“…the bottom fell out of the soul-market long ago in New York.”
I quite like this. It actually kind of sounds like it was written by a Catty Young Lady Already in Manhattan who didn’t want any new competition.
It’s hard to pick a best part but right now I’m leaning towards (f) under the heading “TO MEET A YOUNG MAN” — the six-word disclaimer at the beginning in ALL CAPS is probably advice we could all still use today. (And I really want to know what ‘friendship services’ are.)
Also, entirely unrelated but just as amusing, please read the comments on this. A compulsion to chew on wood? SPONGES?
And finally, I haven’t gone fishing since I was about 12, but if I did this is probably exactly how I would respond, from start to finish (including the life jacket with the crotch strap – safety first). I’m right along with you, kid – except unfortunately I’m old enough to know that no, he probably doesn’t like you all that much right now.