Short Story—Mr. Ratherquite Humbled

Before reading this story, you may want to check out these character profiles: Mr. Ratherquite and the Ladies, Ruber Salami, Daddy Salami, Schwarz Tauptinker, Mortimer Butterfield.


Late one night. At a party taking place at Mortimer Butterfield’s mansion, celebrating the release of a new sweet. Lots of guests. Bright lights. Bright floor. Trouble brewing.

Mr. Ratherquite and his Ladies were on their way to intercept Mortimer, when Ruber intentionally stepped in their way.

“Well, well,” he said, “if it’s not Mr. Ratherquite.”

Mr. Ratherquite raised an eyebrow. “And the Ladies,” he added.

Ruber laughed. “They count for nothing but your private toadies, eh?”

“Sir!” Mr. Ratherquite scolded as the ladies both gasped. “You should not insult so—especially in front of ladies.”

“I see no ladies,” Ruber said, looking about. Then he leaned menacingly close and poked Mr. Ratherquite in the chest. “Just wanted to tell you that I’ve been observing you from afar all night, and that I can’t stand you or your ways, eh?”

Mr. Ratherquite bit his lower lip and was trembling. “You…YOU!” He quickly drew off his white glove and slapped Ruber across the face. “I, sir, challenge you to a duel at once!”

Suddenly, all eyes at the party were on them, and Ruber tried to back down. He wasn’t nervous about fighting Mr. Ratherquite. No, Ruber was concerned about the publicity of such an event.

“Listen, I’m sorry, Mr. Ratherquite,” he began quickly in a quiet voice, “didn’t mean anything by it. Let’s let it go, eh?”

“No, sir!” Mr. Ratherquite said. “Not at all!”

The ladies giggled.

“Please,” Ruber tried.

“No!” Mr. Ratherquite was adamant. “You started this and you’ll finish it!”

“Yes, ya will, Ruber,” a voice rang out; and Daddy Salami walked over. “Ya will finish it, Ruber ole’ boy. And ya’ll teach this turtle-cur a lesson!” Salami laughed maliciously.

And Ruber smiled. “I got the proper backing now,” he said, looking at Mr. Ratherquite. “Still want to fight, eh?”

Mr. Ratherquite paled slightly.

“Hey!” Schwarz said, intervening, “I’ve seen the whole thing and your son was wrong, Daddy!”

Salami’s mouth dropped as he turned and looked Schwarz in the eye. “What’d ya call me, cur?!”

“I called you by your name, Daddy.”

Salami laughed and turned towards Ruber. “Me son, ya got another person on your list ta kill tonight. Hehaha.”

Ruber nodded. “Yeah.”

At that moment, Mortimer Butterfield strolled over.

“What is going on here?” he asked. “Hmm?”

“These two here,” Mr. Ratherquite said, pointing to Ruber and Salami, “aren’t gentlemen at all! They were insulting the Ladies!”

Both ladies giggled and Mortimer looked at them warily.

“Oh. Well, Mr. Ratherquite, you must get used to such happenings when you walk around with such ugly females.”

Mr. Ratherquite was greatly taken aback. “YOU…” he sputtered.

Mortimer smiled.

The Ladies were in shock.

Salami laughed.

Ruber laughed.

“I just…don’t know…” Schwarz added.

Mr. Ratherquite breathed in deeply. “Come, ladies, let us leave. We won’t stay in a place with such un-gentlemanly gentlemen!”

And then they left.

Mortimer smiled. “If I knew it would’ve been that easy to get rid of him, I would have employed that technique much sooner.”



28 Responses to “Short Story—Mr. Ratherquite Humbled”

  1. 1 krugthethinker August 31, 2013 at 19:29

    *I* want to go to a party for the release of a new sweet! Ah, the poor ladies! Even if they are toadies. This is not my opinion, of course. I would never dare to be so rude!

    • 2 Professor VJ Duke September 1, 2013 at 18:09

      Mr. R and the Ladies aren’t as bad as some Punchy Family members try to make them seem! (I’d like to go to that party too!)

  2. 3 L. Marie August 29, 2013 at 23:20

    This story made me laugh out loud, especially Ruber’s “private toadies” remark!!!! I so love Mr. Ratherquite and his ladies. And I’m certain they weren’t on the invitation list,

    • 4 Professor VJ Duke August 30, 2013 at 01:00

      And you’d be right. They weren’t. I do think you’re are one of the few who actually like Mr. R and the L’s! Maybe the professor should post a story about one of his own adventures in the PL…

  3. 5 The Dancing Rider August 29, 2013 at 20:50

    Oh I laughed. At first I was “go Ruber”, then when he slunk back, I thought “that figures, you coward!” The insults though, were ingenious. Mr. Ratherquite is a lot like a puffed up bird! Humbled, indeed!

    As a short story though (aside from the personalities involved … ) I thought it was really quite good. I felt the tension between the characters, and I liked the resolution (such as it was).

    • 6 Professor VJ Duke August 30, 2013 at 00:58

      :D Ruber is cowardly at times, I think, but DS gave him the much needed support! (You’re right! He is like a puffed up bird! Maybe a dodo?)

      :D :D Thank you! The PL is always alive with stories, you know. ;)

  4. 7 Sonya Solomonovich August 29, 2013 at 19:34

    That was a very satisfying ending — though I would have liked to see the duel. I can’t even imagine what a duel in the punchy lands would be like?! What sort of weapons would be used?
    And I’ve always wondered about Daddy Salami, whether Daddy was his actual name. I guess it’s not…

    • 8 Professor VJ Duke August 30, 2013 at 00:56

      Well–tell you what, if you’re willing–pick out two Punchy characters that you’d like to see duel. And then I’ll set one up (travel there and set it up, mind you) and I’ll post about the duel next week! What do you think?

      Why do you guess it’s not his real name?

      • 9 Sonya Solomonovich August 30, 2013 at 01:15

        Well I certainly appreciate you taking all that trouble just to arrange a duel! This will take some thinking… I will get back to you soon on the duelists.

        Daddy Salami seemed to get all angry when Shwartz called him Daddy…

      • 10 Professor VJ Duke August 30, 2013 at 14:32

        No problem! If you change your mind, that’s fine too. Just let the professor know.

        Very intuitive! ;)

  5. 11 I Am Jasmine Kyle August 29, 2013 at 18:58

    I’d love to see a man at dinner remove a glove and slap another across the face. Now we through drinks… I think the glove would hurt more!

    • 12 Professor VJ Duke August 30, 2013 at 00:53

      Yes, so would I. (Maybe you and I should set something like that up… ;) ) Throwing drinks is not fun–much better to slap!

      • 13 I Am Jasmine Kyle August 30, 2013 at 08:49

        HA I would LOVE to see that. I mean not to see it but… if there is going to be a fight… that’s the one!

      • 14 Professor VJ Duke August 30, 2013 at 14:34

        I agree completely!

  6. 15 ladycheetah7 August 29, 2013 at 17:23

    Ruber and Mortimer are my heroes. :O

    • 16 Professor VJ Duke August 29, 2013 at 18:34

      :lol: You always make the professor chuckle. I definitely understand what you’re saying!

  7. 17 Simply skeptical August 29, 2013 at 15:04

    Mr. Ratherquite may be a gentleman; be he’s a pompous self righteous one! His ladies are weak in the mind; his little (or should I say) BiG shadows. Just the thought of the threesome conjures extreme disdain. :-O

    • 18 Professor VJ Duke August 29, 2013 at 15:07

      Really? I’ve always found them so fascinating…

  8. 19 Jackie August 29, 2013 at 13:16

    Sounds like just another day in Punchy Lands! I think Ruber is jealous of Mr. Ratherquite because he has “The Ladies” and Ruber doesn’t.

    • 20 Professor VJ Duke August 29, 2013 at 14:48

      Hmmm, that could be it. I’ve never thought of it that way. It’s definitely a possibility. But, I really don’t know what there is to be jealous of! :D

      • 21 Jackie August 29, 2013 at 19:05

        Where is Ruber’s Mom? It could be a case of having mommy issues. I dunno – just a little speculation on my part. His reaction to “the ladies” is interesting.

      • 22 Professor VJ Duke August 30, 2013 at 00:55

        :lol: Very good point! Legend has it that Salami’s wife was left behind…in the past. It’s a long story. Maybe Salami had something to do with it, though. Do you think Ruber secretly likes the ladies?

  9. 23 gabrielablandy August 29, 2013 at 13:13

    You drew me in! I thought this piece showed a really deft handling of the tension between the characters, pacing the intensity so that it comes sure and steady, rather than too much and leaving us with a deflated sense.

    • 24 Professor VJ Duke August 29, 2013 at 14:47

      The professor is honored! Thank you! This comment made the professor’s day!

  10. 25 Susan P August 29, 2013 at 12:00

    Dear me. Such a to do, Professor.

    Having listened to the videos, I am now hearing these characters’ voices when I read them. Or are those the voices in my head? Hmmm…

    • 26 Professor VJ Duke August 29, 2013 at 14:47

      Well, it could be either. You know, you are Punchy Family member…

      • 27 Susan P August 29, 2013 at 15:39

        :D It’s nice to belong somewhere…

      • 28 Professor VJ Duke August 29, 2013 at 18:34

        And the professor is very happy to have you! :D

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