It is past 3 a.m and I have only just returned from work. Ridiculous, really, especially since I don't like what I do very much and the past two days have been the very worst for a long time. I have spent most of time hitting my head against the wall called crazy clients but that is not quite the point of this post.
I bought a volume of Ogden Nash called Candy is Dandy this weekend past. It has the most wonderful introduction by Anthony Burgess, another one of my favourite writers. Over the past two days, Nash has kept me from drowning in despair and what is to the honest eye, self-pity. I've come to realise that it is such a pity about cliches. There is usually so much truth in them... especially the cliches about laughter and happiness.
And moving back now to Mr. Nash, I should like very much to share a few of my current Nash favourites.
You and Me and P. B. Shelley
What is life? Life is stepping down a step or sitting in a chair.
And it isn't there.
Life is not having been told that the man has just waxed the floor.
It is pulling door marked PUSH and pushing doors marked PULL and not noticing signs which say PLEASE USE THE OTHER DOOR.
It is when you diagnose a sore throat as an unprepared geography lesson and send your child weeping to school only to be returned an hour later with spots that indubitably genuine.
It is a concert with a trombone soloist filling in for Yehudi Menuhin.
Were it not for frustration and humiliation
I suppose the human race would get ideas above its station.
Somebody once described Shelley as a beautiful and ineffective angel beating his wings against the void in vain,
Which is certainly describing with might and main.
But probably means that we are all brothers under our pelts,
And Shelley went around pulling doors marked PUSH and pushing doors marked PULL just like everybody else.
There was a brave girl of Connecticut
Who flagged the express with her petticut,
Which her elders defined
As presence of mind,
But a deplorable lack of ecticut.
There was an old man in a trunk
Who inquired of his wife, "Am I drunk?"
She replied with regret,
"I'm afraid so, my pet,"
And he answered, "It's just as I thunk."
I love this guy! Over this long weekend, I am going to make Mr. Nash's acquaintance much more intimately, I think.