Champagne Cholly (1947)
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Thu Jul 26 21:33:21 UTC 2001
THE LIFE AND TIMES OF MAURY PAUL
by Eve Brown
E. P. Dutton & Company, New York
Let us look at a brief lexicon:
Lovely people: _Sweetie Sweets_.
Nasty people: _Soury Sours_.
Money: _Oodles of ducats_.
Long Island: _Longuyland_.
The well-informed: _Those Who Should Know Whereof They Speak_.
Mrs. O. H. P. Belmont: _Social Sultana_.
Sugar-daddy: _Grand Old Provider, or G. O. P._
Opera first-nighters: _The Turreted Tiara Set_.
Ladies of the old guard: _Staid and Steadies, or Stout and Steadies_.
Summer: _The Torrid Months_.
Rich Women: _Doughty Dowagers_.
And _ad nausem_. A girl was never simply beautiful, she was beauteous. Women with black hair always were raven-hued or raven-tressed. Dollars, of course, were $$$$$$$. When a girl married, it was really a production--she "embraced holy matrimony" or "took a dip in the matrimonial seas." Similarly, a social climber "donned her Annette Kellermans" for a "dip in the turbulent social seas."
The next morning (Feb. 1919? This reel is not in the NYPL when I looked--ed.), history, to coin a phrase, was made. For (Pg. 279--ed.) Maury Paul had given this new order of things a name. The name was: "Cafe Society." In the years to come, that tag was to become more and more widely known; it was the title of a movie in which Madeleine Carroll played a headstrong debutante the way Hollywood heroines always play headstrong debutantes (with overtones of Jimmy Durante); it became the name of not one but _two_ New York nightclubs (one of which first labeled itself "The Right Place to Meet the Wrong People," and had a ten-cent cover charge, but later degenerated into a standard cellar joint); it became the qualifying phrase for all murders involving anyone who wore a white collar, and it even turned up as the title of a directory unsuccessfully designed to supplant the _Social Register_ and known as _Cafe Society Register_. It became, as we say, a household word, as accept!
ed as Walter Winchell's "blessed
event" or "renovated," and and as casually used as "glmaor girl," also coined by Maury. It came into being simply because The Man sat in the Ritz one night and saw some Goelets sitting with a Widener and a Corrigan.
The popularity of the term, it must be admitted, is due in a great part to Lucius Beebe, who started using it often in writing his weekly pillar in the _Herald Tribune_ on cooking, drinking and the best place to buy mauve garters. This was one instance where Mr. Beebe, ordinarily astute but never as shrewd as Maury by far, beat Mr. Paul to the draw. For when, in 1938, Paramount Picture set about making their epic called "Cafe Society," that organization paid $5,000 merely for the use of the title, but not to Maury Paul. They paid it to Lucius Beebe. This sent Maury into what amounted to a purple rage...
(A bit about "Doakes" follows--ed.)
Pg. 45: Another note might discuss a party given by Mrs. Joe Doakes, although such a name would have caused Maury to take a fit, who lived on such-and-such a street, whereas actually she lived at so-and-so street.
Pg. 52: He could meet Mrs. Doakes IV one night, bleed her dry of her troubles and woes, and then impart it to Mrs. Jukes, Jr., the next night.
Pg. 55: Theirs, however, was a society of names and places and dates and "Mr. and Mrs. F. Worthington Doakes announce the engagement of..." and horrible little studio photographs of the more passable photogenic brides-to-be.
From SHOOT IF YOU MUST (1943) by Lucius Beebe, pg. 136:
Did old Joe Doax, the printer (NYTH--ed.), fall down a coal hole and break his neck payday night?
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