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Desperate Ambrose

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Deborah in Lawrenceburg, Indiana, remembers a phrase from her grandfather: Desperate Ambrose. He’s so desperate he would steal a hot stove. The first part is a reference to Desperate Ambrose, a character in the comic strip “S’Matter Pop?,” by cartoonist Charles Payne, which ran from about 1910 to 1940. The Lambiek Comiclopedia is a good resource for information about comic strips. The description of someone who would steal a hot stove goes back to the 1860s, and emphasizes the idea of someone being a thieving rascal. Playwright Wilson Mizner is credited with elaborating on that phrase, describing someone so desperate that they would steal a hot stove and come back for the smoke. This is part of a complete episode.

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