By in Humor


More Articles From Old Books - Public Domain

This one is a humorous story for After-Dinner speakers, Published 1908, in the USA.


One hot day last summer, a young man dressed in thin clothes, entered a Broadway car, and seating himself opposite a stout old gentleman, said, pleasantly:

"Pretty warm, isn't it?"

"What's pretty warm?"

"Why, the weather."

"What weather?"

"Why, this weather."

"Well, how's this different from any other weather?"

"Well, it is warmer."

"How do you know it is?"

"I suppose it is."

"Isn't the weather the same everywhere?"

"Why, no,--no; it's warmer in some places and it's colder in others."

"What makes it warmer in some places than it's colder in others?"

"Why, the sun,--the effect of the sun's heat."

"Makes it colder in some places than it's warmer in others? Never heard
of such a thing."

"No, no, no. I didn't mean that. The sun makes it warmer."

"Then what makes it colder?"

"I believe it's the ice."

"What ice?"

"Why, the ice,--the ice,--the ice that was frozen by--by--by the frost."

"Have you ever seen any ice that wasn't frozen?"

"No,--that is, I believe I haven't."

"Then what are you talking about?"

"I was just trying to talk about the weather."

"And what do you know about it,--what do you know about the weather?"

"Well, I thought I knew something, but I see I don't and that's a fact."

"No, sir, I should say you didn't! Yet you come into this car and force
yourself upon the attention of a stranger and begin to talk about the
weather as tho you owned it, and I find you don't know a solitary thing
about the matter you yourself selected for a topic of conversation. You
don't know one thing about meteorological conditions, principles, or
phenomena; you can't tell me why it is warm in August and cold in
December; you don't know why icicles form faster in the sunlight than
they do in the shade; you don't know why the earth grows colder as it
comes nearer the sun; you can't tell why a man can be sun-struck in the
shade; you can't tell me how a cyclone is formed nor how the trade-winds
blow; you couldn't find the calm-center of a storm if your life depended
on it; you don't know what a sirocco is nor where the southwest monsoon
blows; you don't know the average rainfall in the United States for the
past and current year; you don't know why the wind dries up the ground
more quickly than a hot sun; you don't know why the dew falls at night
and dries up in the day; you can't explain the formation of fog; you
don't know one solitary thing about the weather and you are just like a
thousand and one other people who always begin talking about the weather
because they don't know anything else, when, by the Aurora Borealis,
they know less about the weather than they do about anything else in the
world, sir!"

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VinceSummers wrote on February 26, 2020, 7:44 AM

I'd look upon this article as -- as -- as refuse! It's not funny. It's not anything. Toss it.

MegL wrote on February 26, 2020, 8:30 AM

Oh dear. yet I found it quite funny. Maybe because I know a few people who react in the same way as both the young man and the old gentleman. There are some people who will say anything whether they know about the subject or not, just to talk and be pleasant and I know others (mainly "other") who will totally tear the other person's thoughts to pieces to show that they know nothing - they are not interested in everyday conversation about trivia.

VinceSummers wrote on February 26, 2020, 6:16 PM

Perhaps you are correct. My perspective may be a bit narrow...

MegL wrote on February 27, 2020, 3:21 AM

Not necessarily. Different people have different views of "funny". For instance, I can't stand most of the comedy shows these days. IMO they are not a patch on the "old" comedians. I used to love watching Morecamb and Wise, The Two Ronnies, and others and some of the comedy sitcoms were hilarious, like "The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin", and many others. Yet, even in those days, I was not fond of "Monty Python".

VinceSummers wrote on February 27, 2020, 10:17 AM

I'll have to check out the ones you mention. Monty Python was (forgive the language) just plain stupid to me.

MegL wrote on February 27, 2020, 3:02 PM

Yes, I agree. Most of my friends liked Monty Python but I never saw the comedy in it. I still have the feeling sometimes that they liked it because it was supposed to be "clever". Mind you, some of the other comedy series that those actors appeared in were IMO were very funny, for instance, John Cleese starred in "Fawlty Towers" and I found that very funny.

VinceSummers wrote on February 27, 2020, 7:30 PM

My wife often says of misdirected enthusiasm, "They *think* they're doing something." In other words, the masses pick a particular fad and act like it's the only worthwhile entry...