Еще один хороший сборник, в котором помимо всего прочего появились короткие заметки из серии «Our Man in America», по стилю чуть более чем полностью напоминающие Вуди Аллена 🙂 Под катом — несколько наиболее выдающихся примеров.

«Not guilty!» spectators pouring out of a Denver, Colorado, courtroom shouted to the waiting crowds in the street, and a great cheer, went up, for public sympathy during the trial had been solidly with the prisoner in the dock, a parrot charged with using obscene language in a public spot.

The bird, it seems, had been accustomed to sit outside its owner’s house watching the passers-by, and one of these, a woman of strict views, had it arrested, claiming that every time she passed by it used what she delicately described as ‘Waterfront language’.

The jury would have liked to hear a few samples, but the parrot was too smart for that. Throughout the proceedings, no doubt on advice of counsel, it maintained a dignified silence, with the result that the rap could not be pinned on it. Later, when talking to reporters, it is said to have expressed itself with a good deal of frankness, being particularly candid about the ancestry of the deputy district attorney, who had conducted the prosecution.

***

A rather interesting story comes from Toledo, Ohio, where Cyril Murphy (aged eight) was up before the Juvenile Court, accused of having tried to purloin a tin of fruit juice from a parked delivery truck.

He admitted the charge, but pleaded in extenuation that he had been egged on to the crime by the Devil. The Devil, he said, got into conversation with him and hearing that he was thirsty, for the day was warm, suggested that what he needed to correct this thirst was a good swig of fruit juice, which, he went on to point out, could be obtained from that delivery truck over there. Juvenile Court Referee Wade McBride advised him next time to make contact with an angel.

Cyril described the Devil as covered with hair, bier balls of fire in his eyes, three horns, a long tail and four hooved feet, and the theory in New York theatrical circles is that what he met must have been a dramatic critic.

***

The news that Wayburn Mace, aged six, has been given a flashlight will probably have escaped the notice of the general public, but it is going to mean a lot to Mr Mace senior and the residents of Long Beach, California, for life for them should from now on become much more tranquil. It seems that Junior, suspecting the presence under his bed of Red Indians, went after them with a lighted candle, and the subsequent activities of the local fire brigade blocked traffic on all roads leading to the Mace home for several hours.

It is generally felt that no blame attaches to the little fellow. Nothing is more annoying than to have Red Indians under your bed, and the verdict is that he did the right and spirited thing in taking a firm line with them.

***

The trend in Television Westerns is now towards sweetness and light. ‘Adult Westerns’ they call them, an adult Western broadly speaking, being one where gun play is kept down to a minimum and the good guy does not kill the bad guy but tries to understand him. The sheriff who used to start the conversational ball rolling with some such remark as «Best say your prayers, Hank Spivis, ‘cos Ah’m a-goin’ to drill yer like a dawg» is out of vogue. Today he leads the man to the office couch and psychoanalyses him. It turns out in the end that the reason why Hank rustles cattle and shoots up the Malemute saloon on Saturday nights is that, when he was three, his mother took away his all-day sucker, and we fade out on a medium shot of him, a reformed character in a morning coat and top hat, selling his life story to a motion picture studio for a hundred thousand dollars.

Indians, too, rarely bite the dust nowadays on the Television screen. They have a quiet talk with the Commandant of the U.S. Cavalry at the fort («Is your scalping really necessary?») as the result of which they toddle off and go into the hay, corn and feed business and do well.

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