I’d Rather Have a Free Bottle in Front of Me Than a Prefrontal Lobotomy

Tom Waits? Steve Allen? John Prine? Dorothy Parker? Fred Allen? Carlton W. Berenda? Herb Caen? Lew London? Joshua Baer? Dr. Rock? Randy Hanzlick? Graffito? Question for Quote Investigator: The following wordplay is popular with drinking enthusiasts. Here are two versions: (1) I’d rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy. (2) …

Nothing Succeeds Like Undress

Dorothy Parker? Oscar Wilde? Alexandre Dumas? Anonymous? Dear Quote Investigator: While streaming an elaborately expensive television series I encountered a gratuitous scene with scanty clothing. I was reminded of this witticism: Nothing succeeds like undress. This quip has been attributed to Dorothy Parker. Would you please explore the provenance of this remark? Quote Investigator: The …

I Require Only Three Things of a Man. He Must Be Handsome, Ruthless, and Stupid

Dorothy Parker? John Keats? Richard L. Jenkins? Apocryphal? Dear Quote Investigator: A prominent witty woman once described three qualities she desired in a man. He must be handsome, ruthless, and stupid. This viewpoint has been ascribed to poet and critic Dorothy Parker. Would you please help me to find a citation? Quote Investigator: Dorothy Parker …

She is Happy, For She Knows That Her Dust Is Very Pretty

Dorothy Parker? Franklin Pierce Adams? Apocryphal? Dear Quote Investigator: The notable wit Dorothy Parker constructed several epitaphs. I am interested in the following: She is happy, for she knows That her dust is very pretty. This topic is confusing because I’ve also seen a different version of these lines: She is happy, for she knows …

Love Is a Thing That Can Never Go Wrong; And I Am Marie of Romania

Dorothy Parker? Franklin Pierce Adams? Apocryphal? Dear Quote Investigator: The famous wit Dorothy Parker once penned an entertaining poem which rhymed “Romania” and “extemporanea”. Would you please help me to find a citation for this poem? Quote Investigator: In 1926 Dorothy Parker published the poetry collection “Enough Rope”. The rhyme was contained in a four-line …

Sliding Down a Barrister

Dorothy Parker? Mae West? Alexander Woollcott? A. E. Mortimer? Mark Barron? Meyer Levin? Billy Boner? Anonymous? Dear Quote Investigator: The U.S. poet and wit Dorothy Parker has received credit for scandalous wordplay based on the following phrases: Sliding down a banister Sliding down a barrister Would you please explore this topic? Quote Investigator: The earliest …

It’s a Great Life If You Don’t Weaken

John Buchan? Elizabeth Murray? Graham Greene? Dorothy Parker? Thomas Carter? H. L. Mencken? Sime Silverman? Karl Braun? Gene Byrnes? Anonymous? Dear Quote Investigator: When you face a series of obstacles and successfully persevere you might employ the following saying. Here are three versions: It’s a great life if you don’t weaken. It’s a grand life …

I Drink To Keep Body and Soul Apart

Oscar Wilde? Seamus Heaney? Dorothy Parker? Israel Zangwill? Jen Kirkman? Apocryphal? Dear Quote Investigator: The body and the soul separate at the time of death according to many religious systems. Hence, the idiom “keep body and soul together” refers to maintaining life, i.e., earning enough money to maintain health and activity. The famous Irish wit …

Salary Is No Object; I Want Only Enough To Keep Body and Soul Apart

Dorothy Parker? Alexander Woollcott? Israel Zangwill? Oscar Wilde? Apocryphal? Dear Quote Investigator: The body and the soul separate at the time of death according to many religious systems. Hence, the idiom “keep body and soul together” refers to maintaining life, i.e., earning enough money to maintain health and activity. A quipster once reversed this formula …

You Can Never Be Too Rich or Too Thin

Babe Paley? Wallis Simpson? Suzy Knickerbocker? Mrs. J. Gordon Douglas Sr.? Gregg Moran? Truman Capote? Dorothy Parker? Joan Rivers? Zenith Carburetor? Anonymous? Dear Quote Investigator: Achieving wealth and a svelte body have become idealized goals in some cultural milieus. Here are three versions of a pertinent maxim: You can never be too rich or too …

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