Sunday, March 26, 2006

The strange saga of Dorothy Parker's ashes



'The saga of Dottie and Lilly may be sad, but it's almost comical, too. Probably the first to smile about it would be Parker herself. She always imagined the hereafter as paradise, a sort of luxury hotel with hot and cold running dogs. Little did she imagine that settling permanently would require a Homeric journey of twenty-one years. More galling, her real-life coda—afterlife in a tin can—doomed her to spend fifteen of those years hanging around Wall Street, the symbol of everything she hated, followed by eternal rest in Baltimore, another place not to her taste, a short distance from a parking lot (Parker didn't drive). One of her oh-let's-kill-ourselves verses (aptly titled "Coda") concludes with the polite request: "Kindly direct me to hell." She should have been a lot more careful about what she asked for...' More

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