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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 246 pages of information about Peck's Compendium of Fun.

FAILURE OF A SOLID INSTITUTION.

We are astonished to see that a Boston dealer in canned goods has failed.  If there is one branch of business that ought to be solid it is that of canning fruits and things, for there must be the almightiest profit on it that there is on anything.  It must be remembered that the stuff is canned when it is not salable in its natural state.

If the canners took tomatoes, for instance, when they first came around, at half a dollar for six, and canned them, there would be some excuse for charging twenty-five cents for a tin thing full, but they wait until the vines are so full of tomatoes that the producer will pay the cartage if you will haul them away, and then the tomatoes are dipped into hot water so the skin will drop off and they are chucked into cans that cost two cents each, and you pay two shillings for them, when you get hungry for tomatoes.  The same way with peas, and peaches, and everything.

Did you ever try to eat canned peas?  They are always old back numbers that are as hard and tasteless as chips, and are canned after they have been dried for seed.  We bought a can of peas once for two shillings and couldn’t crack them with a nut cracker.  But they were not a dead loss, as we used them the next fall for buck shot.  Actually, we shot a coon with a charge of those peas, and he came down and struck the water, and died of the cholera morbus the next day.

Talk of canned peaches; in the course of a brilliant career of forty years we have never seen only six cans of peaches that were worth the powder to blast them open.  A man that will invent a can opener that will split open one of these pale, sickly, hard hearted canned peaches, that swim around in a pint of slippery elm juice in a tin can, has got a fortune.  And they have got to canning pumpkin, and charging money for it.

Why, for a dollar, a canning firm can buy pumpkins enough to fill all the tin cans that they can make in a year, and yet they charge a fellow twenty cents for a can of pumpkin, and then the canning establishment fails.  It must be that some raw pumpkin has soured on the hands of the Boston firm, or may be, and now we thing we are on the right track to ferret out the failure, it may be that the canning of Boston baked beans is what caused the stoppage.

We had read of Boston baked beans since school days, and had never seen any till four years ago, when we went to a picnic and bought a can to take along.  We knew how baked beans ought to be cooked from years of experience, but supposed the Boston bean must hold over every other bean, so when the can was opened and we found that every bean was separate from every other bean, and seemed to be out on its own recognizance, and that they were as hard as a flint, we gave them to the children to play marbles with, and soured on Boston baked beans.  Probably it was canning Boston beans that broke up the canning establishment.

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