"Never play cards with a guy named Doc...."

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM
Thu Jul 26 22:02:02 UTC 2007

I think it was in _The Man with the Golden Arm_ (1947) that Nelson Algren first offered the advice, "Never play cards with a guy name Doc, never eat at a place called Mom's, and never sleep with a woman whose troubles are greater than your own."

  Google turns up several allusions and paraphrases, one or more of them retrofitted with a unisex "someone" in place of "a woman."

  What prompts this note is that I was surprised to hear Sidney Poitier repeat the line to Ann Bancroft in the 1965 film drama _The Slender Thread_.  Without credit to Algren, of course.  I regret that I didn't catch the third element as Poitier said it. It was probably different from the original version.


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