O. Henry may not be the most highbrow of literary giants, but it can’t be said that he’s not a great read. (At least seven or eight times every Christmas/Hanukkah, my significant other and I make the same joke about getting each other watch fobs and hair combs.) I recently discovered his story, “The Higher Pragmatism” in The Greatest Boxing Stories Ever Told: Thirty-Six Incredible Tales from the Ring and it’s every bit as glib and funny as the rest of his work, but it has the added bonus of hitting very close to home.
If you’re looking for a quick and amusing read, check it out online here. My favorite line: “I’ve done nothing but a little punching-bag work. Take Freddy back to Yale and tell him to quit studying sociology on the wrong side of the sidewalk.” I wish people really talked like that.
Anyway, here’s to keeping our imaginations from getting the better of us.