I bet you could get into the subway without using anybody’s name.

AlexanderIII

Senior Member
Russian
Dear all,
this is from the very beginning of the story by Dorothy Parker Just a Little One.

I like this place, Fred. This is a nice place. How did you ever find it?
I think you’re perfectly marvelous, discovering a speakeasy in the year 1928. And they let you right in, without asking you a single question. I bet you could get into the subway without using anybody’s name
.

Everything is clear in the sentence in question, the only problem -- what has it to do with the previous ones? And what anybody's name has to do with getting into the subway? I guess the lady saying this monologue means Fred could enter the subway without a ticket and not pretending to be somebody else like technical manager, etc. Does this look probable?
 
  • entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    It's highly sarcastic. You might need to know the head waiter's name, or some wealthy customer's name, to get into an exclusive restaurant. (Paul always seats me by the window; or: I'm a friend of Mr Charles Evans.) But a speakeasy isn't exclusive; they'll take anyone's money.

    You're reading my very favourite Dorothy Parker story: wait till she gets to describing Edith!
     
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    AlexanderIII

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Hi, Entangledbank,
    but why on Earth the name of the restaurant has no signs of a name (like italics, capital first letter, '', "", etc.)? Mammoth Cave in the story is written like this.
     

    entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    No, the Subway isn't a restaurant or speakeasy, if that's what you mean. She literally means the subway, the underground railway. 'You could get into the subway' is a sarcastic joke because anyone can get into the subway, just as anyone (in this town in 1928) can get into an illegal drinking den.
     
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