“Benchley was known for carrying on a constant war with machines and inanimate objects, always coming out the loser. Once he wrote, ‘The hundred and one little bits of wood and metal that go to make up the impedimenta of daily life…each and every one are bent on my humiliation and working together, as on one great team, to bedevil and confuse me and to get me into a neurasthenic’s home before I am sixty. I can’t fight these boys. They’ve got me licked.’”
Excerpted from: Drennan, Robert E., ed. The Algonquin Wits. New York: Kensington, 1985.