three I’m under the table, four I’m under the host!
These immor(t)al lines were penned –as well you know– by the inimitable Dorothy Parker, today’s Friday Fierceness.
My great great grandfather was the chief engineer at the Hotel Algonquin during the heyday of the Algonquin Round Table and we have several postcards from those luminary lushes written to “Chief” so I’ve been fascinated with the Vicious Circle for ages and Dorothy Parker was the center of my world.
I don’t love Dorothy Parker as much as I used to although her short stories and poems are all worth reading. If you can get Lauren Bacall narrating “Big Blond” and “Horsie” (the former is more popular, the latter –which I prefer– more beautiful and pathetic) do so at any cost.
Dorothy Parker née Rothschild was dark. She drank too much, married more often than is generally considered ideal and one gets the feeling she would have been a suicide if she’d only plucked up the courage. Let’s be grateful she did not.
Although I don’t like her work as much as I used to, I empathize with her more as I get older. She hated being known as a “wisecracker” she preferred to be known as a “wit”.
“Wit has truth in it; wisecracking is simply calisthenics with words”
When you’re a funny woman, folks want you to be nothing BUT funny. Maybe it’s because there are so few genuinely funny writers of either gender or maybe it’s because the evil They want to keep women in their tidy little pigeonholes, but I can understand Parker’s despair.
“The two most beautiful words in the English language are ‘cheque enclosed.’ ”
“Take care of luxuries and the necessities will take care of themselves.”
“Money cannot buy health, but I’d settle for a diamond-studded wheelchair.”
“I’ve never been a millionaire but I just know I’d be darling at it.”
“It serves me right for keeping all my eggs in one bastard.”
“I require three things in a man. He must be handsome, ruthless and stupid.”
“Ducking for apples – change one letter and it’s the story of my life.”
“Now I know the things I know, and I do the things I do; and if you do not like me so, to hell, my love, with you!”
“I shall stay the way I am because I do not give a damn.”
“I don’t care what anybody says about me as long as it isn’t true.”
“Heterosexuality is not normal, it’s just common”
“You can lead a horticulture, but you can’t make her think”
“The first thing I do in the morning is brush my teeth and sharpen my tongue”
and finally a quote I hope you’ll all forget so I can pass it off as my own in about two weeks:
“This wasn’t just plain terrible, this was fancy terrible. This was terrible with raisins in it.”