Think sarcasm is the lowest form of wit? You haven’t met Mr. Banks yet.

Lewis on Mean Men

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At 9 o’clock yesterday morning an old woman sat in the Michigan Central station wiping the tears from her eyes. It was nobody’s business in particular to inquire whether she had fallen heir to a million dollars or was traveling through life with a broken heart but one certain man did step forward after a time and made some inquiries. Then he moved among the crowd and said:

“Gentlemen, here is a poor old woman who wants to get to Columbus. Let’s take up a collection.”

In the course of four or five minutes a purse of $3 was made up, but when he had counted it the man said:

“Gentlemen, let’s chip in enough more to buy her a new dress. I’m a poor man, but here’s a quarter for the old lady.”

The purse was now increased to nearly $7, and the woman had just pocketed the money when a man stepped forward and said to the collector of the purse:

“Why, Banks, is this you?”

“Of course it is.”

“And that woman is your own wife?”

“Well, Mr. Knickerbocker,” replied the man as he buttoned his coat, “it’s a mighty mean man who won’t chip in a quarter to buy his own wife a dress and help her off on a visit!”

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