The author of these Travels, Mr. Leo Anthony Gallagher, Jr., is my ancient and intimate friend; there is likewise some relation between us on the mother’s side, and a mutual appreciation for the comedic potential of the sledgehammer. About three months ago, Mr. Gallagher having suffered a heart attack during a performance in Lewisville, Texas, made a small purchase of land, with a convenient house, near Fort Bragg, North Carolina, his native country; where he now lives retired, yet in good esteem among his neighbours.
The author is shipwrecked among the Lilliputians, a tiny people. He gains the emperor’s favor by crushing a melon.
In my first audience before the emperor of Lilliput and the nobles, the crowd was struck with a profound confusion by my every joke, particularly that concerning the parkway and driveway, whereof the activities ordained to each contradict the names. Fearing I should wholly fail of success, I set a melon upon a banquet table, directly before several illustrious persons of quality. I boasted I knew a single device capable of slicing, dicing, chopping, and even hopping the melon. After a pause sufficient to conjure disbelief, I lifted a great sledgehammer, approximately the length of my hand, and gave the melon a good blow, whereupon the courtiers were suddenly wet by the muck therein, and the emperor laughed with hearty satisfaction.
The author awakes in Brobdingnag. The inhabitants described as giants. He diverts the queen by his
proportion to a couch.
Having lived among the Brobdingnagians three months, I spoke their language tolerably well and ventured to translate my routine. For example, I asked the queen’s ladies: “Why have the ministers not already sold those houses near to the airport, where there is an endless din, to the deaf?” I have often observed that, between one nation and another, there is scarcely any great difference in wit; and the queen told me that this joke was long ago invented in that kingdom. Seeing the same fate afflict all of my jokes, even that concerning baby oil and olive oil, I became heartily vexed and determined to brood alone upon a couch, about twenty feet high, whereupon there was a chorus of laughter at my expense. The queen, showing good manners, soon made me to understand the cause: the couch belonged to the queen’s dwarf, the smallest ever known in that kingdom, and his proportion to a man’s couch was as my proportion to the dwarf’s couch.
The author returns home. He improves his fortunes with the sledgehammer and giant couch.
I stayed but one month at home with my family, for my insatiable desire of seeing comedy clubs in exotic lands, such as Tuscaloosa, Alabama and Manchester, New Hampshire, would suffer me to continue no longer in domestic tranquility. I left five thousand dollars with my wife and set out on a nationwide tour, in hopes to improve my fortunes. Before the first performance, while pacing in the lobby of a La Quinta Inn, I comprehended that I had forgotten all of my jokes while travelling abroad, and I could only remember, as sources of wit, the occasions of the hammer and the couch. I ordered the construction of a vast couch and also purchased a sledgehammer and several dozens of fruits in all sizes; my only tincture of innovation being that I would now make use of roller skates. I must confess that the audience roared louder for these two devices only than for the whole of my former routine.