OK. Many of these appeared as Comments in last week’s call for the Funniest Sentence Ever Written, but as promised, I list them here. A little Oscar Wilde, a little George Saunders– and a ton of great found objects. Also, yesterday in talks for some big financial bailout people keep making a big deal of, our President said: “If money isn’t loosened up, this sucker could go down.” Indeed. Enjoy!
If youre looking for sympathy youll find it between shit and syphilis in the dictionary.
David Sedaris (Barrel Fever: Stories and Essays)
“One failure of
top of another”
From a short poem from A.R. Ammons, entitled Their Sex Life
“I’ll be long gone before some smart person ever figures out what happened inside this Oval Office.” –George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., May 12, 2008
“I heard somebody say, ‘Where’s (Nelson) Mandela?’ Well, Mandela’s dead. Because Saddam killed all the Mandelas.” –George W. Bush, on the former South African president, who is still very much alive, Washington, D.C., Sept. 20, 2007
“You should always go to other people’s funerals, otherwise, they won’t come to yours.” –Yogi Bera.
From The Uncomfortable Dead (Paco Ignacio Taibo II & Subcomandante Marcos):
“Anything that takes more than six months is either a pregnancy or not worth the trouble.”
“(Originally, jealousy pertained solely to plants, other people’s cactus or ginkgoes, or later, when there was grass, grass, which is why, even to this day, we say that someone is green with jealousy.)”–William Goldman’s The Princess Bride
Not the funniest EVER, but the funniest of the week (from George Saunders’ piece on Sarah Palin):
“Please bring a moose to me, over by me, and down that moose will go, and, if I had a kid, I would take a picture of me showing my kid that dead moose, going, like, Uh, sweetie, no, he is not resting, he is dead, due to I shot him, and now I am going to eat him, and so are you, oh yes you are, which is responsible, as God put this moose here for us to shoot and eat and take a photo of, although I did not, at that time, know why God did, but in years to come, Gods will was revealed, which is: Hey, that is a cool photo for hunters about to vote to see, plus what an honor for that moose, to be on the Internet.”
One of my favorites, from early in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1818). Victor Frankenstein is recalling his journey to university in Ingolstadt and says, “In the university, whither I was going, I must form my own friends.”
Samuel Beckett once said: ‘Every word is like an unnecessary stain on silence and nothingness.’ On the other hand, he SAID it.
“In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.”
-The Hitchhicker’s Guide to the Galaxy
My funnybone can’t live without the London Review of Books personals. A smattering:
“Funny, attractive, knackered Elizabeth Barratt wannabe (42) seeks Browning for restorative attentions.”
“If music be the food of love then Im the Electronic Battle Weapon Number 2 of in house catering.”
“Is anyone else being Facebook-stalked by a Penguin marketing campaign?”
Oh, please. Let’s just ask Oscar, shall we?
“America is the only country that went from barbarism to decadence without civilization in between.”
“We have really everything in common with America nowadays except, of course, language.”
“I think that God in creating Man somewhat overestimated his ability.”
“One should always play fairly when one has the winning cards.”
“My own business always bores me to death; I prefer other peoples.”
“I can resist anything but temptation.”
“The public is wonderfully tolerant. It forgives everything except genius.”
“Men marry because they are tired; women because they are curious. Both are disappointed.”
“I like persons better than principles, and I like persons with no principles better than anything else in the world.”
“The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it.”
“Work is the curse of the drinking classes.”
And lastly, a few to help get us through this election season:
“There is much to be said in favour of modern journalism. By giving us the opinions of the uneducated, it keeps us in touch with the ignorance of the community.”
“The difference between literature and journalism is that journalism is unreadable and literature is not read.”
“The basis of optimism is sheer terror.”
“A great swindle of our time is the assumption that science has made religion obsolete. All science has damaged is the story of Adam and Eve and the story of Jonah and the Whale. Everything else holds up pretty well, particularly lessons about fairness and gentleness. People who find those lessons irrelevant in the twentieth century are simply using science as an excuse for greed and harshness. Science has nothing to do with it, friends.” –Kurt Vonnegut, Bennington College Address 1970