically to make Red Cross bandages,
and every week or so she went down to Headquarters for an hour to get
in out of the cold while waiting for some friend for tea.

When final victory perched upon the banner of the Allied Cause and The
Boys came dragging home to a jobless civic life, this patriotic pillar
of Preparedness whose unselfish service to his country in time of
national need had so greatly lightened the nation’s burden, threw the
whole tonnage of his influence against The Soldiers’ Bonus Bill and
other Paternalistic Notions, declaring them pernicious and Economically
Unsound.

He also wrote a book entitled “How We Won The War” and dedicated it to
his son and daughter.

    _Lesson for Today:_ Sherman was right.



HOT SKETCH NO. 22

TYPICAL AMERICAN AND CRITICAL AMERICAN


THERE was once a comfortable piece of suet who considered himself a
Typical American and oozed oleaginous sentiments of Lofty Patriotism
through a three-dimensional Mid Western brogue every time he saw a good
opening.

He loved America so much that he used to spend six months out of every
year Abroad with his big cigars and his fat wife. He liked to get up
on a barrel in every port he backed into, and tell the natives a few
things about Our great liberty-loving America where every man was free
to spit on the sidewalk if he wanted to.

He took a Keen Delight in roasting everything that was non-American
and making himself miserable every time he turned a foreign corner. He
used to grease down three 18-inch collars every day pointing out to
his billow-chinned Helpmeet how senseless These Here Foreigners were
for doing things this way instead of doing them that way. Any time
he overlooked anything for condemnation, the Little One (Ton) would
heave-to and remind him of it in a whistling nasaletto that made you
instinctively hang onto your hat.

From two to four hours were put in each day of the calender month
grousing about the cold rooms, cold hotels, cold shops, cold theatres,
cold everything. It made them both hot to think of the cold. During
these protest meetings, Typical American would tread the floor heavily
and work his cigar angrysomely from one side of his gasser to the other
and then back again, and take a solemn oath before his Maker that if
he ever got back home without cracking he would turn on the steam-heat
until the walls began to run like sap.

Another thing that always added to the merriment of their foreign
philandering was the Customs. Every time an inspector requested Typ.
Am. or his Better Half Ton to open up a piece of luggage, Typ would
bring down upon the inquisitive little inspectorial head a torrent of
biting injective that would have made it crawl under the culvert in
shame had it been able to get next to the linguistic delivery.

For the inconveniences and jarring out-of-dateness of Foreign Travel
were but a mild rash when it came to the question of power to annoy. It
was the systematic pillaging of Typ and Mrs. Typ that proved to be the
big aching carbuncle.

Every time Typ went to pay a taxi fare, they tried to flam him out of
two or three cents and he used to have to use up about seven dollars’
worth of American energy arguing the hold-up with the robber at the
wheel and trying to prove to him in excited expletives that the legal
Scale of Rates showed 20 cents for two miles instead of 22 cents.

When Typ would register at a hotel he always had to get into the ring
for ten rounds with the Swiss Cheese in the long prince albert before
he could get anything like the rate and the room he wanted. What he
didn’t tell the Concierge down stairs about his old hotel he would tell
the porters up stairs when they were juggling in the baggage.

Meanwhile Mrs. Typ would be examining the curtains and things, and
giving the pirates a piece of her mind for charging Four Dollars a day
for one double room and bath when they should have had the whole floor
for that price.

Typ got chronic indigestion from scrapping over the price of his
dejeuner, and Mrs. Typ swore regularly every morning that she’d see the
buccaneers in the sixteenth sub-basement of Gehenna before she’d pay 18
cents for two measley boiled eggs—then she’d go ahead and order them.

Their daily sight-seeing and shopping excursions in all foreign
countries were continually marred by the petty pilferings and
short-change manoeuvering of foreign highbinders, and many a night as
they sat fingering their finances in the hotel lobby and adding up how
much they had squandered during the day, they would discover where they
had been bilked of anywhere from seventy-five cents to one dollarr and
a quarterrrrrr besides finding among their small change a worthless
Portuguese coin that some low-down dragoman had handed them instead of
a piastre.

When Typ and Mrs. Typ returned to America at the end of the year
fagged to a frazzle and pining for just one peep at the Land of the
Free and the home of the Oil Trust, their joy knew no anchor. They
could hardly wait for their ship to bring them in sight of the Lady of
Liberty and they pedaled the deck like jailed jaguars and Typ smoked
cigar after cigar and spit over the deck-rail in wild abandon.

At last they arrived at New York and were so anxious to set feet on
terry firmy that their eagerness carried them down the gang-plank
before the Veterinary had come Aboard, and so they ran up against a
Minion of the Law who gave them a call that reverberated for miles
along the Palisades and made the Goddess of Liberty almost spill her
torch. Whereupon they both got crimson back of their large ears and
apologized profusely and stepped all over each other getting back into
line where they crouched for seven hours without moving a muscle of the
map.

Before the day was wholly gone, they were permitted to go into the
Customs House, and the Inspector told them to open all baggage,
and they said Yessir and got busy with the keys, and for the next
hour-and-a-half were bowing and bending over 18 boxes and bags, and
pulling things apart and trying their very doggondest to prove that
they were on the level.

When they had at last begun to feel that they had proved their
innocence, the Inspector, with his arm dug shoulder-deep in the last of
the trunks, fished up a pill-box and all bets were off again until he
had opened it and shaken the pills out and run his finger-nail around
the crevices and turned it upside down and inside out, and put it to
his ear and smelled it and trained an X-Ray machine on it, and then
declared everything was all right and they could depart in peace.

Thanking the Inspector for his interest, and with a sigh of relief that
was full of humility and unshed tears, they got a couple of porters to
wheel their stuff out to a Taxi, and in the fullness of a swift joy
that came upon them when they got outside and sniffed the free American
winter air, they gave the two portering gentlemen a crisp dollar bill
for the service.

Whereupon the gentlemen looked at the bill like it was some kind of
curiosity, then looked at each other and groaned, and then gave the
givers a look that scared them to a pope’s purple and made them finger
further with the purse-string until the gentlemen had grunted their
approval and departed.

When they arrived at their hotel they found they had only a couple of
hundred dollars to pay the taxi fare with, but they managed to get by
with it without inciting any murderous thought in the breast of the
driver, and went in and registered.

When they informed the Room Clerk that they had not made any
reservations he said he was sorry but everything was taken except one
room without bath adjoining the boiler-house which was being held for
a certain gentleman who had wired for it several months ago. Then King
Klerk tapped his fingers on the desk and looked boredly out beyond
their square heads and repeated that he was sorry.

At this, Mr. and Mrs. Typ got down on their knees and said the Litany,
and the room clerk thawed and told them they could have the room for
$20 a day if they barked quick. They barked. They also thanked him
from the bottom of their grateful American hearts and told him whenever
he came to their town to look them up.

When they had squeezed into their little ingrowing room they found that
it had only one window, and that was an opening in the ceiling about
the size of a silver dollar, but fifty times the value. They also found
the porters hanging around for a tip and forgot that it was the custom
at home to fee the beetles a quarter every time they did something
instead of giving the whole bunch a couple of shillings at the end of a
week’s work. They apologized for this oversight and then settled down
for a little rest.

The temperature of the room was between 300 and 400 degrees Fahrenheit
and Mr. Typ began to sweat like a brewery horse and got up to pull off
his coat, but found the room was too cramped to do it and so he took
off his necktie instead.

About the time that their eyes were beginning to hang out on their
cheek-bones with the heat, and their ears were ringing like a Broadway
New Year’s eve celebration, they managed to throw off the approaching
comatose and back out of the room and down to the restaurant for lunch.

The head waiter said all the tables were full but if they didn’t mind
sitting outside for a couple of weeks he would see what he could do.
They said “Oh-that’s-all-right” and thanked him very kindly and gave
him a Dollar Bill and sat down outside the door and tried to look as if
they didn’t mind it at all. They didn’t want to give the Head Waiter
the slightest suspicion that they were inconvenienced and run the risk
of his getting sore at them and shutting them off altogether from the
privilege of eating in the restaurant which he didn’t own.

During the same epoch they managed to get a little table facing the
wall and a pillar, and were soon rummaging through the Feed Folder for
some dish that they could afford to buy without becoming insolvent.
They finally took refuge in the haven of all who don’t know what they
want, and after they had eaten the last scrap of the roast beef they
quietly paid the eleven-dollar check and went out to find the bank.

The next day they took a train for their home, and were so accustomed
to foreign compartment cars that they decided to get a compartment.
But when they found out the price, they concluded to buy a motor car
instead and compromised on a berth in the main dormitory. There were no
lowers to be had, and so they thanked the Pullman Conductor and took an
upper.

The car seemed a trifle like a dry-kiln in temperature and they asked
the porter if he would mind introducing a little outside atmosphere.
He looked at the thermomenter and said it was only 190 degrees in the
car and that the rules of the company forbade him from opening any more
air-holes unless it got up to 3,000 degrees. They thanked the porter
for the trouble they had caused him and asked him how all the folks
were and bade him good-night and crawled up the ladder and disappeared
back of the curtains, and were soon wrapped in the arms of Morph.

A week after they had arrived home, and had told everybody how glad
they were to get back to God’s Country, the Cost of living began to
show unusual agility in the high jump. The trial heats had caused
people to gasp, but when the finals came on, everybody became highly
excited and ran to and fro wondering what was coming next in way of
sensation.

Mr. and Mrs. Typical American, with their originality of brain
convolutions, decided that the only reasonable thing to do was to teach
the people how to starve. And so they organized a Gradual Starvation
Class and secured many other Typical Americans as pupils and thanked
God that through his bounty, the people did not have to do the job
suddenly, but could dwindle away slowly and almost painlessly.

They were getting on Very Well until a certain few Americans—not in any
sense typical—came out in the open here and there, and said: “Not by a
damsight! With grainaries groaning with unused grain, with eggs piled
Babel-high in gigantic warehouses, with cotton enough in one State
to clothe the whole Nation in summer, and wool enough on the backs
of one-tenth of the sheep of the country to clothe the whole Nation
in winter, with banks bursting with gold and freight cars enough to
move the wares of the planet when not cornered in the holy cause of
Pillage—not by a damsight will America starve herself to make a few
Rich richer!”

And so it came to pass that these voices crying in the wilderness
jarred loose in time the sluggish national contentment of Mr. and Mrs.
Typ and other Americans everywhere, and made them think.

But just when they began to think, it was time for them to go Abroad
again.



HOT SKETCH NO. 23

WHEN MENTAL LEECH MEETS MENTAL LEECH


THERE was a temperamental manufacturer who used to come down to the
office after a thick night in the Loop and unleash a long low growl
about the lack of Initiative among his men.

“There isn’t a kanoop among them,” he said, “that has the originality
of a tadpole.”

On a certain day, not unlike any other day in this particular
establishment, the Sales Manager poked his nose gradually into the
Boss’s office, and, sniffing the Boss within, squeezed cautiously into
the room, scraping the nap all off his courage as he did so.

“Will you please be so kind as to tell me,” whispered the Sales
Manager, “if this little ginger-up letter to the Road Rats meets your
approval?”

The Boss grabbed the letter, shot a lightning glance at it upside-down,
and rammed it back into the Sales Manager’s hands.

“Rotten!” he said, “Lacks originality—pep! No punch in it!”

“Thank you,” replied the Sales Manager mildly. “I’ll see if I can not
embody some of the points of your constructive criticism.” And he oozed
out of the room again.

In came the Advertising Manager, walking on his ankles so as to not
make any riotous disturbance.

“I was just thinking—” he began.

“Impossible!” sneered His Gentle Bosslets, putting his heels up on
his glass-topped desk and lighting his eighty-seventh cigarette since
breakfast.

“I was just thinking,” continued the Adv. Mgr. affecting to ignore
the suggestion but failing miserably from the knees down, “I was just
thinking that maybe it might not be a bad plan, perhaps, to paint New
York next month, please.”

“NEVER!” roared the Boss. “Never in a thousand years. The painted
bulletin is no good—never was. Poster’s the thing! I’d rather post New
York for one month than paint it for forty years at half the price.”

“Very good, then—shall I go in for that?”

“Not on your life. I’ve just decided on a newspaper campaign.”

“Thank you,” said the Adv. Mgr., backing out of the room and falling
over a few chairs and things on the fairway.

When the intruder had vanished, Commander Boss got up, ran his long
temperamental digits through his top-fringe and pounded out into the
manufacturing department where he proceeded to raise from fourteen to
sixteen separate and distinct kinds of scarlet hell for the general
lack of initiative and commonsense around his plant.

Things went on in this happy homelike fashion until one fine warm
Spring day when Brigadier Boss up and booted the whole bunch of
bungling department heads into the great Out of Doors and set about to
effect a re-organization.

“What I want is men who do THEIR OWN thinking,” he said, and he began
telephoning and writing and wiring and advertising all over the country
for A-1 Initiativers.

In due time he got them and called them all into his office and
passed the cigars and explained how he wanted each man to run his
own Department just as if it was his own business, exercising merely
ordinary judgment and commonsense.

Then he went on to tell them how the old herd had always passed the old
buck to him, never doing anything unless they were told, fearing even
to set down the total of a column of figures without first consulting
him, and he wound up with a few Well Chosen remarks about Co-operation
and Co-ordination and the old reliable shoulder-to-the-wheel stuff.

Everybody was happy and talky and full of pep and chest-out chatter,
for be it remembered that each new Department Head was an Individual
and not a Person, and could hold his own with the best bullers of
bulldom.

And so they all adjourned to their respective stalls and started in
their new work with enthusiasm, energy and enterprise, and any other
snapful word that you could think of beginning with “e.”

Things went great and glorious for about a month when the Boss
discovered that the new Superintendent had put in a lot of machinery
in the manufacturing department that he did not approve of, and he
proceeded to give the Supe a double-nutted Call Down that carried to
Columbus, Ohio.

The Supe came back not unstrengthfully whereupon the Boss’s eyes
flashed like a Zeppelin night-searcher, and the Supe remembering that
he had seventeen children and a motorcycle to support, cooled down
almost to a solid, and let the Boss rave on like a knight of Montana
overcharged by a cabman.

Shortly after this explosion in the factory the Boss happened into
the Sales Manager’s throbbing little office, and in the course of a
high-spirited but not dangerous discussion on things in general he
discovered that the S. M. had re-districted the whole territory and
changed agencies right and left and down the middle.

Whereupon Major General Boss let out a roar that shook the business
mottoes from the walls and sent the stenographer scurrying to the
south gate. Everything he could think of off-hand he called the Sales
Manager, and then proceeded to look up a few choice ones in the Dock
Hands’ Ready Vocabulary.

At this, the Sales Manager doubled his fists and closed his eyes to an
ominous squint, and was all ready to spring—when he happened to think
of the monthly installment on his Victrola, and so he dropped into his
chair and sat numb and dumb, and then some.

On his way out, the Boss chanced to see the Advertising Manager pouring
over a dummy on his desk.

“What’s that bum thing?” growled Doc Boss, pointing his long
presidential finger toward the busy little desk.

“Why that’s the layout for a broadside that I’m mailing to the Dealer
Trade on our new No. 7’s,” replied the Advertising Manager, smiling.

“No good—no good in the world!” came back Uncle Boss. “Nobody on
earth would stop to read that thing. Too big—too unwieldy—copy too
scattered—weak copy, too—might just as well mail out a sheet of white
paper! A clumsy folder like that, gets in with the second-class matter
and goes the route of the wastebasket. Nothing to it!”

“What you want,” continued the Boss, rising in temperature, “is a
snappy little envelope insert like this—” And he grabbed up a small
piece of paper and folded it angrily and shook it before the surprised
eyes of the new Adv. Mgr.

Whereupon, without waiting for further reasoning or retort, Captain
Boss withdrew, leaving the puzzled Adv. Mgr. to ponder over the punk
suggestion. “Perhaps he’s right after all,” he reflected.

A few days later Colonel Boss wandered into the Advertising Manager’s
office again.

“What’s this dinky little thing?” he inquired, picking up a dummy that
the Adv. Mgr. had on his desk.

“Why that’s just a little insert I’m getting ready to send out to the
Dealer Trade on our new No. 7’s.”

“Holy Smoke!” ejaculated Commodore Boss, “how do you expect us to get
by with our No. 7’s on that measley little thing. What you want is a
smashing broadside—something big enough for a fellow to see without
impairing his eyesight—something that will command attention—something
that will—”

“Hold on!” broke in the Adv. Mgr., rising from his warm chair and
looking kind of doggone determined. “Last week I had a broadside
underway and you came in here and ordered it off, and said you wanted
an insert. You now come in and rap the insert and say you want a
broadside.”

“Oh, hell,” cut in Premier Boss, “don’t pay any attention to what I
say.”

“I’m not going to,” flashed back the now thoroughly aroused Adv. Mgr.,
“but YOU are going to pay attention to what I say, and you’re going to
remember it the longest day you live.”

“When I came here,” he continued, sticking his fist right up close to
the Boss’s olfactory knob, “you told me that your old organization was
a bunch of dummies and said you wanted initiative. You SAID it, but you
did not MEAN it. _You_ don’t want initiative and independent thinking.
You want weakness and sycophancy.

“You could not stand a strong mind in your establishment six months.
There would be a constant clash for mental supremacy. THE OLD MEN THAT
YOU CANNED ALL HAD WILL POWER OF THEIR OWN ONCE. But you sapped their
wills to feed your own rotten gourmand Will. And when they had no more
mental pap to give you, you despised them. You despised them for lack
of the very thing you robbed them of.

“You are a Mental Leech—the most dangerous class of citizen in the
world. And when it so happens that your stripe is an employer, your sin
is doubly damnable because the mental resistance of the average employe
is weakened against your onslaught through the fear he has of losing
his job.

“I’ll concede that you have never before been CONSCIOUS of what you
were doing,” roared the Adv. Mgr, “but from this moment you _shall_ be
conscious of it, and of your responsibility if you dare ever again to
use it—you big blustering mental bully you!”

“You’re fired,” interrupted the Boss in a flannel voice and plainly
whipped.

“I decline to quit!” thundered the Advertising Manager.

“All right then, STAY!” said the Boss with a sudden calmness. “We can
get along together. _We are onto each other._”



HOT SKETCH NO. 24

THE EXPORT GROUP GRAFTER


ON A crisp and crackling December morn, a Jones Farm sausage with a big
cigar and deep-dish collar of four-flusher fur, swished into the office
of Messrs Eazley Skinned & Co., Manufacturers.

He took out a race-track amplifier and announced that he was about
to make a trip all the way to Europe in the interest of a group of
Non Competitive manufacturers and would be pleased to let one other
Representative Firm in on this satin-faced opportunity.

Now the office of Messrs Eazley Skinned & Co., was a placid,
tooth-picking sort of a place. The business had been passed down the
aisle from sire to son so many times that it had begun to wear slick
in spots like the plush seat of the collection box. The whole place
breathed of Longtime Service but very little business. Whenever the
door opened every bucolic head in the room turned toward it like a
Grammar School class.

The sudden announcement, therefore, that somebody was about to proceed
on a hazardous journey to a far-off place like Europe created no little
stir in this hive of hustle. We do not mean by this that it unleashed
as much excitement as an Order would have done, or a Wall Street Bomb.
But it was sufficient to start every pair of eyes forward from their
bushings including those shrewd gray see-ers of Mr. Eazley Skinned
himself.

The breezy visitor was immediately ushered into the private office of
Mr. E. Skinned who put on his coat and reached for the trusty box of
5-scenters, calling meanwhile to the other shirt-sleeved Executives who
came filing in. Soon every chair was tilted back comfortably and the
fumes of the hemp panetella rent the air, so to speak. The show was
about to commence.

“Gentlemen,” began the Weenie with the Collar, “the trip I am about to
make will cover _all_ of Europe.” He paused to let it sink in. Ernie
Shackleton could not have done more.

“And the group of manufacturers I shall represent will have my
Undivided Attention. I shall represent _only_ the interests of the
firms who are fortunate enough to sign up with me, and no other firm in
America will be able to induce me to give them one single bit of trade
information, no matter how many tears they shed.”

At this juncture nobody in the meeting thought to ask His Fur Collar
how many firms he intended to represent. So he didn’t volunteer the
information that he was out for a neat total anywhere from 40 and 4,000.

Then spoke up the President in an inquiring crescendo. “Just what
cities, or whatever you call them over there, do you intend to visit?”
he asked.

“Every metropolis in Europe,” flashed back the intrepid explorer as he
began spreading a map of South Africa out over the desk, tracing with
a pencil the various points he would touch on his daring expedition
provided the domestic touch proved good enough to enable him to do so.

“I will sail from New York here (pointing to Cape Town) on the
Acquatoonia on January 1st and my passage alone will cost me $350.00
for a 7-day trip or $50.00 a day before I even get to London. There it
will cost me anywheres from $25.00 to $30.00 a day at the _Sav_-voy
without counting Roast Lamb from the push-cart at Simpson’s which I
understand is listing somewhat and from there I will cross the Channel
to Paris and the channel trip alone will cost me $75.00 easily, and the
tipping in Paris is fierce since the War.”

Here the coherent and logical trade commissioner was again not
interrupted by anybody asking him if he had ever been in any of these
places before, or had ever sold goods anywhere else on the face of the
earth. So he very sensibly kept still on these points and continued to
talk about the fierce expenses at every town he proposed to back into.

If any of his discriminating hearers at any time during the informing
Foreign Trade discourse were interested enough in their own financial
welfare to go through the enervating ordeal of dropping their chairs
forward a few inches to take a look at his old bluff-map, he was not
aware of it. Nor did any of them appear to wish to interrupt his
forceful and lucid presentation of his program by asking him How About
Orders or any other irrelevant thing like that.

They all merely puffed the old cabbagio, chins up and eyes on ceiling,
and swung their legs as they watched the smoke rings float away from
the bunk. Mr. Eazley Skinned broke in at one stage to tell about the
big tips that Mrs. Eastbrook and her husband Jim Eastbrook said it cost
them that time when they went to Euripp.

Things were coming along great and grand for the Bright Lad with the
Grab Bag; so of his own accord he continued to elaborate his story.
He told how he would distribute their catalogues and Price Lists
wherever he went, and make regular monthly reports, and he explained
how all orders that would flock in from the New York Export Houses
would naturally be the result of his efforts and how the factory was
to simply credit him with the commission on each shipment since he
wouldn’t have time to always check up, being so busy selling goods all
the time and so forth.

The Boss of the works here ventured to inquire how much that commission
was going to be, and the Wise Gink modestly said 5% because he was
leading up to something else. The Boss said 5% was fair enough and all
whiskers around the room nodded affirmatively.

“Now then,” said the Dominating Personality as he came pounding down
the final stretch, “in order to help defray a part of my expenses each
manufacturer will be asked to pay $500.00, and in order to avoid the
delays and expense of remitting, this amount will be paid by each one
in advance.”

At this every tilted chair around the room suddenly and concertedly
hit on all four cylinders and a few hep coughs and sideglances were
exchanged, but there was no show of disapproval—merely surprise.

Observing this, the Globe Trotter jumped right into the breach fur
collar and all, and began telling them all once more about the fierce
expenses and explaining how he himself was going to stand 50% of the
cost of the trip while the firms he represented would only be stuck
with 50% all bunched together.

It was cheap, dirt cheap, for all they would get, and he was not
charging in his time either—simply the actual cash outlay that he
would have to suffer without an anaesthetic in travelling such costly
terrytory. And the tips! Great Gamaliel, those tips!

To hear that boy unfold the thrilling drama of Europe’s Tipping Evil
was like listening to a tale of Armenian Massacre. You just couldn’t
help but thank God that you were right at home, safe from all tipping
harm. Whenever he thought he saw one of his hearers struggling to get
that Five Hundred Dollar Retainer past the adams-apple, he would come
on again with another shower of Expenditures. He spent thousands of
dollars for tips inside thirty minutes.

It is a custom of the Spanish arena to let the biggest and bravest bull
out last. Likewise our heroic Trade Toreador saved up his best sword
thrusts and wild waving of the red-lined cape until the last act.

And he was some bird at that! When he concluded, there wasn’t a whisker
around the room that wasn’t trembling with suppressed excitement. Dream
pictures of million-dollar single orders floated before the glassy
eyes of every hypnotised galoot in the conference.

Mechanically they got up one by one and filed out of the room to hold a
secret caucus before announcing their momentous decision. When the last
nice, large, fat head had disappeared through the doorway, our hero got
out his Memo Book and entered another $500.00 to his credit. He had
them wirestitched and he knew it.

Inside 5 minutes they all filed slowly in again, took their places
around the room, tilted back their restful time-passers once more, and
drew long complacent puffs at the binder twine perfecto.

The President then arose, dropped some ashes on his vest, rubbed them
slowly into it with his left hand, stroked his patriarchal pampus-grass
with his right, and announced that they had decided to go in as one of
the Elect.

Everything settled, he then announced to his confreres, in strict
accordance with popular custom, that it might not be a bad idea to call
the Export Manager in and get his opinion.

So in popped the little Rascal with his Atlas and all, loaded to the
ear-peaks with catch questions for the garrulous Grafter. One of the
clerks had slipped out long ago to the little typewriter-desk at which
the Export Manager sat, to tell him what was going on in the Directors’
Room and so he was loaded for sea-lions.

But when he heard that the whole thing was already settled, he closed
up like a spring trap which made the Firm think he knew even less than
he did about anything. At that he was wise for he had nothing to gain
and would only have got the brilliant new Foreign Representative sore
at him at the getaway instead of later on which is the customary time
for Foreign Travellers to plot for the destruction of Hon. Directors
of Exports. So all he did was to take orders as to the quantity of
Domestic catalogues and Price Lists that the Intruder wanted sent to
him at London.

       *       *       *       *       *

Eight months have elapsed. Or make it eighteen. No news will come from
the front anyway. For the catalogues that were sent to London were
thrown in the Dump long, long ago, and the great Trade Getter has never
sent in one single, solitary, stingy order. Long thrilling Reports that
had about them the peculiar metallic ring of the Generality-Report,
just as though each of the ten manufacturing suckers had received an
exact copy, were received every month for a few months.

Then about the fifth month they began to shrink in size and promise.
About the seventh month, Dear Firm got merely a post card. It was a
picture of the Moulin Rouge, and merely wished them a Merry Xmas. After
that they received regularly each month nothing more than a sharp
twinge in the big toe.

One aromatic Spring morning as they were all sitting together in
tooth-picking complacency talking about things in general, a bright
young man with a tweed suit and a Strand W. waistcoat flared into the
General Office and announced that he was about to go Abroad in the
interest of a group of American Manufacturers and—

    Author’s Note:—The finish of this story will be written in a
    country churchyard.

       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber’s Notes:

Obvious punctuation errors repaired.

Dedication page, the word “BRETHERN” was retained as printed due to the
great amount of comic dialect used in the text. With the exception of
proper names as noted and the one instance of “occasionaly” printing
was retained. This includes things like “stationary” for writing paper,
“accomodation,” etc.

To avoid redundancy for the reader, repeated story titles have been
removed. Originally, each was titled across two pages as:

    HOT SKETCH NO. 24

    THE EXPORT GROUP GRAFTER


    THE EXPORT GROUP GRAFTER


Page 66, “today” changed to “Today” (_The Lesson for Today:_ He who
serves)

Page 85, “Whifflles” changed to “Whiffles” twice (THE Whiffles did not)
(The Whiffles had a)

Page 109, “Wilyums” changed to “Willyums” (Whereupon Mrs. Willyums)

Page 153, “occasionaly” changed to “occasionally” (will occasionally
find)





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