Queen Parker and the Nights at the Algonquin Table

This past weekend I had a strange encounter with the full moon. No, no one dropped trou’ and blew me a kiss, but for the past few days, against the wishes of some, and to the delight of others, I seem to have been channeling the late Dorothy Parker. For no apparent reason, and when I least expected, I found myself either quoting one of her right-through-the heart caustic sentiments, bringing some arrogant bastard down a peg, or acting the role as if entertaining the literati at the infamous Algonquin round table, complete with the most cynical bitchcraftiness.

It all started early Friday evening when I was getting ready for an night out and going through the, now all too common debate, between contacts or glasses, when, without warning, I heard my own voice repeat one of Ms. Parker’s most oft quoted poems “Men seldom make passes at girls who wear glasses”.

A couple hours, and sour mash whiskeys later, as I sat listening to the person next to me in his attempt to break the worlds record for being the person who can talk the longest about nothing, I began to scream (in my echoing head of course):

Oh prince or commoner, tenor or bass,

Painter or plumber or never-do-well,

Do me a favor and shut your face,

Poets alone should kiss and tell.

Then, when it became closing time, and I began to carefully and systematically pour over the arguments, pro and con, of staying for the after-hours dancing or going home (well…. sort of…. it was more like… eh… what the hell?), I heard the still, small voice of non-reason recite in my brain:

If I don’t ride around the park,

I’m pretty sure to make my mark.

If I’m at home each night by ten,

I may get back my looks again.

If I abstain from fun and such,

I’ll probably amount to much.

But I shall stay the way I am,

Because I do not give a damn!

Most of Saturday morning (I use the term ‘morning’ so loosely as to make it an outright lie) I was ‘mocking simple earnest folk’ and ‘could not take the gentlest joke’.

After a few triple lattes, I began to feel much more like myself again and Ms. Parker, it seemed, was once again safely back in her lovely grave, where, incidentally, her tombstone reads “Pardon My Dust”. But two Manhattans into the evening (hmmm… maybe it had nothing to do with the full moon after all), I overheard myself (I was forced to eaves drop on myself because Ms. Parker had asked me and my thoughts to kindly step outside) entertaining quite a crowd with quip after quip, jibe after jibe. I could have taken on an entire army of drag queens. She was that good.

There was one more incident/encounter with Ms. Parker before the moon made its grand entrance somewhere over

China

, but I won’t go into much detail as it happened at the most importune and delicate moment. I’ll give you her words and you can imagine the rest…

By the time you swear you’re his

Shivering, and sighing,

And he vows his passion is

Infinite, undying,

Lady, make a note of this

One of you is lying!

By Sunday, the moon had changed its shape and I was once again alone with my thoughts. Both of them. As we (my thoughts and I) became reacquainted, I realized how much I had enjoyed the visitation of Ms. Parker. I hope she’ll be back. Who am I kidding? I know she’ll be back next lunar cycle, not only because we’re kindred spirits (and both enjoy quite a variety of spirits), and because we had such a great time, but also because we hadn’t even had the chance to indulge her more melancholic, dark and suicidal phases, much less, go to a play and criticize an actor or singer to tears and a change of career. She’s such a fun date.

Later that afternoon, I picked up one of her books and it opened right to:

Razors pain you;

Rivers are damp;

Acids stain you;

And drugs cause a cramp.

Guns aren’t lawful;

Nooses give;

Gas smells awful –

You might as well live.

And so I shall.

Jusqu’a plus tard Madame Parker and thanks for a very entertaining weekend.

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