Ogden Nash

Boop-Boop-Adieup Little Group

There are several generally recognized grounds for divorce,
And there are moments when stealing is a starving man’s only recourse.
There are gatherings when it is perfectly proper to tell a dubious story
        if there is sufficient wit in it.
And there are provocations under which it is allowable to pull away an
        old lady’s chair as she is about to sit in it,
But there is one unpardonable sin and in extenuation of it let us quote no
        Ballads of Reading Gaol and in praise of it let us chant no merry
And that is amateur theadrigals.
Now, the urge to dress up and pretend to be somebody else is a universal
        human weakness,
Like never going to church except on Easter and then crowding out all
        the people who have been there the other fifty-one Sundays of the
        year, or never going to the races except for the Belmont or the
 So if some alternate All-Eastern left tackle who has been told he looks
        like Noel Coward wants to toss badinage back and forth like a 
        medicine ball with a Junior Leaguer who has been told that with
        her glasses off she looks like Gertrude Lawrence,
Why that’s their business, like drinking sidecars in bed or putting maple
        walnut ice-cream on their oysters, and if they kept it to themselves
        it could be viewed with tolerance as well as abhorrence,
But the trouble is that they refuse to indulge their depraved appetites in
        the privacy of deserts or cloisters,
The kick is missing unless a lot of people are on hand to watch them
        drink sidecars in bed or put maple walnut ice cream on their oysters.
So they inveigle all their friends and relatives and all the relatives of
        their friends and all the friends of their relatives, in the name of
        various worthy charities,
Into paying for the privilege of sitting for three hours on piano stools
        and watching them project their personalities across the footlights
        with the gusto and élan of Oriental beggars exhibiting their physi-
        cal peculiarities.
Tonight I am being taken to see the Troubadour Players do the Mer-
        chant of Venice.
I shall go with the same eagerness with which, if I weren’t me, I should
        pay three-thirty to watch me play tennis.