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Old 04-03-2012, 06:19 AM   #1
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Jerome, Jerome K.: Second Thoughts of an Idle Fellow. v2. 24 May 2012

Jerome Klapka Jerome, English writer and humorist, is best known for his humorous travelogue "Three Men in a Boat" (1889).

Here is another collection of twelve short essays, published in 1898. Although there is a great deal of humor, these essays tend more toward philosophical musings than the first “Idle Thoughts” collection. Philosophy notwithstanding, there are many chuckle-aloud moments to be found.
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Another young gentleman friend of mine ... made a rocking-chair, according to the instructions of this book, out of a couple of beer barrels. From every practical point of view it was a bad rocking-chair. It rocked too much, and it rocked in too many directions at one and the same time. I take it, a man sitting on a rocking-chair does not want to be continually rocking. There comes a time when he says to himself — “Now I have rocked sufficiently for the present; now I will sit still for a while, lest a worse thing befall me.” But this was one of those headstrong rocking-chairs that are a danger to humanity, and a nuisance to themselves. Its notion was that it was made to rock, and that when it was not rocking, it was wasting its time. Once started nothing could stop it — nothing ever did stop it, until it found itself topsy turvy on its own occupant. That was the only thing that ever sobered it.

I had called, and had been shown into the empty drawing-room. The rocking-chair nodded invitingly at me. I never guessed it was an amateur rocking-chair. I was young in those days, with faith in human nature, and I imagined that, whatever else a man might attempt without knowledge or experience, no one would be fool enough to experiment upon a rocking-chair.

I threw myself into it lightly and carelessly. I immediately noticed the ceiling. I made an instinctive movement forward. The window and a momentary glimpse of the wooded hills beyond shot upwards and disappeared. The carpet flashed across my eyes, and I caught sight of my own boots vanishing beneath me at the rate of about two hundred miles an hour. I made a convulsive effort to recover them. I suppose I over-did it. I saw the whole of the room at once, the four walls, the ceiling, and the floor at the same moment. It was a sort of vision. I saw the cottage piano upside down, and I again saw my own boots flash past me, this time over my head, soles uppermost. Never before had I been in a position where my own boots had seemed so all-pervading. The next moment I lost my boots, and stopped the carpet with my head just as it was rushing past me. At the same instant something hit me violently in the small of the back. Reason, when recovered, suggested that my assailant must be the rocking-chair.

Investigation proved the surmise correct. Fortunately I was still alone, and in consequence was able, a few minutes later, to meet my hostess with calm and dignity. I said nothing about the rocking-chair. As a matter of fact, I was hoping to have the pleasure, before I went, of seeing some other guest arrive and sample it: I had purposely replaced it in the most prominent and convenient position. But though I felt capable of schooling myself to silence, I found myself unable to agree with my hostess when she called for my admiration of the thing. My recent experiences had too deeply embittered me.

.......
[ later, speaking to his hostess about the chair]
"... With judgment that chair might be made to serve a really useful purpose. There are mutual acquaintances of ours — I mention no names, you will know them — pompous, self-satisfied, superior persons who would be improved by that chair. If I were Willie I should disguise the mechanism with some artistic drapery, bait the thing with a couple of exceptionally inviting cushions, and employ it to inculcate modesty and diffidence. I defy any human being to get out of that chair, feeling as important as when he got into it."

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No illustrations this time, just some good laughs.

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EDIT--uploaded version 2, format fixes.
Previous version 69 downloads.

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EDIT # 2 ---Re-uploaded correct file this time.
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Last edited by GrannyGrump; 05-27-2012 at 01:40 AM. Reason: upload correct file
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Old 05-25-2012, 01:42 AM   #2
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Uploaded version 2 with some format fixes (thanks to Jellby for feedback).
Hope it's better.
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Old 05-25-2012, 12:46 PM   #3
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Hmmm... I believe you uploaded "Idle Thoughts" again, instead of "Second Thoughts"
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Old 05-27-2012, 01:42 AM   #4
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OOOOps. Thanks. I have uploaded correct file, and vow to double-triple-check on every upload after this!

My apologies to anyone who downloaded the wrong file.
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