It’s not exactly “The Gift of the Magi,” but this piece from the Minneapolis Tribune just might lift your holiday spirits. Or turn your stomach.
For This Reason Irving P. Jones
Was Forced to Distribute His
Presents Too Early in the
Game and Has Consequently
Acquired a Hatred for Rats.
Irving P. Jones, an operator in the police telephone exchange
, has recently acquired a hatred for rats. A list of Christmas secrets that he had in store for his wife were all divulged some hours before the time by a gnawing rat
, and while there were numerous gifts in evidence in the Jones home, the surprises that make up so much of the Christmas pleasure were all lacking.
Mr. and Mrs. Jones comprise this particular Jones family, and they board in a Fourth avenue residence. Mr. Jones, with other gifts he had selected for his wife, stowed a box of expensive candy under the bed near the wall. To all intents and purposes, the articles were well hidden. Last night shortly after they had retired Mr. Jones was awakened by his wife, who gave the alarm that there were rats under the bed. Mr. Jones pounded with his heels on the floor, but the effect on the rats was only temporary, and they returned just as he dropped off to sleep again. He repeated the pounding again with similar results, and after the episode had been repeated about six times he began to fear for the candy.
Rout the Rats.
Twice more the rats were routed temporarily and finally Mr. Jones saw that there was only one way to save the candy and that would be to remove it. He thought about requesting Mrs. Jones to step out into the hallway for a moment, but the hallway was cold and Mrs. Jones, moreover, might refuse. As he pondered over the matter the rats were gnawing at the candy box. Mrs. Jones was solicitous for the wall paper, thinking it was to that the rats were devoting their attention.
Suddenly, with one accord, when matters had reached a desperate strait, Mr. Jones, to save the candy, and Mrs. Jones, to save the wall paper, concluded that the bed must be moved out from the wall and the rats permanently routed. There was nothing left for Jones to do and, after the gas was lit, the united their efforts in pulling the bed away from the wall.
It was an untimely hour for the distribution of Christmas presents, being about 2 o’clock in the morning, but Mr. Jones got through the ceremony in a particularly gracious manner. Not to be worsted, Mrs. Jones got out the gifts she had selected for her spouse, and when the daylight of Christmas came it found the gifts in the Jones family all distributed.
|Mr. Jones might have bought the rat bait, er, expensive candy at the Boosalis Ice Cream and Candy Emporium at Sixth and Hennepin in downtown Minneapolis, shown here in about 1905. (Image courtesy mnhs.org)