Today, I was walking home from a morning of work, feeling the heat gather its power, and thinking how happy I was that I had a pitcher of iced green tea at home, how tea had more body than water somehow, was more satisfying.
Then I thought: No, someone else said that, something about tea having body and bite.
And then I realized I was thinking of CANDY, by Terry Southern*. The professor serves tea — not sherry –to his nubile student, with a little speech about it having body and bite.** She then tries the same speech on her family’s Mexican gardener, when she decides to seduce him.***
The copy of CANDY I read as a teenager had a black-and-white photograph of the kind of girl who was considered the epitome of beauty in the ’60s/70s, a girl who, to quote the Conchords, could have been an airline hostess in that era.**** My current edition is a trade paperback brought out by Penguin in 1985. I read CANDY before I read CANDIDE, which probably kept me from getting all the jokes. On the other hand, I think I enjoyed CANDIDE even more when I got around to it.
But here’s what I want to know about your memories — do you think this way, do you hear an odd phrase in your head, realize it came from a book or film, then try to remember what it was?
An aside — I have a feeling that CANDY has not aged well at all. CANDIDE, on the other hand, is still quite funny.*****
*CANDY is also credited to Mason Hoffenberg, butI couldn’t remember his name.
**Professor Mephisto says sherry “has body _and_ edge, while tea is such a messy affair at best, don’t you agree?”
*** Got this part right.
****I fell asleep during the first episode of The Flight of the Conchords, but I liked what I saw.
*****When I went in search of my copy of CANDIDE, I found I actually own a second copy of CANDY, this one the 1965 Greenleaf edition, with a beribboned candy cane on the cover. I wish I could say this was an unprecedented event in my library, but — no.