"Some Days Are Born Ugly," by John Steinbeck

Eric's note: I read the passage below a long time ago yet pieces and parts of it stuck in my head like glue. While on a temporary job just south of Sacramento, CA and mabye a two hour drive from Monterey, I decided to revisit John Steinbeck's books of Cannery Row in hopes of finding the words. I did and am happy to share them with you. We all have bad days and Mr. Steinbeck paints the best picture of how they are born. Enjoy!

Be sure to visit the Steinbeck Center at San Jose State
using the link provided at the end of this excerpt.

If you have any comments about this page, please drop me a note at: eric@biemiller.com

From John Steinbeck's Sweet Thursday
Copyright John Steinbeck, 1954
Copyright renewed, 1982, Elaine A. Steinbeck, Thom Steinbeck, and John Steinbeck, IV

Sweet Thursday is the sequel to Steinbeck's Cannery Row.

Chapter 14, Lousy Wednesday, begins:

Some days are born ugly. From the very first light they are no damn good whatever the weather, and everybody knows it. No one knows what causes this, but on such a day people resist getting out of bed and set their heels against the day. When they are finally forced out by hunger or job they find that the day is just as lousy as they knew it would be.

On such a day it is impossible to make a good cup of coffee, shoestrings break, cups leap from the shelf by themselves and shatter on the floor, children ordinarily honest tell lies, and children ordinarily good unscrew the tap handles of the gas range and lose the screws and have to be spanked. This is the day the cat chooses to have kittens and house-broken dogs wet on the parlor rug.

Oh, it's awful on such a day! The postman brings overdue bills. If it's a sunny day it is too damn sunny, and if it is dark who can stand it.

Mack knew it was going to be that kind of day. He couldn't find his pants. He fell over a box that had crept out in his path. He cursed each brother in the Palace Flophouse, and on his way across the vacant lot he went out of his way to kick a dandelion flower.
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