Thursday, September 30, 2010

With Dotty At The Boundary Fence

We live in a strange virtual half-world us bloggers, never sure of the boundary between reality and fantasy. Tonight, for example, I am heading for the eagerly-awaited 3rd Annual Willow Ball with my date for the evening, the delightful Dorothy Parker. I had arranged to meet the acerbic Miss Parker at the Algonquin Hotel in New York, and I found her there surrounded by a rather strange collection of characters, many of whom seemed to have crossed over that boundary I spoke about earlier (was that really Harpo Marx and was he really talking!!). I quickly explained to Dotty (she insisted that I call her Dotty which made me feel very grown up) that it was a virtual ball that we were attending and I tried to explain a little about how such things work (I had rightly surmised that she hadn't kept up with technological developments since her unfortunate death in 1967). But she seemed to understand the mechanics of blogging, the internet and virtual gatherings remarkably easily, and I was moved to congratulate her on her perspicaciousness. Quickly correcting me on my grammar - "the word is perspicacity dear boy, try not to get it wrong in future" - she went on to say something which I thought was so significant I tried to make some quick notes on the collar of a passing waiter so I could share it with you. Here is what she said:

"You talk as if this virtual reality of yours is something new or something special. Be assured, it is not. Every writer since Homer has inhabited a virtual world : the difference between your Willow Ball and his Trojan Horse is merely a matter of time and spatial distance. Every playwright, every dramatist, every poet has investigated that boundary you speak of between reality and fantasy. That boundary is where artists live, where they thrive, where they meet together and share ideas. My Algonquin Hotel is your Willow Manor. My Robert Benchley is your Jeffscape, My Alexander Woollcott is your Brian Miller, my Tallulah Bankhead is your Betsy, and my Harpo Marx is your ... (here she paused and smiled at me) ... well work it out for yourself. Never apologise for your virtual world, Alan, celebrate it and gorge on its creativity. Walk that boundary between what some would call reality and what some would denounce as fantasy with the pride and excitement of an explorer. (At this point she finished off her drink, stubbed out her cigarette, pushed her hair back into some order). Right Alan, take me to the Ball."

So Willow, we are on our way. Not sure what time we will arrive, but we both look forward to meeting up with you and all the other guests later today. As Dotty said "see you at the boundary".

Join Us All At The Boundary At The Willow Manor Ball HERE

22 comments:

  1. That waiter must have had a hell of a collar size to get all that lot down.

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  2. If you had listened to Spike, you would have known it was "perspicacity" ... mate.

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  3. Hello Alan,

    What an erudite discussion; clearly it was early in the day! And Ms Parker in relatively benign mode. I hope to learn more if I might steal her away for just one dance at some point?

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  4. Alan
    I am sure you will skip the light fandango
    and turn cartwheels 'cross the floor.

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  5. Dorothy Parker, eh? That oughta make for some interesting conversations in the drawing room when you get to the manor!

    I can't make it this year; too much else going on.

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  6. I'm not attending as I could never make up such a wonderful date as a Dorothy Parker although F. Scott comes to mind. He'd be too drunk tho and I hate sloppy drunks.

    Really great writing Alan. I love her.

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  7. I raise my glass to the world of no boundaries, my friend! You and Ms. Parker make a dashing couple, daaling. Oh, I see she's sitting this one out. Shall we?

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  8. Roy, I'm heartbroken. I've already penciled you in my dance card. In ink. :(

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  9. Ah Willow, Willow. You don't have to ask. Of course the dance is yours.

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  10. 'the boundary between reality and fantasy' ... you are so right about this blog world we live in ~ during a portion of our lives.

    Save me a dance, please. I want to continue this discussion in person.

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  11. Alan, very witty date - just keep her away from the punch bowl! ;o)

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  12. yes, absolutely i agree, virtual realities aren't new at all, just take new forms

    have a virtually great time

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  13. I can make it after all. A huge sigh of relief.Gary Oldman is waiting for me downstairs.

    You have made a wonderful choice of partner. Goodness how thrilling.

    Can't wait to see everyone. Oh what fun!

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  14. fantasy is toooo cool

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  15. I would love to be a fly on the wall at this event...

    Enjoy, and great post!

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  16. And how fabulous you and Dorothy look together but I see how you had to keep an eye on her drink ...I am enjoying my view of the ball from my spot at the top of the stairs!

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  17. And how fabulous you and Dorothy look together but I see how you had to keep an eye on her drink ...I am enjoying my view of the ball from my spot at the top of the stairs!

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  18. I was only able to attend briefly. Sorry I missed seeing you and Ms. Parker, who has long been a favorite of mine. And that is a fabulous photo of the two of you, Alan!

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  19. Tallulah Bankhead?? I'm soooo flattered! Save a dance for me, Alan. You look simply dashing! xo

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  20. oh i so love this photo adn how absolutely brilliantly creative again dear Alan. you are a genius. :)

    "since her unfortunate death in 1967"
    --yes, I well imagine it was indeed MOST unfortunate for her! LOL.

    We want to know when you find Dotty btw!

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  21. By the way, Alan, I also wanted to mention that the remarkable Ms. Parker's views on the virtual world were quite eloquent... as the lady herself was known to be.

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  22. Do you dance with fellas? I would like to go-round once or twice at your leisure.

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