Mary Celestia Parler;
W. T. Dethero
April 13, 1955
Reel 223, Item 3
Uncle Josh In The Department Store
("In this story I'm going to be called, named,
I went out one the streets in New York the other
day to do a little trading. And I said to a fellow, "Say,
Mister, can you tell me where I can find one of these
here stores where they have most everything to sell
that there is on earth?" He says, "Well, I guess you
mean a department store, don't you?" And I says, "I
don't know, they may sell departments down there, but
what I want is some muslin and some calico." (laughter)
Well, he told me where I could find it.
And I went on down the streets, and I come to where
some man had throwed a banana peeling on the sidewalk.
Well, I don't think very much of a man that'll throw a
banana peeling on the sidewalk, and I don't think very
much of a banana peeling that'll throw a man on the
sidewalk either. (laughter)
I stepped on that banana peeling and my foot
slipped, and I went up in the air and I come down on
the sidewalk just ker-plunk. Just as I was picking myself
up, there was a little boy come a-running across
the street, says, "Oh, Mr. Countryman, won't you do
that again? My mother didn't get to see you do it."
(laughter) Darn that little rascal, if I could just
of got my hands on him one minute.
Well, I went on and I found the store where I was
a-looking for. And there was a bald-headed man there,
didn't have a hair on his head. And he looked like he
thought he didn't have anything to do but walk the
floor and answer questions. And I told him what I
wanted, and he said, "Aw, you go on, you got hayseed
in your hair." And I looked up, and I said, "Well,
you ain't got no hairseed in your hair, have you?"
Well, he sent me over to a lady, and I told her
what I wanted, said I wanted some muslin and some
Reel 223, Item 3) con't.
calico. And she got it for me, and when I went to
give her the money to pay for it, she put it in a little
basket and hooked it up on a wire. And that dog-gone
thing went running about all up and down the room.
Well, I started after it. (laughter) And I chased it
up one side and down the other and run over three or
four sales ladies and four or five bargain counters.
And finally I got up to it, and she says, "Cash?"
And I says, "That's exactly what I'm after." (laughter)
So I started on home, and I come to where they
was a-having a show, said "Ten cents a show." I went
in there and they had a parrot bird. They said it was
an awful good talker. And I give them five dollars for
that parrot bird, and I took it on home. And when I
got home with it, I tried to get it to say "Uncle
Josh." And it wouldn't do it. I tried and tried to
get it to say "Uncle Josh," and it wouldn't do it.
And the next day I took it out again. And I tried to
get him to say "Uncle Josh," and he wouldn't do it.
It went on thataway for two or three weeks. One evening
I got mad and wrung that parrot's neck and throwed
him out to the barnyard among the chickens. The next
morning when I went out there, there was half of them
chickens laying there dead and the other half scared
to death nearly. That old parrot had an old rooster
backed up agin' the barn, just a-giving him an awful
flogging. And everytime he'd hit him, he'd say,
"You say 'Uncle Josh,' god-darn you, you say 'Uncle
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