Ogden Nash


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From the Archives of Sir Hans (Need a More Impressive Title!)

Sir Hans


The quotations

@A: Nash, Ogden (1902-1971)
@Q: Certainly there are things in life that money can't buy, but it's very
    Did you ever try buying them without money?
@K: money

@A: Nash, Ogden (1902-1971)
@Q: Children aren't happy without something to ignore,
    And that's what parents were created for.

@A: Nash, Ogden (1902-1971)
@Q: Happiness is having a scratch for every itch.

@A: Nash, Ogden (1902-1971)
@Q: He without benefit of scruples
    His fun and money soon quadruples.

@A: Nash, Ogden (1902-1971)
@Q: Here is a verse about rabbits
    That doesn't mention their habits.
@R: `The Rabbits'
@K: animals

@A: Nash, Ogden (1902-1971)
@Q: I objurgate the centipede,
    A bug we do not really need.
    At sleepy-time he beats a path
    Straight to the bedroom or the bath.
    You always wallop where he's not
    Or, if he is, he makes a spot.

@A: Nash, Ogden (1902-1971)
@Q: I prefer to forget both pairs of glasses and pass my declining years
saluting strange women and grandfather clocks.

@A: Nash, Ogden (1902-1971)
@Q: I would live all my life in nonchalance and insouciance
    Were it not for making a living, which is rather a nouciance.

@A: Nash, Ogden (1902-1971)
@Q: Love is a word that is constantly heard,
    Hate is a word that is not.
    Love, I am told, is more precious than gold.
    Love, I have read, is hot.
    But hate is the verb that to me is superb,
    And Love but a drug on the mart.
    Any kiddie in school can love like a fool,
    But Hating, my boy, is an Art.
@K: hate

@A: Nash, Ogden (1902-1971)
@Q: Many a baby that screams like a calliope,
    could be soothed with a little attention to its diope.

@A: Nash, Ogden (1902-1971)
@Q: Marriage is the alliance of two people, one of whom never remembers
birthdays and the other never forgets them.

@A: Nash, Ogden (1902-1971)
@Q: Middle age is when you've met so many people that every new person you
meet reminds you of someone else.
@K: age

@A: Nash, Ogden (1902-1971)
@Q: O Duty,
    Why hast thou not the visage of a sweetie or a cutie?
    Why displayest thou the countenance of the kind of conscientious
      organizing spinster
    That the minute you see her you are aginster?
    Why glitter thy spectacles so ominously?
    Why art thou clad so abominously?
    Why art thou so different from Venus?
    And why do thou and I have so few interests mutually in common between
@K: duty

@A: Nash, Ogden (1902-1971)
@Q: One thing about the past
    It's likely to last.

@A: Nash, Ogden (1902-1971)
@Q: Some primal termite knocked on wood.
    And tasted it, and found it good.
    And that is why your Cousin May
    Fell through the parlor floor today.

@A: Nash, Ogden (1902-1971)
@Q: Tell me, O Octopus, I begs,
    Is those things arms, or is they legs?
    I marvel at thee, Octopus;
    If I were thou, I'd call me us.
@K: animals

@A: Nash, Ogden (1902-1971)
@Q: The Pig, if I am not mistaken,
    Gives us ham and pork and Bacon.
    Let others think his heart is big,
    I think it stupid of the Pig.
@R: `The Pig'
@K: animals

@A: Nash, Ogden (1902-1971)
@Q: The Preacher, the Politician, the Teacher,
        Were each of them once a kiddie.
    A child, indeed, is a wonderful creature.
        Do I want one?  God forbiddie!
@K: children

@A: Nash, Ogden (1902-1971)
@Q: The cow is of the bovine ilk;
    One end is moo, the other, milk.
@R: `The Cow'
@K: animals

@A: Nash, Ogden (1902-1971)
@Q: The one-L lama,
    He's a priest.
    The two-l llama,
    He's a beast.
    And I will bet a silk pajama,
    There isn't any three-L lllama!
@%: To which, according to Nash, a fire chief replied that occasionally his
department responded to something like a `three L lllama.'

@A: Nash, Ogden (1902-1971)
@Q: The panther is like a leopard,
        Except it hasn't been peppered.
    Should you behold a panther crouch,
        Prepare to say Ouch.
    Better yet, if called by a panther,
        Don't anther.
@R: _Parents Keep Out!_

@A: Nash, Ogden (1902-1971)
@Q: The rhino is a homely beast,
    For human eyes he's not a feast.
    Farewell, farewell, you old rhinoceros,
    I'll stare at something less prepoceros.

@A: Nash, Ogden (1902-1971)
@Q: The wombat lives across the seas,
    Among the far Antipodes.
    He may exist on nuts and berries,
    Or then again, on missionaries;
    His distant habitat precludes
    Conclusive knowledge of his moods.
    But I would not engage the wombat
    In any form of mortal combat.
@R: `The Wombat'

@A: Nash, Ogden (1902-1971)
@Q: They take the paper and they read the headlines,
    So they've heard of unemployment and they've heard of breadlines,
    And they philanthropically cure them all
    By getting up a costume charity ball.

@A: Nash, Ogden (1902-1971)
@Q: To keep your marriage brimming
    With love in the marriage cup,
    Whenever you're wrong, admit it,
    Whenever you're right, shut up.

@A: Nash, Ogden (1902-1971) *
@Q:     Maybe I couldn't be dafter,
    But I keep wondering if this time we couldn't settle our differences
      before a war instead of after.
@R: _Everyone but Thee and Me_ (1962) `Is There an Oculist in the House?'
@K: war

@A: Nash, Ogden (1902-1971) *
@Q: A bit of talcum
    Is always walcum.
@R: _Free Wheeling_ (1931) `The Baby'

@A: Nash, Ogden (1902-1971) *
@Q: A door is what a dog is perpetually on the wrong side of.
@R: _The Private Dining Room_ (1953) `A Dog's Best Friend Is His
@K: animals:dogs

@A: Nash, Ogden (1902-1971) *
@Q: A million dollars could also be well spent in hiring somebody to invent
      some better rhymes for wife than rife and knife and strife.
    But I think what I would really do if I had a million would be to buy a
      million dollars' worth of books written by me and then besides having
      lots of good books I could sit back and live on the royalties for the
      rest of my life.
@R: _Good Intentions_ (1942) `I Burn Money'
@K: money

@A: Nash, Ogden (1902-1971) *
@Q: And I have no desire to get ugly.
    But I cannot help mentioning that the door of a bigoted mind opens
      outwards so that the only result of the pressure of facts upon it is
      to close it more snugly.
@R: _Good Intentions_ (1942) `Seeing Eye to Eye Is Believing'

@A: Nash, Ogden (1902-1971) *
@Q: Candy
    Is dandy
    But liquor
    Is quicker.
@R: _Hard Lines_ (1931) `Reflections on Ice-Breaking'
@K: alcohol
@%: His verbally made addition:
    Is not.

@A: Nash, Ogden (1902-1971) *
@Q: He tells you when you've got on too much lipstick,
    And helps you with your girdle when your hips stick.
@R: _Versus_ (1949) `The Perfect Husband'

@A: Nash, Ogden (1902-1971) *
@Q: Here lies my Past.  Good-bye I have kissed it;
    Thank you, kids.  I wouldn't have missed it.
@R: _You Can't Get There from Here_ (1957) `Preface to the Past'
@K: age

@A: Nash, Ogden (1902-1971) *
@Q: Home is heaven and orgies are vile
    But you need an orgy, once in a while.
@R: `Home, 99.44 100% Sweet Home'
@K: debauchery

@A: Nash, Ogden (1902-1971) *
@Q: How confusing the beams from memory's lamp are;
    One day a bachelor, the next a grampa.
    What is the secret of the trick?
    How did I get old so quick?
@R: _You Can't Get There from Here_ (1957) `Preface to the Past'
@K: age

@A: Nash, Ogden (1902-1971) *
@Q: I believe a little incompatibility is the spice of life, particularly
      if he has income and she is pattable.
@R: _Versus_ (1949) `I Do, I Will, I Have'

@A: Nash, Ogden (1902-1971) *
@Q: I think that I shall never see
    a billboard lovely as a tree.
    Indeed, unless the billboards fall,
    I'll never see a tree at all.
@R: _Happy Days_ (1933) `Song of the Open Road'
@S: Kilmer, Joyce

@A: Nash, Ogden (1902-1971) *
@Q: Linguistics becomes an ever eerier area, like I feel like I'm in Oz,
    Just trying to tell it like it was.
@R: _The Old Dog Barks Backwards_ (1972) `What Do You Want, a Meaningful
Dialogue or a Satisfactory Talk?'

@A: Nash, Ogden (1902-1971) *
@Q: Mr Lionel Fortague said he would settle down on Innisfree, the home of
      iridescent chitchat.
    He said he would a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made.
    Everybody said Did he mean he would build a small cabin there, made of
      clay and wattles?
    Mr Lionel Fortague said yes, but his way of putting it was more poetic.
    Everybody said Maybe, but they were all out of wattles.
    Mr Lionel Fortague grew very angry at the people of Innisfree.
    He a small cabin built there, of clay and beaver-board made.
@R: _Good Intentions_ (1942) `The Strange Case of Mr Fortague's

@A: Nash, Ogden (1902-1971) *
@Q: Parsley
      Is gharsley.
@R: _Good Intentions_ (1942) `Further Reflection on Parsley'

@A: Nash, Ogden (1902-1971) *
@Q: People who have what they want are very fond of telling people
    Who haven't what they want that they really don't want it.
@R: _Verses From 1929 On_ (1959) `The Terrible People'
@A: Nash, Ogden (1902-1971) *
@Q: The Bronx?
    No, thonx!
@R: _Hard Lines_ (1931) `Geographical Reflection'

@A: Nash, Ogden (1902-1971) *
@Q: The trouble with a kitten is
    Eventually it becomes a
@R: _The Face is Familiar_ (1941) `The Kitten'
@K: animals:cats

@A: Nash, Ogden (1902-1971) *
@Q: The turtle lives 'twixt plated decks
    Which practically conceal its sex.
    I think it clever of the turtle
    In such a fix to be so fertile.
@R: _Hard Lines_ (1931) `The Turtle'
@K: animals:turtles

@A: Nash, Ogden (1902-1971) *
@Q: There is something about a Martini,
    Ere the dining and dancing begin,
    And to tell you the truth,
    It is not the vermouth--
    I think that perhaps it's the gin.
@R: _The Primrose Path_ (1935) `A Drink with Something in It'

@A: Nash, Ogden (1902-1971) *
@Q: There was a young belle of old Natchez
    Whose garments were always in patchez.
    When comment arose
    On the state of her clothes,
    She drawled, When Ah itchez, Ah schratchez!
@R: _I'm a Stranger Here Myself_ (1938) `Requiem'

And my all time fave:--

@A: Nash, Ogden (1902-1971) +
@Q: A mighty creature is the germ,
    Though smaller than the pachyderm.
    His customary dwelling place
    is deep within the human race.
    His childish pride he often pleases
    By giving people strange diseases.
    Do you, my poppet, feel infirm?
    You probably contain a germ.
@R: _Bad Parent's Garden of Verse_ `The Germ'

Sir Hans                   dok@fwi.uva.nl
i never think at all when i write
nobody can do two things at the same time
and do them both well      -- Don Marquis

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