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The Aggravation of Elmer

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Published: 1955
Language: English
Wordcount: 3,546 / 18 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 54.9
LoC Category: PS
Downloads: 2,501
Added to site: 2009.08.06 24912

The world would beat a path to Elmer's door—but he had to go carry the door along with him!

Show Excerpt

was the darnedest traffic jam I'd ever seen in White Plains. For two blocks ahead of me, Main Street was gutter to gutter with stalled cars, trucks and buses.

If I hadn't been in such a hurry to get back to the shop, I might have paid more attention. I might have noticed nobody was leaning on his horn. Or that at least a quarter of the drivers were out peering under their hoods.

But at the time it didn't register. I gave the tie-up a passing glance and was turning up the side street toward Biltom Electronics--Bill-Tom, get it?--when I saw Marge threading her way to the curb. She was leading a small blonde girl of about eight, who clutched a child-size hatbox in her hand. Marge was hot and exasperated, but small fry was as cool and composed as a vanilla cone.

I waited. Even flushed and disheveled, Marge is a treat to look at. She is tall and slender

Reader Reviews

Average Rating of 3.3 from 3 reviews: ****
Lisa Carr

A simple, silly story about a boy inventor. His inventions astonish the owner of an electronics store. But some of them bite back.
The childish mispronunciations of the girl are a pretty weak plot device that gets old quickly. The author did correctly predict global warming and the rise of the oceans, though.

Henry L. Ratliff

(1955) Sci-fi (Inventions) / Humor

From 'Galaxy Science Fiction May 1955.

R: * * * *

Plot bullets

  • Elmer is an inventor.

  • Elmer is only 13.

  • Elmer doesn't know his own abilities.


Competently written but uninspired.



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