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The World’s Wit and Humor: An Encyclopedia in 15 Volumes. 1906.

Josephine Daskam Bacon (1876–1961)

The Woman Who Was Not Athletic

From “Fables for the Fair”

THERE was once a woman who wore High-heeled Shoes and a Tight Corset. Both These are Highly Injurious and Inartistic to the Last Degree. One Day she Went out to the Links with a Sensible Friend who wore a Sweater and Man-fashioned Shoes. There they Met Two Men playing Golf.

“I Fear I shall only Be in your Way,” said the Woman who was Not Athletic. “I Cannot Play the Game. I do Not Know a Caddy from a Bunker, nor a Foursome from a Tee.”

“Not at all. I will Describe the Game to You,” said the Men.

“Oh, Thank You, but One will be Quite enough,” she replied, and she Selected the Best-looking, and the Other Went out after the Sensible Friend.

“May I Carry your Parasol?” said he when they had Started.

“If you will Be so Good,” she answered. “It is very Foolish, I know, but my Skin is so Absurdly Thin, and the Sun Blisters it so.”

The Sensible Friend came up just Behind, and Mopping her Face, she said: “You are too Ridiculous. A Rose-colored Parasol on the Links! You are keeping Him from playing too. He will get Out of Practise.”

“Oh, I Hope not,” said the Woman who was Not Athletic.

“Do not be Alarmed,” said the man. “It is All Right.”

“Moreover, I saw him Help you Over a Fence,” said the Sensible Friend, as she Waded through a Muddy Brook. “That Game is Out of Date.”

The Woman who was Not Athletic looked Pensively and for Some Time at the Man.

“I am Spoiling Everything,” she said softly. “Let me Go Home, and then You can Play.”

“But then You could not Learn the Game,” said he, Sitting down under a Kind of Artificial Watershed and Watching the Rose-colored Reflection of her Parasol.

“Is this a Bunker?” she asked.

“Yes,” he replied. “Its Purpose is to shield People Who wish to be Alone, from Observation.”

“Oh!” said she. “Then What is a Hazard?”

“Well,” he replied, “this is sometimes Called a Hazard, too, because There is a Chance that Some one may Come By after all.”

“Oh!” said she. “Then over That Wall Behind that Big Rock is one of the Best Bunkers on the Links, isn’t it?”

“It is, indeed,” he replied. “You Pick Up the Game very Rapidly. Come over There, and I will Explain it Further to You.”

“You are so Good,” she said, as he Lifted her Over the Wall.

“Not at All,” he replied Politely.

Some Time Afterward the Sensible Friend, who was Engaged in Wallowing Through some Underbrush and Falling into a Pond in Search of Her Ball, Passed by Them on the Return Course, and Seeing them Seated against the Wall, noted their somewhat Unoriginal Attitudes. She was surprised.

This teaches us that You need Not Teach an Old Dog New Tricks.