I first met Mr. Remington Solander shortly after I installed my first radio set. I was going in to New York on the 8:15 A.M. train and was sitting with my friend Murchison and, as a matter of course, we were talking radio. I had just told Murchison that he was a lunkheaded noodle and that for two cents I would poke him in the jaw, and that even a pin-headed idiot ought to know that a tube set was better than a crystal set. To this Murchison had replied that that settled it. He said he had always known I was a moron, and now he was sure of it.
“If you had enough brains to fill a hazelnut shell,” he said, “you wouldn’t talk that way. Anybody but a half-baked lunatic would know that what a man wants in radio is clear, sharp reception and that’s what a crystal gives you. You’re one of these half-wits that think they’re classy if they can hear some two-cent station five hundred miles away utter a few faint squeaks. Shut up! I don’t want to talk to you. I don’t want to listen to you. Go and sit somewhere else.”
Of course, this was what was to be expected of Murchison. And if I did let out a few laps of anger, I feel I was entirely justified. Radio fans are always disputing over the relative merits of crystal and tube sets, but I knew I was right. I was just trying to decide whether to choke Murchison with my bare hand and throw his lifeless body out of the car window, or tell him a few things I had been wanting to say ever since he began knocking my tube set, when this Remington Solander, who was sitting behind us, leaned forward and tapped me on the shoulder. I turned quickly and saw his long sheeplike face close to mine. He was chewing cardamon seed and breathing the odor into my face.
“My friend,” he said, “come back and sit with me; I want to ask you a few questions about radio.”
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