Mayhap you think I cinched my little job
When I made meat of Mamie’s dress-suit belle.
If that’s your hunch you don’t know how the swell
Can put it on the plain, unfinished slob
Who lacks the kiss-me war paint of the snob
And can’t make good inside a giddy shell;
Wherefore the reason I am fain to tell
The slump that caused me this melodious sob.
For when I pushed Brick Murphy to the rope
Mame manned the ambulance and dragged him in,
Massaged his lamps with fragrant drug store dope
And coughed up loops of kindergarten chin;
She sprang a come back, piped for the patrol,
Then threw a glance that tommyhawked my soul.
I sometimes think that I am not so good,
That there are foxier, warmer babes than I,
That Fate has given me the calm go-by
And my long suit is sawing mother’s wood.
Then would I duck from under if I could,
Catch the hog special on the jump, and fly
To some Goat Island planned by destiny
For dubs and has-beens and that solemn brood.
But spite of bug-wheels in my cocoa tree,
The trade in lager beer is still a-humming,
A schooner can be purchased for a V
Or even grafted if you’re fierce at bumming.
My finish then less clearly do I see,
For lo! I have another think a-coming.
Last night I tumbled off the water cart —
It was a peacherino of a drunk;
I put the cocktail market on the punk
And tore up all the sidewalks from the start.
The package that I carried was a tart
That beat Vesuvius out for sizz and spunk,
And when they put me in my little bunk
You couldn’t tell my jag and me apart.
Oh! would I were the ice man for a space,
Then might I cool this red-hot cocoanut,
Corral the jim-jam bugs that madly race
Around the eaves that from my forehead jut —
Or will a carpenter please come instead
And build a picket fence around my head?
As one who with his landlord stands deuce high
And blocks his board bill off with I O U’s,
Touching the barkeep lightly for his booze,
Sidestepping when a creditor goes by,
Soaking his mother’s watch-chain on the sly,
Haply his ticker, too, haply his shoes,
Till Mr. Johnson comes to turn him loose
And lift the mortgage from that poor cheap guy;
So am I now small change in Mamie’s scorn,
A microbe’s egg, or two-bits in a fog,
A first cornet that cannot toot a horn,
A Waterbury watch that’s slipped a cog;
For when her make-up’s twisted to a frown,
What can I but go ’way back and sit down?
O scaly Mame to give me such a deal,
To hand me such a bunch when I was true!
You played me double and you knew it, too,
Nor cared a wad of gum how I would feel.
Can you not see that Murphy’s handy spiel
Is cheap balloon juice of a Blarney brew,
A phonograph where all he has to do
Is give the crank a twist and let ’er reel?