Saturday, May 17, 2014

Please Don't Eat the Daisies

Please Don't Eat the Daisies was a re-read for me.  It is the comedic essays of a New York theater woman in the 50s.  Jean Kerr was, apparently, married to a famous drama critic and was known for her humor in the 50s and 60s.  This was her first foray into writing.  Each essay is hilarious and covers such topics as "How to be a Collector's Item" and "Dogs I Have Known" (my absolute favorite).  This book is interesting because, although it covers such dated topics and ideas, there is something so recognizable about the experiences and thoughts covered.  And I think that's why this book is still so amusing today.  Added to this already great book are the funny pencil drawings done by Carl Rose.

Here's a excerpt from the book:
"It's not just our own dogs that bother me.  The dogs I meet at parties are even worse.  I don't know what I've got that attracts them; it just doesn't bear thought.  My husband swears I rub chopped meat on my ankles.  But at every party it's the same thing.  I'm sitting in happy conviviality with a group in front of the fire when all of a sudden the large mutt of mine host appears in the archway.  Then, without a single bark of warning, he hurls himself upon me. It always makes me think of that line from A Streetcar Named Desire-'Baby, we've had this date right from the beginning.'  My martini flies into space and my stokcings are torn before he finally settles down peacefully in the lap of my new black faille.  I blow out such quantities of hair as I haven't swallowed and glance at my host, expecting to be rescued.  He murmurs, "Isn't that wonderful?  You know, Brucie is usually so distant with strangers."

Illustration found from some Ebay listing.  I had the worst time trying
to find an illustration for you (I was being lazy and didn't feel like getting
up to get my camera).
This book is perfect distraction reading.  My recovery from the oral surgery has been longer than expected and this was the perfect antidote.  This book would also make great on-the-fly reading because each essay is fairly short and the essays could be read in any sequence and still make perfect sense.  I recommend this book for anybody that likes humorous reading and a little slice of late 50s American life.

The Doris Day movie.  This movie was not that great.
I think I didn't like it in large part because I had just read the
book.  There's just no way a movie can capture a funny voice
and a collection of essays without messing everything up.
I think that this might have been a tolerable movie, had
I not just read the book.
I've linked to both the book (there's several used copies on amazon) and the instant-watch movie, should you be curious about either.


  1. I love Jean Kerr! I read my parents' copies when I was a kid (getting most of my impressions of New York City from her and Helene Hanff). I should hunt them up again.

    1. I was on amazon and saw that she wrote a lot more! I headed off to buy them, so I'll definitely be reviewing more of her writing.