Friday, 21 January 2011

Dorothy's wrong words

Someone at New Writing North sent me a copy of this telegram once sent by Dorothy Parker (1893-1967). Now there's a woman who was not normally lost for the right words. What I say is, if the condition is good enough for Dorothy, it's good enough for me.

Receiving this made me recall some of Dorothy Parker's famously witty and barbed comments. Not someone to get on the wrong side of. Here's a few of her best.

All those writers who write about their childhood! Gentle God, if I wrote about mine you wouldn't sit in the same room with me.

All I say is, nobody has any business to go around looking like a horse and behaving as if it were all right. You don't catch horses going around looking like people, do you?

How could they tell? (on being told of the death of former President Calvin Coolidge)

Men seldom make passes
At girls who wear glasses.

I require only three things of a man. He must be handsome, ruthless, and stupid.

Authors and actors and artists and such
Never know nothing, and never know much.

The only 'ism' Hollywood believes in is plagiarism.

There is entirely too much charm around, and something must be done to stop it.

Those who have mastered etiquette, who are entirely, impeccably right, would seem to arrive at a point of exquisite dullness.

That woman speaks eighteen languages and can't say No in any of them.
(of a departing guest)

If all the girls attending it were laid end to end - I wouldn't be at all surprised.
(of the Yale Prom)

She ran the whole gamut of her emotions from A to B. (of actress Katherine Hepburn)

His ignorance was an Empire State Building of ignorance. You had to admire it for its size.(of Harold Ross, editor of The New Yorker)

Outspoken by whom?
(on being told she was very outspoken)

This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force.

Money cannot buy health, but I'd settle for a diamond-studded wheelchair.

And to show she wasn't all just feistiness:

Lips that taste of tears, they say
Are the best for kissing.

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