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>> An Old Lobster Tale [topic: previous/next]
PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 10:12 pm
Ken Jones


Posts: 9446
Location: California

It looks as if the beach romance of young Hafwitz and the green pajama girl were all over but the festival of rice and orange blossoms.
Heretofore the obstacle had been Papa Hafwitz. His approval had to be secured, or the romantic young people might lack the necessities of life, young Hafwitz never having demonstrated as a provider. But now Papa Hafwitz thinks the green pajama girl is a mighty clever young lady.

An Old Beach Town Custom


Papa Hafwitz has a passion for lobsters. Now that they are out of season he yearns for them as he never does when they are in season. And so frequently in midsummer he is seen stealing out on the pier at midnight. When he comes in he carries a bag and a triumphant smile. And the next day baby lobsters are served in the Hafwitz cottage.
Old Haffie thinks it’s a great secret. But everybody who is a regular at our beach knows all about it.

Lobster Trapped

A house guest in Hafwitz house for the week-end remarked in a clear, strong voice that the party would be perfect if only they could get some lobsters. But alas, no lobsters could be bought just now!
“I get you some lobsters,” said Papa Hafwitz, confidently.
That night, just at the witching hour, when everybody else had forsaken the pier, a muffled form stole out on it. At the end of the pier he lost himself in the shadows. Here quarters of an hour later a waddly but triumphant figure was importantly hurrying off the pier, carrying a bag as inconspicuously as possible.
And just as Papa Hafwitz stepped off the pier on the beach he had every right to expect to find deserted at that hour, a brass — buttoned — blue — uniformed, Kaiser-mustached and motorcop goggled sample of authority stepped out of the shadows and nabbed him.
“We’ve been layin’ for you quite a while,” he announced. “If you’ve got lobsters in that bag it’s sure goin’ to go hard with you. We’re out to make an example, and it won’t mean just a fine but imprisonment.”

Cumulative Evidence


Papa Hafwitz had a good deal of money, and has got to relying on it. He opened his purse and took out a $50 bill, which he thrust on the young officer. “Here’s my fishing license,” he suggested. But the young officer surprised him. He looked around and cried out in triumph!
“Ha! I have a witness to that attempt at bribery! Young woman, you saw that didn’t you?”
Then into the light stepped the green pajama girl.
“Why yes,” she said, “I—“ Then she saw it was Papa Hafwitz. “You really must excuse me,” she said, “I have such a headache I can hardly see. I wouldn’t be out so late alone otherwise. But I simply had to get some aspirin. I didn’t see anything.”

The Law Grows Careless

The young officer grew very stern. “Clear out then,” he commanded. She stepped close to Hafwitz, smiled sympathetically, and walked out of the picture. The officer stormed some more at Hafwitz. Then he suddenly demanded:
“Well, what did you do with that bag? Where’s the evidence?
They couldn’t find it. They realized the green pajama girl must have carried it out of the scene. But they couldn’t find her either.
“Confound it!” growled the young officer. “I can’t hold you without evidence. I haven’t even had a look at it. But I’ll get you next time.”

Love Laughs at Fathers

It chanced to be one of our insomnia nights, or that’s all we’d know about it. We were walking to the pier, half an hour later, when murmurs in the darkness stopped us. The feminine murmur was: “Oh, you wonderful boy! I never dreamed you could be such an actor. You really did impersonate an officer.” And then a masculine murmur: “I’m pretty good, ain’t I? What’ll we do with this $50 bill?”

—The Lee Side o’ LA, Lee Shippey, Los Angeles Times, August 19, 1932

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Last edited by Ken Jones on Tue Oct 10, 2017 11:13 am; edited 3 times in total
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 7:05 am
Mahigeer


Posts: 6367

So the moral of story is that bribery and poaching works.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 7:49 am
Ken Jones


Posts: 9446
Location: California

I wouldn't say that. Hafwitz was out the $50 (which in 1932 was a lot of money) and the lobsters.

It does sound like his son and his son's girlfriend did OK but we don't know what happened to the lobsters.

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