Bulwer-Lytton Quotations #2

The English Department at San Jose State University has sponsored the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest since 1982. It is a literary competition that challenges entrants to compose the opening sentence for the worst possible novel. The following submissions are the ones I liked best from the years 2011-2016.

As Farmer Brown’s train pulled out of the station at 10:00am traveling east at 50 mph, he had no idea that at that very same moment Farmer Green was 100 miles away on a west-bound train heading straight for him at 60mph and that because of a tragic track-switching mistake he was going to die in a fiery head-on train crash at exactly … uhm … well … err … sometime later that day.
— Shanon Conner, San Angelo,TX –

As his small boat scudded before a brisk breeze under a sapphire sky dappled with cerulean clouds with indigo bases, through cobalt seas that deepened to navy nearer the boat and faded to azure at the horizon, Ian was at a loss as to why he felt blue.
— Mike Pedersen, North Berwick, ME –

As the sun dropped below the horizon, the safari guide confirmed the approaching cape buffaloes were herbivores, which calmed everyone in the group, except for Herb, of course.
— Ron D Smith, Louisville,KY –

Corinne considered the colors (palest green, gray and lavender) and texture (downy as the finest velvet)and wondered, “How long have these cold cuts been in my refrigerator?”
— Linda Boatright, Omaha, NE –

Morgan “Bamboo” Barnes, Star Pilot of the Galaxia (flagship of the Solar Brigade), accepted an hors d’oeuvre from the triangular-shaped platter offered to him from the Princess Qwillia –lavender-skinned she was and busty, with two of her four eyes what Barnes called “bedroom eyes” – and marveled at how on her planet, Chlamydia-5, these snacks were called “Hi-Dee-Hoes” but on Earth they were simply called Ritz Crackers with Velveeta.
— Greg Homer, Placerville, CA –

“One cannot easily shake off old habits,” was all that retired Detective Tim O’Hara could say when, after rifling through the dead old man’s pockets (which, as he expected, were all empty), inspecting his throat,and forcing open his cold, stiff hand to get his fingerprints, he was gently but firmly pulled away from the coffin by his brother Harry and piloted out of the parlor under the perplexed stares of uncle Mel’s friends and relatives.
— Jorge Stolfi, Campinas, SP, Brazil –

On March 5, 1836, Lieutenant Colonel William Travis stood before his rag-tag revolutionary army, unsheathed his sword, and drew a line in the sand, followed by a smiley face, some crude stick-figure men, and a few choice words about Mexicans that the State Board of Education has deemed unfit for publication in this 7th Grade Texas History Textbook.
– Gwen Dallas, Austin, TX –

Their love began as a tailor, quickly measuring the nooks and crannies of their personalities, but it soon became the seamstress of subterfuge, each of them aware of the others lingual haberdashery: Mindy trying  to create a perfectly suited garment to display in public and Stan only concerned with the inseam.
— D. M.Dunn, Bloomington, IN –

The life of a mountain man like Jedediah Buckman is a simple one, a campfire to warm the person as well as the soul, a full moon to illuminate the forest as well as the mind, and game to nourish the body as well as the spirit, though one wonders how he could stomach beaver without mint jelly and a bold, young pinot noir.
– John Hardi, Falls Church, VA –

To Juliet’s mind, he was just a small town Romeo, and – bummer – a Capulet to boot, but the men pickings in Verona were slim, so even though her daddy would have a cat, she decided, “What’s the worst that could happen?” — John Hardi, Falls Church, VA –

When Glenn left the house, the sky was a satin Spinnaker Blue with White Feather clouds, the still-moist lawn and street were glossy Sunlit Glade and Bastion Grey, and, contemplating the to-do list jotted on Ivory Cream notepaper as he started the Sundance Yellow hatchback, Glenn knew he would go flat Condition Red berserk if his wife didn’t hurry up and select a color for the dining room.
– David Franks, Greenland, AR –

“Your eyes are like deep blue pools that I would like to drown in,” he had told Kimberly when she had asked him what he was thinking; but what he was actually thinking was that sometimes when he recharges his phone he forgets to put the little plug back in but he wasn’t going to tell her that.
— Dan Leyde,Edmonds, WA –

Last, but certainly not least is this one from one of the bloggers I follow: Al at The Cvillean

It was only after he accidentally shut off the engines and the plane nosed over and dropped like a rock, that the pilot realized the gravity of the situation and thought how this horrible performance was sure to get him grounded forever.
– Al Hood –

Part One of my favourite quotations in this series: Bulwer-Lytton Quotations

Bulwer-Lytton Quotations

The English Department at San Jose State University has sponsored the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest since 1982. It is a literary competition that challenges entrants to compose the opening sentence for the worst possible novel. The following submissions are the ones I liked best from the years 2017-2020. Be sure to go to their website to read all the other excellent entries!

After almost twenty years of baldness, Harry finally decided to splurge on an expensive, human-hair wig – after all, four hundred dollars to look twenty years younger was a small price toupée.
– Julian Calvin, Bellbrook, OH –

Although the public’s initial concerns about artificial intelligence and the “internet of things” had been troubling, its eventual ability to embrace those advances only underscored the greatness of America, mused Hoover Upright LXI as he took the oath of office to become the first cordless vacuum cleaner elected to Congress.
– G. Andrew Lundberg, Los Angeles, CA –

Call me Ishmael, for my tale is that of the only survivor of the attack by a great white whale on the “Pequod,” our Nantucket whaling vessel, and though the story is so fantastic you may be tempted to question my veracity, I need only remind you that writers write and readers read, and you really should stay in your own lane.
– John Hardi, Falls Church, VA –

Deep within the Great Pyramid, Pharaoh Khufu gazed at the walls of what would eventually be his burial chamber, asking himself what he had been thinking in entrusting its adornment to the teenaged Prince and Princess, but comforting himself with the certainty that the younger generation would soon tire of these annoying “emoticons” and return to the rich thirty-character Egyptian alphabet.
– G. Andrew Lundberg, Los Angeles, CA –

Dropping his now-empty Remington .30-06 and tearing across the tundra after two weeks of hunting in the Alaskan wilderness in the company of none other than three-time Olympic sprinter Usain Bolt—the rustic outing being the spoils of his winning bid at the Sun Valley Country Day School live-auction fundraiser—Bart Michaelman realized with dismay that, in this particular instance, he did in fact have to outrun the bear.
– Andrew Lundberg, Los Angeles, CA –

For rookie detective Lara Stinson, the hardest aspect of her most recent case was not discovering that the adolescent victim had been thrown from the tenth story of the apartment building by his own grandmother, but rather trying to spell “defenestration by octogenarian” in her subsequent report.
– Thomas Purdy, Roseville, CA –

Gasping for breath as she lay in the dew-laden lakeside grass, Rifka Lieberman’s chest heaved with rising passion as Saul Cohen approached with the inhaler she had left behind at the assisted living facility.
– Leo Gordon, Los Angeles, CA –

Gregory was falling in love with the doe-eyed Nora, not knowing that she could be an infuriating, complicated woman at times, like one of those self-service checkout machines at the grocery store where you can never figure out where to insert the money or get your change, plus the scanner never recognizes your jar of Vlasic sweet pickles so you have to call the attendant.
– Steve Lynch, Tucson, AZ –

“He’s got a good head on his shoulders” overheard Preston the Praying Mantis of his fiancée chatting with her mother, though he may not have understood the full implications thereof.
– Peter Bjorkman, Rocklin, CA –

In preparation for visits by African dignitaries, we had redecorated the West Wing of the White House in an African motif with numerous artificial plants and animals, but the President asked that we remove the papier-mache wildebeests, saying he was “tired of fake gnus.”
– Wm. “Buddy” Ocheltree, Snellville, GA –

It seemed a cruel irony to Nigel when he realized, only in hindsight, how mistaken he had been to abandon his youthful ambition to become a technical writer and bend to his parents’ wishes that he go into proctology.
– Scott Wilson, Corvallis, OR –

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times – though any decent statistician might net those two factors together and conclude that things were fairly average all round.
– David Meech, Auckland, New Zealand –

Knowing well the hand signals of his platoon leader, Private James Dawson silently dropped to the dirt, concealed and motionless for what seemed an eternity, a move that he had learned, coincidentally, from his parents whenever the Watchtower ladies would ring the doorbell.
– Peter S. Bjorkman, Rocklin, CA –

“Master Wlfindermx sauntered across the Plains of Teflandous towards the city of Gjorgturc carrying the mythical Blade of Vulbertrian, once owned by Lord Leszsoriog,” wrote the author, who wanted to make the life of the audiobook narrator a living hell.
– Robert Greer, Queen Creek, AZ –

Phoebe, age 15, very much regretted not having a little sister or brother, but reflecting on the embarrassing moment of earlier that morning when she had walked into her parent’s bedroom at a most inopportune time, she thought Ben Franklin’s list woefully incomplete, for there most certainly were things, besides laws and sausages, that you might like, but you definitely did not want to see being made.
– Herbert Krimmel, Los Angeles, CA –

She sauntered into his smoke-filled office with legs that, although they didn’t go quite all the way to heaven, definitely went high enough for him to see that she was a giraffe.
– Jarrett Dement, Eau Claire, WI –

Once in a great while a story is so magnificent, so grand, so great that it begs to be told and while this is not one of those stories, it’s nice to know that they’re out there.
– Douglas A. Bass, Farmington, NY –

Terellian Shapeshifters often blew their cover by taking subtly inappropriate forms — a squirrel that swims perhaps, or a chair with five legs — but Officer Max Throckmorton spotted this one immediately; every Human knows that bidets are NOT purple, and they usually aren’t installed next to a McDonald’s drink dispenser.
– Mark Watson, Chapel Hill, NC –

The fun had seemed innocent at first—simple handstands and easy dismounts, but as the hours passed the routines became more intricate and aggressive with cartwheels and round-offs, competitive and risky with back walkovers and flipping twists, until the twins’ mother ordered them to stop the nonsense and return Grandpa’s walker so he finally could get to the dinner table.
– Scott G. Witmer, Allentown, PA –

The gentle, rhythmic sound of water lapping at the metal hull of the boat transported Phillip back to a simpler time of marshmallow campfires and magical summers at the lake until, upon waking, he came to realize it was only the sound of the Roomba vacuuming robot which had short-circuited and was running repeatedly into the baseboard heat register.
– Tony Buccella, Allegany, NY –

Walking home, picking crushed bouquet bits from his hair and lapel, it occurred to Stan that perhaps “spotless” was the wrong compliment for Evelyn’s home so soon after the incident between the Mazda and her beloved Dalmatian.
– Steve Lauducci, Bethlehem, PA –

Whether I shall emerge from this tale as the hero of my own life, or whether that station be the lot of another, these pages must show, and the path for you, dear reader, will be, as it was for me, long and tortuous, though pages 247-252 will clear up a lot.
– John Hardi, Falls Church, VA –

WD Fyfe Quotations

Canadian author WD Fyfe has written material for radio, newspapers and magazines. He has also published three books which can be found on Amazon: The Woman In The Window, Dogsh*t Without Tears, and Songs of Sylvia. His blog is  WD Fyfe. The following quotations are from his blog – either his own musings or occasionally borrowed from the brilliant philosopher Anon.

After enduring nearly a year of a planetary plague, I can now fully understand why all the women in Renaissance paintings are a little overweight and braless.

A written test before anyone is allowed to vote. Even multiple choice (guess?) would be better than nothing. (Stuff we need)

Deny it or not, in the 21st century, we’re wading in the shallow end of the intellectual swimming pool. Most people don’t know enough history to fill a mouse’s ear.

Don’t ask me what’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever done: I haven’t peaked yet.

Finally realizing that the reason you clean the house before people come over is you don’t want them to think you actually live this way.

I don’t care what wonders the newest wonder drug does, the “side effects” litany scares the hell out of me. Honestly, “may cause dry mouth, tremors, depression, heart attack, vomiting, internal bleeding, external bleeding, massive bleeding and your tongue’s going fall out” leaves me a little reluctant to try taking it for “occasional arthritis pain.”

If, at some point, you just lose it and confront the clothes dryer, demanding the return of all the socks it’s stolen over the years, you need to take a step back. (Advice to avoid Covid Burn-out)

I hate being the parent because I always have to say no to all the same things I loved doing as a kid.

I’ll betcha right about now, Joe Biden’s thinking, “Hey, people! I’ve got mittens, too!” (Random thoughts January 2021)

It’s never a good sign when your fitness watch starts flashing stress warnings and you haven’t even gotten out of bed yet.

Personally, I think nudity in films is never necessary. Every movie I’ve ever seen would be just as good (or bad) without it – except porn, of course, where nudity is, in fact, “integral to the storyline.”

Realizing you’re excited about Valentine’s Day because you know chocolate’s going to go on sale the morning of the 15th.

Single people don’t know there’s a wrong way to load the dishwasher.

The best thing about working from home is you don’t have to fight through all the lunch purses in the company refrigerator — and, sometimes, a pigeon sits on the balcony.

The only thing in the universe that’s worse than a Man Cold is being married to someone who has a Man Cold.

The other day I thought it would be cool if someone invented a hot veggie smoothie; then I remembered — it’s called soup.

Transparent toasters. So we can at least see what that maniac machine is doing to our bread! (Stuff we need)

When I was young, I fell off my bike and fractured my ankle. I rode my bike home. Last week, I stubbed my toe– and I haven’t left the sofa since.

When I was young, I thought I’d have a great career, a wild social life, a cool apartment and a retirement plan. I ended up with mismatched wineglasses and a toilet that won’t quit flushing unless you jiggle the handle.

When a two-year-old offers anybody a toy telephone, even the biggest badass in history will answer it.

When I was a kid, it was “normal” to write letters to your friends — with a pen — on paper. Since then, we’ve been through at least three “new normals,” and — like it or don’t — there are a bunch more to come.

With all the crap that’s going on in the world, these days I watch The Shining to relax.

Dr. Thomas Sowell Quotations

Thomas Sowell is an American economist, social theorist, and senior fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. Imagine how different the next generation of young people might be if they were exposed to and educated about the ideas Dr. Sowell discusses…

As long as human beings are imperfect, there will always be arguments for extending the power of government to deal with these imperfections. The only logical stopping place is totalitarianism — unless we realize that tolerating imperfections is the price of freedom.

Considering how often throughout history even intelligent people have been proved to be wrong, it is amazing that there are still people who are convinced that the only reason anyone could possibly say something different from what they believe is stupidity or dishonesty.

Dave Rubin: The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.
Dr. Sowell: It’s a super highway.

Equality of rights does not mean equality of results. I can have all the equal treatment in the world on a golf course and I will not finish within shouting distance of Tiger Woods.

If politicians stopped meddling with things they don’t understand, there would be a more drastic reduction in the size of government than anyone in either party advocates.

If we start operating on the principle that people alive today are responsible for what their ancestors did in centuries past, we will be adopting a principle that can tear any society apart.

If you cannot achieve equality of performance among people born to the same parents and raised under the same roof, how realistic is it to expect to achieve it across broader and deeper social divisions?

I have never understood why it is “greed” to want to keep the money you have earned but not greed to want to take somebody else’s money.

In short, killing the goose that lays the golden egg is a viable political strategy, so long as the goose does not die before the next election and no one traces the politicians’ fingerprints on the murder weapon.

Intellect is not wisdom.

It is amazing how many people think that the government’s role is to give them what they want by overriding what other people want.

It is amazing that people who think we cannot afford to pay for doctors, hospitals, and medication somehow think that we can afford to pay for doctors, hospitals, medication and a government bureaucracy to administer it.

It would be hard to think of a more ridiculous way to make decisions than to transfer those decisions to third parties who pay no price for being wrong. Yet that is what at least half of the bright ideas of the political left amount to.

Many of the words and phrases used in the media and among academics suggest that things simply happen to people, rather than being caused by their own choices or behavior.

Much of the social history of the Western world over the past three decades has involved replacing what worked with what sounded good.

No one will really understand politics until they understand that politicians are not trying to solve our problems. They are trying to solve their own problems – of which getting elected and re-elected are number one and number two. Whatever is number three is far behind.

One of the many disservices done to young people by our schools and colleges is giving them the puffed up notion that they are in a position to pass sweeping judgments on a world that they have barely begun to experience.

One of the scariest things about our times is how easy it is to scare people and start a political stampede. There are people who could be upset if they were told that half of all Americans earn less than the median income—though of course that is the way median income is defined.

People can’t be knowledgeable about everything but they can be knowledgeable about the extent of their own ignorance.

Racism is not dead, but it is on life support — kept alive by politicians, race hustlers and people who get a sense of superiority by denouncing others as “racists.”

Socialism is a wonderful idea. It is only as a reality that it has been disastrous. Among people of every race, color, and creed, all around the world, socialism has led to hunger in countries that used to have surplus food to export.

Some people seem to think that the answer to all of life’s imperfections is to create a government agency to correct them. If that is your approach, then go straight to totalitarianism. Do not pass “Go.” Do not collect $200.

The biggest myth about labor unions is that unions are for the workers. Unions are for unions, just as corporations are for corporations and politicians are for politicians.

The fundamental difference between equal treatment and equal performance is repeatedly confused. In performance terms, virtually no one is equal to anyone. The same individual is not even equal to himself on different days.

The left’s obsession with the high incomes of corporate executives never seems to extend to equally high – or higher – incomes of professional athletes, entertainers, or best-selling authors like Danielle Steel.

The income tax has spawned an intrusive bureaucracy, creating so much complexity and red tape that millions of ordinary citizens have to go get some accountant to fill out the forms for them – and then sign under penalty of perjury that it was done right. If you knew how to do it right, you wouldn’t have to go to somebody else to have it done, would you?

The minimum wage law is very cleverly misnamed. The real minimum wage is zero—and that is what many inexperienced and low-skilled people receive as a result of legislation that makes it illegal to pay them what they are currently worth to an employer.

There is usually only a limited amount of damage that can be done by dull or stupid people. For creating a truly monumental disaster, you need people with high IQs.

Those who disdain wealth as a worthy goal for an individual or a society seem not to realize that wealth is the only thing that can prevent poverty.

The problem with trying to equalize is that you can usually only equalize downward. Most activities do not exist for the sake of equality. They exist to serve their own purposes — and those purposes are undermined, sometimes fatally, when equality becomes the goal.

The strongest argument for socialism is that it sounds good. The strongest argument against socialism is that it doesn’t work. But those who live by words will always have a soft spot in their hearts for socialism because it sounds so good.

Those who cry out that the government should ‘do something’ never even ask for data on what has actually happened when the government did something, compared to what actually happened when the government did nothing.

What do you call it when someone takes someone else’s money openly by force? Robbery. What do you call it when a politician takes someone else’s money in taxes and gives it to someone who is more likely to vote for him? Social Justice.

What can we be certain of from history? That human beings have been wrong innumerable times, by vast amounts, and with catastrophic results. Yet today there are still people who think that anyone who disagrees with them must be either bad or not know what he is talking about.

When I was growing up, we were taught the stories of people whose inventions and scientific discoveries had expanded the lives of millions of other people. Today, students are being taught to admire those who complain, denounce and demand.

You can see the agenda behind the rhetoric when profits are called “unconscionable” but taxes never are, even when taxes take more than half of what someone has earned, or add much more to the prices we have to pay than profits do.

Links to more about Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell – Rose and Milton Friedman Senior Fellow on Public Policy
Thomas Sowell Website
Dave Rubin Interviews Thomas Sowell

Robert Brault Quotations

Robert Brault is a free-lance writer and author of five books: Reflections, Short Thoughts for the Long Haul, Round Up the Usual Subjects, The Second Collection and Thoughts on Art and Artists. He has contributed to magazines and newspapers in the USA for over 40 years.

A commuter tie-up consists of you — and people who for some reason won’t use public transit.

A holiday cocktail party is where every year you have the same conversation with the same person about who you both still are.

And I, I took the road less traveled by. I was using a GPS system.

A painting is what you make of it, besides which, ‘Moon, Weeping’ has a better ring to it than ‘Paintbrush, Dripping.’

As a general guideline, the fewer the words, the truer the words — an example being the words, “This is an opportunity you can’t afford to pass up,” where three fewer are usually truer.

As a general guideline, there are always as many political parties as there are ways the public can be misrepresented.”

As a great sage once said to me, “Listen if you’re an apple, don’t try to be an orange. It can lead to a life of fruitlessness.

Blogs seem to have two magnetic poles, one attracting friends, the other repulsing relatives.

I’d like to say, on behalf of all us lifelong doubters, that we’re a bit overwhelmed these days, there being so much information that needs to be doubted.

I have found, when judging people, that it’s best to wait until morning and judge them on the evidence of a good night’s sleep.

It is a shame when people of shared values form an allegiance and then proceed to sacrifice their values to the allegiance.

It is never too late, which is too bad, because it would get an awful lot of people started.

It is rare that we achieve happiness by increasing our supply of something that has nothing to do with it.

It is said that not all who wander are lost, which has always struck me as not getting the most out of wandering.

I suppose I will die never knowing what pumpkin pie tastes like when you have room for it.

Marriage is nature’s way of ensuring that a woman picks up some mothering experience before she has her first child.

No matter what your complaint, there is a number to call where you will be told that you are the first person ever to complain about it.

One thing social networking has made possible is the application of mob psychology without having to assemble a mob.

One thing you can learn from your dog is when to go lie under the dining room table and await developments.

Overheard on Judgment Day: “You did WHAT in My name?”

Sometimes you have to remove the clutter from your life to realize that you need the clutter.

There’s a chance, of course, that the person who always gives you a disapproving look actually approves of you but doesn’t have a look to go with it.

There is no daily chore so trivial that it cannot be made important by skipping it two days running.

Today’s thought question: “What are the chances that the reason you were born was to leave everything just the way it is?”

What would I appreciate to mark my passing? Perhaps a brief memorial and a small reception afterwards where people remark on how good the squash casserole is.

You just hope that a politician who claims to know what you deserve is better informed on other subjects.

Scott Adams Quotations

The Quippery

Scott Adams is the creator of the Dilbert comic strip. He is also the author of several nonfiction works of satire, commentary and business. His writing is often satirical and/or sarcastic. Adams frequently speaks about media bias, citing instances (such as the ‘Fine People hoax’) where the media attributes a statement to a public figure but distorts the meaning by omitting a key statement made by that person.

His books include two bestsellers: How To Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big and Win Bigly: Persuasion in a World Where Facts Don’t Matter.

Be careful that what you write does not offend anybody or cause problems within the company. The safest approach is to remove all useful information.

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.

Everybody is somebody’s else’s weirdo.

If free will exists, why do the tallest candidates with the best hair usually win elections ?

If your boss gets drunk and offers to photocopy her posterior, do not helpfully suggest pressing reduce 75%.

If you’re going to create, create a lot. Creativity is not like playing the slot machines, where failure to win means you go home broke. With creativity, if you don’t win, you’re usually no worse off than if you hadn’t played.

I’m predicting that we’ll finally have a computer that will search my e-mail automatically and delete every message that begins with ‘thought you’d be interested,’ and then give an electrical shock to the sender to remind him or her to stop sending that kind of message.

I think the pleasure of completed work is what makes blogging so popular. You have to believe most bloggers have few if any actual readers. The writers are in it for other reasons. Blogging is like work, but without coworkers thwarting you at every turn. All you get is the pleasure of a completed task.

I wish I were dumber so I could be more certain about my opinions. It looks fun.

Large corporations welcome innovation and individualism in the same way the dinosaurs welcomed large meteors.

Normal people… believe that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Engineers believe that if it ain’t broke, it doesn’t have enough features yet.

Nothing defines humans better than their willingness to do irrational things in the pursuit of phenomenally unlikely payoffs.

On the fourth day of telecommuting, I realized that clothes are totally unnecessary.

Remember, freedom is always taken, never given.

Science is a good thing. News reporters are good things too. But it’s never a good idea to put them in the same room.

Scientists will eventually stop flailing around with solar power and focus their efforts on harnessing the only truly unlimited source of energy on the planet: stupidity. I predict that in the future, scientists will learn how to convert stupidity into clean fuel.

Technology will definitely solve all our problems, but in the process it will create brand new ones. But that’s O.K. because the most you can expect from life is to get to solve better and better problems.

The best part about being my age is in knowing how my life worked out. Sure, there’s a lot more living to go, but there isn’t much doubt that I’ll always be the ‘Dilbert guy.’

The best plan now is to have as many bosses as possible. I call it boss diversity. If you work for a company and you have one boss and that boss doesn’t like you or wants to get rid of you, you’re in trouble. But if you work for yourself, you have lots of bosses, who are your customers, and if a few of them decide they don’t like you, that’s okay.

The greenest home is the one you don’t build. If you really want to save the Earth, move in with another family and share a house that’s already built. Better yet, live in the forest and eat whatever the squirrels don’t want.

There’s a gigantic gray area between good moral behavior and outright felonious activities. I call that the Weasel Zone and it’s where most of life happens.

There’s kind of a toll you have to pay with a cat; if you don’t pet her for 10 minutes she’ll bother you for six hours.

There’s no such thing as good ideas and bad ideas. There are only your own ideas and other people’s. If you want someone to like your idea, tell him he said it first last week and you just remembered it.

There’s nothing more humbling than seeing your best quotes in a list, and thinking they could have been written by a coma patient with a keyboard and spasms.

The source of all unhappiness is other people. As soon as you learn to think of other people as noisy furniture, the sooner you will be happy.

Your best work involves timing. If someone wrote the best hip hop song of all time in the Middle Ages, he had bad timing.

Mike Rowe Quotations – TEDTalk Learning from Dirty Jobs (Video)

Mike Rowe is a TV host, writer, narrator, producer, actor and spokesman. In his show “Dirty Jobs”, he traveled to all 50 states and completed 300 different jobs, transforming cable television into a landscape of swamps, sewers, ice roads, coal mines, oil derricks, crab boats, hillbillies, and lumberjack camps.
– From the Bio of Mike Rowe

At the risk of being glib, I would say if you really want to make America great again, you have to make work cool again.

… if we don’t have appreciation… If we’re not blown away by the miracle that occurs when we flick the switch and the lights come on; if we’re not gobsmacked by flushing the toilet and seeing all of it go away; when we start losing our appreciation for those things, the gap deepens. And I think the gap right now is extraordinary.

How are we ever going to accomplish anything in this incredibly divisive time if we associate only with people that we don’t disagree with?

In a very simple way, Dirty Jobs said ‘Hey — we can see you,’ to millions of regular people who had started to feel invisible. Ultimately, that’s why Dirty Jobs ran for eight seasons. And today, that’s also why Donald Trump is the President of the United States.
– Interview with the Washington Times –

Not all knowledge comes from college.

Passion is too important to be without, but too fickle to be guided by. Which is why I’m more inclined to say, ‘Don’t Follow Your Passion, But Always Bring it With You.’

The search for truth in cyberspace will take you through the wormhole, and there’s nothing on the other side but pedants and nitpickers and bottomless ambiguity. If you’re not careful, you’ll spend all your time proving everything and understanding nothing.

The thing to do is to talk about a PR campaign for work — manual labor, skilled labor. Somebody needs to be out there, talking about the forgotten benefits.

We are lending money we don’t have to kids who can’t pay it back to train them for jobs that no longer exist. That’s nuts.

We need to tell better stories of men and women who master a trade. We have to stop telling kids to blindly follow their passion and show them the opportunities that exist. That was the big, overarching message of ‘Dirty Jobs.’

We’ve become slowly and inexorably and profoundly disconnected from a lot of very basic things that, when I grew up, I was really connected to – like where my food comes from, where my energy comes from, basic history, basic curiosity, you know? The things that fundamentally allow us to assume a level of appreciation that, in my view, is the best way to bridge those gaps.

Why does a chicken coop only have two doors? … Because if it had four doors, it would be a chicken sedan.

Stephen Fry Quotations

An original idea. That can’t be too hard. The library must be full of them.

How can I tell you what I think until I’ve heard what I’m going to say?

I don’t need you to remind me of my age. I have a bladder to do that for me.

If ignorance is bliss, why aren’t there more happy people in the world?

It is the useless things that make life worth living and that make life dangerous too: wine, love, art, beauty. Without them life is safe, but not worth bothering with.

I think animal testing is cruel. They get all nervous and give silly answers.

I shouldn’t be saying this, high treason really, but I sometimes wonder if Americans aren’t fooled by our accent into detecting a brilliance that may not really be there.

Knowing what I now know I would never have done anything so fatuous; but then I never would have known what I know now had I not.

Nothing in this world is at it seems. Except, possibly, porridge.

One technology doesn’t replace another, it complements. Books are no more threatened by Kindle than stairs by elevators.

P. G. Wodehouse… used, when in town, to solve the problem of the long walk to the post-office by the simple expedient of tossing his letters out of his window: his belief that the average human, finding a stamped and addressed envelope on the pavement, would naturally pop it into the nearest pillar-box was never once, in decades, shown to be unfounded.

The English language is an arsenal of weapons. If you are going to brandish them without checking to see whether or not they are loaded, you must expect to have them explode in your face from time to time.

The only reason people do not know much is because they do not care to know. They are incurious. Incuriousity is the oddest and most foolish failing there is.

There is something in the American project, something in simple American oratory, something in the hope and idealism of this frustrating and contradictory nation that still makes my spirits soar and my heart leap with optimism and belief. If only they understood how to make a cup of tea.

What’s magical about [bears] is that they just spend one-hundred percent of every minute of every hour of every day being a bear. And a tree-frog spends all of its time being a tree-frog. We spend all our time trying to be somebody else.

What makes a good family? Well, I suppose obviously love. Love lubricated often I think by humor. I think a family that can laugh at each other and tease themselves and who are able to be jolly with each other I think is the key.

Ogden Nash Quotations and Poems

The Quippery

A husband is a guy who tells you when you’ve got on too much lipstick
And helps you with your girdle when your hips stick.

A jolly young fellow from Yuma
Told an elephant joke to a puma;
now his skeleton lies
beneath hot western skies-
the puma had no sense of huma

All husbands are alike, but they have different faces so you can tell them apart.

Beneath this slab John Brown is stowed. He watched the ads, And not the road.

Candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker.

God in His wisdom made the fly
And then forgot to tell us why.

If called by a panther, don’t anther.

I test my bath before I sit,
And I’m always moved to wonderment
That what chills the finger not a bit
Is so frigid upon the fundament.

I think that I shall never see
A billboard lovely as a tree.
Perhaps, unless the billboards fall,
I’ll never see a tree at all.

I would live all my life in nonchalance and insouciance,
were it not for making living, which is rather a nouciance.

Marriage is the only known example of the happy meeting of the immovable object and the irresistible force.

Oh, what a tangled web do parents weave,
When they think that their children are naive.

Senescence begins
And middle-age ends
The day your descendants
Outnumber your friends

Some debts are fun while you are acquiring them, But none are fun when you set about retiring them.

Some primal termite knocked on wood.
And tasted it, and found it good.
And that is why your Cousin May
Fell through the parlor floor today.

Some tortures are physical
And some are mental,
But the one that is both
Is dental.

Sure deck your lower limbs in pants;
Yours are the limbs, my sweeting.
You look divine as you advance–
Have you seen yourself retreating?

The ant has made herself illustrious
By constant industry industrious.
So what? Would you be calm and placid
If you were full of formic acid?

The camel has a single hump,
The dromedary, two;
Or else the other way around;
I’m never sure. Are you?

There is something about a martini,
Ere the dining and dancing begin,
And to tell you the truth,
It is not the vermouth-
I think that perhaps it’s the gin.

Too much Chablis can make you whablis.

When I ponder my mind
I consistently find
It is glued
On food.

Ronald Reagan Quotations

Accepting a government grant with its accompanying rules is like marrying a girl and finding out her entire family is moving in with you before the honeymoon.

Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement.

But there are advantages to being elected President. The day after I was elected, I had my high school grades classified Top Secret.

California produces 40% of America’s fresh fruits, vegetables and nuts – the kind you eat. We have had a bumper crop of the other variety, too.

Detente – isn’t that what a farmer has with his turkey – until Thanksgiving?

Do what’s right and you’ll please some of the people and astound the rest.

Even Albert Einstein reportedly needed help on his 1040 form.

Government is not a solution to our problem, government is the problem.

Government does not solve problems; it subsidizes them.

Government is like a baby. An alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other.

Government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. If it stops moving, subsidize it.

If more government is the answer, then it was a really stupid question.

I have wondered at times what the Ten Commandments would have looked like if Moses had run them through the US Congress.

It has been said that politics is the second oldest profession. I have learned that it bears a striking resemblance to the first.

I have left orders to be awakened at any time in case of national emergency, even if I’m in a cabinet meeting.

It’s hard, when you’re up to your armpits in alligators, to remember you came here to drain the swamp.

I have learned that one of the most important rules in politics is poise – which means looking like an owl after you have behaved like a jackass.

It’s true hard work never killed anybody, but I figure, why take the chance?

I’ve noticed that everyone who is for abortion has already been born.

I want you to know that also I will not make age an issue of this campaign. I am not going to exploit, for political purposes, my opponent’s youth and inexperience.

I was going to have an opening statement, but I decided that what I was going to say I wanted to get a lot of attention, so I’m going to wait and leak it.

Middle age is when you’re faced with two temptations and you choose the one that will get you home by nine o’clock.

Nothing lasts longer than a temporary government program.

One way to make sure crime doesn’t pay would be to let the government run it.

People who think a tax boost will cure inflation are the same ones who believe another drink will cure a hangover.

The most terrifying words in the English language are “I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.”

The one thing our Founding Fathers could not foresee – they were farmers, professional men, businessmen giving of their time and effort to an idea that became a country – was a nation governed by professional politicians who had an interest in getting re-elected. They probably envisioned a fellow serving a couple of hitches and then eagerly looking forward to getting back to the farm.

The problem is not that people are taxed too little, the problem is that government spends too much.

There were so many candidates on the platform that there were not enough promises to go around.

We don’t have a trillion-dollar debt because we haven’t taxed enough; we have a trillion-dollar debt because we spend too much.

You can’t be for big government, big taxes and big bureaucracy and still be for the little guy.

You can tell alot about a fellow’s character by his way of eating jellybeans.