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The Adventures of Fatty Lewis by Arthur Killick


By Arthur Killick

Copyright, 1915, by A. F. Killick and W. P. Harvey



Fatty Lewis, a medium husband, fair father and a dutiful son-in-law.
Mrs. F. Lewis, a good wife and a very fond mother.
F. Lewis, Jr., an over-spoiled son.
Scene -- Dining room in the Lewis bungalow.

    Synopsis -- Fatty Lewis, who used to be a poor boy, and who, unaided by outside influence, grew up and developed into a poor man, has watched people riding by him in motor cars until he has reached the conclusion that he is a "busher" of the first magnitude in the financial league.  At first F. Lewis consoled himself by believing that the majority of the people riding in machines didn't pay their bills, mortgaged their homes and the family jewels in order to "hightone," "up" or "fourflush" their friends.  He believed that as soon as the first payment on the machine came due that the owners would be forced to evacuate.  Time passed rapidly.  Instead of the owners of the machines being thrown out, they succeeded in getting bigger and better cars.  Other friends and acquaintances were stung with the motor microbe.  More cars were purchased until it began to appear to F. Lewis that he was the only boob in town that didn't own a gasoline vehicle.  The machines increased so rapidly that every time that Lewis attempted to cross the street for his daily hamburger sandwich he was delayed so long in waiting for the motor procession to pass that one sandwich would no longer suffice, and the cost of his noon meal was increased to ten cents a day.  He quit trying to figure how the other fellow got his machine and attempted to join the idle rich by acquiring one of his own.

     Lewis decided that there was to be instituted in the family household a regime of economy that would cause and ordinary miser to look like a spendthrift.  After a heart-to-heart talk with himself, in which he carefully decided that there was no chance for him to cut down his own expenses he determined to apply the pruning knife on Mrs. Lewis's allowance.  He had talked economy at various times with his wife, whose idea along that line was for Fatty to shave himself and let her trim his hair.  Nevertheless Fatty was tired of having the old wolf snarling at his heels and was determined that he assert his rights as the head of the household and tell Mrs. Lewis where to get off.

      Mrs. Lewis maintained a clipping bureau, and every time the papers ran an article about the increased cost of living she pasted said story in a scrapbook to be used in rebuttal whenever her husband started to introduce testimony that the family expenses were too heavy.  She pleaded guilty to buying nice things for her baby and used a defense that being a baby was a privilege only to be enjoyed once and that her child was going to have everything he needed regardless of the ravings of her husband, et al.

     Act 1, Scene 1, (Raining.)
     Enter F. Lewis with a straw hat carefully wrapped in an evening paper, both stuffed inside his coat to protect the bonnet from the miniature flood.  Mrs. Lewis is presiding at the gas range.  Mrs. L. greets husband.  Dries her hands on the tea towel.  Walks to the parlor, picks up the paper bag and extracts a new straw hat -- the second one of the season -- for baby.  Calls baby in from the back yard to try on new lid so father may see how cute baby looks.

     "I'm completely worn out," Mrs. Lewis declares, as she adjusts rubber band under baby's chin and gives the hat a rakish tilt.  "I tramped all over town finding a hat that would be suitable, but I certainly found a bargain.

     "Only $4.50," she proudly declared.  "It's a Milan braid, and some of the other stores wanted $5 and $5 for the very identical hat."

     "Is that all?" asked Lewis, who had just been down to the city hall to pay his taxes and had a thirty-third degree grouch.  "That ain't bad for a hat to catch lightning bugs with.  I suppose you'll get him a regular hat to dress up in?

     "Here I've been wearing this please-don't-rain straw Kelly, which set me back a buck and a half, all spring.  I've expended $14.75 worth of mental strategy trying to keep this thing dry, as it has rained thirty-two out of the thirty-nine days I've owned it.  I have to take it in every time there's a cloud in the sky, because if a drop of water ever hits it the bonnet will sure go to seed.  But that's all right.  I ain't got nothing to worry me."

Fatty Lewis Cuts Expenses
"I saw the prettiest little suits for the baby downtown
today for $7.68 and I'm going to get him a
couple the next time I'm down."

     "I suppose you think I ought to get that child a tin helmet so's he can't break it," Mrs. Lewis replied with some feeling, "but I'm not going to do it.  I think you'd have a little more pride and want your baby to at least look as well as other children.  He's only a baby once, and I'm going to see that he has decent clothes if I have to do without myself."

     I'm glad he's only a baby once," Lewis replied.  "That's something to be thankful for, he can't do a comeback.  But we're spending too much money, and if you insist on paying more for that kid's clothes than I do for mine maybe you can economize a little on the grocery bill."

     "I'd like to have somebody show me how I could," Mrs. Lewis declared.  Goodness knows we eat everything I put on the table.  I even had to give away the baby's kitten because there wasn't scraps enough left to feed it.

     "And don't pull that old stuff about the government statistics showing what the average wages are in the United States," she added.  "I don't care for that, either."

     "Well the So-and-Sos seems to get along pretty well," Lewis replied, "and I know I connect with more currency every month than he does."

     "They don't eat," Mrs. Lewis said. 

     "They must," F. L. declared, "at least they look like they do."

     "Then they must have some outside source of revenue that no one knows anything about," she retorted, "or they don't pay their bills.  I know I'm not extravagant, and I defy anybody" -- looking as though she meant her husband in particular -- "to say that I am."

     Act 2, Scene 2.
     The Lewis family at supper.  Eating a steak that was almost cremated while the financial argument was in progress.  The potatoes are cold and soggy from over exposure in the water.  Mrs. Lewis has the floor:

     "I saw the prettiest little suits for the baby downtown today for $7.68 and I'm going to get him a couple of them the next time I'm down.  He's also got to have some new shoes to dress up in.  Those I bought him last month are all scuffed up and while they'll do for him to knock around the house in, they look like sin to take him any place with.  And he'll also have to have some new underwear, as he has outgrown all the last summer's suits that I bought."

     Father has already chewed two holes in his tongue to keep from saying things and is giving a first class impersonation of the Deaf Mute Club.

     Baby is chirping merrily about being taken to the picture show after supper and is willing to compromise on the balance of the evening's entertainment for one ice cream cone and some soda pop.

     Slow Curtain, Shivery Music.

     Moral -- Any man that argues finances with his wife should be fed to the squirrels.  He's sure a nut.    

The Adventures of Fatty Lewis ~ A Serial ~ by Arthur F. Killick



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