John Holton (john_holton) wrote,
John Holton

I was thinking about my stepfather today. On Thanksgiving and Christmas and any other time we had a big dinner (which included nearly every Sunday, come to think of it), he'd be in the kitchen cooking, or doing a turkey on the Weber grill, or something. There was always a ton of food. He had been a Jesuit priest, and was accustomed to cooking for a small army. Anyway, he had this little thing that he'd say whenever my mother or one of the daughters in law would pack away a healthy meal: "She said she wasn't hungry, but this is what she ate." I asked him once where it came from, and he said there was a whole poem that went along with it, and those were the only two lines he remembered.

Thanks to the wonder of the Internet, I found the rest of it. In honor of Jack "Tex" Christian, I give you...

I Had But Fifty Cents

I took my girl to a fancy ball;
It was a social hop.
We waited till the folks got out,
And the music it did stop.
Then to a restaurant we went,
The best one on the street.
She said she wasn't hungry
But this is what she ate.

A dozen raw, a plate of slaw,
A chicken and a roast,
Some applesauce and asparagus,
And soft-shell crabs on toast.
A big box stew, and crackers too;
Her appetite was immense!
When she called for pie,
I thought I'd die,
For in my pocket I had but fifty cents.

She said she wasn't hungry
And didn't care to eat,
But I've money in my clothes
To bet she can't be beat.
She took it in so cozy,
She had an awful tank.

She said she wasn't thirsty
But this is what she drank.
A whisky skin, a glass of gin,
Which made me shake with fear,
A ginger pop, with rum on top,
A schooner then of beer,
A glass of ale, a gin cocktail.
She should have had more sense.
When she called for more
I fell on the floor
For in my pocket I had but fifty cents.

Of course I wasn't hungry
And didn't care to eat,
Expecting every moment
To be kicked into the street.
She said she'd fetch her family round,
And some night we'd have fun
But in my pocket I had but fifty cents.

When I gave the man the fifty cents,
This is what he done:
He tore my clothes,
He smashed my nose,
He hit me on the jaw,
He gave me a prize
Of a pair of black eyes
And with me swept the floor.
He took me where my pants hung loose,
And threw me over the fence.
Now take my advice, don't try it twice
If in your pocket you've got but fifty cents.

Evidently, it was this guy's father's favorite, too.

I miss Tex all the time, but especially on days like today.
Tags: of_interest

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