If Dorothy Parker Had Taken The Proust Questionnaire

No one knows if the queen of the quip ever responded to the popular one-hundred-and-thirty-year-old personality-revealing quiz, but one can only imagine.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
An extra few hours of sleep on Sunday, especially during a tiresome matinee.

What is your greatest fear?
That there is a hereafter and they don’t serve alcohol.

Which historical figure do you most identify with?
Oscar Wilde, though that may be wishful inking.

Which living person do you most admire?
Any woman whose hair doesn’t frizz up on a rainy day.

Which is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
Wisecracking at another’s expense, especially if he is going to great expense.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?
A penchant for sharp-witted remarks that are usually half-witted.

What is your greatest extravagance?
A few cocktails at the Algonquin, followed by a few cocktails at the Algonquin.

What is your greatest journey?
To the Ladies’ Room at the Algonquin after a few too many cocktails.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
Abstinence springs to mind, but not very often.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
“Another one, please.”

What is your greatest regret?
Another one.

What or who is the greatest love of your life?
My dogs. So loyal and obedient, they didn’t even need a leash. Unlike my husbands.

Which talent would you most like to have?
To have become more skilled at hitting piano keys than typewriter keys, B-sharp being considerably less taxing than being sharp.

What is your current state of mind?
Before or after five p.m.?

What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Sobriety, whenever the need arose.

If you were to die and come back as a person or thing, what do you think it would be?
A Broadway pigeon with intestinal problems, since it seems my drama reviews have had a similar effect.

What is your most treasured possession?
My tongue, sharpened regularly.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
Hollywood. An enticing pastry, with no filling.  

Where would you like to live?
Right where I currently live, in Manhattan, but in a building with apartments that are twice the size and half the rent, which would be called, I imagine, the Oxymoron Arms.

What do you most value in your friends?
A white lie, to spare my feelings. When necessary, a gray one.

Who is your favorite hero of fiction?
The Great Gatsby‘s Jordan Baker: aloof, fast, hard-drinking, direct, self-sufficient, cynical. Oh, to be like her! 

How would you like to die?
I wouldn’t like it at all. But if I must, I would prefer it to be of, as they say, “old age,” which in my case could be a misnomer.

What is your motto?
Every fling in moderation.

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