Author Archives: george

RAGE BAKING: THE TRANSFORMATIVE POWER OF FLOUR, FURY, AND WOMEN’S VOICES By Kathy Gunst & Katherine Alford


Kathy Gunst first got the idea of RAGE BAKING, a collection of Recipes and conversations for our time, while watching the Brett Kavanaugh hearings. As Kathy Gunst grew madder and madder at the hypocrisy of the hearings, she decided to channel her rage into baking. Several of her friends agreed to join her in this project and Rage Baking is the result. There are essays about women interspaced with the delicious recipes. My favorite is Chocolate Raspberry Triple-Layer Cake (p. 101).

If you’re looking for an excellent cookbook, Rage Baking fits the bill. The bonus is the thoughtful essays on our current state of affairs. GRADE: A
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
Foreword by Stephanie Schriock xi
Introduction by Kathy Gunst xiii
Raging Ingredients xix
A Greener Kitchen xxv
Sugar and Spec and Done Being Nice: Cookies, Bars, and Bites 1
Whisk, Fold, Knead, Rise Up Breads 39
Bake Down the Patriarchy: Cakes 73
Comfort with a Helping of Righteous Rage: Puddings and Custards 117
No More Humble Pie: Crumbles, Pies, and Tarts 131
Mail-Order Rage 163
Acknowledgements 165
Authors’ Note 167
Contributors 168
Credits 173
Index 174

WITH CHILD: LEE CHILD AND THE READERS OF JACK REACHER By Andy Martin


Last year I read Andy Martin’s Reacher Said Nothing: Lee Child and the Making of MAKE ME (2015) where Martin played Boswell to Lee Child’s Samuel Johnson (you can read my review here). If you’re interested in the writing process, you’ll find plenty of details about Lee Child’s method of writing novels in this book.

In With Child (2019) Andy Martin follows Lee Child around on a book tour and then chronicles the writing of Night School (2016). As a bonus, we get Lee Child’s reaction to the Jack Reacher movie, Never Go Back (2016). Needless to say, Child is not happy with Tom Cruise’s “interpretation” of Jack Reacher…but he did take the money. Yes, With Child is a step up from fan writing, but I found the chemistry between Martin and Child delightful! Are you a Jack Reacher fan? GRADE: B+

NEW HP OFFICEJET PRO 8025 ALL-IN-ONE PRINTER


My HP OFFICEJET 6978 printer died so I replaced it with a new HP OFFICEJET PRO ALL-IN-ONE printer that was on sale for $99 (list price $169.99). The HP instructions said EASY, FAST INSTALLATION! FALSE! The printer installation was neither easy or fast. I followed the instructions to go to the HP installation web site. I downloaded the software. I ran the software. Then I tried to print. Nothing happened.

I repeated the steps. Reinstalled the software. Still nothing. With frustration mounting, I went to the HP Tech Support web site and started an online CHAT with Manish Kumar, a tech support representative. It took about a half an hour, but Manish Kumar finally got my new printer to print. The problem was caused by conflicted software issues.

Once upon a time, you could just plug a printer into your computer, plug the printer into a power source, run the installation software and the printer would print. Now, in this Wi-Fi, wireless printing world we’ve slid backwards. More complications, more issues, less reliability. How are you and your printer getting along?

FRIDAY’S FORGOTTEN BOOKS #581: DOUBLE FEATURE By Donald E. Westlake


Donald E. Westlake’s Double Feature first appeared in 1977 under the title Enough. In Charles Ardai’s Introduction, the title change is explained which makes sense to me. Double Feature consists of two novellas. The first–the longer one–is called “A Travesty” and features a clever (perhaps too clever) movie critic, Carey Thorpe, who “accidentally” kills his girl friend, Laura Penny. Thorpe thinks he can escape Justice, but then he finds out Laura Penny was being followed by a private detective, John Edgarson. In his surveillance, Edgarson records Thorpe’s presence at Laura Penny’s place…and finds a damning clue. Edgarson blackmails Thorpe. But, things get more complicated. The police detectives investigating the murder, Staples and Bray, include Thorpe in some other murder investigations and we discover Thorpe is a gifted sleuth (maybe because of all those crime movies he watches). I particularly liked the Lock Room murder mystery. Donald Westlake takes us on a wacky ride through a tangled web of lies and deception. Marvelous!

The second novella, “Ordo,” is much more serious fare. Ordo is a sailor in the U.S. Navy who discovers one of the hottest female stars in Hollywood, Dawn Devayne, was once his wife. Estelle Anlic, after divorcing Ordo after a brief marriage, goes on to transform herself into another persona. Ordo’s quest to find the Estelle he once loved leads him to dark places. These two novellas show the versatility of Westlake’s talent to write comedy…and tragedy. Highly recommended! Are you a Westlake fan? Do you have a favorite Westlake novel? GRADE: A

CROSSING THE RUBICON: CAESAR’S DECISION AND THE FATE OF ROME By Luca Fezzi


Although it was not yet ten years that he had been fighting in Gaul, he captured more than 800 cities, subjugated 300 nations, fought 3 million men at different times, killed 1 million of them in battle and took as many prisoners. (Plutarch, Caesar, 15.5)

Crossing the Rubicon: Caesar’s Decision and the Fate of Rome by Luca Fezzi (translated from the Italian by Richard Dixon) presents a tale of ambition and politics and civil war. Caesar decides to challenge Proconsul Pompey and ignores the Roman Senate’s command to disband his troops. Caesar crosses the Rubicon and risks everything to become the most powerful man in the Roman Empire. Luca Fezzi’s writing style, far from academic, tells the thrilling story of a brilliant general with much higher aspirations.

On top of the great story, Crossing the Rubicon explores how to manage risks, how to make decisions (Pompey made some major gaffes), and when to gamble…and when not to. I found Crossing the Rubicon a revealing history and a useful guide. Have you been to Italy? GRADE: A
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
List of Maps vii
A Note on the Text viii
Translator’s Note ix
A Note on Source x
Prologue xvi
Part I Background
1 The Stage and Its Main Characters 3
2 Plots and Scandals 39
3 The Arrival of the ‘First Triumvirate’ 53
4 Caesar, Gaul and Rome 67
Part II Rome In Chaos
5 From the Death of Clodius to a Sole Consul 89
6 Winner in a Tight Corner 107
7 Winds of Civil War 127
Part III From The Rubicon To The Surrender of Rome
8 The Rubicon 149
9 The Escape from Rome 166
10 Caesar’s ‘Long March’ and Pompey’s Flight to Brundisium 194
11 In Caesar’s Hands 224
12 The Battle Fought, the Res Publica, and the City 245
Glossary 279
Chapter Notes 285
Bibliography and Further Notes 301
Acknowledgements 330
Index 331

ELDERHOOD : REDEFINING AGING, TRANSFORMING MEDICINE, REIMAGINING LIFE By Louise Aronson

Louise Aronson – Elderhood


Elderhood: Redefining Aging, Transforming Medicine, Reimagining Life by Dr. Louise Aronson both explores the aging process and Dr. Aronson’s career as a geriatrician. I admire Dr. Aronson’s dozens of stories where she admits she made mistakes dealing with aging patients. Aging is complicated and the health care system doesn’t make it easy or simple to treat the many problems of aging patients. Doctors struggle to get it right despite the pressure to limit time with patients. Elderhood provides a guided tour of aging and shows you what to expect. We all age differently, but we can all pursue smart choices to make our aging less dire.

Dr. Aronson provides a list items essential for a “good old age”: good genes, good luck, enough money, and one good kid, usually a daughter. Without these, a nursing home looms as your final destination. I learned a lot from Elderhood. You would, too. How long do you want to live? GRADE: A
Table of Contents:
Conception
Author’s note xiii
Birth
1 Life 3
Childhood
2 Infant 13
Memories – Lessons
3 Toddler 24
History – Sick – Assumptions
4 Child 41
Houses – Resurrection – Confusion – Standards – Other
5 Tween 63
Normal – Different
6 Teen 75
Evolution – Perversions – Rejuvenation – Gaps – Choices
Adulthood
7 Young Adult 105
Trauma – Modern – Indoctrination – Mistakes – Competence – Shame – Bias
8 Adult 137
Oblivious – Language – Vocation – Distance – Values – Truth – Biology – Advocacy – Outsourced -Zealot
9 Middle-aged 192
Stages – Help – Prestige – Complexity – Combustion – Sexy – Disillusionment – Priorities – Sympathy
10 Senior 241
Ages – Pathology – Communication – Freedom – Backstory – Longevity – Childproof – Reclamation –
Elderhood
11 Old 273
Exceptional – Future – Distress – Worth – Beloved – Places – Comfort – Tech – Meaning – Imagination – Bodies – Classification
12 Elderly 324
Invisibility – Duality – Care – Education – Resilience – Attitude – Design – Health – Perspective
13 Aged 363
Time – Nature – Human – Consequences – Acceptance
Death
14 Stories 397
Coda
Opportunity 403
Acknowledgments 405
Notes 407
Bibliography 433
Index 436

THE VERY BEST OF ONE STEP BEYOND [4-DVD Box Set]


The actual title of this series was Alcoa Presents: One Step Beyond. It was an American anthology series created by Merwin Gerard. The original series was broadcast for three seasons by the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) from January 1959 to July 1961 (96 25-minute episodes). You could consider it a Poor Man’s The Twilight Zone despite its paranormal plots and claims of realism. Check out some of the soon-to-be Stars who appeared in the series:
Luana Anders (“The Burning Girl”)
John Beal (“The Lovers”)
Warren Beatty and Joan Fontaine (together in “The Visitor”)
Whit Bissell (“Brainwave”)
Robert Blake (“Gypsy”)
Charles Bronson (“The Last Round”)
Walter Burke (“The Front Runner”)
Veronica Cartwright (“The Haunting”)
Louise Fletcher (“The Open Window”
Joan Fontaine and Warren Beatty (together in “The Visitor”)
Arthur Franz (“The Call from Tomorrow”)
Ronald Howard (“The Haunting”)
Werner Klemperer (“The Haunted U-Boat”)
Robert Lansing (“The Voice”)
Cloris Leachman and Marcel Dalio (together in “The Dark Room”)
Christopher Lee (“The Sorcerer”)
Robert Loggia (“The Hand”)
Jack Lord (“Father Image”)
Patrick Macnee (“The Night of April 14th”)
John Marley (“The Night of the Kill”)
Ross Martin (“Echo”)
Patty McCormack (“Make Me Not a Witch”)
Ann McCrea (“Night of the Kill”)
Yvette Mimieux (“The Clown”)
Elizabeth Montgomery (“The Death Waltz”)
André Morell (“The Avengers”)
Patrick O’Neal (“The Return of Mitchell Campion”)
Maria Palmer (“The Secret”)
Edward Platt (“The Burning Girl”)
Donald Pleasence (“The Confession”)
Suzanne Pleshette (“Delusion”)
Paula Raymond (“Emergency Only”)
Pernell Roberts (“The Vision”)
William Schallert (“Tidal Wave” and “Epilogue”)
William Shatner (“The Promise”)
Torin Thatcher (“Doomsday”)
Yvette Vickers and Mike Connors (together in “The Aerialist”)
Robert Webber (“The Captain and His Guests”)
Peter Wyngarde (“Nightmare…”)

If you’re a fan of The Twight Zone, you might enjoy these episodes. I picked up this 4-DVD box set at a Library Sale for 50 cents. Well worth it! Have you ever seen One Step Beyond? It was shown on the SCI-FI CHANNEL in the 1990s. GRADE: B

A VERY STABLE GENIUS: DONALD J. TRUMP’S TESTING OF AMERICA By Philip Rucker and Carol Leonnig


What better way to celebrate PRESIDENTS’ DAY than to read a book about our current President, Donald J. Trump. And who better to report on the chaos in the White House than Washington Post national investigative reporter Carol Leonnig and White House bureau chief Philip Rucker, both Pulitzer Prize winners. Beyond the daily chaos of scandal, investigation, Impeachment, and constant lies, Rucker and Leonnig present a President bent on perpetuation of his own power, even when it means imperiling our Democracy.

From the early days of the Trump Administration through the Mueller Investigation to the run-up to Impeachment, A Very Stable Genius delivers a portrait of a man unhinged–the very opposite of a very stable genius. Readers of this book will come away with a wealth of inside information–Rucker and Leonnig somehow accessed key insiders who are terrified about what Trump might do next–and insight into the plans for the 2020 Election. Could our country survive another four years of this madness? Will Trump win again? Check out the Presidential ad below. GRADE: A
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
Authors’ Note xi
Prologue — 1
PART ONE
1. Building blocks — 11
2. Paranoia and pandemonium — 25
3. The road to obstruction — 19
4. A fateful firing — 52
5. The G-Man cometh — 66
PART TWO
6. Suiting up for battle — 81
7. Impeding justice — 95
8. A cover-up — 109
9. Shocking the conscience — 129
10. Unhinged — 147
11. Winging it — 162
PART THREE
12. Spygate — 183
13. Breakdown — 198
14. One-man firing squad — 211
15. Congratulating Putin — 225
16. A chilling raid — 236
PART FOUR
17. Hand grenade diplomacy — 257
18. The resistance within — 278
19. Scare-a-thon — 294
20. An ornery diplomat — 316
21. Gut over brains — 328
PART FIVE
22. Axis of enablers — 349
23. Loyalty and truth — 366
24. The report — 380
25. The show goes on — 395
EPILOGUE 412
Acknowledgements 419
Notes 427
Index 443

JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR: 50th Anniversary Tour


I saw Jesus Christ Superstar back in the early 1970s. It was regarded as “cutting edge” and “avant-gard” at the time. Jesus Christ Superstar was written by Andrew Lloyd Webber (music) and Tim Rice (lyrics).

My favorite song in the musical is a moving ballad sung by the character of Mary Magdalene who in Jesus Christ Superstar is presented as dealing with an unrequited love for the title character. Mary Magdalene sings “I Don’t Know How to Love Him” to express her conflicted feelings. “I Don’t Know How to Love Him” is unique for having two versions concurrently in the Top 30 of the Hot 100 chart at the time in Billboard magazine by Helen Reddy and Yvonne Elliman. But, below is my preferred version sung by Sarah Brightman. Today, Diane and I travel down to Shea’s Performing Arts Center to see Jesus Christ Superstar. Have you seen Jesus Christ Superstar? Do you have a favorite song from this musical?
MUSICAL NUMBERS:
Act One
“Overture” – Orchestra
“Heaven on Their Minds” – Judas
“What’s the Buzz/Strange Thing Mystifying” – Jesus, Judas, Mary and Apostles
“Then We are Decided” – Caiaphas, Annas, Priests
“Everything’s Alright” – Mary, Judas, Jesus, Women, Apostles
“This Jesus Must Die” – Caiaphas, Annas, Priests
“Hosanna” – Jesus, Caiaphas and Company
“Simon Zealotes/Poor Jerusalem” – Jesus, Simon and Company
“Pilate’s Dream” – Pilate
“The Temple” – Jesus, Ensemble
“Everything’s Alright (reprise)” – Mary, Jesus
“I Don’t Know How to Love Him” – Mary
“Damned For All Time/Blood Money” – Judas, Annas, Caiaphas, Choir
Act Two
“The Last Supper” – Jesus, Judas, Apostles
“Gethsemane (I Only Want to Say)” – Jesus
“The Arrest” – Judas, Jesus, Peter, Apostles, Annas, Caiaphas, Ensemble
“Peter’s Denial” – Maid by the Fire, Peter, Soldier, Old Man, Mary
“Pilate and Christ” – Pilate, Soldier, Jesus, Ensemble
“King Herod’s Song” – Herod and Company
“Could We Start Again Please?” – Mary and Peter
“Judas’ Death” – Judas, Annas, Caiaphas, Ensemble
“Trial Before Pilate” – Pilate, Caiaphas, Jesus, Ensemble
“Superstar” – Judas, Soul Sisters, Angels
“The Crucifixion” – Jesus, Ensemble
“John Nineteen: Forty-One” – Orchestra

RUSSELL BAKER’S BOOK OF AMERICAN HUMOR


Russell Baker’s Book of American Humor (1993) collects plenty of funny writing that will make you smile…and laugh out loud. Russell Baker wanted to give a historical flavor to this book so you’ll see pieces by Benjamin Franklin, Edgar Allan Poe, and Abraham Lincoln. Robert Benchley is well represented as is H. L. Mencken. The usual suspects are here: O. Henry, Damon Runyon, James Thurber, and Ring Lardner. But Russell Baker includes some unusual choices like Chester Himes and Mae West.

Cast your eyes on the Table of Contents and you’ll see some familiar pieces, but there’s plenty of humorous writing that I was unfamiliar with in this 598 page tome. Copies are available on-line at affordable prices. Do you have a favorite humor writer? Are they included in this anthology? GRADE: A
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
Introduction p. 15
SECTION ONE: Comical-Tragical Tales 15
“Clothes Make the Man” — Nunnally Johnson p. 29
“Jack Schmidt, Arts Administrator” — Garrison Keillor p. 41
“Ex Parte” — Ring Lardner p. 48
“Confessions of a Humorist” — O. Henry p. 57
“The Mourner” — Bruce Jay Friedman p. 64
“The Death of Julius Caesar”– Leo Rosten p. 70
“Broadway Complex” — Damon Runyon p. 78
SECTION TWO: Shameless Frivolity 89
“Contributors to This Issue” — Robert Benchley p. 93
“Hymn to Ham” — Roy Blount, Jr. p. 94
“Song to Bacon” — Roy Blount, Jr. p. 96
“Song to Grease” –Roy Blount, Jr. p. 97
“A Look at Organized Crime”– Woody Allen p. 98
“There Ain’t No Justice” — Chester Himes p. 101
“Wally Ballou Visits Sturdley House” — Bob & Ray p. 103
“Exam Time” — Robert Benchley p. 108
“Reader’s Digest Threatened . . .” — Bill Vaughan p. 110
“Captain Blood” — Donald Barthelme p. 111
“The Retort Transcendental” — E. B. White p. 115
“More Songs for Meller” — Robert Benchley p. 117
“A Strange Story” — O. Henry p. 119
“The Prisoner of Zembla” –O. Henry p. 120
The Horace Greeley Story — Mark Twain p. 122
“Maxims from the Chinese” — Robert Benchley p. 125
SECTION THREE: The Human Muddle 127
Briefly Speaking — Finley Peter Dunne p. 131
“Tain’t So” — Langston Hughes p. 131
“The Busy-Body, No. 4” — Benjamin Franklin p. 135
“The Drinker’s Dictionary” — Benjamin Franklin p. 138
“Add Hot Water; Serves Fourteen Million” — Thomas Meehan p. 143
“A Comedy in Rubber” — O. Henry p. 148
“How to Tell a Fine Old Wine” — James Thurber p. 152
“Fake French in Nine (Neuf) Easy Lessons”– P. J. O’Rourke p. 155
Briefly Speaking — Finley Peter Dunne p. 158
“Bye-Bye, Silver Bullets” — Russell Baker p. 158
Duke and Douphin Excerpt from The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn — Mark Twain p. 161
Emmeline Excerpt from The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn — Mark Twain p. 166
Briefly Speaking — Finley Peter Dunne p. 170
SECTION FOUR: This Sex Problem 171
A Perplexing Question — Fannie Flagg p. 175
Briefly Speaking — Mae West p. 177
“Fate Keeps On Happening” — Anita Loos p. 177
“How Much Should a Woman Eat?” — H. L. Mencken p. 185
“The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” — James Thurber p. 187
“What Did We Do Wrong?” –Garrison Keillor p. 191
Three Letters — Abraham Lincoln p. 198
“Old Mistresses Apologue” — Benjamin Franklin p. 203
“Somewhere a Roscoe . . .” — S. J. Perelman p. 204
SECTION FIVE: Parody, Burlesque, Criticism, and Pain 209
“What He Told Me” — Frank Gannon p. 213
“Pornocopia” — Michael O’Donoghue p. 216
“Cloudland Revisited: Roll On, Thou Deep and Dark Scenario, Roll” — S. J. Perelman p. 222
“A Talkative Jerk” — A. J. Liebling p. 227
“The Correspondent-School Linguist” — Robert Benchley p. 233
“How Love Came to General Grant” — Donald Ogden Stewart p. 234
“My Cat Book Won’t Come” — Roy Blunt, Jr. p. 242
“Sitting on a Seesaw” — Roy Blunt, Jr. p. 245
“Muck-a-Muck” — Bret Harte p. 249
“A Book Review” — Finley Peter Dunne p. 254
“The Making of Theodore H. White” — Nora Ephron p. 257
“From There to Infinity” — Peter DeVries p. 261
Briefly Speaking — Kin Hubbard p. 265
SECTION SIX: Family Life 267
“Society Wedding: A Swinging Social Soiree” — William Geist p. 271
“To Irving Hoffman” — Groucho Marx p. 274
Briefly Speaking — Finley Peter Dunne p. 275
Excerpt from Vital Parts — Thomas Berger p. 276
“How to Eat an Ice-Cream Cone” — L. Rust Hills p. 290
“A Hard Case” — Artemus Ward p. 295
“Stop Ironing the Diapers” — Barbara Ehrenreich p. 296
Four Dialogues — Erma Bombeck p. 299
“Ode to Thanksgiving”– Michael Arlen p. 304
Excerpt from Portnoy’s Complaint — Philip Roth p. 307
“To Harry Kurnitz” — Groucho Marx p. 310
SECTION SEVEN: Geographical Sneers 311
Briefly Speaking — Fred Allen p. 315
“The Hazards of Journalism…” — Billy Vaughan p. 315
“Can New York Save Itself?” — Dave Barry p. 317
“The Foolish Woman” — Ambrose Bierce p. 326
“A Nation of Shopkeepers Loses Three of Them through Contact with a Nation of Violence” — Calvin Trillin p. 327
“The Capital of a Great Republic” — H. L. Mecken p. 333
“Third World Driving Hints and Tips” — P. J. O’Rourke p. 334
Briefly Speaking — Fred Allen p. 338
“Texas Observed” — Molly Ivins p. 338
SECTION EIGHT: Politics and Patriots 343
“Man and Lightning” — Ambrose Bierce p. 347
Lieutenant Scheisskopf — Joseph Heller p. 347
“How Old Abe Received the News of His Nomination”– Artemus Ward p. 358
“A Romance – William Barker, the Young Patriot” –Artemus Ward p. 359
“The Draft in Baldinsville” — Artemus Ward p. 360
“Nasby Shows Why He Should Not Be Drafted” — David Ross Locke p. 363
“Nasby Writes His Flock from a Union Jail” — David Ross Locke p. 364
Cables from the White House — Abraham Lincoln p. 366
“Two Letters, Both Open” — E. B. White p. 368
“Woman Suffrage” — Finley Peter Dunne p. 372
“Salmagundi No. XI” — Washington Irving p. 374
“Coolidge” — H. L. Mencken p. 379
“Call This a Govment!” Excerpt from The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn — Mark Twain p. 382
“Backwacking: A Plea to the Senator” — Ralph Ellison p. 384
“The Great Starch Debate” –Roger Angell p. 389
Briefly Speaking — Finley Peter Dunne p. 394
SECTION NINE: Media 395
“The Years with Navasky” — Calvin Trillin p. 399
“The XI P.M. Report” — Russell Baker p. 403
“Journalese, or Why English Is the Second Language of the Fourth Estate” — John Leo p. 405
“The Lowell-Hawthorne Incident” — Eugene Field p. 414
“Informed Opinion, the Lifeblood of Our Way of Life — Bill Vaughan p. 416
“Partners” — Veronica Geng p. 418
“Press Relations” — Art Buchwald p. 420
“A Matter of Style” — Larry L. King p. 425
“The Cape Codder” — Fred Allen p. 429
“Drill for a Rookie” — H. L. Mencken p. 431
SECTION TEN: Fable, Lore, and Fantasy 439
“The Patient Toiler Who Got It in the Usual Place” — George Ade p. 443
“The Fable of How the Fool-Killer Backed Out of a Contract” — George Ade p. 444
“The Fable of the Slim Girl Who Tried to Keep a Date That Was Never Made” — George Ade p. 445
“The Fable of the Copper and the Jovial Undergrads” — George Ade p. 446
“The Two Turkeys” — James Thurber p. 448
“The Tiger Who Understood People” — James Thurber p. 449
“The Lion Who Wanted to Zoom” — James Thurber p. 450
“The Sheep in Wolf’s Clothing” — James Thurber p. 451
“The Tortoise and the Hare” — James Thurber p. 452
Talking Mule Story — Zora Heale Hurston p. 453
Competition for a Girl –Zora Heale Hurston p. 454
Woman’s Strength Story –Zora Heale Hurston p. 455
Squinch Owl Story — Zora Heale Hurston p. 458
“the coming of archy” — Don Marquis p. 459
“mehitabel was once Cleopatra” — Don Marquis p. 461
“mehitabel and her kittens” –Don Marquis p. 462
“mehitabel dances with boreas” — Don Marquis p. 466
“How to Tell a True Princess” — Ring Lardner p. 470
“A Bedtime Story” — Ring Lardner p. 471
God Visits Hell — Stanley Elkin p. 474
Ten Primer Lessons — Eugene Field p. 477
“The Angel of the Odd” — Edgar Allan Poe p. 483
SECTION ELEVEN: Looking Back 491
“Uncle Dockery and the Independent Bull” –Joseph Mitchell p. 495
“Reunion in Gehenna” — S. J. Perelman p. 500
Uncle Harold — Russell Baker p. 505
“My Old Man and the Lascivious Special Award” — Jean Shepard p. 511
“The Night the Old Nostalgia Burned Down” — Frank Sullivan p. 523
“Father and His Pet Rug” –Clarence Day p. 527
“The Night the Ghost Got In” — James Thurber p. 531
SECTION TWELVE: A Gnashing of Humorists 537
“Sauce for the Gander” — S. J. Perlman p. 541
Letter to John J. McCarthy — Fred Allen p. 545
“The Fundamentals of Contemporary Courtesy” — P. J. O’Rourke p. 546
Excerpts from The Devil’s Dictionary — Ambrose Bierce p. 552
“Fear of Flying Isn’t Groundless” — Mike Royko p. 554
“Manners” — Fran Lebowitz p. 556
“The Joggers’ Prayer” — Tom Wolfe p. 559
“The Waiting Game” — Arthur Hoppe p. 560
“Political Economy” — Mark Twain p. 561
“My Watch” —Mark Twain p. 566
“A Little Flight Music” — William K. Zinsser p. 568
“Uncle Edith’s Ghost Story” — Robert Benchley p. 571
Notes on the Contributors p. 575
Copyright Acknowledgments p. 587
Index p. 595