H U M O U R

 



By Frederick Karinthy

On The Train

Man (sitting near open window, grasps hat with both hands): Oh!

Friend: Whatís the matter?

Man: The wind nearly blew my hat off.

Friend: Itís a good thing you caught it in time.

Man: I should say so. I paid a pound for it only yesterday.

Friend: Thatís just what I mean. It wouldíve been a pity if itíd been blown out of the window.

Man: My hat? My new hat? And what if it had been blown out?

Friend: I mean to say, then youíd have had to buy another one.

Man (angry): Why would I have had to buy another one?

Friend: Well, you canít jump after it from a fast train.

Man: I canít jump after it? Of course not. And I wouldnít jump after it.

Friend: Thatís just what I mean. Youíd have lost your hat.

Man: My hat? No fear!

Friend: Well, would you have stopped the train?

Man (angry): Of course Iíd have stopped the train.

Friend (laughing): Theyíd have fined you.

 

Man: What! Theyíd have fined me for wanting my hat back?

Friend: Surely you donít think theyíd let you stop the train just to pick up your hat?

Man (shouting): What the devil do you mean? Iím entitled to pick up my hat. I canít jump off the train, and so Iíve a right to stop the train.

Thin Man: Youíre right, sit. Youíre entitled to stop it.

Fat Man: Nonsense. Iím in a hurry to get to Budapest, and I canít have anyone stop the train on the way.

Man (to Fat Man): Really? Just because youíre in a hurry to get to Budapest I mustnít pick up my hat?

Fat Man: You can eat your hat for all I care, but Iím not going to have anyone stop this train before we reach Budapest. Iím travelling express because I must be in Budapest by a certain time.

Man (purple with rage): So I can eat my hat, can I? Let me tell you thisóI paid a pound for this hat only yesterday; will

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LILLIPUT

you buy me another one if itís blown out of the window?

Fat Man: The hell I will.

Man: Then the train must stop.

Fat Man: It wonít stop. I paid for my ticket and Iíve a right to be conveyed in the quickest time. It wonít stop.

Man: And I paid for my new hat. It will stop.

Fat Man (beside himself): It wonít stop! I must be at the specialistís by five oíclockó

Man: And I must go to the Ministry. I canít go without a hat, in case I meet someone I must raise my hat to. Then you must pay for my hat!

Fat Man: Ridiculous!

Man (mad with rage): What?

 

Youíre not going to pay for it? Iíll show you. (Reaches for communication cord.)

Fat Man: If you pull that cord Iíll brain you.

Others: Heís right . . . . The gentlemanís right . . . .

Still Others: He canít do that. . . . Disgraceful. . . .

Man: How dare you threaten me? (Seizes cord.)

Fat Man throws himself upon him; they struggle; others join in; train reaches Budapest; all the passengers join in the fight; the mounted police are called out; the mob storms the railway station; martial law is proclaimed; Russia declares war on Japan.

219

The contributors to this issue

     
   

Frederick Karinthy

Hungaryís outstanding humorous journalist. He has written a funny article for his paper every day for 25 years. Recently underwent a serious operation for tumour, wrote an uproariously funny book about it while in bed and called himself ďthe first Hungarian tumourist.Ē

LILLIPUT appears on the 15th of each month

240



SOURCE: Karinthy, Frederick [Frigyes]. “On The Train” [translator unknown], Lilliput, vol. 3, no. 2, issue no. 14, August 1938, pp. 218-219 + 240 (contributors to this issue).




Frigyes & Ferenc Karinthy in English

Frigyes (Frederiko) Karinthy (1887-1938) en Esperanto

Futurology, Science Fiction, Utopia, and Alienation
in the Work of Imre Madách, György Lukács, and Other Hungarian Writers:
Select Bibliography

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Frigyes Karinthy @ Ĝirafo


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