May Small Talk
by F. Scott Fitzgerald



To get a reputation for ability to chatter
You must learn this little system for your common campus patter.
First you ask about exams and how your victim thinks he's doing,
Speak of war and shake your head and say you think there's trouble brewing.
A word about your bills, and on the chapel question, too,
Then “Gee, but it was mighty tough—you know about the crew.”
“Yes, Charlie Chaplin's at the show—a mighty funny thing;”
“Going over Campus now, to hear the Seniors sing?”
“I s'pose since you're a parlor snake you'll bring a girl in June?”
“Oh! eat your soup, for movie show is starting pretty soon.”
“Well, these are busy days for me”—“You've always been a bummer,”
“Yes, meet me here at Morey's School,” and “What's the dope this summer?”
You must always ask the heeler, “How he's coming with the Prince,”
And “Coming back here early?” makes the guards and centers wince:
For this is always easier and better far for mine,
Than a continental, trancendental consequental line!


Published in The Princeton Tiger, XXVI (June 1915)

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