Friday, February 13, 2015

Do You Remember Cleans and Dirtys?

Once upon a time, a long time ago (the '50s) there was a comedian named Shelley Berman.  The comedic style back then was "cool with a touch of sophistication. "  It addressed people who could still think on their feet.

Berman's schtick was his own invention.  An assigned value was given to any everyday word.  Example:  Tarzan walking with Jane was a "clean."  Tarzan swinging with Jane was a "dirty." 

When Richie found this slim book "Cleans & Dirtys" in the garage, he dutifully brought it into the house.  Amusedly remembering these, however vaguely, I Googled to see when Berman had died.  To my intense surprise I discovered that he is although he's 90 years old, he isn't dead.  He and his wife were married in 1947 and are still married 67 years later. 

The book has 92 pages, was published by Price, Stern and cost $2.50 (!)

From a random leafing through ...
(Nude statues)  Fig leaf is clean; fly leaf is dirty.
Terrain is a clean; lay of the land is a dirty.
Telephone operator (what're those?) is a clean; call girl is a dirty.
Dining room is clean; bedroom is a dirty.

I bet you can come up with just as many examples.  I say, "Give it a try!" NOT "Give 'er a go!"  (dirty and tsk, tsk.)

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