Lewis Miller was the sales manager of a sizable enterprise. In his salad days he covered New York State in a Model-T Ford and made his daily collections from customers en route. He was heading for home one evening with seven hundred dollars in his jeans when, just outside of Ossining, a man in shabby, ill-fitting clothes beckoned for a hitch. Miller stopped for him, and soon learned that his companion had just completed a ten-year stretch at Sing Sing for robbery. Suddenly he remembered the seven hundred dollars in cash in his pocket.
With what he considered a master-stroke of ingenuity, he pushed the accelerator all the way to the floor. The old Ford could still do sixty. A motorcycle cop could not be far behind; Miller would have police escort to the nearest station house.
The motorcycle cop arrived on schedule, bawled the daylights out of him, and wrote a ticket calling for his appearance in court the following Monday! In vain, Miller pleaded to be arrested on the spot. His passenger pulled his cap over his eyes and said nothing.
Reluctantly, Miller started his car again. As they approached the darkest Bronx, he had already written off the seven hundred dollars in his mind.
Suddenly the passenger announced, “This is it, brother.” Miller stopped the car. His moment had come. The man in shabby clothes stuck out his hand. There was no gun in it.
“Thanks for the lift,” he said. “You’ve been very good to me. This is the least I could do for you.”
He handed Miller the motorcycle cop’s black leather summons book.
There is a humorist in charge of the Complaint Department of one of New York’s biggest dry-goods emporiums. Tacked to his door is a sign that reads “Come in and grouse.” A lady took him at his word a few weeks ago. It appears that some months before she had buried her beloved spouse and bought several packets of carnation seeds with which to decorate the grave. Then she went off to Mexico to pull herself together. Several months later, all hell broke loose in the Complaint Department. It seems that when the lady came home and visited the cemetery she found her husband’s grave completely covered with rhubarb.
“I don’t know what she was screaming about,” said the Complaint Manager. “We were perfectly willing to refund her the price of the seeds.”
Henry IV, who ruled England from 1399 to 1413, was a puritanical soul. Persuaded that his subjects wore too many jeweled and golden ornaments, he decreed that such personal adornments be prohibited. Nobody paid any attention to the law until he added one amendment: prostitutes and pickpockets were exempted.
The next day there wasn’t a jewel or gold ornament to be seen in the city of London.
His French wife soon put a stop to this nonsense; she appeared at court one day looking like a show window at Tiffany’s. The law was stricken from the books.