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"There's people in hell would like ice water..."

Great passage here from "Dark Came Early in That Country", the leadoff piece in Nelson Algren's The Last Carousel. The narrator, a journeyman boxer, is talking to his corner man, a hustler named Dominoes.
I asked him did he know anything about some clown calls himself Indian Mickey Walker.

"Strictly an opponent," Dominoes told me, "I seen him fight a prelim at the Garden when he come up from the bushes; but he come up too fast. Went down even faster."

"All the same he done better than I done," I had to admit. "Closest I've got to the Garden was McArthur Stadium in Brooklyn."

"Never been there."

"McArthur Stadium or Brooklyn?"

"Neither," he told me, "but I'll tell you what I think. I think you need a manager."

"What for?" I asked the man, "I never needed somebody to tell me the best hand to hit an opponent with is the one closest to his jaw. I never needed somebody to teach me that when you clobber someone it's a shrewd idea to duck. What can a manager do for me beside robbing me blind?"

"He might get you in at the Garden," Dominoes decided--"or wouldn't you like that?"

"There's people in hell would like ice water," I told him, "but that don't mean anyone's bringing the pitcher."

December 28, 2009 in Books | Permalink

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