They hail you, maybe, that is true -
They don’t know what to make of you,
Annoying little condiment
Who misinterprets sentiment
Takes glassy smiles for happy joy
At seeing a strange and cheflike boy
Appearing suddenly in town
Who’s grinning like a circus clown
Obsessed with mustard from a jar
That’s yellower than the sun by far.
It’s smooth and bright, just as you say
But so is floor wax on parquet;
When something shines like finished wood
It’s not the same as tasting good.
Furthermore, suppers vary so
You can’t assume they all will go
In happy harmony with mustard
What if a person just wants custard,
Or just a little soup and toast
Or maybe crackers at the most?
But seemingly you’d go and force
Some French’s on the salad course
Or on some dowager’s soufflé
Much to Escoffier’s dismay.
So take it easy, little Dan -
Or those people will stick you in a can.
[From Life, March 31, 1941.]
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