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Sunday, March 1, 2015

Algonquin Round Table

At the table, clockwise from left as seen from above: Dorothy Parker, Robert Benchley, Alexander Woollcott, Heywood Broun, Marc Connelly, Franklin P. Adams, Edna Ferber, George S. Kaufman & Robert Sherwood.  In back, left to right are: Lynn Fontanne and Alfred Lunt, Vanity Fair editor Frank Crowninshield, and Frank Case.
LeeAnn mentions Dorothy Parker and being as I'm not dead yet, I wondered who the heck is that? I've heard of a number of Parkers over the years. There's Peter Parker (Spiderman) and Bonnie Parker, late mistress of the departed Clyde Barrow, and let's not forget Parker pens. But who's Dorothy? She was a wiseacre, gadfly, writer and all around trouble maker. Got herself blacklisted by that blacklisty guy back in the 50's. Not surprising since she hung out with a bunch of like minded folks.

Small sample of her writing. A complete story in six paragraphs:
"Yeah," he said.  "I must have been dandy.  Is everybody sore at me?"
"Good heavens, no," she said.  "Everyone thought you were terribly funny.  Of course, Jim Pierson was a little stuffy, there for a minute at dinner.  But people sort of held him back in his chair, and got him calmed down.  I don’t think anybody at the other tables noticed at all.  Hardly anybody."
"He was going to sock me?" he said.  "Oh, Lord.  What did I do to him?"
"Why, you didn’t do a thing," she said.  "You were perfectly fine.  But you know how silly Jim gets when he thinks anybody is making too much fuss over Elinor."
"Was I making a pass at Elinor?" he said.  "Did I do that?"
"Of course you didn’t," she said.  "You were only fooling, that’s all.  She thought you were awfully amusing.  She was having a marvelous time.  She only got a little tiny bit annoyed just once, when you poured the clam juice down her back."
Stolen from FWRICTION

Goodreads has some pithy quotes.

The 'Algonquin Round Table' met at the Algonquin Hotel in Manhattan for lunch daily all during the 1920's. The number of people who showed up varied from just a few to a couple of dozen. Dorothy was one of the mainstays.

P.S. Typography note: Spellchecker didn't like the 'didn’t-s' in the story. Seems a true apostrophe doesn't sit well. Of course there's a risk that it will show up as tofu on your screen. Tofu, that's one of those technical terms for the little boxes that show up when your browser doesn't know what font to use. Sometimes they are rendered as Egyptian hieroglyphics.

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