The smoothest operator in jazz had to be young Albert Edwin Condon, with the best lines in Indiana — recalled in his autobiography WE CALLED IT MUSIC: 

“I suppose you picked that dress yourself because a girl as young as you wouldn’t know how pretty it makes her look.”

“I suppose you’re going to let me go and eat a banana split all by myself and get indigestion.”

“Do you think if I cross the street I might be able to keep from falling in love with you?”

If there was a lake and a canoe it was simple.  “Don’t you know it’s dangerous to go out in a canoe alone?”  “But I’m not going out in a canoe alone,” she would answer.  “But I am,” was the clincher.  She went along to save me.

“If you have no objection to dancing with me I have no objection to dancing with you.” 

“Too bad we can both swim.  Otherwise we could go out in a canoe and drown.”

Girls weren’t hard to find; there was always at least one around with a soft eye and an easy laugh.  Usually she lived in a large house with a wide front porch and a hammock.  The later the season and the bigger the moon the more  romantic she became.  One night in early September I sat on a porch and saw, in the moonlight, apples shining on a tree in the front yard.  I forgot romance and picked a few.  As I sat in the hammock munching noisily the girl said, a little coldly I thought, “If you find a worm don’t eat it.  Today is Friday.”

3 responses to “LESSONS IN LOVE, 1923

  1. A sly devil, he is. Any girl would fall for that!

  2. Bill Gallagher

    That last line about the worm was spoken by a girl with all her wits.

  3. And her piety, it seems — even if it was all satiric. I thought all the banter was a great improvement on “Is it hot in here or is it just you?” Romeos unite under the Eddie Condon banner!

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