One pleasant morning the President of the Society for Promoting the Importation of Scotch Merchandise awoke after a Balloon Voyage which began 6 Feet below Sea Level in a Rathskeller and finished 2,000 feet above the Altitude recorded by Lincoln Beachey, the Man-Bird.
When he Came To he discovered that the Pillow had climbed over on top of him and was trying to work the Half-Nelson, while a large Pile-Driver was beating a rhythmical Tattoo on the tender Bean.
He had a Temperature of 102 and his Ears were hanging down. Also, during the Period of Coma some one had extracted the Eyes and substituted two hot Door-Knobs.
After he had decanted a miniature Niagara on to the smoking Coppers and removed his Collar, he felt his way over to the window and denounced in unmeasured Terms an English Sparrow that had perched on the Sill, merely to annoy him.
In a little while he remembered that he was a Resident of the Planet known as Earth. Soon after that his Name came back to him and then he recalled his Boyhood and the Fact that when he passed the Parsonage the Presbyterian Minister would ask him to pick some of the Lilacs and Snowballs and take them home to his Sister Alice.
From that Point he groped through his Life History up to the Twilight on which the Regulars had arranged a Send-Off for Old Buck, who was pulling out for Seattle. In order that Buck should remember them as True Friends, they had covertly planned to get him Saturated to the Eye-Balls and then ship him on to his new Home, spread out in Stateroom B, with long-stemmed Roses laid across the Remains. This form of homicidal Gayety is perpetuated under the name of American Hospitality.
Our Hero remembered the polite Get-away on the Low Speed with everybody Respectable, after which the Fountains started to gush and Waiters began to come up out of the Ground bearing Fairy Gifts of a Liquid Variety. Somewhat later in the Evening he found himself balanced on one Toe on a swiftly-moving Cloud, announcing to the Stars of Night that he was a True Sport.
In other words, he realized, as he sat humped over in the Morris Chair, holding on to the Head, lest it should fall off and roll across the floor, that he had been Snooted for Fair, Plastered, Ossified, Benzoated, Piped, Pickled, Spifficated, Corned, Raddled, Obfuscated, Soused and Ory-Eyed.
Six hours before, he had stood on a Table and declared for the Brotherhood of Man, and now he craved but one Companion and that was old Colonel R. E. Morse.
Standing over in the Sunlight by the Window, where he could see the innocent Shop-Girls going blithely to their $6 a week, he lifted the trembling Right Mitt clear above his Head and then and there declared himself to be on the Cart until the great Celestial Bodies should skid in their Orbits and the Globe itself dissolve into Vapor.
Just as he pronounced the Words, “nev-ER A-gen,” he felt a great Flood of worthy Resolutions arising in his new Moral Nature. He would buy a Winchester Automatic and devote the remainder of his wasted Life to shooting up Barkeeps. And when he died, the whole Estate would go to the W. C. T. U.
Just after he had double-strapped himself to the Wagon and started up Seltzer Avenue, he realized that an immediate Absinthe Frappe would be worth $15,000 to him, but instead of ordering one, he resolved to write Doc Wiley a Letter advising him that while he was putting the Nixey Mark on that Green Magoo he should include all other Colors bestowed upon the Essence of Tribulation.
That afternoon the Survivors of the Midnight Massacre got together at a Club to compare Hang-Overs and find out what had happened after the Roof fell in.