I am writing yesterday about a story "The Gift of the Magi" by a party named O Henry, when who do I hear from but Rod M. Now this Rod M gets it in his head that what I really mean is "The Three Wise Guys" a tale that a newspaper scribe, who goes by the moniker 'Damon Runyon,' uses to extract the folding stuff from the editors and readers of Colliers Magazine back in 1933, what with there being an ever-loving Mrs Runyon and several little Runyons in need of food and also lodgings, plus this and that, none of which comes for free in this man's town.
Now while Rod's take is nothing but great foolishness (the Magi being published in 1905), and as a rule I am likely to give anyone who questions my literary credentials the chance to reconsider as they plummet twenty or thirty stories down an empty lift shaft, it also strikes me that Rod M is Rod M.
Rod M being someone that acronyms (EU, FCO, OSCE, UN) are given to inviting to see what he can do to help in venues such as DR Congo, Afghan refugee camps, Ukraine, Mali and the Sahel; and that while I do not know exactly what he does do there it is probably not sorting out the candy floss concessions. Further, if I contradict him he is apt to think me lacking in the social graces, and that I do not want a guy who can likely field strip and clean a Kalshnikov rifle quicker than I can, to think of me as lacking thereof in any way, shape or form.
Thus I throw him out a very large thank you indeed and on Christmas Day this year, "The Three Wise Guys" being seasonal, I am willing to lay a little 6 to 5, we have the first Yule Yarn since 2016:
One cold winter afternoon I am standing at the bar in Good Time Charley’s little drum on West 49th Street, partaking of a mixture of rock candy and rye whiskey … I am feeling as if maybe I have a touch of grippe coming on, and Good Time Charley tells me that there is nothing in this world as good for a touch of grippe as rock candy and rye whiskey, as it assassinates the germs at once ..........