The Dud Avocado

Our bedtime reading at the moment is The Dud Avocado by Elaine Dundy. We chose it because we liked the title, the cover and the phrases that jumped out at us in the bookshop.

The book is about a young woman’s decadent period in Paris. The first chapter contains a flashback in which our heroine invites a wealthy uncle to bankroll her two years of freedom.

He agrees but on the proviso that she graduate from college first. It’s a nice passage:

One sees this sort of conversation not infrequently in books of the mid-twentieth century, so I presume they actually happened sometimes.

I wonder why this kind of permissiveness — even with strings attached — is so uncommon today. I mean, what would it cost parents and aunts and uncles to give a much-loved child some freedom?

Expense, I fear, is not the reason: it’s a now-established skepticism towards “doing nothing”. Two years off? But you’ll not be earning! You’ll not be pushing forward! You’ll fall behind! Worse, you might find out about something new and — gasp! — go off-course!

Having said that, how often do we ask? I know never did. Too proud. Too incapable of gratitude. Besides, I’d have been laughed out of the room.

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About

Robert Wringham is a humorist and the editor-in-chief of New Escapologist.

One Response to “The Dud Avocado”

  1. Yessery says:

    Very fun read – glad it was included, it certainly was a kick and a laugh for me to read when I first picked The Dud Avocado up at a toppling bookstore in San Francisco, somewhere near the Mission maybe. The bookstore was near an especially quirky donut shop that was both popular and beloved in the neighborhood, something about the Donut holes was special in a delicious way. This was according to one half of my friends’ two aunts, the blonder one who enjoyed learning about taxidermy. The pair lived in jewel toned rooms within a Victorian dollhouse. They packed their meat in the musty basement and stacked their books same as the toppling bookstore did, but at lower heights. The Dud Avocado was under 20 dollars, maybe even 7.

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