Razors pain you;
Rivers are damp;
Acids stain you;
And drugs cause cramp.
Guns aren't lawful;
Gas smells awful;
You might as well live.
Four be the things I am wiser to know:
Idleness, sorrow, a friend, and a foe.
Four be the things I'd been better without:
Love, curiosity, freckles, and doubt.
Three be the things I shall never attain:
Envy, content, and sufficient champagne.
Three be the things I shall have till I die:
Laughter and hope and a sock in the eye.
Dorothy Parker's wit is biting, observant, funny, acerbic, and timeless. Not just in her poems, but in her short stories, too. A Telephone Call and The Standard of Living are two of her funniest. (You can find them, her other stories, and all her poems in The Portable Dorothy Parker.) No matter how many times I read them they always make me smile. But then, time spent with Dorothy is never wasted. So here's to one of my favorite writers...and wits.
Happy 120th Birthday, Dorothy Parker!