Tag Archives: Quotes

Fun and Friendly

This morning, I dropped off my son, the Meerkat, to his Saturday class.  He’s taking Psychology. Since we arrived 25 minutes early to his class, and since his instructor is particularly adept at demonstrating the fine art of “Not Showing Up”, I decided to hang around until I got word that good ol’ Psych 101 hadn’t actually been cancelled.

For the next 30 minutes I camped out at a diner (an east-coast family restaurant/ice cream shop called Friendly’s), where I was greeted by an older waitress named Shirley. (I assume her last name isn’t Goodness-And-Mercy, but I’ve been wrong before). It’s like I was dropped into another era. I was alone and surrounded by people with history. At the table next to me was an old married couple. The table right behind me were two silver-haired ladies.

Just a picture of old guys eating (stolen from bobseagarini.wordpress.com). These are stock footage Internet old guys, not real old guys.

I ordered my chorizo scramble (which Shirley, correcting my bad Spanish, told me was pronounced “chore-zoe”) and decided to listen in. The restaurant PA system played the theme to The Twilight Zone (not making that up). Eavesdropping may be my new favorite hobby. Here are a few of the things I heard:

“We used to could drive all the way to Mexico without any seat belts. We didn’t even have air conditioning.” We had to drive there uphill too. both ways.

“…and you didn’t hear a word I just said, did you?” No. No he didn’t.

“I don’t care if I see any more snow until Christmas. Do you?” It wasn’t too bad. I said “no.” Sometimes it’s better to just agree.

“Everybody in the school was cracking their knuckles. And I was cracking mine. I was about ten years old. I can’t do that anymore.” Ahh the good old days.

[On his cell phone]. You don’t have a key? It’s on the doorframe. No, not the one by the front door. By the sliding glass door, around back.” Good thing I’m an honest guy who doesn’t want free stuff.

“That’s my worse nightmare. being stuck on an airplane.” Even more worse? Being stuck on a moving airplane. Not in. On.

“That song would be stuck in my head for months. I’d be driving down the road and I’d start singing ‘It’s a Small World.’ It was nice and cool in there. And I liked the bears. Do you remember the bears? No, not on the same ride. They were animated or something.” And they sang ‘Rocky Top, Tennessee’ with the moose head mounted on the theater wall. I wanted to turn around and say “Ooh! *I* remember!” But I restrained myself.

“[My granddaughter] saw Cinderella, and [Cinderella] caught her eye, and it was all over from there. She jumped the ropes and ran.” Who did? Cinderella or the granddaughter? And which way did she run? Those ropes are there for a reason!

“See you later.” “Not if I don’t see you first.” How exactly does that work?

“Y’all take care now. I just pray we don’t get more nasty weather.” 20 points if you can name the song that ran through my head when Shirley said this to me.

Please know I’m not making fun of anyone. I was vastly entertained though, by 20 minutes of enjoying the English language, and making small talk, and my chore-zoe scramble. My takehome lesson? We are unduly interested in the weather, even when it’s mild. And… you didn’t hear a thing I just said, did you? Just turn up your hearing aid already.

Building My Coastline

A Greek philosopher once confounded the world by asking how many grains of sand it takes to make a heap. Lat’s say 10,000. Okay, we have a heap now, right? What if we remove one grain of sand? Did it just lose its “heapy” essence? is it now a non-heap? Is it just a pile? How many heaps does it take to make a beach? 400,000? What about a coastline? Aww man, now I’ve done it. My head hurts.

Continue reading Building My Coastline

That quote from George Carlin…

If past history was all there was to the game, the richest people would be librarians.
–Warren Buffett

“When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.”
–John Lennon.

Friday, a friend posted the former-Beatle’s quote.  This morning, an old schoolteacher of mine posted this, by the Oracle of Omaha.  The trouble is, neither quote was ever actually said. Or, at least, I can find nothing online (and I can do a pretty exhaustive search folks, as one of the not-richest people in the world) that sources the quotes.

This is a pet peeve of mine, right up there with virus alerts and junk email from well-intentioned people.  John Lennon (and I admit it; I’m a fan) has said a lot of witty, thoughtful, even brilliant things.  So has Warren Buffett.  But from all accounts, these quotes are not two of them.

Why did I bother? Well, both quotes stank of deception.  “Past history?”  Really? I think someone as smart as Buffett would find a way not to be quite that redundant.  It’s a showstopper quote; one that makes you say “aww” or give you pause, or insult librarians.  The Lennon quote was just as bad.  I’m nerdy enough to know that John Lennon didn’t live with his mother when he was five, but with his Aunt Mimi and Uncle George. Again, a nice story, but not true.

Why do THEY bother? Who thinks of these things? Does someone gain notoriety by leeching Lennon’s (or Buffett’s) fame? They sit there grinning and nodding as yet another unsuspecting person posts his or her pithy (and too-good-to-be-true) quote? I think misattribution bothers me more than plagiarism, and for many of the same reasons. Nobody would take a Beatles quote and call it their own. Why would they invent a quote and say it belonged to the Beatles?

Who knows…

Maybe the whole point of this blog was to link you to Pop Culture Icon “Weird” Al Yankovic’s two brilliant (and original) songs “Virus Alert” and “Stop Forwarding that Crap to Me.”  He sings, “And by the way, your quotes from George Carlin aren’t really George Carlin; Mr. Rogers never fought the Vietcong.” This is another one I’ve seen throughout the last decade or so. I’m not indicting my friends. I am asking them to be careful, though. There are a lot of weirdos and posers and wannabes, and then there are people who say inspirational things. Sometimes they’re the same person; often they’re not. Too bad there’s not a databank for quotes, like snopes.com provides for urban legends.

Coen Brothers Quotes… Just for Fun.

Here are some favorite Coen Brothers movie quotes, as they occur to me. I was pondering the vast wealth of quotable moments from these films recently.  The humor, well, it’s an acquired taste. Many people hate their movies. I find them mostly hilarious (although Javier Bardem was awfully creepy in No Country for Old men). Here are my favorite one-liners and exchanges. Many of them I find myself quoting, and smiling, at weird times. I realize it’s heavy on O Brother, Where Art Thou? quotes, but I’ve seen it several times with my sons, who like that old-timey sound of Pappy O’Daniel Flour Hour. Continue reading Coen Brothers Quotes… Just for Fun.

The Great Gadfly

Really. Nothing to say today. Listening to the boys playing their Fable III video game on the XBox, and, admittedly, taking a turn on the game every once in awhile.  Daniel is making a cup of tea, and they’re both saying thoroughly random things every few seconds. Below is a ten-minute sampling: Continue reading The Great Gadfly