Happy Holidays

Twas the night before Christmas, 1930, the first year of the Great Depression. Julian English sat at the "Whit Hofman-crowd's table" in the smoking room at the Lantenengo Country Club in Gibbsville, Pennsylvania, listening to Harry Reilly tell his dirty stories in an Irish brogue.
Julian English sat there watching him, through eyes that he permitted to appear sleepier than they felt. Why, he wondered, did he hate Harry Reilly? Why couldn't he stand him? What was there about Reilly that caused him to say to himself: "If he starts one more of those moth-eaten stories I'll throw this drink in his face." But he knew he would not throw this drink or any other drink in Harry Reilly's face. Still, it was fun to think about it.
The band was playing Something to Remember You By.

The stag line was scattered over the floor by the time the band was working on the second chorus of the tune, and when Johnny Dibble suddenly appeared breathless, at the place where his cronies customarily stood, there were only two young men for him to address. "Jeez," he said. "Jeezozz H. Kee-rist. You hear about what just happened?"
"No. No," they said.
"You didn't? About Julian English?"
"No. No. What was it?"
"Julian English. He just threw a highball in Harry Reilly's face. Jeest!"

Robert Saliba
Morristown, NJ