Public Enemies Question #19 ~ A Little Humor

by Bryan Burrough

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Public Enemies Question #19 ~ A Little Humor

Unread postby Liz » Fri Feb 29, 2008 10:27 am

Were there any moments in the book that you found comical?
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Betty Sue
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Unread postby Betty Sue » Fri Feb 29, 2008 11:35 am

The picture of the Indiana prosecutor smiling and embracing John Dillinger is pretty comical (less so to Hoover, I guess :grin:).
Wish I had time to get into your wonderful discussions but have left the frozen tundra for Florida and am on the run. Will return in time to welcome John Dillinger to our territory! :bounce: (Needless to say!!)
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Unread postby Sheri » Fri Feb 29, 2008 12:37 pm

Every time something went wrong for Hoover. The man thought he was something pretty special, but to me, he was a legend in his own mind.

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Unread postby Liz » Fri Feb 29, 2008 1:50 pm

Betty Sue wrote:The picture of the Indiana prosecutor smiling and embracing John Dillinger is pretty comical (less so to Hoover, I guess :grin:).
Wish I had time to get into your wonderful discussions but have left the frozen tundra for Florida and am on the run. Will return in time to welcome John Dillinger to our territory! :bounce: (Needless to say!!)


Well have a great time thawing out down there. Hope the power stays on for you. I'm glad you'll be back in time for Johnnie Dillinger's arrival. ;-)

I agree with both of you. Ma Dillinger, that was a great moment. Can't wait to see Johnny do it. Sheri, I can just see his expression at these times--smoke blowing out of his ears, wide open eyes, cheeks puffed up.
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Unread postby gemini » Fri Feb 29, 2008 2:34 pm

I found this part as well as some others in the Crown Point escape rather funny. It sort of reminded me of the keystone cops. Dillinger had locked up Warren Baker and some other jailers, while he went to get an escape vehicle. Meanwhile they had freed themselves from the cells but were still locked in the cell block...........

Baker went to a secret peephole that led into a closet in his residence. He banged on the wall. A moment later his wife's eyeball appeared at the peephole.
"Irene,he said "Has the car left the garage?"
She didn't uinderstand.
"Call for help," Baker said. " John Dillinger is out!"
Mrs. Baker wan't sure what to do. She picked up the phone, but for some reason the line was dead. She opened a window, spied a passing postman, and shouted " My God! John Dillinger is Out!" The postman stared. At wits end, Mrs. Baker hurried out of the aprartment and down the flight of stairs to the garage. Bursting inside, she found Ernest Blunk standing with a man she didn't recognise.
"John Dillinger is out! She exclaimed.
The man stepped toward her. Suddenly she noticed the submachine gun in his hand, the two pistols jammed into his belt, and the two other pistols in his front pockets.
"Oh No" she said. "Your not Dillinger!"
Dillinger smiled and took her by the arm.


Betty Sue, its pretty cold down here for us but may still thaw you out. No worries Liz, they seemed to have got all the electric back on. We only lost electric in the mall here while most of the excitement was further south. The biggest problem was street lights not working. Good thing it was daylight.
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Unread postby Liz » Fri Feb 29, 2008 3:16 pm

:biglaugh: That's a good one, alright, Calamity! Thanks for posting the whole passage so I could get a good laugh all over again.

Glad you weren't affected too much by the power outage. Pretty freaky, though, eh?
:freaked:
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Unread postby nebraska » Fri Feb 29, 2008 9:56 pm

I was continually amazed by the bumbling of the FBI agents, who were always late and lost...........don't know if I found it particularly comical or not. I am trying to remember if I laughed out loud at any point in this book and I don't think I did. Some of it was like "you have got to be kidding me!" but I don't know that I thought it was truly funny.

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Unread postby Theresa » Fri Feb 29, 2008 10:24 pm

I found the newspaper articles about all the Dillinger spottings rather humorous...

p. 344

"Mr. Dillinger," a Chicago Tribune columnist noted at the height of the hysteria, "was seen yesterday looking over the new spring gloves in a State Street store in Chicago; negotiating for a twelve-cylinder car in Springfield, Illinois; buying a half-dozen sassy cravats in Omaha, Nebraska; bargaining for a suburban bungelow at his home town of Mooresville, Indiana, and shaking hands with old friends; drinking a glass of soda water in a drugstore in Charleston, South Carolina; and strolling down Broadway swinging a Malacca cane in New York. He also bought a fishing rod in a sporting-goods store in Montreal and gave a dinner at a hotel in Yucatin, Mexico. But, anyhow, Mr. Dillinger seems to have kept very carefully out of London, Berlin, Rome, Moscow, and Vienna. Or at least if he did go to those places yesterday, he was traveling [incognito]."

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Unread postby Liz » Fri Feb 29, 2008 11:23 pm

theresa wrote:I found the newspaper articles about all the Dillinger spottings rather humorous...

p. 344

"Mr. Dillinger," a Chicago Tribune columnist noted at the height of the hysteria, "was seen yesterday looking over the new spring gloves in a State Street store in Chicago; negotiating for a twelve-cylinder car in Springfield, Illinois; buying a half-dozen sassy cravats in Omaha, Nebraska; bargaining for a suburban bungelow at his home town of Mooresville, Indiana, and shaking hands with old friends; drinking a glass of soda water in a drugstore in Charleston, South Carolina; and strolling down Broadway swinging a Malacca cane in New York. He also bought a fishing rod in a sporting-goods store in Montreal and gave a dinner at a hotel in Yucatin, Mexico. But, anyhow, Mr. Dillinger seems to have kept very carefully out of London, Berlin, Rome, Moscow, and Vienna. Or at least if he did go to those places yesterday, he was traveling [incognito]."

I remember chuckling at that one.:lol:

Sugar, there were so many times I would say out loud, "Unbelievable!"
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Unread postby Liz » Fri Feb 29, 2008 11:32 pm

OK. Here’s one from pg. 64:

“For some reason, probably because they were low on cash, they decided to rob a Muncie roadhouse, the Bide-a-Wee Tavern, that same night. A few minutes after midnight, Dillinger and a partner walked in, guns drawn, handkerchiefs over their faces, and within minutes backed out of the bar with about $70. On the way out the front door, Dillinger encountered a couple coming in. With a grin he pinched the woman’s bottom; when her male friend objected, Dillinger slugged him.”

I can just see Johnny doing that. So :captainjack: .
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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Sat Mar 01, 2008 12:15 am

theresa, those Dillinger "sightings" sound like things we might read about Johnny sometimes! It seems Johnnie D was just as adept as Johnny D at being in more than one place at once. :lol:
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Unread postby suec » Sat Mar 01, 2008 5:21 am

I enjoyed the reports of the diiferent sightings. I wouldn't say I smiled at this - it was more of a wry grimace. But I thought it ironic:
Hoover made certain the public knew how well he was doing. He gave speeches and occasional newspaper interviews, emphasizing the Bureau's integrity and its devotion to what he called "scientific policing"
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Unread postby linnie » Sat Mar 01, 2008 6:50 am

Liz - can you briefly tell us about the Ma Dillinger episode please. I sure hope they play some humor in this movie because Johnny is so creative with the straight faced sly humor.

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Unread postby neophyte » Sat Mar 01, 2008 10:03 am

I thought Dillinger and Van Meter's movie idea was a hoot - the quote attributed to Van Meter, "you tell them that crime does not pay and I'll give my talk to the youth of America."

There are more bits that made me chuckle, but it's too early in the morning for me to remember them right now...
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Unread postby Betty Sue » Sat Mar 01, 2008 1:52 pm

Linnie, I think Liz was just referring to me (aka Ma Dillinger) and my comment. (Off the subject: Liz, we were directed through many a lightless intersection during the power outage and so happy to find a restaurant with electricity. Gemini, your weather is heaven. :cloud9: )
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