As my feature writing class winds down for this semester I will ask my students to reconsider the quote from Dorothy Parker I shared with them on the first day back in September.

Then they agreed with her famous quip, “I hate to write. I love to have written.”

I told them I once did too, but my friend and writing colleague Jack Smiles changed my mind. When I mentioned it to Jack years ago he said, “I know what she means, but actually I like the whole process. I like researching and gathering information and I like sitting down to put it all together.”

“Now that you mention it,” I answered, “so do I.”

I hope my students have come around to that line of thinking too.

If you ask me, Dorothy Parker is not quoted enough. She died in 1967, but her satirical wit still holds up. Here are a few of my favorites, followed by her little poem on martinis that I recite often, most frequently over martinis with my son and daughter-in-law last weekend in L.A.

But first:

“If you want to know what God thinks of money, just look at the people he gave it to.”

“Don’t look at me in that tone of voice.”

“Heterosexuality is not normal, it’s just common.”

“The first thing I do in the morning is brush my teeth and sharpen my tongue.”

Here’s the poem:

“I like to have a martini,

Two at the very most.

After three I’m under the table,

After four I’m under my host.”

Ed Ackerman writes The Optimist blog Wednesdays and Fridays. His column, The Optimist, is published every week in Greater Pittston Progress.

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