The Strange Case of Mr. Ballantine's Valentine*
Once upon a time there was an attorney named Mr. Ballantine.
~~~He lived in the spacious gracious days of the nineteenth century.
~~~Mr. Ballantine didn't know they were spacious and gracious.
~~~He thought they were terrible.
~~~The reason he thought they were terrible was that love had passed him by.
~~~Mr. Ballantine had never received a valentine.
~~~He said to his partner, My name is Mr. Ballantine and I have never received a valentine.
His partner said, Well my name is Mr. Bogardus and I have received plenty of valentines and I just as soon wouldn't.
He said Mr. Ballantine didn't know when he was well off.
~~~Mr. Ballantine said, I know my heart, I know my mind, I know I long for a valentine.
~~~He said here it was St. Valentine's day and when he sat down at his desk what did he find?
~~~I find affidavits, said Mr. Ballantine.
~~~That's the kind of valentine I get, said Mr. Ballantine.
~~~Mr. Bogardus said that affidavit was better than no bread.
~~~Mr. Ballantine said that affidavit, affidavit, affidavit onward, into the valley of death rode the six hundred.
~~~Mr. Bogardus said that any many who would rhyme "onward" with "six hundred" didn't deserve any affidavits at all.
~~~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.
~~~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.
~~~Mr. Ballantine buried Mr. Bogardus in the cellar and went out in search of love.
~~~Towards evening he encountered a maiden named Herculena, the Strongest Woman in the World.
~~~He said, Madam my name is Mr. Ballantine and I have never received a valentine.
~~~Herculena was delighted.
~~~She said, My name is Herculena the Strongest Woman in the World, and I have never received a valentine either.
~~~Mr. Ballantine and Herculena decided to be each other's valentine.
All was merry as a marriage bell.
~~~Mr. Ballantine nearly burst with joy.
~~~Herculena nearly burst with pride.
~~~She flexed her biceps.
~~~She asked Mr. Ballantine to pinch her muscle.
~~~Mr. Ballantine recovered consciousness just in time to observe the vernal equinox.
~~~He thought she said bustle.
*Nash, Ogden; I'm a Stranger Here Myself; Little Brown and Company; Boston; 1939