Today’s delicious ambiguity

Alluded to by a friend (recipient of a Gay Lives postcard with a portrait of W. Somerset Maugham), this story from The Little, Brown Book of Anecdotes (general ed., Clifton Fadiman, 1985):

Somerset Maugham believed that early nights would keep him young, a habit his friend, the society hostess Emerald Cunard, found irritating. As he was preparing as usual to leave soon after dinner one night, Lady Cunard pressed him to stay. Maugham demurred: “I can’t stay, Emerald. I have to keep my youth.”

“Then why didn’t you bring him with you?” Lady Cunard asked. “I should be delighted to meet him.”

Ah, youth.

One Response to “Today’s delicious ambiguity”

  1. Stan Says:

    So it can also serve as a youthemism.

    (Works better in certain accents.)

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