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Hat Trick

As they departed from a fashionable party one New Year's eve, e. e. cummings and his wife realized that they had neglected to bring enough money to pay to take the subway home.

Stepping into the elevator with a portly gentleman, cummings quickly formulated a plan. "Excuse me," he said, placing his hat at his feet with an exaggerated flourish, "would you care to step on my hat?"

The man, impressed by cummings's aristocratic demeanor, hesitantly gave a nod. "I'm afraid it will cost you five dollars," cummings declared.

Incredibly, the stranger promptly stepped on the hat, paid his fee, and enabled cummings and his wife to travel home in a cab.

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