Mrs. Spelvin Speaks Her Mind, by Westbrook Pegler

Mrs. Spelvin Speaks Her Mind

by Westbrook Pegler

(From George Spelvin, American and Fireside Chats, 1942, pp. 151-155)

Mr. and Mrs. George Spelvin, Americans, were abashed to receive an invitation to take part in one of those radio forums on topics of great national importance, but nevertheless they went. Present also were a lady columnist and a Doktor Kurt Schultz, late of Vienna, an intellectual refugee, who was introduced as one of the great free minds of Europe and the author of When It Is Night-time Comes the Night. Mr. and Mrs. Spelvin had never heard of the Doktor or his book, but felt ashamed of their ignorance and pretended to be awed. In fact, they were.

The proceedings were as follows:

(By the announcer) -- And now, ladies and gentlemen, we present our question. "What do you think of the lend-lease bill?" Mrs. Spelvin, will you tell us what you think of this bill?

(By Mrs. Spelvin) -- Well, in some ways it has always seemed to me if it comes to declaring war why then I always thought the best way to --

(Lady columnist, interrupting) -- If I may be permitted to interrupt I should like to remind this lady that it is not a question of declaring war, because if one is to assume that the ideological imponderables are inhibited by a willful, as it were, economic liquidation, why, then it seems obvious to me that --

(Mrs. Spelvin, meekly) -- Well, I haven't come to say that, but I just wanted to say that war is a terribly serious thing and if you put yourself in my position why I raised my boys up the best I could and, as a mother, why --

(Lady columnist, rather shrilly) -- Lest there be any doubt on that score, I, too, am a mother, and yet, if I may interrupt a moment, I should like to inform this lady that the interplay of schrecklichkeit and democratic dolce far niente, as Mazzini truly told us in the tragic story of the well-fed complaisance that seems to permeate our thinking as mothers to the utter neglect of our moral awareness --

(Mr. Spelvin, faintly) -- If I may say a word, I think Mrs. Spelvin means --

(Doktor Schultz) -- As I zaid in mein book Ven Iss Nighd-Dime Gums der Nighd iss de zame difference mitouid liberdy you god nix, und zo --

(Lady columnist, now quite shrill) -- Yes, of course, Doktor, but, if I may interrupt, I should like to direct the discussion back to the question which, after all, it seems to me, after all, concerns not so much a problematical or hypothetical orientation of sheer intellectual innovations disguised though they be in the poisonous plausibilities of Machiavellian sophistry --

(Mrs. Spelvin, a little sore by now) -- Well, if you will only let me speak because, after all, I am only a plain woman and I don't have your wonderful gift of expression but if you put yourself in my position as an ordinary citizen with a son 21 years old and I just think if Congress --

(Doktor Schultz) -- Bud, Madam, iff I may zay zo --

(Lady columnist, in a modulated shriek) -- Precisely, Doktor, but, if I may be permitted to interrupt, my only purpose in interrupting, and I apologize to this lady, because if anything makes me lose my temper it is interruptions, but here we have two intransigeant and utterly irreconciliable postulations breeding a spirit of defeatist isolationism in an atmosphere of gaseous parliamantary subterfuge whereas --

(Mrs. Spelvin, real sore) -- Well, even if you break it up into little words I still don't know what you are talking about, because you sound to me like if you ever got your hands in the sink for once, why maybe you think you are pretty hot but leave me tell you something, sister, if you interrupt me again when I am trying to say I don't care how many long words you use and you say you are a mother, but how much time do you spend with your kid because I will bet you --

(Doktor Schultz, placatingly) -- Bud, Madam, bleace, bleace don'd loose de dember --

(Mrs. Spelvin, fit to be tied) -- You shut your dumb Dutch trap --

(Lady columnist, with auteur) -- Madam, if I may interrupt --

(Mrs. Spelvin, raving now) -- You interrupt once more and I will slap you silly, you flannel-mouthed --

(Mr. Spelvin, jubilant) -- Atta gal, Maw. Pour it on 'em, Maw!


(By the announcer) -- You have just listened to a round-table discussion of the lend-lease bill.

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