Wednesday, February 14, 2018

For the Year of the Dog, Nine Dog-Themed Benchley Essays

Lookup Keyword Dogs
Essay Title Appears in On Page
Animal Stories: Georgie Dog Love Conquers All 174
Dog Libel My Ten Years in a Quandary and How They Grew 16
Dogs and Public Service Benchley--Or Else! 248
Dogs and Public Service From Bed to Worse, or Comforting Thoughts about the Bison 251
The French, They Are – My Ten Years in a Quandary and How They Grew 88
How Doggie Goes No Poems, Or Around the World Backwards and Sideways 14
How Doggie Goes Benchley Lost and Found 94
A Protest After 1903--What 252
Talking Dogs My Ten Years in a Quandary and How They Grew 120
The Vigil My Ten Years in a Quandary and How They Grew 285
Your Boy and His Dog Chips off the Old Benchley 94

Celebrating the Year of the Dog - The Lunar New Year Begins Tomorrow, February 16, 2018

How Georgie Dog Gets the Rubbers on the Guest Room Bed, by Robert Benchley (as it appears in "Love Conquers All", the full text of which is available of the RBS website.

How Georgie Dog Gets the Rubbers on the Guest Room Bed

Old Mother Nature gathered all her little pupils about her for the daily lesson in "How the Animals Do the Things They Do." Every day Waldo Lizard, Edna Elephant and Lawrence Walrus came to Mother Nature's school, and there learned all about the useless feats performed by their brother and sister animals.

"Today," said Mother Nature, "we shall find out how it is that Georgie Dog manages to get the muddy rubbers from the hall closet, up the stairs, and onto the nice white bedspread in the guest room. You must be sure to listen carefully and pay strict attention to what Georgie Dog says. Only, don't take too much of it seriously, for Georgie is an awful liar."

And, sure enough, in came Georgie Dog, wagging his entire torso in a paroxysm of camaradarie, although everyone knew that he had no use for Waldo Lizard.

"Tell us, Georgie," said Mother Nature, "how do you do your clever work of rubber-dragging? We would like so much to know. Wouldn't we, children?"

"No, Mother Nature!" came the instant response from the children.

So Georgie Dog began.

"Well, I'll tell you; it's this way," he said, snapping at a fly. "You have to be very niftig about it. First of all, I lie by the door of the hall closet until I see a nice pair of muddy rubbers kicked into it."

"How muddy ought they to be?" asked Edna Elephant, although little enough use she would have for the information.

"I am glad that you asked that question," replied Georgie. "Personally; I like to have mud on them about the consistency of gurry -- that is, not too wet -- because then it will all drip off on the way upstairs, and not so dry that it scrapes off on the carpet. For we must save it all for the bedspread, you know.

"As soon as the rubbers are safely in the hall closet, I make a great deal of todo about going into the other room, in order to give the impression that there is nothing interesting enough in the hall to keep me there. A good, loud yawn helps to disarm any suspicion of undue excitement. I sometimes even chew a bit of fringe on the sofa and take a scolding for it—anything to draw attention from the rubbers. Then, when everyone is at dinner, I sneak out and drag them forth."

"And how do you manage to take them both at once?" piped up Lawrence Walrus.

"I am glad that you asked that question," said Georgie, "because I was trying to avoid it. You can never guess what the answer is. It is very difficult to take two at a time, and so we usually have to take one and then go back and get the other. I had a cousin once who knew a grip which could be worked on the backs of overshoes, by means of which he could drag two at a time, but he was an exceptionally fine dragger. He once took a pair of rubber boots from the barn into the front room, where a wedding was taking place, and put them on the bride's train. Of course, not one dog in a million could hope to do that.

"Once upstairs, it is quite easy getting them into the guest room, unless the door happens to be shut. Then what do you think I do? I go around through the bath-room window onto the roof, and walk around to the sleeping porch, and climb down into the guest room that way. It is a lot of trouble, but I think that you will agree with me that the results are worth it.

"Climbing up on the bed with the rubbers in my mouth is difficult, but it doesn't make any difference if some of the mud comes off on the side of the bedspread. In fact, it all helps in the final effect. I usually try to smear them around when I get them at last on the spread, and if I can leave one of them on the pillow, I feel that it's a pretty fine little old world, after all. This done, and I am off."

And Georgie Dog suddenly disappeared in official pursuit of an automobile going eighty-five miles an hour.

"So now," said Mother Nature to her little pupils, "we have heard all about Georgie Dog's work. To-morrow we may listen to Lillian Mosquito tell how she makes her voice carry across a room."

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Valentine's Day Greeting

Sand is also a good place on which to write, "I love you," as it would be difficult to get into court after several years have passed. -- Robert Benchley, from the essay "All Sandy," and published in No Poems, or Around the World Backwards and Sideways, 1932.

For more Benchley authenticated quotations see, www.robertbenchley.org/sob/quotes.htm

Sunday, January 28, 2018

2018 Thurber Prize for American Humor CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS

See http://www.thurberhouse.org/thurber-prize/

Kevin Fitzpatrick January 2018 Newsletter

1. The New York Public Library launched citywide “Community Conversations.” On January 31 I am speaking at the flagship library on Fifth Avenue and Forty-second Street. The topic is literary New York and the Algonquin Round Table.

2. My weekly walking tours resume January 29 with literary Manhattan tours and Dorothy Parker’s hangouts (I started leading this tour 19 years ago!)

3. My book World War I New York: A Guide to the City’s Enduring Ties to the Great War is nominated for an Apple Award by the Guides Association of New York City for Outstanding Achievement in Non-Fiction NYC Book Writing.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

From the Mail Bag

Dear Mr. Trumbull,

I have recently published my essay, Robert Benchley's "Cooper Folk Songs," "Typical New Yorkers," and "Real Americans," which just appeared in Western Folklore, Volume 77, Number 1 (Winter 2018). I thought that perhaps this essay might be of interest to you and that you might also wish to inform the members of the Benchley Society of its publication.

It is academic; but I hope not pedantic.

Thank you.

To see tear sheets contact me at bellm41947@gmail.com

Michael J. Bell
Special Counsel to the President
Transylvania University, Retired

Robert Benchley Society

For more information about the Robert Benchley Society, local chapters near you, our annual Award for Humor, and our Annual Gathering, visit The RBS Website