Author and Drama Critic Alexander Wollcott liked to sit at the window of his New York apartment overlooking the East River and watch the boats go by. A visitor once asked him: “How can you sit here by the hour watching one battered old tugboat after another chugging by at ten knots? It sounds pretty dull.” Wollcott explained: “It’s not always tugboats. Every now and then a dead body floats by.” His guest was taken up short and exclaimed: “A dead body? What’s a dead body doing in the river?” The reviewer shrugged and replied: “I can’t say for sure, but my guess would be about five knots.”
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