Mrs. Jones' Birthday
Release Date
30 August 1909

Mrs. Jones' Birthday (1909)

Comedy, Short
It was the anniversary of his wife's birth, and she, womanlike, did not fail to impress the fact upon her husband's mind as he departed at his usually early hour for his customary day's work. A bit excited over the prospect of presenting his better half with a gift befitting the occasion, he loses his balance as he steps out of the front door and rolls pell-mell down a flight of six steps to the street. Picking himself up, he boards a street car, and arriving at his office he goes through his daily routine of business. At the close of office hours he repairs to John Post & Co.'s crockery establishment, and after much cogitation and repeated questioning, purchases a rather handsome jardinière. Delighted with his choice and anticipating the caress he will receive in return, he again takes a car, this time for home. As he seats himself be is accosted by an old friend. After a reminiscent talk Jones arrives at his destination and alights, forgetting his jardinière. The car speeds on. Poor Jones, recovering his wits and realizing that he dare not return home without some token, betakes himself to the same store and purchases another jardinière. Again en route to his car, while passing a grocery store Jones is hailed by another old acquaintance. In the good fellowship of this accidental meeting, Jones absentmindedly places his wife's present on the rear end of the grocery wagon nearby. Thereupon the driver departs with his wagon and is out of sight before Jones realizes what has occurred. He gives chase, but to no avail. He glances nervously at his watch. Exasperated and overheated, he rushes back to the store, and to the amazement of the proprietor purchases his third jardinière. This time he is determined to get safely home; no friend shall balk his way. His car is in sight, when his attention is attracted by a heated altercation between a lady and a taxicab driver, she claiming that she is being overcharged. Now Jones was ever of a chivalrous tendency, and, upon being requested to decide the dispute, proceeds to do so, after first placing his precious parcel on the sidewalk near the cab. A few words, and with a satisfied feeling of having accomplished an heroic deed, Jones reaches for his jardinière, but to his consternation finds that the chauffeur has mistaken it for the property of the occupant of the taxicab, and jardinière and taxicab were "over the hills and far away." Half-crazed with his repeated misfortunes, he rushes back to the same store. The clerk is dumbfounded at the reappearance of this monomaniac on jardinières, but sells him another. Poor Jones, his very soul distorted by his anticipated reception of a late arrival home on this eventful day, dashes madly for his car, when he is startled by a woman who clutches him, not fondly, but too strongly, and screams into his ears "For God's sake, help me; my husband is killing my mother!" Much against his will, unfortunate Mr. Jones is urged into an apartment house. Inside the house he finds himself battling for life, while he is chased madly around the room by a fiend incarnate, who wields an ax with a dexterity so accurate that Jones decidedly disapproves of accuracy. The woman and her mother flee from the house while he, poor man, makes a hurried departure, smashing his jardinière and screaming anathemas on all birthdays. Bruised, tattered and heartsick, be again slowly wends his way to the now so familiar store. "Another of the same kind, please." he meekly requests, he at last gets on a car safely. The car is crowded. A workman enters carrying a package, places it next to that of Jones' jardinière, and he takes a seat beside our friend. At last Jones reaches his destination, and. grabbing the wrong parcel, alights. He enters his dining-room, much relieved, and. inscribing a loving message to his wife, he places it beside what he believes to be his well-earned jardinière. Calling Mrs. Jones, he points with pride to his gift. She embraces him fondly, after reading his words of affection, truly meant but unfortunately so inappropriate. For as she discloses the article so carefully wrapped, lo and behold! it is a workingman's teapot, black with soot. Poor Mrs. Jones, expectant all day, resents what she considers a practical joke, and belabors her husband with words well-nigh unspeakable, and leaves the room, vowing that henceforth he is no husband of hers and that she will return to her mother, never again to be called wife by such as Jones. He, amazed and crestfallen, and disgruntled with the world and himself, swears that birthdays should never exist. - Written by Moving Picture World synopsis
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