Quote from me

Changing fortunes in the gas pumping business have robbed me of one of my personal favorite tics.

When there was a choice of self-serve or having someone else pump my gas, I always chose full service. Passengers would say, “Why not save the five cents a gallon?” I responded, “I didn’t pay $10,000 for an MIT education so I could pump gas.”

Which shows, of course, how long ago I went to college (a half century).


Another Garbled Quote
The life of quotations amazes me. While I love my UPI chat group, they don’t always double-check the provenance and exact wording of quotes. A garbled but still accurate version of this quote (which I loved and should be inscribed of the top of the PCs of every political reporter and editor) appeared last week.

“It is very difficult to predict — especially the future.”
probably NOT Niels Bohr; most likely a Danish parliamentarian between 1935 and 1939.

Some Accurate Quotes

My mentor, Edwin Diamond, often said, “Life is a shit sandwich, and every day you take another bite.” My mom said, “Life is short and then you die, but have a nice day anyway.” I: believe a better expression is: “Life is a 21,000 course meal. Savor them all. Dessert will be here soon enough, and no one knows if the after-dinner drinks are any good.”


From Tom Rush in his weekly newsletter, some funny ones:

He has no enemies, but is intensely disliked by his friends."
- Oscar Wilde

"He had delusions of adequacy."
- Walter Kerr

"Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go."
 - Oscar Wilde

"I've had a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn't it."
 - Groucho Marx

From my friend Clark Smith:

 “Lord, grant me patience. For if you grant me strength, I will also need bail money.”
-the Book of Comic Prayer

From my UPI chat group:

“Who, in their right mind, Kevin, could possibly deny (that) the 20th century was entirely mine? All of it, Kevin! Mine!”
- Al Pacino, playing Satan, in the movie  The Devil's Advocate.

Readers of this column surely remember Dan Quayle’s term as vice president) He was described in my UPI chat group as,“not only almost cutely benign in retrospect, but a minor hero of Jan 6 [He advised Pence not to try to overthrow the election results].”

Here’s a collection of Quayle quotations collected by Associate Professor of Finance Rauli Susmel from the University of Houston C. T. Bauer College of Business.

Mom’s Pearls of Widom V (two-fer!)

 If my brother or I reported something lost, my mother would often say, “Last time I used it, I put it away.” When we were teenagers, she apologized, saying sarcasm wasn’t appropriate for young children. She never used the phrase in her daycare practice, nor with her grandchildren. I only used it rarely, out of habit.

Here’s you bonus pearl; near the end of her life, mom always said, “I don’t even buy green bananas.”

Mom’s Pearls of Wisdom II

Ok, you got me. There was no Roman Numeral I last week because I didn’t realized it was going to be a series. Then, I was talking to one of my daughters when were were both reminded of my mother’s general response to complaints: “Life is hard, and then you die. But have a nice day anyway.” (I have been informed she cleaned up a cruder version of this statement)

(FYI I have some family news. Email me if you’re interested)

Tom Rush Quotes

Who knew Tom Rush could be a source of great quotes?
“Thank you for sending me a copy of your book; I'll waste no time reading it.”
 - Moses Hadas
“I feel so miserable without you; it's almost like having you here.”
- Stephen Bishop
“He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lampposts... for support rather than illumination.”
- Andrew Lang

Backwards in Heels

From Robert D. Bott in a chat room (with his permission)

I haven't read all the Albright coverage, but I'll bet somewhere there will be the quote about Ginger Rogers doing everything Fred Astaire did on the dance floor "but backwards in high heels." The same quote, usually attributed to Rogers herself, gets trotted out whenever a woman breaks through a glass ceiling, or attempts to: Ann Richards, Hillary Clinton, et al., and just yesterday by Cory Booker referring to Judge Jackson.

However, Rogers denied ever saying it. The official Ginger Rogers website attributes the quote to cartoonist Bob Thaves, in a 1982 panel of his Frank and Ernest strip. In the cartoon (which certainly popularized if it did not originate the saying), Frank and Ernest are shown gazing at a billboard announcing a Fred Astaire film festival. The caption reads: "Sure he was great, but don't forget that Ginger Rogers did everything he did…backwards and in high heels."

Although Thaves is generally regarded as first to publish the line, former Republican politician Faith Whittlesey is probably responsible for starting to popularize it, in a 1984 speech about her work in the Reagan White House. The phrase really took flight after Ann Richards used it in her 1988 address to the Democratic convention.