Movin' a little slow here at the beach in Bay Head, New Jersey, after another tequila night with our across-the-street neighbors, Jango and Dorothy Parker. At some point in every evening with Jango and Dot, once the tequila's got my tongue, I am having such a good time that I compare their gatherings on the porch with "that drunk lady and her table at that hotel." For the first time here, in the light of the morning when I'm able to think clearly, I'd like to elaborate:
The real/original Dorothy Parker was an American writer and poet, best known for her caustic wit, wisecracks, and sharp eye for 20th Century human foibles. From a conflicted and unhappy childhood, Parker rose to acclaim, both for her literary output in such venues as The New Yorker and as a founding member in 1919 of the Algonquin Round Table, an informal gathering of writers who lunched at the Algonquin Hotel, a group she would later disdain. The "Vicious Circle" included Robert Benchley, Harpo Marx, George S Kaufman, and Edna Ferber, and was known for its scathing wit and intellectual commentary. Following the breakup of that circle, Parker traveled to Hollywood to pursue screenwriting. Her successes there, including two Academy Award nominations, would eventually be curtailed, as her involvement in left-wing politics would lead to a place on the infamous Hollywood blacklist. Parker survived three marriages (two to the same man) and several suicide attempts, but grew increasingly dependent on alcohol. Although she would come to dismiss her own talents and deplore her reputation as a "wisecracker," her literary output and her sparkling wit have endured long past her death.
And, in tribute to the original Dorothy Parker, I've given the good doctor across the street her name as a pseudonym. Last night, the margaritas were on the rocks and, as usual, the conversation and tequila were free-flowing. The kids watched Night at the Museum and the grown-ups hung out with our pitcher on the porch.