Shall We Join the Ladies? by Eric Nicol

Shall We Join the Ladies?Nicol, Eric. Shall We Join the Ladies? Toronto: Ryerson Press, 1955.

Completed: 31 August 2010

Another winner of the Leacock Medal for Humour (1956).  Nicol has won 3 Leacock Medals.  No one has won more (although four other authors have also won 3 medals.)  Shall We Join the Ladies? was Nicol’s second win.

The book is composed of short essays, may of which originally appeared in Nicol’s column’s in various newspapers and magazines.  Nicol’s humour is the laugh-out-loud kind.  Torgov will bring a smile to your face.  Nicol will have you spitting out your coffee in a guffaw at a well placed quip.  For the most part I quite enjoyed Nicol’s essays.  Some were very funny, some were not.  Fifty years later, some of the altitudes make one wince.  He’s not being sexist or misogynist but rather reflecting the prevailing sentiment of the time.  With a contemporary sensibility it is startling to see how far altitudes have come in half a century, or rather, how different things were.  So, with humour the essays offer an insight to a different time, not so long ago.  For example, from “Sex in the Shoe Department”:

“I sought a new pair in the shoe department of one of our leading department stores.  As I stood toying with an Irish brogue, a woman came up to me and said:
“Can I help you?”
“I want to buy a pair of slippers,” I said.  I presumed she had strayed away from a lingerie counter.”

Ouch.  But it is a funny little essay.  I like Nicol’s humour because it is funny without attacking or running down someone or something else.  There is no profanity or obscenity. It’s good wholesome fun.

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This entry was posted in Canadian Book Challenge, Humour, Leacock Medal for Humour, Nicol, Eric. Bookmark the permalink.

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