• Madison White

A Story a Day #8: Damon Runyon

February 13th, 2020

"Butch Minds the Baby"

Damon Runyon

The story opens with a few formidable men coming into the narrator's restaurant and demanding he take them to see Big Butch, who opens safes. He agrees and they go and meet Big Butch who is open to helping them but is currently minding his baby and his wife will be angry if he leaves him alone. They all decide to take the baby with them to go and open the safe. For a while, everything is fine until the baby starts squealing and when Big Butch uses an explosive, he squeals even more. They take the money and try to get away but two cops are already coming around the corner. Big Butch walks right up to them and they ask what is the matter with the baby. He explains that it is colic and they're going to get some medicine. The cops don't question anything and they all go on their way.

This story read as quite humorous, as I think it is intended. It reads almost as a parody of old New York with its names and descriptions of the people and setting. To me, it reminded me of the cheesiness of musicals like West Side Story. While being a debaucherous tale, it kept an air of lightheartedness about it. It felt very much like I was watching an old film with some slapstick comedy thrown in.

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