I found Ogden Nash’s wonderful The Face is Familiar (1942) in my favourite second hand bookstall recently and thought this one apposite for a bank holiday weekend:


Most of the time, oh most of the time,
I like to sit at home.
With a good fire, and a good chair,
And a good detective tome.
What can a man, can a family man
Ask in the way of cheer
More than a pipe, and a reading lamp
And a modest mug of beer?
Most the time, I prefer to cringe
Even from the thought of a binge.

But once in a while,
Oh, once in a while,
It’s pleasant to paint the town,
To frolic and revel,
A regular devil,
And do the evening brown,
To buy an orchid or maybe two,
And woo the way that you used to woo,
To press the loot from the babies’ banks,
On waiters who fail to murmur “Thanks,”
To dine and wine and dance and sup,
And ride in a cab till the sun comes up,
And to feel thereafter, in sundry ways
Simply, awful for days and days.
Home is heaven and orgies are vile,
But I like an orgy once in a while.

Home is the place, oh home is the place
And every place else is dreary,
So who would freeze in the South, like Byrd,
Or discover Poles, like Peary?
Who so animal, who so low
As to pant for the night life gay?
Who would give up a night a home
For one in a cabaret?
Most of the time I’d swim to Australia
As soon as engage in a Saturnalia.

But once in a while,
Oh, once in a while,
It’s pleasant to loop the loop.
To daringly seize
The flying trapeze
With a cry of Allez-oop!
To jump the rails, kick over the traces,
To go on the town and visit places,
Sit ten at a table meant for two,
And choke on smoke as you used to do,
To tread the floor with the dancing bears,
They on your feet, and you on theirs,
To have flings at things that philosophers true shun,
And undermine your constitu-shun;
Home is heaven and orgies are vile,
But you need an orgy once in a while.