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A Victorian Scrapbook

A Scrapbook of Newspaper Articles Compiled by George Burgess (1829-1905)

Victorian Culture and Life

Certainly a Predicament

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Transcript from original newspaper article: -

Certainly a PredicamentA FEW nights since, a tall, eccentric personage was observed, by the tenants of the cabin of one of the Albany boats, to perform sundry strange evolutions, garnished by a variety of hops, skips, and jumps which betokened anything but a sane mind in the performer. The movement of this personage betrayed trouble and pain, and they were at last so perfectly distressing to the beholders that a consultation was held and a committee of three appointed to inquire into the cause of the stranger’s unaccountable movements.

With due caution the deputies approached their man, while the others gathered around within earshot to witness whatever “tale” might be “unfolded.” The committee stated their reasons for troubling him with what might be deemed impertinent interrogatories, and concluded their remarks by requesting to know the reason of his apparent perplexity, and whether or not they could render him any aid.

“Well,” said the stranger, who was a Yankee, and who spoke in the most solemn accent, while his face evidence a deal of pent-up sorrow, “Well, I don’t know but you might help a feller a little. – I’m in a heap of pain – bothered like sixty! I’m in a predicament.”

The ears of the entire party were distended, and mouths perceptibly parted to wonder-width.

“In a predicament,” said one of the trio, “pray, what is it? We feel desirous of alleviating any misfortune that may have befallen you.”

“That’s clever,” said the Yankee.
“Well, maybe none of you was ever kicked by a hoss?”
All admitted that they had escaped such a calamity.
“Not bit by a spider?”
No one plead guilty.
“Nor chased by a rattlesnake?”
“No,” unanimously.
“Nor been caught in a thunder shower with a gal, and felt meaner ‘an thunder?”
Not a man in the assembly had experienced that mishap.
Well, my predicament is worse, I calculate, than any of them.”
“Do tell us that it is,” was the earnest request of a very respectable clergyman.
“Well, gents, I rather guess I will. The sole of my right foot itches like sin, and I can’t get off my boot to scratch it!”

The cabin was cleared in about the space of a minute.