Life moved at a slower pace in Meddybemps, Maine back in 1922. Probably still does. According to Wikipedia
, the 2010 census listed Meddybemps as having a population of only 157.
Maine Man Counts Peas for a Month and Wins Bet of $2.50
To win a wager of $2.50, Henry Parish of Meddybemps, Me., has spent nearly a month counting peas. His eyes are in such condition that whether open or shut he sees peas and quart cans. When he sleeps he dreams of peas and quart cans.
On Washington's birthday, Parish and a neighbor named Wainwright engaged in an argument.
"Bet you $2.50 I can count a million peas between now and the middle of March," said Parish.
"I'll take that bet," said Wainwright. "You count them and put them in glass fruit jars."
Parish began. He took all his wife's empty fruit jars and all the peas he could borrow, and by Saturday night he had counted 100,000. This gave him hope, and he began to boast to Wainwright.
"I'll tell you what I'll do," said the latter. "If you count the peas without making a mistake, I'll eat them all in two weeks; if you overcount or undercount you eat them."
Parish took this bet and counted the first batch over again to be sure he had made no error. Finding that he was three peas out of the way he got nervous.
A couple of days ago Parish finished in a rush and took all the cans over to Wainwright's house.
"There's the peas. Now eat them," he commanded, "and fork over the $2.50."
"But how do I know you have counted correctly?" protested Wainwright.
"You don't, so count them yourself," chuckled Parish.
"Well, I guess I'll take it for granted if you'll let me off on eating them," said Wainwright, after thinking it over. "I'll pay you the $2.50 and call it square."
"Oh, no, you don't," gurgled Parish; "a bet's a bet and you've got to count them. Then I'll bet you have to eat them."
Wainwright is now counting peas to see whether he does or does not eat them.
Category: Boredom | 1920s