One-Horse Town

There’s a cartoon in this week’s New Yorker that shows a horse sitting at a bar with a cocktail in front of him and a lady on one side extending a sympathetic hand. A sign underneath says “One-Horse Town” and the horse is saying, “Sometimes the loneliness is more than I can bear.”

It put me in mind of a story that went the rounds in Cuba, New York, (pop. c. 3,000) when I was growing up. There was a man named Seely Bolton whose job it was to sweep the streets and he went around with a cylindrical trash bucket on wheels and swept stuff into it. Everyone in town knew Seely.

One day, the story went, a traveling salesman came raging out of the store where he had not met with much success and, as he passed by Seely Bolton, he said “It’s just a one-horse town anyway.”

“Mister,” said Seely Bolton, “you wouldn’t say that if you had my job.”

Leave a comment

Your comment