Thursday, February 17, 2011

A Case of Mistaken Identity

Some time ago the Robert Benchley Society was contacted by someone looking for a copy of "The Man in the Middle," a one page approximately 300 word story that he thought was written by Benchley. The inquirer suggested it was probably for a magazine because he could not find it in any of his published collections. The story is set on subway late at night. An elderly man and his wife are on the train car and the only other occupants are three strange suspicious men sitting together, side by side. The wife imagines that the man in the middle staring at her gold bracelet and ring with an idea to rob her. As it turns out the man in the middle is dead.

We responded that this may be a piece by Alexander Woollcott. There is a collection titled: Fifty Modern Stories edited by Thomas Blair, published by Harper & Row in 1960. It contains a story "The Man In the Middle" by Woollcott.

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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