I just found out that Dixie Carter had died, and it hit me very hard. For my entire adult life and most of my childhood, she has been the personification of wit and great lines, because of Designing Women, yes, to a certain extent, but mostly because of Filthy Rich, a sitcom that ran on CBS from 1982-1983.
Carter's character, Carlotta Beck, was scheming and conniving and willing to do anything to get at the fortune left by her deceased father-in-law Big Guy Beck. But along the way, she had some of the great lines of television history, and next to no one knows about this show. So as a tribute to the memory of the late, great Dixie Carter, here are my seventeen favorite lines she ever delivered on this underseen gem.
You may recognize some of these, if only because I've been quoting them for the past twenty-five years.
"I became confused and forced it out of a small child's hand."
"You want to know what happened to me, I'll tell you what happened to me. I fell into the Mississippi River."
"We do not serve- gristle."
"If you refuse to pay servants, you leave us no choice but to adopt small, pliant children from underprivileged countries."
"This should be put on wheels and taken around to people everywhere to show that it could happen in your home too."
"How I hate it when she pummels us with clever repartee..."
"Yes, I want you hurt."
"If I looked in the mirror I would see someone demented, and frothing, and looking for just the right size axe."
"Kathleen, dear, I suggest you stay out of this or I will verbally annihilate you. I will cut you off at the knees. I will take that two-cent accent and perfectly coiffed hairdo and stuff it down your demurely concealed, but nevertheless dimestore cleavage!"
"We prefer not to seriously consider the opinion of a woman whose dog wears hot pants."
"Bootsie Weschester's taste in men ranges from King Kong to Lil' Abner and unfortunately, you do not fall into that category."
"It must be all that fresh morning air you get on those long taxi rides home."
"Our only regret is that we did not have time to purchase an appropriate gift. Perhaps a silver platter with rabbits on it."
"You've been meditating again... your pupils are dilated."
"Don't tell us! Random House has decided to publish your autobiography, I Was an Elementary School Virgin."
"Nouveau white trash."