Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Oh Ogden Nash NO

(The Kid and I are putting away groceries and she is humming to herself when all of a sudden she stops and stares at me, stricken.)

The Kid: Oh no.

Me: What?

The Kid: I just realized....

Me: What?

The Kid: The poem...by Ogden Nash...I just realized what it was about...

Me: What poem?

The Kid: Candy is dandy / but liquor is quicker.

(She stares at me)

The Kid:  Mom.

Me:  Yep.  Wasn't the world cool back when men thought date rape was funny?

The Kid: But...Odgen Nash?

Me: Here.  Put the apples away.


dorki said...

Then there was:

Guys seldom make passes
at girls who wear glasses.

I thought that was silly at that time (yes, I am that old)

Anonymous said...

I remember that realization too. (And he's wrong about the glasses!)

I prefer:
The only problem with a kitten is that
A kitten becomes a cat.

delagar said...

Upon reading both of these, y'all, the Kid comments further:


She also advises us that Nash is factually incorrect about Wendigos:


Specifically these lines:

"Its tentacles are slithery,
And scummy,
Its lips are hungry blubbery,
And smacky,

Wendigos, she informs me, have neither tentacles nor lips.

They never had tentacles; and their lips (famously) are frozen off.

She is no longer an Ogden Nash fan.

Some Girl said...

While I do not dispute Ogden Nash's rampart asshattery, I actually disagree with this particular interpretation.

The title of the poem is "Reflections on Ice-Breaking." As a huge introvert, I have a MUCH easier time breaking the ice with liquor. Sitting around with people, no alcohol available, is awkward and energy-draining for me. So I see this poem, 100%, as an introvert's guide to social interaction.

I can see how someone not of drinking age might interpret this differently.:)

Some Girl said...

*rampaNt asshattery

Gah, Blogger, offer an edit function already!

delagar said...

I was aware of the titel; and I would agree with your interpretation, Some Girl, if not for the first line -- "Candy is dandy."

That is, the second line fits your interpretation of the title: that candy + the ice-breaking of the title *might* mean that this poem is simply meant to be read as a way for people to warm up to one another -- "Try passing around candy! That works! But Hey! Drinking rum works better!"

Except that no one in the history of parties every broke the ice by passing around candy.

Rather, this poem speaks to ways that guys "break the ice" with women they are trying to have sex with.

That is, how do guys get women to "warm up to" them? How do they break the ice on those frigid girls?

Two traditional ways?

(1) Bring candy. This way is very slow. Because then you have to talk to them and pretend to care about them and go out on several dates for them and who has time for all of that?

(2) Buy them drinks. Once the bitches are drunk, well, then! You can have your way with them!

Also, I am well past drinking age, by the way.

S_Montefiore said...

The "Guys seldom . . . " couplet is actually by Dorothy Parker. I believe the title is "News Item."

I prefer her "Comment."

Oh, life is a glorious cycle of song,
A medley of extemporanea;
And love is a thing that can never go wrong;
And I am Marie of Roumania.

Anonymous said...

Actually, Ogden Nash simply meant that liquor does indeed break the ice in social situations better than candy. When going to a cocktail or dinner party, bringing a bottle of wine is more appreciated than candy. You could have substituted "flowers" for candy but it would have been tougher to rhyme. (He often chose words specifically for the rhyming capacity.) He was not referring specifically to dating and he certainly was not referring to getting a woman in bed. I speak from knowledge as he was my grandfather. He would have been horrified to think any one was interpreting it that way. In his day, date rape was unheard of; taking a girl to dinner rarely ended in a kiss much less rape. Ogden Nash was a truly gentle man as well as a gentleman. And, thank you, S Montefiore for the Dorothy Parker correction!

F. Smith

delagar said...

Here's the thing, F. Smith:

I've heard this couplet cited by guys in exactly the context I'm citing it here -- that is, as the best way get a girl to have sex with you fast.

These were guys I was on a date with, more than once.

By which I mean: authorial intent and a quarter will get you a gumball in my local Harp's.

I like most of Nash's poems, by the way, and I agree that often he seems to be choosing rhymes more for fun than for sense.

But this poem, whatever Nash may or may not have intended, reads (and is read) as a clear endorsement of date rape.

delagar said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
delagar said...

"In his day, date rape was unheard of; taking a girl to dinner rarely ended in a kiss much less rape."

And may I also politely suggest to you that this is bullshit?