“Coming out of a midtown restaurant, Benchley spotted a uniformed man at the door. ‘Would you get us a taxi, please,’ he asked the man. ‘I’m sorry,’ the man said coldly, ‘I happen to be a rear admiral in the United States Navy.’ ‘All right then,’ said Benchley, ‘us a battleship.'”
Excerpted from: Drennan, Robert E., ed. The Algonquin Wits. New York: Kensington, 1985.