Lum and Abner Read Their Mail
Lum: Looks like an awful interesting batch of mail.
Abner: Yeah. Shore does. I just love to get letters. I’ll just dump ’em out on the table here, and we can set right here and sorta work on ’em.
Lum: Yeah. Ain’t nothin’ like it. I hope there’s a letter in there from Aunt Minnie.
Abner: Aunt Minnie?
Lum: Yeah. I ain’t had a hearin’ from her in a long time. She writes a right interesting letter, too.
Abner: Oh. She shore does. Yes, she does.
Lum: How do you know? You been readin’ my mail again?
Lum: Wait. I b’lieve that was our ring. Don’t answer it, though.
Abner: Don’t answer it?
Lum: No It’s liable to be Sister Simpson or somebody like that. Want to stand there and flap their jaw for a couple of hours and we just ain’t got time for that right now. Gotta read these letters.
Abner: Yeah. Maybe I oughta just take the re-ceiver off the hook so nobody can call us, Lum.
Lum: Yeah. That’s a good idee.
Lum: We don’t want to be bothered here.
Abner: All they want is order some groceries anyway. More’n likely wouldn’t have what they want, so just forget about it.
Lum: You know, Abner, I was just thinking here. This is one of the best things about goin’ away for awhile.
Abner: What is?
Lum: Comin’ back and findin’ a whole big batch of mail waitin’ for ya. Might nigh like havin’ a lot of old friends settin’ around waitin’ to talk to ya, tell ya all the news, and all that.
Abner: Yeah. It is sorta like that, I reckon.
Lum: When you come right down to it, this mail system is a wonderful thing.
Abner: ‘Tis, huh?
Lum: Oh, yeah. You can set in your own home and write letters to anybody in the whole wide world.
Abner: If you can write, yeah.
Lum: It’s the greatest one link ‘twixt humans.
Abner: ‘Twixt humans and what?
Lum: “Twixt humans and… humans. Friends, re-lates, and all that.
Abner: Oh! Well, I was gonna say, you can write a letter to somethin’ besides a human but I doubt if you’d get a hearin’ back, like a duck or somethin’.
Lum: Well, I never meant nothin’ like that.
Abner: Even if you did get a hearin’ back from somethin’ besides a human I don’t b’lieve you could ever read it.
Lum: Yes, sir, Abner, the mail is a wonderful thing.
Abner: Hope there’s one in there from Little Pearl.
Lum: You know, Abner, I’ve always said that dollar and sixty cents we spend on that post office box is the best one dollar and sixty cents that we ever spent.
Abner: Oh, it is! Here’s a bill from the wholesale house, a total of…
Lum: Well, don’t bother with that now. This ain’t no time for business. Well, I do know. “Miss Leona Ed’ards. Enclosed please…”
Abner: Miss Leona Ed’ards?!
Lum: That’s what it says here.
Abner: Who’s that?
Lum: I don’t know.
Abner: Your sister?
Lum: I ain’t got no sister and you know it.
Abner: Oh. Well, read it. That might be interesting. You ain’t changed your name, have you, from Lum to Leony?
Lum: ‘Course not! “Miss Leona Ed’ards. Please find en-closed your 1945 gold credit card entitling you to open a charge account at The Bon Ton Ladies Ready-to-Wear Emporium, Hatfield, Arkansas.”
Lum: Yeah. I never done no tradin’ at Hatfield. ‘Special not at no Ladies Ready-to-Wear Emporiums.
Abner: It ain’t for you no way, Lum. That’s for Leony. What else does it say there?
Lum: Says, uh, “You have established a high credit rating and we are happy to ex-tend this courtesy to you.”
Lum: Wait a minute, though. “P.S. Beginning next week we are having a special sale on leopard jackets.”
Abner: Leopard jackets?!
Lum: That’s what it says.
Abner: Law me, they makin’ jackets for leopards now?
Lum: No, Abner, they don’t mean they’re makin’ ’em for leopards. It means they make ’em out of leopards.
Abner: Oh. That’d be kinda lumpy, wouldn’t it?
Lum: They take ’em out of the skins, ‘course.
Abner: That’s awful hard on the leopard, standin’ around, they’ll freeze to death.
Lum: Well, they just use the fur, silly.
Abner: Oh. Are you gonna get one?
Lum: Naw. ‘Course not. Here tear this letter up, too.
Abner: Well, what about Leony?
Lum: I don’t know nothin’ about Leony. Let’s see. Another bill from the wholesale house. Grannies! Ad for a new-fangled post-war egg-beater. Huh! A circular from the mail order house.
Abner: You shore would look cute in one of them little leopard jackets, Lum.
Lum: Abner, will you hush up about that?
Abner: Miss Leony Ed’ards!
Lum: Now just hush about that.
Abner: You could wear that big hat we got back there with the ostrich plume on it, too.
Lum: That was a mis-take and I don’t want ya joshin’ me about that.
Abner: You oughta get one, Lum.
Lum: If you tell Grandpappy Spears about that, I’m gonna whop you on top of the head.
Abner: Oh, I wouldn’t tell it to nobody. You know that.
Lum: Here’s a notice from our insurance policy.
Abner: Well you’re gonna need one if you start wearin’ women’s clothes around here. Somebody’ll pick a fight with you.
Lum: ‘Nother advertisement of some kind. Grannies! Where are the personal letters? You’d think in all this bunch there’d shorely be… wait a minut. I b’lieve this is for you.
Abner: For me?! Is it from Little Pearl?
Lum: I don’t know. I’ll read it.
Abner: I’ll bound it is. It is.
Lum: Says, “Master Abner Peabody, Pine Ridge, Arkansas. Dear Member, The code message for this week is X 14 61 H + W 7 B.”
Lum: For pity sakes, what is this anyway?
Abner: Oh, it ain’t nothin’, Lum.
Lum: Well, it must be somethin’. What is it?
Abner: Well, I don’t know, I don’t think.
Lum: You ought to. It’s wrote to you. “Master Abner Peabody.” Wait a minute, though. Ain’t that the way you write to young’uns?
Abner: I don’t know. That must be a mis-take. More’n likely that’s some more of Leony’s mail. She gets ever’thing mixed up. Can’t keep track of nothin.
Lum: Let’s see who this is from. “Tom Steel, The Masked Ranger.” Wait a minute. He’s on the radio, ain’t he? Shore, I’ve heared him.
Lum: By grannies, Abner, are you a member of the Junior Masked Rangers?
Abner: Lum, I don’t know. Ask Leony. This is all her doin’.
Lum: “Master Abner Peabody.” I’m proud to have saw that.
Abner: Doggies, just tear that letter up, Lum. We don’t want it, I don’t think.
Lum: Let’s see what else we got here, Master Abner Peabody.
Abner: (to himself) I ain’t even figgered out last weeks code yet.
Lum: Oh, that’s another bill there. I can tell without openin’ it even, from the wholesale house. Hmm! Here’s an outfit that can get us all the walnuts we want for Christmas.
Abner: Well, that won’t be hard for me.
Lum: Ain’t there even one personal letter in here a-tall?
Abner: Don’t look like it. Ever’things wrote on a typewriter. Why, doggies, wait a minute! Here’s one that’s wrote in handwritin’. Here, Lum.
Lum: Well, it’s about time. Hurry up and open it up.
Abner: The handwriting looks famil-ar, too. Must be an old friend of some kind here. Let me see this thing.
Lum: Who’s it from?
Abner: Well, let’s see. Oh, why, it’s from Dick Huddleston.
Lum: Dick Huddleston?
Abner: It’s a bill for a dollar and sixty cents on our post office box, Lum.
Lum: Aw, for pity sakes! Let’s cancel that thing, Abner. All that box is is a nui-a-sance. I’ve always said that. Just a plain nui-a-sance!
Dick Huddleston: Postmaster
Dick is one feller thats made a turible suksess of hissef. He keeps the best store they are in this end of the county and on top of that he’s the postmaster. Bein kennected with the givermint thataway has learnt him a dreadful lot bout polyticks and most everbody goes to him fer advise bout which way they ort to vote. Dick’s give up to bein bout the best out-loud reader they are in the settlemint and of a Thursday when the Mena Weekly Star comes out, a right smart of a crowd gathers down at the store to listen to Dick read all of the artickles and news.
He’s allus a doin fer somebody else. If theys sick to be set up with or if they’s anybody in the camunnity thats needy, abody can allus count on Dick to go plumb outen his way to hep em. They’s a many’n thats beat Dick outa debts they’re a owein him at the store but they aint never been nobody turned down fer credik if they was needin what they was a gittin. Another thin, he aint as cranky as most storekeepers bout a feller runnin his hand down in the cracker barrel while they’re sorter standin round the store loafin.
If you was tryin to name the leader of the cammunity you wouldn’t have to look no further’n Dick fer he’s allus the first un to put his name down on anything thats better’n the cammunity and ginerally allus leads out at the casket makins. The Cirkit Rider ordinary puts up at his place twiset as long as he does anywhers else fer his woman sets as fine a board as abody ever drawed a chair to and is jist as hospital as can be. She takes a turible big hand in meetin matters and is the backbone of the missionary. Dick has jist got one children which is Ethyl. She’s as purty as a peach, facts is, she win a prize fer bein the purtyest gurl in skoole when she went off to kolledge.
Nossir, bilin it right down and lookin at it from arry direckshun you’re a standin, they aint no finer fokes to be found nowhers than the Huddlestoneses. Hits a dreadful shame they aint jist a whole lot more of us jist like em..
–From “Lum and Abner and Their Friends from Pine Ridge, By Themselves”