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Dancing Dan's Christmas
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Group Reads > Dec. 15-21, 2018: "Dancing Dan's Christmas"

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Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽ | 1216 comments Mod
Dec. 15-21: "Dancing Dan's Christmas" by Damon Runyon.

Free online at: https://www.nytimes.com/1972/12/25/ar...

Please tag spoilers!


message 2: by Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂ , Moderator (new)

Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 1573 comments Mod
I read this in Damon Runyon Favorites & I can tell you, some of these stories won't be for everyone. Sense of Humor was misogynistic & unfunny in the extreme.

But I really liked this one. (view spoiler)


message 3: by Samanta (last edited Dec 16, 2018 06:17AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Samanta   (almacubana) | 61 comments Hahahaha...what a story! I didn't think it was much until the very end. (view spoiler)


message 4: by Elinor (new)

Elinor | 193 comments Cute and clever -- and unusual for a Christmas story in the sense that it features drunks and criminals! My mouth was watering for a Tom and Jerry by the time I finished -- anybody know what that is, exactly?


message 5: by Susan in NC (last edited Dec 16, 2018 08:01AM) (new)

Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 1286 comments Elinor wrote: "Cute and clever -- and unusual for a Christmas story in the sense that it features drunks and criminals! My mouth was watering for a Tom and Jerry by the time I finished -- anybody know what that i..."

Hey Elinor - I haven’t read this story, and hadn’t heard of this, but Google says:
a traditional Christmastime cocktail in the United States, devised by British journalist Pierce Egan in the 1820s. It is a variant of eggnog with brandy and rum added and served hot, usually in a mug or a bowl.

Tom and Jerry
Cocktail
Tom & Jerry as served at Karl Ratzsch's, Milwaukee.jpg
A Tom & Jerry cocktail
Type
Cocktail
Served
Hot in a mug or bowl
Standard drinkware
Irish Coffee Glass (Mug).svgMug
Commonly used ingredients
eggs or egg whites, powdered sugar, brandy, rum
Preparation
Separate Eggs, Beat Egg Whites until stiff. Mix Egg Yolks with Powdered Sugar, Put spoonful of yolk mixture in cup, mix with brandy and rum, Fold in some Egg White then add hot milk and top with more Egg White, stir gently to fold in the egg white. Top with Nutmeg.
Another method uses egg whites, beaten stiff, with the yolks and sugar folded back in, and optionally vanilla extract added. A few spoonfuls are added to a mug, then hot milk and rum are added, and it is topped with nutmeg. Pre-made Tom and Jerry batter, typically produced by Wisconsin and Minnesota manufacturers, is sold in regional supermarkets during the Christmas season.[1][2]



message 6: by Susan in NC (new)

Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 1286 comments I don’t know, I’m not a huge rum fan...


message 7: by Barb in Maryland (last edited Dec 16, 2018 09:33AM) (new)

Barb in Maryland | 477 comments Aw, what a clever story. I like Runyon's voice. It's fun to go slumming with some shady characters.

I like a good Tom and Jerry. I've had it at parties, where it's made in large batches and served (hot of course) from a punch bowl. Goes down easy--almost too easy.


message 8: by Susan in NC (new)

Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 1286 comments Barb in Maryland wrote: "Aw, what a clever story. I like Runyon's voice. It's fun to go slumming with some shady characters,

I like a good Tom and Jerry. I've had it at parties, where it's made in large batches and served..."


I imagine, on a cold December night, it would be quite tasty and easy to enjoy...


message 9: by Susan in NC (last edited Dec 16, 2018 09:29AM) (new)

Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 1286 comments Just finished the story, funny ending! I got a chuckle out of Ooky’s pups being tired - my grandma used to say her “dogs” were tired! I don’t think I’d appreciate being referred to as a doll...especially in my 90s! But my grandparents used to refer to certain types of women as “dollies”...(They were blue collar Chicagoans, not New Yorkers, though).


message 10: by Barb in Maryland (new)

Barb in Maryland | 477 comments Yeah, the 'doll' label is so dated and problematic.


message 11: by Susan in NC (last edited Dec 16, 2018 10:05AM) (new)

Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 1286 comments Barb in Maryland wrote: "Yeah, the 'doll' label is so dated and problematic."

Really! Call me Barbie and have done with it! I’ve loved a lot of old movies over the years, but as I watch them now, I’m amazed at the casual sexism, sexual innuendo and almost misogyny...


message 12: by Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽, Moderator (last edited Dec 16, 2018 07:35PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽ | 1216 comments Mod
I'm off to read it now - I'll report back shortly!

Updates while reading: wow, the 30's slang in here is as bad as one of Georgette Heyer's more cant-filled novels! "Anybody in town will tell you that Dancing Dan is a guy with no Barnaby whatever in him, and in fact he has about as much gizzard as anybody around ..."

"... the only one he will let in is a guy by the name of Ooky, who is nothing but an old rum‐dum ..."


Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽ | 1216 comments Mod
My jaw literally just dropped open when Dancin' Dan opened up his sack(view spoiler)!


message 14: by Susan in NC (new)

Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 1286 comments Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽ wrote: "I'm off to read it now - I'll report back shortly!

Updates while reading: wow, the 30's slang in here is as bad as one of Georgette Heyer's more cant-filled novels! "Anybody in town will tell you ..."


I know - reminds me of the old Bowery Boys movies my dad used to watch on Sunday afternoons when we were kids!


Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽ | 1216 comments Mod
All done! A very amusing story. I just kind of imagined myself in the world of Guys and Dolls for a little bit and rolled with it. :)


message 16: by Susan in NC (new)

Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 1286 comments Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽ wrote: "All done! A very amusing story. I just kind of imagined myself in the world of Guys and Dolls for a little bit and rolled with it. :)"

Exactly, doll!


message 17: by Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽, Moderator (last edited Dec 16, 2018 08:09PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽ | 1216 comments Mod
Haha! I just looked up Damon Runyon on Wikipedia. This should come as no surprise whatsoever:
Runyon's fictional world is also known to the general public through the musical Guys and Dolls based on two of his stories, "The Idyll of Miss Sarah Brown" and "Blood Pressure". The musical additionally borrows characters and story elements from a few other Runyon stories, most notably "Pick The Winner".
Did anyone besides me not realize that the author of this story was the same one who wrote the Guys and Dolls stories?


message 18: by Susan in NC (new)

Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 1286 comments I think my mom told me that years ago - she was an old movie buff!


message 19: by Barb in Maryland (new)

Barb in Maryland | 477 comments Tadiana--I thought you knew that and that was why you picked the story!
BTW, I was reading Connie Willis's intro to her collection of Christmas stories (Miracles) and she names Dancing Dan as one of her favorites. I can see why!


Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽ | 1216 comments Mod
Barb in Maryland wrote: "Tadiana--I thought you knew that and that was why you picked the story!..."

Carol gets the credit for suggesting this story; I just went with it. 😉


message 21: by Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂ , Moderator (new)

Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 1573 comments Mod
*bows* it was one of the better stories in the collection I read - I also really liked Little Miss Marker.

Going a bit off track here,but what Guys & Dolls meant to me (a child of the 70s) was a British manufactured pop band of the same name. I looked them up on Wikipedia & found the group didn't actually sing on their biggest hit - they used studio musicians!

Their song was going through my head the whole time I was reading the book - & no matter how many Christmas carols I play it won't go out of my head!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dsbSP...


LeahBethany | 3 comments I thought this was a clever little tale! I remember watching Guys and Dolls with my mom when I was little and asking why the male characters (Nathan Detroit, Sky Masterson, Nicely-Nicely) spoke the way they did. My mom explained that was "Runyonesque". When I asked what "Runyonesque" was she went on to explain it was the name of the author of Guys and Dolls. It was nice to read a Christmas tale in "Runyonesque"!


message 23: by Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂ , Moderator (new)

Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 1573 comments Mod
I like Runyon's language style. It reads as naive, but is really sly & sarcastic.


message 24: by Susan in NC (new)

Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 1286 comments Yes!


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