Kristin Hunter's short story "Mom Luby and the Social Worker" examines a day in the life of Mom Luby, an elderly woman who is caring for two children--Elijah and Puddin'--while simultaneously operating a Prohibition-era speakeasy out of the back of her house. The tale opens with Mom Luby seeking financial assistance from the Social Welfare office so that she may better provide for her foster children; this request prompts a home visit from a social worker named Miss Rushmore who has been tasked with evaluating the living conditions of Elijah and Puddin'.
Although Miss Rushmore has her doubts about Mom Luby, she provides her with instructions on the lengthy process of applying to receive assistance, particularly for new clothing for the children. Mom Luby claims that she does not have enough time to go through such a process and winds up proving this fact to Miss Rushmore by bringing her along on her errands. At the end of this two hour time period, Miss Rushmore is exhausted and realizes that Mom Luby has accomplished far more in two hours that Miss Rushmore has accomplished in two years. The ironic twist of the ending involves Mom Luby suggesting that the Social Welfare office should hire her due to her productivity, but Miss Rushmore protesting that Mom Luby is not qualified for such a position.