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Uncle Josh's Punkin Centre Stories

Uncle Josh in a Department Store

ONE day while I wuz in New York I sed to a feller, now whar kin I find one of them stores whar they hav purty near everything to sell what thar is on earth, and he sed "I guess you mean a department store, don't you?" I sed, wall I don't know bout that; they may sell departments at one of them stores, but what I want to git is some muzlin and some caliker. Wall he showed me which way to go, and I started out, and wuz walkin' along down the street lookin' at things, when some feller throwed a bananer peelin' on the sidewalk. Wall now I don't think much of a man what throws a bananer peelin' on the sidewalk, and I don't think much of a bananer what throws a man on the sidewalk, neether. Wall, by chowder, my foot hit that bananer peelin' and I went up in the air, and cum down ker-plunk, and fer about a minnit I seen all the stars what stronomy tells about, and some that haint been discovered yit. Wall jist as I wuz pickin' myself up a little boy cum runnin' cross the street and he sed "Oh mister, won't you please do that agin, my mother didn't see you do it." Wall I wish I could a got my hands on that little rascal fer about a minnit, and his mother would a seen me do it.

I found one of them stores finally, and I got on the inside and told a feller what I wanted, and he sent me over to a red-headed girl, and she sent me over to a bald-headed feller; she sed he didn't have anythin' to do only walk the floor and answer questions. Wall I went up to him and I sed, mister I'm sort of a stranger round here, wish you'd show me round 'til I do a little bargainin'. And he sed "Oh you git out, you've got hay seed in your hair." Wall I jist looked at that bald head of hisn, and I sed, wall now, you haint got any hay seed in YOUR hair, hav you? Everybody commenced a laffin', and he got purty riled, so he sed, smart like, "jist step this way, please." Wall he showed me round and I bought what I wanted, and when I cum to pay the feller what I had to pay, it didn't look as though I wuz a goin' to git any of my money back. I handed him a ten dollar bill, and he jist took it and put it in a little baskit and hitched it onto a wire, and the durned thing commenced runnin' all over the store. Wall now you can jist bet your boots I lit out right after it; I chased it up one side and down the other, I knocked down five or six wimmin clerks, and I upset five or six bargain counters; I took a wrastle out of that bald-headed feller, and jist then some one commenced to holler "CASH" and I sed yep, that's what I'm after. Wall I chased that durned little baskit round 'til I got up to it, and when I did I was right thar whar I started from. Gee whiz, I never felt more foolish in all my life.

Prosperity—Consists principally of contentment; for the man
who is contented is prosperous, in his own way of thinking,
though his neighbors may have a different opinion.
—Punkin Centre Philosophy.


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