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Saturday, February 15, 2014 - Updated: 4:09 AM

A Form of Criticism

The tenor's voice

was powerful,

He roared and yelled,

as might a bull.

The walls went boom!

The place

was evidently small

And so the hearers

left the hall

To make more room.

"In a recent comment on the failure of West End residents to continue to a re-routing of the bus line for the safety of youngsters who want to coast while the coasting is good, you said that there would be more anon," writes a contributor. "What happened to the additional paragraphs?" he wants to know.

Well, to tell the truth, I forgot all about that. What I intended to say was simply that the Phillips Streeters have become so accustomed to real service that they won't give it up without a fight. They can stand in their front windows and watch the bus coming over the street, so why should they share this convenience with the Stewart Streeters who have to stand out in the cold? Possession appears to be the same nine points of the law.

And what kicks on service during the sub-zero days! Folks who hadn't taken a bus since the last cold spell were mystified that they could not be accommodated -- completely forgetting that there were thousands of others like unto themselves. One of the regular patrons handed me a real complaint several mornings ago when I inquired why she was walking. "My clock was bit slow, I guess," she admitted. "But I don't know what was the matter with the bus driver. He generally stops in front of the house and blows the horn."

Another squawk came from a bus passenger who fought his way through a crowd and managed to get off, only to discover that he had lost his rubber. When I began to console him on the unfortunate happening, he checked me. "Oh, don't worry," he said, "I got it all right. I made him wait there until I crawled around the bus on my hands and knees and found it. Terrible service they're giving."

So there you are. It's a poor argument that hasn't two sides to it and you can take your choice. Local bus riders expecting these conveniences in traveling about a large city will be doomed to disappointment, however, I fear. Even the N.Y. taxi drivers don't try so hard to please.

And They Do Vote

A discussion yesterday between two telephone company employees reveals that the prize winning dumb bet is still extant. The bachelor was razzing his married friend that the wager made a long, long time ago, had never been paid, despite the fact that the benedict had been knotted in holy bonds several months past almost a year, I believe. And from this you may deduce that the bet concerned which of the pair would marry first. The amount was $10.

It is the prize winning dumb bet because the chance that the loser will ever pay is about one in a hundred. Two bachelors so presumptuous as to guarantee what they are going to do with a ten-spot if and when they marry show either a keen sense of humor or a lamentable ignorance about matrimony. It's all right to kid about your being immune from nuptial inclinations, boys, but don't be so rash as to talk about a cash forfeit in the event you lose. A ten-spot may not seem like much to you now, but you'll abandon the gold standard when the little women begin to vote.

A Rare Treat

The Hurricana Hill Billies, the world's worst symphony orchestra has started a concert tour, it seems. They appeared at the Masonic Temple Tuesday night and a prominent musician of the town who has heard them all, including the Philharmonic organizations of the great European capitals, was heard to mutter as he fled from the hall. "It is wonderful -- but what is it?"

The theme song of this remarkable (and do the listeners remark!) ensemble is "She'' Be Coming 'Round the Mountain." Whether played by either of the violin virtuosi "Chuck" Bigler or "Don" Lehman, "Kitten" (Wilkins) on the keys, "Butch" Robertshaw on the drums or "Cuth" Beard on the harmonica, it is rendered with such warmth of feeling that people with musical appreciation burn right up. "Cuth" Beard can put more mystery into one harmonic solo than S.S. Van Dine poured into a dozen Philo Vance thrillers. When he had finished a number at Tuesday's concert, two members of the audience argued whether it had been "Springtime in the Rockies" or "Lazybones." An announcement by Crooner Bob Harvey showed that both had been poor guessers. "Cuth" had been playing "The Old Spinning Wheel."

The next appearance of the organization will be at the Co-ed Review at the Junior High auditorium next Wednesday night. Bookings are being made through Press Agent "Bus" Danby at the "Y" and information on rates, etc., will be cheerfully given.

This was originally published Feb. 15, 1934.


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