A plane crashes into your boudoir? Oh well, these things happen. A girl wants to finish making up before she heads out for the day.
A school girl's riddle: Why do males disappear before Thanksgiving and only reappear after the New Year? If you have heard this one and you know the answer then, yes, you are hard-boiled.
To be hard-boiled is to have am adamantine attitude. Often associated with detective novels, it was incubated in Manhattan, the first truly sophisticated American city. Prohibition was the petri dish
Before the New Yorker debuted in 1925, Vanity Fair was the journal of the diamond cut on the hardness scale. It was in its pages that Stephen Leacock wondered in 1915, "Are the Rich Happy?" To begin with, he had trouble finding them. "Very often I had thought that I had found them, but it turned out that it was not so. They were not rich at all. They were quite poor. They were hard up. They were pinched for money. They didn't know where to turn for ten thousand dollars."
Leacock was followed by Dorothy Rothschild Parker, as she was then known, who published a series of "Hate Songs," satirical verses in which she trained her gimlet eye on various aspects of city life - office politics, the whims of actresses, the shortcomings of one's relatives and, of course, men. Although she was only twenty-three at the time, Parker was already a walking anthology of hard edges. Husbands, Parker decreed, were "The White Woman's Burden" and concluded, "I wish to Heaven somebody would alienate their affections."
Image: Tim Ford - photographic collage, for Vogue, UK, London.