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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day by Way of Mr. Nash!

The Strange Case of Mr. Ballantine's Valentine*

Once upon a time there was an attorney named Mr. Ballantine.
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He lived in the spacious gracious days of the nineteenth century.
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Mr. Ballantine didn't know they were spacious and gracious.
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He thought they were terrible.
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The reason he thought they were terrible was that love had passed him by.
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Mr. Ballantine had never received a valentine.
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He said to his partner, My name is Mr. Ballantine and I have never received a valentine.
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His partner said, Well my name is Mr. Bogardus and I have received plenty of valentines and I just as soon wouldn't.
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He said Mr. Ballantine didn't know when he was well off.
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Mr. Ballantine said, I know my heart, I know my mind, I know I long for a valentine.
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He said here it was St. Valentine's day and when he sat down at his desk what did he find?
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Valentines?
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No.
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I find affidavits, said Mr. Ballantine.
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That's the kind of valentine I get, said Mr. Ballantine.
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Mr. Bogardus said that affidavit was better than no bread.
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Mr. Ballantine said that affidavit, affidavit, affidavit onward, into the valley of death rode the six hundred.
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Mr. Bogardus said that any many who would rhyme "onward" with "six hundred" didn't deserve any affidavits at all.
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Mr. Ballantine said coldly that he was an attorney, not a poet, and Mr. Bogardus had better take the matter up directly with Lord Tennyson.
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Mr. Bogardus said Oh all right, and speaking of lords, he couldn't remember who was the king before David, but Solomon was the king affidavit.
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Mr. Ballantine buried Mr. Bogardus in the cellar and went out in search of love.
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Towards evening he encountered a maiden named Herculena, the Strongest Woman in the World.
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He said, Madam my name is Mr. Ballantine and I have never received a valentine.
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Herculena was delighted.
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She said, My name is Herculena the Strongest Woman in the World, and I have never received a valentine either.
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Mr. Ballantine and Herculena decided to be each other's valentine.
All was merry as a marriage bell.
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Mr. Ballantine nearly burst with joy.
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Herculena nearly burst with pride.
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She flexed her biceps.
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She asked Mr. Ballantine to pinch her muscle.
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Mr. Ballantine recovered consciousness just in time to observe the vernal equinox.
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He thought she said bustle.

*Nash, Ogden; I'm a Stranger Here Myself; Little Brown and Company; Boston; 1939

14 comments:

  1. A great way to start the day. Thanks. Happy Valentine's day.

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  2. I've always liked Ogden Nash, but never saw that one before. Thanks!

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  3. Dear Broad,
    I loved it! What a valentine gift to us. Thanks a bushel and a heap and an Ogden Nash as well!

    Peace.

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  4. What a great Valentine's surprise!

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  5. Funnnneeee and much better than the Valentine's I received...LOL!

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  6. Thanks for following my blog and helping me discover this great Valentine. Very funny!

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  7. I'm so happy you all enjoyed this! Thanks for all the positive comments -- they are greatly appreciated! Hope you all had a great Valentine's Day!

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  8. Very funny indeed. You can't do better than take Mr Nash as an instructor.

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  9. Sometime when people read Ogden, there is much Nashing of teeth. Because they are trying to stifle their laughter.

    I hope your got a delightful valentine from The Man. My wife did. I didn't.

    Such is life in the colonies.

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Receiving comments is a joy and I thank you all for taking the trouble and showing your interest. Makes me feel all gooey and stuff!