29 January 2006
Long walks on the beach, my eye
Kathleen Fasanella pulls from her vintage book collection an odd little 1945 tome by Thomas Horton called What Men Don't Like About Women, and I suppose, judging from her description, it could just as easily have been titled Are Women Necessary?
With the war on, I don't know how he got it published although he does write excruciatingly well. He's also vitriolic, contemptuous, misogynistic and contradictory; the only women he thinks are of any value are prostitutes. For some reason, he likes prostitutes, considering them to be virtuous gems of femininity.
There's an article by Horton under the same title in the July 1939 Esquire, which suggests to me that he put out a couple thousand words, was thrilled to see them in print, and thus spent the next six years, four of them possibly in uniform, thinking of ten or twenty thousand more. Here's a sample from the book:
Occasionally life gets so complicated that the only refuge seems to be a walk in the park, on the sea shore, or just in the street. When a man gets into his funk, eternal romantic that he is, he often picks for his companion a woman to his boundless regret. The fact is that it is absolutely impossible to have a pleasant time walking with a woman. She will stop at store windows, she will chatter about her bowel movements, she will relate the sad tale of what her nephew said last Thursday to her uncle from Poughkeepsie, she will orate on the value of women getting together to reduce the price of fur coats for working girls, and so on when all the man wants is the mere presence of a silent sympathizer. The result of such a walk, of course, is that the man returns home in lower spirits than before and determined never to see that chatterbox again.
Truth be told, were I a girl, I don't think I'd hang around this guy either; I mean, he just stands there and doesn't say a word.Posted at 9:40 AM to Table for One