AUTHOR'S NOTE: I like Damon Runyon's Broadway Guys
and Dolls stories, and one day while waxing wroth
about the use of present tense in stories, the idea
of doing a Damon Runyon pastiche occurred to me.
Like the Runyon stories, my nameless narrator would
be largely peripheral to the action, an observer.

In the twisted logic of comedy, the doll would be
unable to take Harry vaginally but could accommodate
him anally. (Don't think about it too much; the
improbability of it will hurt your brain.) The story
would end happily, with Harry and Elizabeth marrying
and with Doc and Fran marrying, and our narrator
left bereft.

All I can say is what Edmund Gwynn said: Dying is
easy; comedy is hard.



Copyright 1998, 1999 Jordan Shelbourne

Yes it is true Fran's is closing down and Doc Webster
is leaving town, and also Harry the Horse (the
Younger) is getting married.  I am privy to much of
it and since you are buying, I will tell you about
it. I am responsible, you might say, though it makes
me sore to think about.

It so happens that I sometimes hack guys to Fran's
when they are flush from the track.  And because a
guy who is flush from the track is also a heavy
tipper, I am sometimes found in Fran's at the same
time, enjoying one of the ladies there.  I am just
in the door from such a trip when Fran asks me to
fetch Doc Webster because she is auditioning a new
girl.  When she says this, she looks me up and down
and then she asks me a personal question which I do
not want to answer, but that Lucy, one of the girls
there, answers for me.  "Seven inches," says Lucy
while I blush.

"You might be big enough," says Fran and asks me to
come back with the Doc.  This I figure is my in,
because seven inches is not so little and a guy who
auditions a doll for Fran does not pay for that
doll. This is a treat because Fran charges rent
practically for breathing in her parlour.

It is Wednesday so the Doc is at Dutch Johnny's
speakeasy and I find him in the back, mostly sober,
sitting with Harry the Horse (the Younger).  Well,
right then I know that I am not getting to audition
any new girl that night, because Harry the Horse
(the Younger) is not called that because he always
knows a horse you can bet on.  No, Harry the Horse
(the Younger) is built like a fire-hose, and I am
not playing in that league.  In addition, Harry the
Horse is not a bad-looking guy, according to the
dolls I drive up and down Broadway.  What is worse,
he is a nice guy.

The Doc is willing to come because him and Fran are
friends from way back, and Harry the Horse tags
along. I cannot tell him no, because it is not my
place and he is a friend of the Doc's.

When I arrive again at Fran's, the parlour is empty
except for Fran and a tiny doll who is I think the
girl who is auditioning.  I can hear Harry the Horse
(the Younger) stop right behind me, this doll is so
nice to look at, and then there is a thump because
the Doc is right behind him and does not notice
Harry stop.  Both Harry and I look at the tiny doll
and then again because she is worth it.

Even though she is dressed like a schoolteacher,
she is a doll such as I would like to look at for
a long time.  She has all the usual equipment but
it is put together very well.  But she is blushing
which I have never seen in a doll at Fran's.  I look
around the parlour for a turnip-cart, for it is sure
that that is what she has just fallen off.

She is not big up top but it is hard to tell in her
teacher-clothes.  What I want to see is what she is
sitting on, for I am a bottom-man.  Harry, though,
obviously prefers the other half and he is taking
a good look, which makes her blush, which I am
astonished to see makes him blush.

I do not know if his blush makes her blush more
because the Doc makes an impatient sound and pushes
past Harry and me.  Though he looks at the tiny doll
(the Doc is not dead, after all), he goes up to Fran
and kisses her hand.

Fran is very pleased by this and calls him by his
first name, which I do not know until that moment.
"Hello, Clarence.  I'm glad you could come."

I look at Harry because I do not figure the Doc for
a Clarence, but he is still looking at the tiny

Fran explains that the doll, whose name is Elizabeth,
is auditioning.  Fran needs specialists and the doll
says she can handle all men, especially the large
ones. By large, I do not mean fat, and I do not mean
the kind who bump their heads on lintels.

I myself do not believe this. I think that the doll,
Elizabeth, needs dough and this need has brought
her to Fran's. I do not voice these thoughts because
my rent for breathing in Fran's parlour is already
pretty high and I want to help before I leave.
Helping is all I can afford.

Well, Fran tells Elizabeth and Harry the Horse (the
Younger) to go to a particular room, and then she
leads the Doc and me to another particular room
which is very small. In fact, it is a broom closet
size of room with two chairs. Doc and Fran take the
chairs and I stand real quiet-like against the door.

Fran shushes us and I see there is a window in one
wall. With the light out here and on in there, I
figure we can see them but they cannot see us.

	 ---And it ended here---

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