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Mr and Mrs Bowser., Issue 8048, 26 October 1889, Supplement
Mr and Mrs Bowser.
[By Mrs Bowser.]
I had a oaller the other afternoon when Mr Bowser came home, and after she had gone he asked: " How long was Mrs Blank here ? " " About half an hour." "And you talked about fashions, I suppose?" "Yes, mostly; what should we tulk about ?"
" Mrs Bowser, did it ever occur to you that there was anything in life beyond millinery and dress goods and dressmakers ? " "How?" " How! Why, select some subject of seDse—art, science, mineralogy, the labor question, or self-government—and discuss it with calmness and justice, and learn something worth remembering for half an hour. You women-folks might aB well have been born with a pumpkin on your shoulders in place of a head." I made no reply to this, but determined to catch Mr Bowser in his own trap before the week was out. Fortune favored me. It was only two days beforo a neighbor called over as he was at work in the back yard, and for two loDg hours these men sat down on a ladder and discussed the question whether a back gate should open inwards or outwards, and the advantages offered by either situation. Mr Bowser contended for the gate opening outwards, and the neighbor for the opposite, and the discussion resulted in Mr Bowser getting red clear back of the ears, and jumping up to exclaim : " Well, let's drop the subject right here. There can be cranks on alley gates as well as on politics and religion." " And there can be lunatics outside of the asylums," hotly replied the neighbor. " Don't call me a lunatic." " And don't you call me a crank !" " Go home and hang your old gate to the moon!"
"I'll hang it according to the rules of common sense, and don't you forget it." When Mr Bowser came in to wash his hands I observed:
" Mr Bowser, did it ever occur to you that there was anything in life beyond hanging a back gate ?" He replied with a " humph " of disgust. " Select some subject of sense, Mr Bowser —art, science, mineralogy, the labor question or self-government—and discuss it with calmness and judgment and learn something worth romembering for half an hour." He looked round in a desperate, helpless way, and put on his hat and went off without a word in reply. I wasn't going to let him off on that, however. When he came home that evening I had Mrs Orfendorf over to supper, and as soon as we were seated at the table I queried : "Doesn't it strike you that Germany's policy on the Samoan question is one of conciliation instead of aggression?" "It certainly does," she replied; "but there may be a hidden motive behind this seeming submission. Trace the record of the man back as far as you will and his policy has been either aggression or strategy." Mr Bowser looked from one to the other of us in astonishment.
"I notice," said I as I passed the biscuits, " that the Spanish colonial policy is working towards a radical change. Incited by the example of other and stronger nations, it is about to extend its arms and enfold new possessions." The stare Mr Bowser favored me with made my flesh creep. " I do so hope yon can come down to the next meeting of the Women's Scienttic, Political, and Literary Club," said Mrs Orfeudorf, as she tojed with her strawberries. " Those gatherings are very, very interesting. At our last meeting we discussed the ' Drift Period,' and at the one next week we shall discuss 'Two Proposed Amendments to the Constitution of the United States.'"
"Oh, I'd like to go ever so much, and I think I can promise you I will be there. Can Mr Bowser come, too ?"
" Well, hardly. Men take such little in terest in such things that they are obstruc tions."
And Mr Bowser sat there, turning red and pale by turns, until his chair grew so hot that he had to pretend a headache and get excused. I anticipated an awful tragedy after my visitor took her departure, but Mr Bowser contented himself with saying— "Now, that that shallow-pated, longnosed old nuisance has finally taken her leave, let's go to bed." He regained his assurance after a couple of days, however. I was talking to our two-year-old baby, and talking as all mothers talk, when Mr Bowser flung down his paper and exclaimed:
" Mrs Bowser, you make me tired talking to that youngun that way ! No wonder so many children grow up to be sap-headed!"
" How shall I talk ?"
" Talk sense—the same as you would to an adult. He's old enough to understand, and I believe he will appreciate it." " Very well; I'll try." "Thank you. It's more than I expected you'd do." The trial came that night. We had scarcely got to bed when baby awoke and began to whine. He had got cold, and was feverish.
"Now, Harry," I began, "snug down and try to go to sleep. It's nothing serious, and I object to being kept awake." He howled more lustily.
" My son," I continued, " this exhibition of ingratitude astonishes me, and I insist that you change your course of conduct at once, or leave my house. Filial respect, if nothing; " " What in thunder and blazes are you talking about?" roared Mr Bowser, as he sat up in bed. " I'm talking sense to baby." " Not by a jugful you ain't!" "Then you try it." " I'll try it by wringing his neck if ho doesn't shut off steam ! He is howling out of spite." " Then warn him that you may be compelled to inflict duo chastisement, but do it calmly and grammatically." "!!!!!!!"
That's what Mr Bowser said as he jumped out of bed and disappeared into the spare room, and that was the last I saw of him until morning.
Mr and Mrs Bowser., Issue 8048, 26 October 1889, Supplement
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