February 2, 1996
All righty then–after the snow started falling yesterday, I immediately began making preparations just in case I should be unable to deliver Freethinkers Anonymous: The Friday Edition. So, for those of you in Sri Lanka who got your copy two days ahead of time (with the International Dateline in there to muck things up) just ignore it. I braved high winds, snow and sleet, slick streets, and, worst of all, Nashville drivers who think that driving on ice and snow is just like driving on dry pavement. This just goes to show that some of us are not easily daunted by little things like snowstorms or Tamil uprisings.
Before I let you read the following list of true quotes from various people, I thought I’d share with you a few from my own stock and store of hilarious and goofy quotes.
"You can observe a lot by watching." -Yogi Berra
"Steve? You can’t call your main character in this script Steve! Every Tom, Dick, and Harry is named Steve!" -Samuel Goldwyn
"Denial is simply the indulgence of a propensity to forego."–Ambrose Bierce
"Your wife and I are in love, man, and if you don’t like it, I’m gonna come over there and haul your ass out of bed because I’m right around the corner right now." –Lenny Bruce speaking over the phone to a complete stranger called at random
And, my personal favorite:
"I long for the touch of your lips, my dear, But much more for the touch of your whips, my dear." –Tom Lehrer
Editor’s Note: These are apparently true quotes (I say apparently because I haven’t personally verified them), by famous people, most of whom, scarily enough, hold public office. Be afraid…be very afraid.]
"I haven’t committed a crime. What I did was fail to comply with the law." –David Dinkins, New York City Mayor, answering accusations that he failed to pay his taxes.
"They gave me a book of checks. They didn’t ask for any deposits." — Congressman Joe Early (D-Mass) at a press conference to answer questions about the House Bank Scandal.
"He didn’t say that. He was reading what was given to him in a speech." — Richard Darman, director of OMB, explaining why President Bush wasn’t following up on his campaign pledge that there would be no loss of wetlands.
"It depends on your definition of asleep. They were not stretched out. They had their eyes closed. They were seated at their desks with their heads in a nodding position." — John Hogan, Commonwealth Edison Supervisor of News Information, responding to a charge by a Nuclear Regulatory Commission inspector that two Dresden Nuclear Plant operators were sleeping on the job.
"I didn’t accept it. I received it." — Richard Allen, National Security Advisor to President Reagan, explaining the $1000 in cash and two watches he was given by two Japanese journalists after he helped arrange a private interview for them with First Lady Nancy Reagan.
"I was a pilot flying an airplane and it just so happened that where I was flying made what I was doing spying." — Francis Gary Power, U-2 reconnaissance pilot held by the Soviets for spying, in an interview after he was returned to the US.
"I was under medication when I made the decision not to burn the tapes." — President Richard Nixon
"Smoking kills. If you’re killed, you’ve lost a very important part of your life." — Brooke Shields, during an interview to become spokesperson for a federal anti-smoking campaign.
"I’ve never had major knee surgery on any other part of my body." — Winston Bennett, University of Kentucky basketball forward.
"I support efforts to limit the terms of members of Congress, especially members of the House and members of the Senate." — Vice-President Dan Quayle
"Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country." — Mayor Marion Barry, Washington, DC
"Sure, it’s going to kill a lot of people, but they may be dying of something else anyway." — Othal Brand, member of a Texas pesticide review board, on chlordane.
"Are you any relation to your brother Marv?" — Leon Wood, New Jersey Nets guard, to Steve Albert, Nets TV commentator.
"Beginning in February 1976 your assistance benefits will be discontinued… Reason: it has been reported to our office that you expired on January 1, 1976." — Letter from the Illinois Department of Public Aid
"The Holocaust was an obscene period in our nation’s history… this century’s history…. We all lived in this century. I didn’t live in this century." — Dan Quayle, then Indiana senator and Republican vice-presidential candidate during a news conference in which he was asked his opinion of the Holocaust.
"In the early sixties, we were strong, we were virulent…" — John Connally, Secretary of Treasury under Richard Nixon, in an early seventies speech, as reported in a contemporary "American Scholar".
"Rotarians, be patriotic! Learn to shoot yourself." — Chicago Rotary Club journal, "Gyrator".
"The streets are safe in Philadelphia. It’s only the people who make them unsafe." — Frank Rizzo, ex-police chief and mayor of Philadelphia.
"I’ve always thought that underpopulated countries in Africa are vastly underpolluted." — Lawrence Summers, chief economist of the World Bank, explaining why we should export toxic wastes to Third World countries.
"The crime bill passed by the Senate would reinstate the Federal death penalty for certain violent crimes: assassinating the President; hijacking an airliner; and murdering a government poultry inspector." — Knight Ridder News Service dispatch
"After finding no qualified candidates for the position of principal, the school board is extremely pleased to announce the ppointment of David Steele to the post." – Philip Streifer, Superintendent of Schools, Barrington Rhode Island.
"The doctors X-rayed my head and found nothing." — Dizzy Dean explaining how he felt after being hit on the head by a ball in the 1934 World Series.