Boiled cabbage, anyone?

June 6, 1997

This is true–and you know you’re in trouble when I start with that: the most critically acclaimed musical this year is one based on the voyage of the Titanic. Take a moment to consider that. Someone took an ill-fated sea-voyage which cost several human lives and set it to music. So I’ve decided I’m going to quit my job and start writing musical librettos (I can’t write the music because I’m about as musically inclined as a boiled cabbage). I’ll start my career with, "Oh the Humanity!", which will be about the Hindenburg. It’s got all the qualities of a good musical: wacky goose-stepping German stereotypes, love stories that can end happily right before they end tragically, and a wacky wisecracking radio announcer. I think the most exciting part will be the climactic ending when flaming performers dive from the laser-lit backdrop.

My next piece will be something on an even grander scale. The ice age, with its wacky caveman stereotypes, easy jokes about men trying to be more sensitive and teenages adapting more easily to a changing world than their parents. And we all know how cute and cuddly wooly mammoths and saber-toothed tigers are, which means Disney will buy the idea. Finally, I’ll conclude my career with my magnum opus–a what-if story about how humanity reacts when the sun explodes. Actually I’ll just be rehashing the Hindenburg story with fewer stereotypes, more love stories, and a wacky, wisecracking astronomer. Hey, if people go nuts over a musical about the Titanic, they’ll buy anything.


I think animal testing is a terrible idea; they get all nervous and give the wrong answers.
— A Bit of Fry and Laurie

A Freudian slip is when you say one thing but mean your mother.

The hypothalamus is one of the most important parts of the brain, involved in many kinds of motivation, among other functions. The hypothalamus controls the "Four F’s":
1.fighting;
2.fleeing;
3.feeding; and,
4.mating.
–Psychology professor in Neuropsychology intro course

What is a committee? A group of the unwilling, picked from the unfit, to do the unnecessary.
— Richard Harkness, The New York Times, 1960

Slogan of 105.9, the classic rock radio station in Chicago: "Of all the radio stations in Chicago … we’re one of them."

With every passing hour our solar system comes forty-three thousand miles closer to globular cluster 13 in the constellation Hercules, and still there are some misfits who continue to insist that there is no such thing as progress.
— Ransom K. Ferm

Madness takes its toll. Please have exact change.

Applying computer technology is simply finding the right wrench to pound in the correct screw.

The graduate with a Science degree asks, "Why does it work? "The graduate with an Engineering degree asks, "How does it work?" The graduate with an Accounting degree asks, "How much will it cost?" The graduate with a Liberal Arts degree asks, "Do you want fries with that?"

Karate is a form of martial arts in which people who have had years and years of training can, using only their hands and feet, make some of the worst movies in the history of the world.
— Dave Barry

I am not a vegetarian because I love animals; I am a vegetarian because I hate plants.
– A. Whitney Brown

A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices.
— William James

We should be careful to get out of an experience only the wisdom that is in it – and stop there; lest we be like the cat that sits down on a hot stove-lid. She will never sit down on a hotstove-lid again, and that is well; but also she will never sit down on a cold one anymore.
— Mark Twain

There’s so much comedy on television. Does that cause comedy in the streets?
— Dick Cavett, mocking the TV-violence debate

If a woman has to choose between catching a fly ball and saving an infant’s life, she will choose to save the infant’s life without even considering if there are men on base.
— Dave Barry

Some mornings, it’s just not worth chewing through the leatherstraps.
— Emo Phillips

Writing about music is like dancing about architecture.

Experience is that marvelous thing that enables you recognize a mistake when you make it again.
— F. P. Jones

Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so.
— Douglas Adams, Last Chance to See

As your attorney, it is my duty to inform you that it is not important that you understand what I’m doing or why you’re paying me so much money. What’s important is that you continue to do so.
— Hunter S. Thompson’s Samoan Attorney

When I told the people of Northern Ireland that I was an atheist, a woman in the audience stood up and said, "Yes, but is it the God the Catholics or the God of the Protestants in whom you don’t believe?"
— Quentin Crisp

Boundary, n. In political geography, an imaginary line between two nations, separating the imaginary rights of one from the imaginary rights of another.
— Ambrose Bierce, The Devil’s Dictionary

I think that all right-thinking people in this country are sick and tired of being told that ordinary, decent people are fed up in this country with being sick and tired. I’m certainly not! But I’m sick and tired of being told that I am!
— Monty Python

May the forces of evil become confused on the way to your house.
— George Carlin

Sorry, but my karma just ran over your dogma.

Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.
— John F. Kennedy

Drawing on my fine command of language, I said nothing.

Always try to do things in chronological order; it’s less confusing that way.

Based on what you know about him in history books, what do you think Abraham Lincoln would be doing if he were alive today?
1.Writing his memoirs of the Civil War.
2.Advising the President.
3.Desperately clawing at the inside of his coffin.
4.David Letterman

Once at a social gathering, Gladstone said to Disraeli, "I predict, Sir, that you will die either by hanging or of some vile disease". Disraeli replied, "That all depends, sir, upon whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

For three days after death, hair and fingernails continue to grow but phone calls taper off.
— Johnny Carson

A slipping gear could let your M203 grenade launcher fire when you least expect it. That would make you quite unpopular in what’s left of your unit.
— In the August 1993 issue, page 9, of PS magazine, the Army’s magazine of preventive maintenance

Calvin: People think it must be fun to be a super genius, but they don’t realize how hard it is to put up with all the idiots in the world.
Hobbes: Isn’t your pants’ zipper supposed to be in the front?

On one occasion a student burst into his office. "Professor Stigler, I don’t believe I deserve this F you’ve given me." To which Stigler replied, "I agree, but unfortunately it is the lowest grade the University will allow me to award."

Don’t worry about temptation–as you grow older, it starts avoiding you.
— Old Farmer’s Almanac

G: "If we do happen to step on a mine, Sir, what do we do?"
EB: "Normal procedure, Lieutenant, is to jump 200 feet in the air and scatter oneself over a wide area."
— Somewhere in No Man’s Land, BA4

The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled.
— Plutarch

The only difference between me and a madman is that I am not mad.
— Salvador Dali

I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they’ve always worked for me.
— Hunter S. Thompson

Sacred cows make the best hamburger.
— Mark Twain

"Time’s fun when you’re having flies."
— Kermit the Frog

Sometimes I lie awake at night, and I ask, "Where have I gone wrong?" Then a voice says to me, "This is going to take more than one night."
— Charlie Brown, Peanuts [Charles Schulz]

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