Friday, August 05, 2005

Just in case you thought rudeness was a modern marvel

This poem, written by the brilliant and sardonic Dorothy Parker, is meant, not quite as a response, but perhaps as a corollary to Gabe's post on this subject. Thank you to Raoul for copying it down for me (and for being at the Crow, reading fucking Dorothy Parker - I do know humans!!!).
The Lady in Back

I don't know what her name is, for you see we've never met;
I don't know if she's dark, or if she's fair;
I don't know if she's young or old, or rich or poor--and yet
Whatever place I chance to go, she's there,
I don't know where she came from, and I don't know where she'll go;
Why fate has linked our lives I cannot see,
The world's so full of people--oh, I'd really like to know
Why must she always sit in back of me?

She's always right on duty when I go to see a play-
Unfailingly, she's seen that play before,
And so she tells what's coming, in her entertaining way-
For me, the drama holds surprise no more.
'Now watch, the husband enters, as I told you that he would,
At first you'll think he'll shoot her, but he'll not.
And later she goes back to him, and says that she'll be good'-
Obligingly she thus unfolds the plot.

When I am at the opera, of course she's sure to come.
She there adopts another policy-
The more familiar arias she feels obliged to hum,
And always just a trifle off the key.
But when the singers reach those heights to which she can not climb-
Oh, then I plumb the very depths of gloom!
For, lest I be too happy, she will occupy that time
By long accounts of who's in love with whom.

I never can avoid her at the humble picture show,
Of course, the film is always one she's seen
Reliable as Mary's lamb, she's right behind, I know,
Revealing all the secrets of the screen.
When heroes tumble over cliffs, as movie heroes will,
And villains blow up bridges, just for fun,
I know that she takes pleasure in extinguishing my thrill
By telling just exactly how it's done.

I really couldn't tell you if she's widow, maid, or wife;
I've never heard about her family;
I don't know who appointed her to take the joy from life,
I can't imagine what she sees in me.
I often sit and think of it, and wonder why it's so,
Why, every place that I am, she is too,
The whole wide world to choose from- oh, I'd really like to know
Why can't she sometimes sit in back of you?

0 What'd you say?

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