Vulgar words in Main Street (Page 1)
This book at a glance
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A classmate named Stewart Snyder, a competent bulky young man in a gray flannel shirt, a rusty black bow tie, and the green-and-purple class cap, grumbled to her as they walked behind the others in the muck of the South St. Paul stockyards, "These college chumps make me tired.
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Telling fortunes or making love?
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"I bet Luke Dawson has got more money than most of the swells on Summit Avenue; and Miss Sherwin in the high school is a regular wonder--reads Latin like I do English; and Sam Clark, the hardware man, he's a corker--not a better man in the state to go hunting with; and if you want culture, besides Vida Sherwin there's Reverend Warren, the Congregational preacher, and Professor Mott, the superintendent of schools, and Guy Pollock, the lawyer--they say he writes regular poetry and--and Raymie Wutherspoon, he's not such an awful boob when you get to KNOW him, and he sings swell.
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The daring black chemise of frail chiffon and lace was a hussy at which the deep-bosomed bed stiffened in disgust, and she hurled it into a bureau drawer, hid it beneath a sensible linen blouse.
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In the shallow dark window-space heaps of sleazy sateens, badly woven galateas, canvas shoes designed for women with bulging ankles, steel and red glass buttons upon cards with broken edges, a cottony blanket, a granite-ware frying-pan reposing on a sun-faded crepe blouse.
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She asserted that she was going to stage a musical comedy, that she preferred cafe parfait to beefsteak, that she hoped Dr. Kennicott would never lose his ability to make love to charming women, and that she had a pair of gold stockings.
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Don't need so many skilled workmen in my place, and it's a lot of these cranky, wage-hogging, half-baked skilled mechanics that start trouble--reading a lot of this anarchist literature and union papers and all."
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Mr. Elder thundered his answer, while the others nodded, solemnly and in tune, like a shop-window of flexible toys, comic mandarins and judges and ducks and clowns, set quivering by a breeze from the open door: "All this profit-sharing and welfare work and insurance and old-age pension is simply poppycock.
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Juanita Haydock is such a damn cat.
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Be damn sight more wonderful 'f they'd pay their bills," grumbled Kennicott and, to Carol, he whispered something which sounded like "gentleman hen."
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Do you prefer an artistic guy like Raymie to stupid boobs like Sam Clark and me?"
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I can't be one of them if I must damn all the maids toiling in filthy kitchens, all the ragged hungry children.
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Oh, there wasn't much of anything: couple chumps with bellyaches, and a sprained wrist, and a fool woman that thinks she wants to kill herself because her husband doesn't like her and----Just routine work."
~ ~ ~ Sentence 2,578 ~ ~ ~
At the counter of the Greek Confectionery Parlor, while they ate dreadful messes of decayed bananas, acid cherries, whipped cream, and gelatinous ice-cream, they screamed to one another, "Hey, lemme 'lone," "Quit dog-gone you, looka what you went and done, you almost spilled my glass swater," "Like hell I did," "Hey, gol darn your hide, don't you go sticking your coffin nail in my i-scream," "Oh you Batty, how juh like dancing with Tillie McGuire, last night?
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Usually known as 'that damn lazy big-mouthed calamity-howler that ain't satisfied with the way we run things.'
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Did you know that Percy Bresnahan, the famous auto manufacturer, came from here and----Yes, I think that a St. Patrick's Day party would be awfully cunning and original, and yet not too queer or freaky or anything."
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She noted with tenderness all the makeshifts: the darned chair-arms, the patent rocker covered with sleazy cretonne, the pasted strips of paper mending the birch-bark napkin-rings labeled "Papa" and "Mama."
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Suppose I did dare to make love to--some exquisite married woman.
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"Not if I were well enough to cuss and bite, I wouldn't!
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"Yes, Westlake may be old-fashioned and all that, but he's got a certain amount of intuition, while McGanum goes into everything bull-headed, and butts his way through like a damn yahoo, and tries to argue his patients into having whatever he diagnoses them as having!
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And I don't know as I call it so damn cordial in Mrs. McGanum when I holler at her on the street and she nods back like she had a sore neck.
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He's so cheap--drinking, and playing pool, and always smoking cigars in such a cocky way----" "That's all right now!
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She's a brainy woman, but she'd be a damn sight brainier if she kept her mouth shut and didn't let so much of her brains ooze out that way."
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"I'll be as damn colloquial as I want to.
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Take Sam Clark; best soul that ever lived, honest and loyal and a damn good fellow----" ("Yes, and a good shot at ducks, don't forget that!")
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'Stead of putting his legs up on another chair, and unbuttoning his vest, and telling a good story or maybe kidding me about something, he sits on the edge of his chair and tries to make conversation about politics, and he doesn't even cuss, and Sam's never real comfortable unless he can cuss a little!"
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"So the impurity lies in failing to pretend that----" "Now we won't go into all that--eugenics or whatever damn fad you choose to call it.
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Now it was she who grunted "Huh!" and ignored him, and felt independent and masterful as she shot up out of bed, turned her back on him, fished a lone and petrified chocolate out of her glove-box in the top right-hand drawer of the bureau, gnawed at it, found that it had cocoanut filling, said "Damn!" wished that she had not said it, so that she might be superior to his colloquialism, and hurled the chocolate into the wastebasket, where it made an evil and mocking clatter among the debris of torn linen collars and toothpaste box.
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No; tell me about that tomorrow--too damn many people always listening in on this farmers' line."
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You do like to talk, but at a show-down you'd prefer Sam Clark to any damn long-haired artist."
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If she had let him diffidently make love to her, it was not because she cared, but because she did not care, because it did not matter.
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Don't know as I think much of a play where a husband actually claims he wants a fellow to make love to his wife.
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She watched Guy Pollock stammer and twist his mustache when he should have been a bullying magnate; Vida Sherwin, as Grimm's timid wife, chatter at the audience as though they were her class in high-school English; Juanita, in the leading role, defy Mr. Grimm as though she were repeating a list of things she had to buy at the grocery this morning; Ella Stowbody remark "I'd like a cup of tea" as though she were reciting "Curfew Shall Not Ring Tonight"; and Dr. Gould, making love to Rita Simons, squeak, "My--my--you--are--a--won'erful--girl."
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They kept it up, commenting, questioning, commenting, questioning, till her determination broke and she bleated, "For heaven's SAKE, don't dis-CUSS it!
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I'd be ten times as sweet to make love to as that dreamy baby.
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Damn all of them!
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Cy got much reputation by whipping a farmboy named Adolph Pochbauer for being a "damn hyphenated German."...
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But before I start in being a hero I want to shoot out and catch me a big black bass and cuss out you and Sam Clark and Harry Haydock and Will Kennicott and the rest of you pirates.
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You read a lot about his retiring and about his being killed, but I know he's got a big army back of him, and he'll show these damn agitators, lazy beggars hunting for a soft berth bossing the poor goats that fall for 'em, he'll show 'em where they get off!"
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But so are you, my dear--and pretty enough so that I'd try to make love to you, if I weren't afraid you'd slap me."
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"Then you wouldn't regard me as a complete hussy if I wanted to be by myself now and then?"
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Well, she's always trying to make me over, from a perfectly good M. D. into a damn poet with a socialist necktie!
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Why, Good Lord, Maud, I could talk about neuroses and psychoses and inhibitions and repressions and complexes just as well as any damn specialist, if I got paid for it, if I was in the city and had the nerve to charge the fees that those fellows do.
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Damn nuisance, though, having to fake up excuses.
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They had pinned on his back a sign, "I'm the prize boob, kick me."
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Willis and Mrs. Woodford arrived, Willis in home-made knickers and black sneakers through at the toe; then Dr. and Mrs. Harvey Dillon, people as harmless and grateful as the Woodfords.
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"Anyway, your eyes are so innocent and your cheeks so soft----Damn it, it makes me want to cry, somehow, you're so defenseless; and I want to protect you and----There's nothing to protect you against!"
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I wouldn't have said this, but when you sneer at Myrtle and the mill----If I'm not to have good sensible things like those, d' you think I'll be content with trying to become a damn dressmaker, after YOU?
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"You don't suppose Valborg could actually think about making love to me?"
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"Who's the hussy, Sister Bogart?
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He awoke before they set out; all the way home he alternately slept and tried to make love to her.
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But it was hard, the time I had to get out, and it was quite muddy, to read a sign-post--I lit matches that I took from Cy's coat pocket, and he followed me--he fell off the buggy step into the mud, and got up and tried to make love to me, and----I was scared.
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"Damn it, don't be so casual about it!
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I like you and I respect you, and I'd probably look like a boob if I tried to be dramatic.
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You probably think that two young folks making love are alone if anybody ever is, but there's nothing in this town that you don't do in company with a whole lot of uninvited but awful interested guests.
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He was a good boy, even if he was a damn fool.
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And you butt in and fool wit' him and make love wit' him, and get him to run away!"
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He'll put her across if he has to ride from hell to breakfast, and believe me, I'm mighty good and sorry for the boob that's so unlucky as to get in his way, because that poor slob is going to wonder where he was at when Old Mr. Cyclone hit town!
~ ~ ~ Sentence 11,307 ~ ~ ~
If they could of got away with it, they'd of been so darn lovey-dovey----" Sam Clark interrupted, "Rats, they never even thought about making love, Just talking books and all that junk.