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Ross was a great friend and somebody to be humored and laughed
at. And Ross took it absolutely meekly. She would forget
dates with him or come an hour and a half late and he'd say,
“That's all right.” Other people he would have screamed at
if they were five minutes late. But Ginger was something else
again! She's a great girl, incidentally.
We went to theater together once in awhile. He would
bring Ginger and I'd take my girl of the month. One day Ross
called me up--he called everybody by their last name--and
said, “Cerf, Ginger is coming up to my place in the country,
North Stamford, for the weekend.” I said, “What's that to me?
Great for you!" He said, “She's bringing her god damn kid
cousin with her. God damn it, Cerf, you've got to come up and
take care of that god damn kid cousin.” I let out a hoot of
derisive laughter. I said that I certainly would not come up.
Then he began to plead that I had to come up and help out.
Since I had been up there lots of times before it was not too
much to ask, but I demanded all kinds of terms before I accepted
to come. One was that he had to review three Random
House books in the New Yorker. The second, as I remember, was
that he had to play a certain number of games of backgammon
with me during the weekend because at that time Ross was the
world's greatest pigeon at backgammon. He loved to gamble
and he was a dreadful gambler. They used to murder him at
poker. He would play in that Thanatopsis Club and would be
absolutely murdered, and at backgammon everybody could beat
him because he didn't know how to play. There was a rule we
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