The Algonquin Wits: Alexander Woollcott’s Riposte in a Moment of Immodesty

“Ever conscious of his weight problem, Woollcott installed a steam cabinet at his ‘Wit’s End’ home on the East River. The cabinet had a large window in front, through which an outsider could see anyone sitting inside. One afternoon Peggy Pulitzer, while a guest at Woollcott’s, wandered by the cabinet and beheld Aleck’s stark-naked form. Later she advised him, ‘You should cover that window with an organdy curtain.’ Woollcott corrected the lady’s phrasing, however” ‘Curtain de organ.’”

Excerpted from: Drennan, Robert E., ed. The Algonquin Wits. New York: Kensington, 1985.

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