The Scuba #2 – by DeepSeaDan
This week in The Scuba I want to examine an excerpt from the unabridged Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin.
Dear son: I have recently had the pleasure of witnessing a curious sequence of events which led to a rather unnatural feeling of excitement, and if my penmanship is deficient it is because I am still giddy over what I have just witness’d. Allow me to recount. As I enter’d the cobbler’s I came upon a man on his way to becoming contemptuous. He was British Officer Percival Ward and he had evidently arriv’d with the intention of having his boot repair’d. There did not appear to be another man besides myself in sight, so he began to toll the bell which the cobbler Gridley had install’d to alert him whenever a customer requir’d service.
Gridley is a dwarf, as you will no doubt recall, but was not in the second room, merely conceal’d behind the counter out of Ward’s line of sight. Ward refus’d to believe that Gridley was the proprietor of the shop and asked to see his father instead. He then mock’d Gridley about his stature and child-like appearance. Gridley took this chiding and steer’d the discourse to the nature of Ward’s problem. He examin’d Ward’s boot and foot and arriv’d at the conclusion that there was nothing to be done as the problem was not the result of a faulty boot, but of an enlarged heel.
This conclusion, seeming most unacceptable to Ward, caus’d him to strike tiny Gridley with the boot. He then strutt’d about like a rooster in a henhouse, revealing his true constitution. I have no doubt that he would have gone on putting the boot to poor Gridley had not his two equally tiny brothers enter’d the store at that moment. Each Gridley fought like a man twice his size, which brought about the complete destruction of the store. One Gridley receiv’d a blow to the face, and though it did not cause bleeding, he most clumsily bust’d himself open wide when he seem’d to forget about the razor he brandish’d.
The commotion had attract’d attention to the store windows, so much so that a passing magistrate enter’d the brawl. Amid the wreckage he saw the three Gridley men atop Officer Ward and had to count them “One, two, three!” to be sure he wasn’t imaging the three dwarves. He declar’d Ward to have suffered enough and rang the bell to summon the attention of the combatants to his decision, which, as a member of the court, was legally binding.
And now comments from some of the people on the street:
“It was the most brilliant fight I have witness’d since the Boston Massacre.”
“The magistrate call’d for the end prematurely. I should have want’d this battle to go on a little bit longer. I can only hope this is not the last fight I ever see Percival Ward in, for he has tremendous ability and I would hate to remember him losing to three tiny men.”
“The Gridleys suck the life out of any room they are in. Additionally, I have patroniz’d their business and I find their work rate to be abysmal.”
“We all know the cobbling business tends to hold down smaller men. I, for one, am glad to see these men breaking through those barriers. Maybe one day they will even hold goldsmith titles.”
Franklin’s writings have proved useful to everyone from the diplomat to the house show agent and that is why he is my first entry is to the DeepSeaDan Wrestling Hall of Fame Celebrity Wing. I’m DeepSeaDan and that’s The Scuba!