(DEAR READERS: The following column is not in my usual acerbic style of writing. In this column I do not complain, bellyache or find fault with anything. For those of you who enjoy my curmudgeonly ways, I offer my sincerest apologies. But not to worry, everything will be back to caustic normality in my next column.)
My sister read a quote attributed to Mark Twain in her local paper and she shared it with me awhile back. This may not be the exact wording, but it went something like this: "Dance like nobody's watching. Love like you've never been hurt. Sing like nobody's listening. Live like it's heaven on earth." I had never heard that Twain quote before and I liked it. Then it started me thinking that there are probably many really good quotes that for one reason or another, most people may not have ever heard. I dug up a few and include them here for you to enjoy now.
"Half our life is spent trying to find something to do with the time we have rushed through life trying to save." Will Rogers
Here's another Mark Twain quote, this one is on money:
"Where I was brought up we never talked about money because there was never enough to furnish a topic of conversation."
And here's Twain on dogs:
"If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man."
Here's a quote most people are very familiar with: "Youth is wasted on the young." Except that isn't the original quote. It is, "Youth is a wonderful thing. What a crime to waste it on children." George Bernard Shaw
"So who's in a hurry?" Robert Benchley in response to a warning that drinking is slow poison.
"I am not concerned whether G-d is on my side or not, but I am concerned whether I am on G-d's side." Abraham Lincoln
"Santa Claus has the right idea: visit people once a year." Victor Borge
"Man has to go to the dentist to keep his teeth in good condition so that he doesn't have to go to the dentist." Ogden Nash
"I don't care what people think of my poetry so long as they award it prizes." Robert Frost
"Silence is not always tact, and it is tact that is golden, not silence." Samuel Butler
"Paying alimony is like feeding hay to a dead horse." Groucho Marx
"Smoking is, as far as I am concerned, the entire point of being an adult. Many people find smoking objectionable. I myself find many - even more things objectionable. I do not like aftershave lotion, adults who roller-skate, children who speak French, or anyone who is unduly tan. I do not, however, go around enacting legislation and putting up signs." Fran Lebowitz
"You have to work years in hit shows to make people sick and tired of you, but you can accomplish this in a few weeks on television." Walter Slezak
"When you are safe at home you wish you were having an adventure; when you are having an adventure, you wish you were safe at home." Thornton Wilder
"If you can't say anything good about someone, sit right here by me." Alice Roosevelt Longworth
"Miami Beach is where neon goes to die." Lenny Bruce
"Television - a medium. So called because it is neither rare nor well done." Ernie Kovacs
"You don't set a fox to watching the chickens just because he has a lot of experience in the hen house." Harry S. Truman
"I am not young enough to know everything." James M. Barrie
"The two most beautiful words in the English language are: 'Check enclosed.'" Dorothy Parker
"Women have a hard enough time in this world: telling them the truth would be too cruel." H.L. Mencken
"Health food makes me sick." Calvin Trillin
"Children should neither be seen nor heard from - ever again." W. C. Fields
"Brides aren't happy - they are just triumphant." John Barrymore
"So little time, so little to do." Oscar Levant
To fully appreciate this last quote you need to know that Oscar Levant was (apart from being an accomplished pianist, light comedy movie actor, and wit) a true long-suffering hypochondriac and pessimistic curmudgeon. In fact, most of the quotes I chose here will mean much more if you know the personality of the person being quoted. I suggest you look up any names here that you are not familiar with. As a matter of fact, that will be your homework assignment for this week. Class dismissed.