Tuesday, May 24, 2011

by george and eddie

because I've been reading, at random, pages out of the collection by george by george s. kaufman, I'm setting out the following short anecdote about him:

Eddie Fisher once appeared on a television program during which entertainers sought romantic, spiritual, and other miscellaneous guidance from a group of panelists (among them the noted wit George S. Kaufman). Fisher's complaint concerned a certain chorus girl who refused to go out with him on account of his age.

"Mr. Fisher," Kaufman advised, "on Mount Wilson there is a telescope that can magnify the most distant stars up to twenty-four times the magnification of any previous telescope. This remarkable instrument was unsurpassed in the world of astronomy until the development and construction of the Mount Palomar telescope - an even more remarkable instrument of magnification. Owing to advances and improvements in optical technology, it is capable of magnifying the stars to four times the magnification and resolution of the Mount Wilson telescope."

Here Kaufman paused, surveying the puzzled faces around him. "Mr. Fisher," he continued, "if you could somehow put the Mount Wilson telescope inside the Mount Palomar telescope, you still wouldn't be able to detect my interest in your problem."

of no connection except for an accident of the language, george kaufman was also the name of the late bassist for the nails, a punk group of the mid-80s with a single, much-loved song: "88 lines about 44 women."

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