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Thoughts on Life and Politics from the Famous Turn-of-the-20th-Century Chicago Saloonkeeper

by Finley Peter Dunne

Mr. Dooley Now And Forever


The Food We Eat

[Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle, published in 1906, exposed shady practices in the meatpacking houses of Chicago.]

“What have ye undher ye’er arm there?” demanded Mr. Dooley.

“I was takin’ home a ham,” said Mr. Hennessy.

“Clear out iv here with it,” cried Mr. Dooley. “Take that thing outside—an’ don’t lave it where th’ dog might get hold iv it. Th’ idee iv ye’er bringin’ it in here! Glory be, it makes me faint to think iv it. I’m afraid I’ll have to go an’ lay down.”

“What ails ye?” asked Mr. Hennessy.

“What ails me?” said Mr. Dooley. “Haven’t ye r-read about th’ invistygation iv th’ Stock Yards? It’s a good thing f’r ye ye haven’t. If ye knew what that ham—oh, th’ horrid wurrud—was made iv ye’d go down to Rabbi Hirsch an’ be baptized f’r a Jew.

“Ye may think ’tis th’ innocint little last left leg iv a porker ye’re inthrajoocin’ into ye’er innocint fam’ly, but I tell ye, me boy, th’ pig that that ham was cut fr’m has as manny legs to-day as iver he had. Why did ye waste ye’er good money on it? Why didn’t ye get th’ fam’ly into th’ dining-room, shut th’ windows, an’ turn on th’ gas? I’ll be readin’ in th’ pa-aper to-morrah that wan Hinnissy took an overdose iv Unblemished Ham with suicidal intint an’ died in gr-reat agony. Take it away! It’s lible to blow up at anny minyit, scattherin’ death an’ desthruction in its train.

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