The world is a looking glass, and gives back to every man the reflection of his own face. Frown at it, and it will in turn look sourly upon you; laugh at it and with it, and it is a jolly kind companion.
-- William Makepeace Thackeray

Jun 22, 2009

Candy is Dandy: On Ogden Nash and Ironing

A few years back I was in the American Bookstore in Amsterdam and in the Poetry department I saw the book ‘Candy is Dandy, The Best of Ogden Nash’. I remember not having to hesitate and buying it before anyone else could get their hands on it. All the way home fits of laughter would escape from my mouth, much to the annoyance of the other passengers in the train. I don’t recall when I read him for the first time but I assume it was during my teens, when I was able to understand the word puns and the irony of his writing.

I am not much of a housekeeper. As a matter of fact, I’d rather not do any housekeeping at all and if it weren’t for the fact that I was born a female, I would have been mowing the lawn for my parents once a week instead of ironing three baskets full of family laundry each Saturday. My mother wasn’t much of a housekeeper either so it came in pretty handy having her oldest daughter to help her out. Needless to say, I developed an enormous dislike for ironing.

Over the years I also developed a strategy with respect to ironing that consists of folding the laundry and putting it where it belongs without ironing. Of course this is unhandy because things have to be ironed before wearing them. Getting dressed in the morning usually meant ironing a few clothes if I wanted to look halfway decent. Although I am a morning person, this ironing-before-getting-dressed routine started to irritate me so I decided to do something about it, and this is where Ogden Nash comes in.

The plan is simple. Each day iron 5 garments (5 is about all I can handle without getting terribly grouchy) and then reward myself with reading one (or more) of Ogden Nash's poems to lift my spirits.

Everybody Tells Me Everything
by Ogden Nash
I find it very difficult to enthuse
Over the current news.
Just when you think that at least the outlook is so black that it can grow no blacker, it worsens,
And that is why I do not like the news, because there has never been an era when so many things were going so right for so many of the wrong persons.

The Firefly
by Ogden Nash
The firefly's flame Is something for which science has no name
I can think of nothing eerier
Than flying around with an unidentified glow on a
person's posteerier.

More of his poems can be found here

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