Happy couples


This is just one of my random musings; they usually come when I’m doing hard labor, of which there is plenty every day.

It’s the old idea of imagining what certain historical personages would do or say if they found themselves thrown together at, say, some cocktail party in a trendy loft in the meatpacking district.    The kind of gathering where you realize you know absolutely no one but the host, who has long since disappeared in the scrum.

So I was washing the dishes when suddenly Copernicus came into my mind.   He seemed lonely.   I cast around for somebody  who  could keep him company till at least the next tray of canapes came past, and I thought, Baby June.   Already this party is looking up.

So I needed more.    George Burns is staring out the  window — odd, I know, even I have trouble picturing him standing still — so I sent him Marie Curie.   There.   He’ll make her smile, which I think she probably hasn’t done since she fainted from hunger in her freezing little garret as a student in Paris.   And she’ll give  him  a leg up on something really important about the subatomic  world, which you have to admit is a subject that has always been lacking in his shows.  

So we  throw out a batch of models and a few publicists and screenwriters and street artists to make space for some more happy couples.   I think Nikola Tesla and Edith Wharton would be smokin’.     I know he would be pretty far out along the edge of the envelope for her, the edge of the flap that cuts your tongue,  but I believe that she could talk with anybody.   That’s what real sophistication and real manners means and real intelligence means.   I have no doubt that by the end of the evening he’d be thinking how smart she was and a little less about his own scintillating brain.

Then I got to imagining Enrico Dandolo and Mary Anderson (you know, the woman who invented the windshield wiper).   He was one of the most pragmatic people ever born, and I think   he’d have liked her.   Or at least understood her.   I’m serious.   Because I don’t think many people understood him, either.  

Joan of Arc and George Clooney.

Ernest Hemingway and Marian Anderson.

Captain James Cook and Wilma Rudolph.  

Margaret Sanger and Hereward the Wake.

Vitale Bramani and St. Hilda of Whitby.

None of these really working for you?   Okay, how about this:

Martha Stewart and Stalin.    

Back to work.

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  1. Christa says:

    Didn’t Steve Allen do something like this? What a great way to spend time while doing drugery!

    • erla says:

      What an amazing memory you have. Yes, I believe he did do this, with much more panache than I. But he wasn’t washing dishes and shelling peas while he did it, either.

  2. Robin says:

    You given me a whole list of names to google! One of my favourite passtimes…though I do miss using an encyclopaedia for such activities because of all the unrelated information printed on the same page as “Hemingway, Ernest”, for instance…

    • erla says:

      I have been AWOL for days in the pages of the encyclopedia, when not wandering aimlessly through the dictionary. The trick about this little game, I’ve found, is to let the names suggest themselves. If I try too hard, I just come up with silly stuff that makes no sense.

  3. kat says:

    I love hearing you piffle. or sprizzle. or whatever you were doing. it’s one of your many charms.