Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Random Transmissions 14 ~ S.J. Perelman

Love is not the dying moan of a distant violin .. it's the triumphant twang of a bedspring.

Their the waiters' eyes sparkled and their pencils flew as she proceeded to eviscerate my wallet - pâté, Whitstable oysters, a sole, filet mignon, and a favorite salad of the Nizam of Hyderabad made of shredded five-pound notes.

A dreary industrial town controlled by hoodlums of enormous wealth, the ethical sense of a pack of jackals and taste so degraded that it befouled everything it touched.

Fate was dealing from the bottom of the deck.

On director Ernst Lubitsch:
(he was) "smoking a cucumber and looking cool as a cigar."

A case of the tail dogging the wag.

There is such a thing as too much couth.

I tried to resist his overtures, but he plied me with symphonies, quartettes, chamber music, and cantatas.

I have Bright's disease and he has mine.

The main obligation is to amuse yourself.

The whistle shrilled and in a moment I was chugging out of Grand Central’s dreaming spires followed only by the anguished cries of relatives who would now have to go to work. I had chugged only a few feet when I realized that I had left without the train, so I had to run back and wait for it to start.

Nature, it appears, has been rather more bountiful to Paul’s body and purse than to his intellect; above the ears, speaking bluntly, the boy is strictly tapioca.

I’ve always taken my liquor mixed and my peril neat, and I see no reason to switch now.

“I love people from the East,” she went on. “There’s so much more to them.” Uncertain whether I was supposed to hail from Jubbulpore or Newark, I decided to play it safe and adopted an inscrutable global expression.

The moment Audrey’s tongue touched bourbon, it began wagging in a key just resonant enough to drown out the music.

“In France,” Marcel said with wintry dignity, “accidents occur in the bedroom, not the kitchen."

The showing (of the movie Foolish Wives) roused me to neither vandalism nor affection; in fact, it begot such lassitude that I had to be given artificial respiration and sent home in a wheelbarrow.

As for consulting a dentist regularly, my punctuality practically amounted to a fetish. Every twelve years I would drop whatever I was doing and allow wild Caucasian ponies to drag me to a reputable orthodontist.

"Great-grandfather died under strange circumstances. He opened a vein in his bath."
"I never knew baths had veins," protested Gabrilowitsch."
"I never knew his great-grandfather had a ba—" began Falcovsky derisively.

Before they made S.J. Perelman they broke the mold.

I guess I'm just an old mad scientist at bottom. Give me an underground laboratory, half a dozen atom-smashers, and a beautiful girl in a diaphanous veil waiting to be turned into a chimpanzee, and I care not who writes the nation's laws.

"Oh, son, I wish you hadn’t become a scenario writer!" she sniffled.
"Aw, now, Moms," I comforted her, "it’s no worse than playing the piano in a call house."

And finally, a quote from Groucho Marx on Perelman:

From the moment I picked up your book until I laid it down, I was convulsed with laughter. Someday I intend reading it.

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