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My wife was an immature woman. I would be home in the bathroom, taking a bath, and my wife would walk in whenever she felt like it and sink my boats.
Woody Allen, 1964
I do not object to people looking at their watches when I am speaking. But I strongly object when they start shaking them to make certain they are still going.
Lord Birkett, 1960
The louder he talked of his honour, the faster we counted our spoons.
Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1860
HAM AND EGGS
He that but looketh on a plate of ham and eggs to lust after it, hath already committed breakfast with it in his heart.
C.S. Lewis, 1954
The rain, it raineth on the just
And also on the unjust fella:
But chiefly on the just, because
The unjust steals the just's umbrella.
Lord Bowen, 1923
That was the most fun I ever had without laughing.
Woody Allen, 1977
FORMULA FOR SUCCESS
Rise early. Work late. Strike oil.
John Paul Getty, (1892-1976)
WHEN ASKED TO DEVISE AN ADVERTISING SLOGAN FOR GUINNESS...
Guinness makes you drunk
Brendan Behan, (1923-1964)
RESPONDING TO A BAD REVIEW...
I am sitting in the smallest room of my house. I have your review before me. In a moment it will be behind me.
Max Reger, (1873-1916)
A dog teaches a boy fidelity, perseverance, and to turn around three times before lying down.
Robert Benchley, quoted in 1964
Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.
H. L. Mencken, 1920
My idea of heaven is, eating pate de foie gras to the sound of trumpets.
Sydney Smith, (1771-1845)
I don’t want to achieve immortality through my work . . . I want to achieve it through not dying.
Woody Allen, quoted in 1975
You're not drunk if you can lie on the floor without holding on.
Dean Martin, 1978
Cricket - a game which the English, not being a spiritual people, have invented in order to give themselves some conception of eternity.
Lord Mancroft, 1979
WHEN ASKED ABOUT HIS SEXUAL ORIENTATION...
That's a bit like asking a man crawling across the Sahara whether he would prefer Perrier or Malvern Water.
Alan Bennett (b. 1934)
A bore is a man who, when you ask him how he is, tells you.
Bert Leston Taylor, 1922
WHILE LISTENING TO READINGS FROM LORD OF THE RINGS...
Oh fuck, not another elf!
Hugo Dyson, (1896-1975)
We often make people pay dearly for what we think we give them.
Comtesse Diane, 1908
How can you say my life is not a success? Have I not for more than sixty years got enough to eat and escaped being eaten?
Logan Pearsall Smith, 1933
HOW OTHERS SEE US
To others we are not ourselves but a performer in their lives cast for a part we do not even know that we are playing.
Elizabeth Bibesco, 1951
Without music to decorate it, time is just a bunch of boring production deadlines or dates by which bills must be paid.
Frank Zappa, (1940-1993)
MAN ON THE MOON
So there he is at last. Man on the moon. The poor magnificent bungler! He can’t even get to the office without undergoing the agonies of the damned, but give him a little metal, a few chemicals, some wire and twenty or thirty billion dollars and, vroom! there he is, up on a rock a quarter of a million miles up in the sky.
Russell Baker, New York Times, 21 July 1969
The people who live in a Golden Age usually go around complaining how yellow everything looks.
Randall Jarrell, 1965
Each generation imagines itself to be more intelligent than the one that went before it, and wiser than the one that comes after it.
George Orwell, 1945
Writing, I explained, was mainly an attempt to out-argue one's past; to present events in such a light that battles lost in life were either won on paper or held to a draw.
Jules Feiffer, 1977
An imaginative man is apt to see, in his life, the story of his life; and is thereby led to conduct himself in life in such a manner as to make a good story of it rather than a good life.
Sir Henry Taylor, 1836
Life does not cease to be funny when people die any more than it ceases to be serious when people laugh.
George Bernard Shaw, 1911
Events play cat-and-mouse with our ideas. They belong to a quite different species and even when seeming to bear out our preconceptions are never quite as we expected. Foresight is a dream from which the event awakes us.
SELF AND OTHERS
We discover in ourselves what others hide from us, and we recognize in others what we hide from ourselves.
Marquis de Luc Vauvenargues, 1746
As she walked toward him her beauty seemed to him a thing altogether improbable. A presence unaccountable in this place or in any place at all.
Cormac McCarthy, All The Pretty Horses, p248
Through space the universe grasps me and swallows me up like a speck; through thought I grasp it.
All religions will pass, but this will remain: simply sitting in a chair and looking in the distance.
V.V. Rozanov, 1912
God made everything out of nothing. But the nothingness shows through.
Paul Valéry, 1942
Limited in his nature, infinite in his desires, man is a fallen God who remembers heaven.
Alphonse Marie Louis de Prat de Lamartine, (1790-1869)
American planes, full of holes and wounded men and corpses took
off backwards from an airfield in England. Over France a few German
fighter planes flew at them backwards, sucked bullets and shell fragments
from some of the planes and crewmen. They did the same for wrecked
American bombers on the ground, and those planes flew up backwards to join
The formation flew backwards over a German city that was in
flames. The bombers opened their bomb bay doors, exerted a miraculous
magnetism which shrunk the fires, gathered them into cylindrical steel
containers, and lifted the containers into the bellies of the planes. The
containers were stored neatly in racks. The Germans below had miraculous
devices of their own, which were long steel tubes. They used them to suck
more fragments from the crewmen and planes. But there were still a few
wounded Americans, though, and some of the bombers were in bad repair.
Over France, though, German fighters came up again, made everything and
everybody as good as new.
When the bombers got back to their base, the steel cylinders were
taken from the racks and shipped back to the United States of America,
where factories were operating night and day, dismantling the cylinders,
separating the dangerous contents into minerals. Touchingly, it was mainly
women who did this work. The minerals were then shipped to specialists in
remote areas. It was their business to put them into the ground., to hide
them cleverly, so they would never hurt anybody ever again.
Kurt Vonnegut, from Slaughterhouse 5, 1969