A Calgary night nurse homebound through the six-a.m. dusk heard a rustle in some bushes in front of a big old house. She made out a large cat struggling to free itself of what appeared to be a tangle of striped cloth, and heard someone calling, “Kitty, kitty, kitty!” in a frail voice. Just then the little old lady who had come out on the porch in search of the cat discovered the nurse was
watching. Smiling fondly, she explained, “Tommy was in such a hurry to get up this morning he forgot to take off his nightie.”
* * *
Help-wanted ad published in the New Glasgow, N.S., News by a desperate man:
WANTED—A good woman who wishes a good home. Will marry if necessary . . .
* * *
In the tiny town of Hays, Alta., a salesman was beating his way doggedly from
door to door demonstrating a vacuum cleaner. If he wasn't selling many it wasn’t due to lack of persistence. At one house the woman did her best to convince him he was wasting his time, but relentlessly he unpacked every accessory with a flourish, explaining in advance its uses and advantages. Finally, the big buildup complete, he told the lady of the house she would now see this marvel of the ages in action and, seizing the cord, bent to plug it into the baseboard. “But that’s what I keep trying to tell you,” exclaimed the housewife. “We’ve never had the house wired.”
* * *
Nicest Valentine we received this year was a note from a Hamilton, Ont., Parade scout, telling us about what happened there last year when an extremely shy young man determined that on Valentine’s Day he would finally pop the question. Completely tongue-tied even at the prospect of actually proposing, he bought
one of those vast heart-shaped boxes of chocolates, set his diamond ring blazing among them and carefully resealed the cellophane wrapping. Came the big night, he presented the box with a silent flourish, his girl friend gave him a big hug and kiss and exclaimed her appreciation. Then she added bravely, “But I’m not even going to open them—I’m eight pounds overweight. I’m going to put these chocolates where I can see them every day and when I’ve lost eight pounds I’ll open the box and have the first chocolate as my reward!”
Four weeks, fourteen vanished pounds and one chocolate later, the tongue-tied suitor finally placed the ring on his love’s finger. He’d sweated off six pounds himself, waiting for the ring to be discovered.
* * *
From a single city — Toronto — three touching examples of the very young male trying to cope with the mechanical, physiological and economic complexities of the grown-ups’ world:
The first concerns the five-year-old who had just settled down to his favorite cowboy program after dinner when mother insisted he go wash his sticky hands. He dashed from the kitchen, retraced his steps, turned off the TV set, then dashed again toward the tap. Asked by his mystified mother why he’d turned the program off, he explained as he raced for the living room again, “Well, I don’t want to miss any of it.”
More heart-tugging somehow is the picture provided us by a suburban kindergarten teacher of her whole class busily hacking away at orange-colored paper with their scissors, except for one little lad who just sat there paralyzed with
frustration. “Come, Johnny, get your carrot cut out,” the teacher urged, to which he burst out, "But I can’t—I’m allergic to carrots.”
But the little man of the family whose bafflement truly wrings our heart is the boy who monthly watches his mother divide up the family pay cheque into so much for the payment on the TV set, so much for the car, the last payment on the floor polisher, etc. “But Mummy,” he protested in youthful outrage the last time he witnessed her ordeal, “you’ve been paying for the electricity for months and months. Isn't it ever going to be ours?”
Parade pays $5 to $10 for true, humorous anecdotes reflecting the current Canadian scene. No contributions can be returned. Address Parade, c/o Maclean’s Magazine. 481 University Ave., Toronto.
The story you want is part of the Maclean’s Archives. To access it, log in here or sign up for your free 30-day trial.
Experience anything and everything Maclean's has ever published — over 3,500 issues and 150,000 articles, images and advertisements — since 1905. Browse on your own, or explore our curated collections and timely recommendations.WATCH THIS VIDEO for highlights of everything the Maclean's Archives has to offer.