Ogden Nash

THE PEOPLE UPSTAIRS

The people upstairs all practise ballet
Their living room is a bowling alley
Their bedroom is full of conducted tours.
Their radio is louder than yours,
They celebrate week-ends all the week.
When they take a shower, your ceilings leak.
They try to get their parties to mix
By supplying their guests with Pogo sticks,
And when their orgy at last abates,
They go to the bathroom on roller skates.
I might love the people upstairs wondrous
If instead of above us, they just lived under us.

 

I DO, I WILL, I HAVE

How wise I am to have instructed the butler to instruct the first footman to instruct the second footman to instruct the doorman to order my carriage;
I am about to volunteer a definition of marriage.
Just as I know that there are two Hagens, Walter and Copen,
I know that marriage is a legal and religious alliance entered into by a man who can't sleep with the window shut and a woman who can't sleep with the window open.
Also he can't sleep until until he has read the last hundred pages to find out whether his suspicions of the murdered eccentric's recluse's avaricious secretary was right,
And she can't sleep until he's put out the light,
Which when he finally does she is still awake and turns on hers,
And if he thinks she's going to turn it off before she finds out whether Janis marries the shy young clergyman or the sophisticated polo player, he errs.
Moreover, just as I am unsure of the difference between flora and fauna and flotsam and jetsam,
I am quite sure that marriage is the alliance of two people one of whom never remembers birthdays and the other never forgetsam,
And the one refuses to believe there is a leak in the water pipe or the gas pipe and the other is convinced she is about to asphyxiate or drown,
And she says Quick get up and get my hairbrushes off the windowsill, it's raining in, and he replies Oh they're all right, it's only raining straight down.
That is why marriage is so much more interesting than divorce,
Because it's the only known example of the happy meeting of the immovable object and the irresistible force.
So I hope husbands and wives will continue to debate and combat over everything debatable and combatable,
Because I believe a little incompatibility is the spice of life, particularly if he has income and she is pattable.

 



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