Mr. Peachey's Predicament
No Mot Parades
by Ogden Nash
Once there was a man named Mr. Peachey and he lived on Park Avenue and played the harp and was an eligible bachelor but his social life was hapless,
And he thought at first it was because his parents came from Indianapless,
But one day he awoke from a troubled nap,
And said I am tired of this hapless social life, what I want is a social life simply teeming with hap.
It can't be, he said, that I don't play the harp enough,
I wonder if just possibly my wits aren't sharp enough.
I know I am pretty noted,
But I've never been quoted;
Perhaps the solution for me
Is some iridescent repartee;
Suppose before I next dine out I compose a series of epigrams of searing astringency
And then I shall be ready with a quip for any conversational contingency.
So he composed a series of epigrams of indubitable variety,
And went to dine with some people way up in society.
And in the taxi he memorized his lines and held a solo rehearsal,
And he was delighted, because he said some people's humor is specialized but mine is universal.
There may well be a Mr. Shoemaker there who has divorced a beautiful rich virtuous wife for a debt-ridden hideous wife with a past,
And I'll say Shoemaker you should have stuck to your last;
And suppose somebody remarks that the hostess looks like a Titian I can bring them up short,
I can answer, Looks like a Titian, eh? Do you mean beaut- or mort-?
That will naturally swing the conversation to the books of Michael Arlen and their merits and faults,
And what do I say then, oh yes, I say I see that Michael Arlen is still dancing to the Merry Ouida waltz,
And I'll go right on and say While we're on the subject of waltzes I'd like to play a little Haydn for you, and I'll go to the piano and grope at the keys and then look up impishly and speak,
And say I really don't know whether I'm playing Haydn or Haydn seek.
Then after the laughter has died down I shall approach some Yale man who has just returned from abroad whom I wish to embarass
And I'll ask him how he enjoyed the Boola-Boolavards of Paris.
Oh, said Mr. Peachey gleefully, the days of my hapless social life are over, I cannot help but be a wow,
I wish I was at the party right now.
But when he got to the party his hostess, who didn't look like a Titian at all, she looked like a Dali, was quite sharp,
And sent him right back to his Park Avenue apartment to get his harp,
And today he is living in the old family mansion in Indianapless,
Where I'm sorry to say his social life is just as hapless.