Sometimes, I’m the navigator; I’m in charge of the map. “Navigator” is a job I’m even less suited for than “driver.” If my eyes aren’t good enough to see cars, what chance do I have with the very small writing on maps?
We really ought to fly.
But we’ve had it with airports. September 11th has done something I didn’t believe was possible. It’s made air travel even less appealing than it already was. I’ve never seen a business that mistreats its customers more than the airline business. They’ve got us, and they know it. Airlines don’t have to be nice to their customers, because they’re certain of one thing:
“If you’re not a superhero, you need us to fly.”
I imagine, someday, technology will be developed that will allow people to fax themselves to their destinations. I probably won’t be one of the pioneers in that department. I imagine myself arriving someplace, going up to the Service Desk and saying,
“They lost my nose.”
While I’m away, I thought I’d leave you with some quotes I’ve gathered over the decades. These are comments I’ve heard, or overheard, or other people have overheard and told me about.
I like overheard quotes. They’re often a glimpse into something real. Like candid photographs, they offer flashes of insight that posed pictures or prepared material can rarely provide.
Quotes today; quotes and Tuesday. I’ll be back with prepared material on Wednesday. Hopefully not entirely lacking in insight.
Riding high, Bing Crosby, a popular crooner was bumped from the audience’s affections by newcomer Frank Sinatra. Crosby’s response to this turn of events was this:
“A voice like Sinatra’s comes along once in a lifetime. Why did it have to be my lifetime?”
For current implications, replace “Crosby” with “Hillary Clinton” and “Sinatra” with “Barack Obama.”
Comedian Jack Benny once received an award and acknowledged the recognition with this opening remark:
“I don’t deserve this. But I have a terrible case of hemorrhoids and I don’t deserve them either.”
It may not be that things even themselves out. It could be that nobody’s counting.
A brilliant wit named Oscar Levant once said:
“Imitation is the sincerest form of plagiarism.”
Remember that when you hear a writer stealing from another writer call it “an homage.”
I was finishing dinner in a Chinese restaurant in Miami Beach, Florida. The waiter brought me the check, along with the traditional fortune cookie.
I broke open the cookie and read my fortune:
“You will soon enjoy a financial windfall.”
“Great, “ I quipped, “I don’t have to pay the bill.”
“Not now,” retorted the waiter. “Soon.”
You think he was ready for that one?
My mother told me this story. She was standing in line at a bakery, and behind her, a mother and her ten year-old son were having an argument. The son wanted to leave, complaining there was nothing in the bakery he wanted.
“What do you mean?” replied the mother incredulously. “They have a hundred different kinds of cookies here.”
“I know,” responded the son. “But it’s always the same hundred.”
My mother had an ear. On my better days, I have one too.
If you have any memorable quotes – overheard or otherwise – feel free to pass them along.