The Modern Life

For millennia change proceeded slowly and fitfully. Hunter-gatherer societies settled down and became farmers. Weapons and cooking implements changed from stone and pottery to bronze and then to iron. Change took place at a pace so slow as to be almost invisible. From year to year most things changed little. Lack of communication isolated changes and often war, pestilence or religious fervor stamped it out before it was even noticed.

This century, and to a lesser degree the two ones, have been different. Within a single lifetime, much of the world's population has seen its lifestyle and whole way of living altered beyond recognition. Even in civilized countries, people who rarely saw an automobile as a child can watch the space shuttle and regularly use the computational machines which can effortlessly duplicate the functions of hundreds of scribes of a century past.

The technology which has brought forth these changes affects the activities of essentially all civilized areas of the world. It has brought about what might be called a democratization of civilization and luxury. A Roman emperor at the time of Christ lived a reasonably comfortable existence although even his lifespan was short owing to the lack of modern medicines. To attain this comfortable life, however, he was dependent on the ministrations of countless servants and slaves. Many of the same ammenities can be provided today by relatively low-cost machines -- hot and cold running water, air conditioning, modern cooking facilities, worldwide communication.

Within the past few years, one of the major technological revolutions has been the microchip and the information explosion which it is producing. The movement of physical entities such as paper or even a person's body has become less important. This change will accelerate as the culture assimilates these potential changes.

What will be next? Perhaps space. We have the capability to expand our horizons beyond the surface of the earth and permanently deny the prophesies of the Limits to Growthers through space colonization and manufacturing. Whether this will be done is not a matter of technology. It is a matter of will.

Change is ubiquitous. It will happen in spite of the problems associated with it. We can only control its direction.

Football is not a contact sport. It's a collision sport. Dancing is a good example of a contact sport.
Duffy Daugherty

You send in $10,000, and we send you 25 words or less.
The Dartmouth Review

Young normal tigers do not eat people. If eaten by a tiger you may rest assured he was abnormal.
Will Cuppy

Never keep up with the Joneses. Drag them down to your level. It's cheaper.
Quentin Crisp

There are three ways to get something done: do it yourself, hire someone, or forbid your kids to do it.
Monta Crane

A successful surgeon should be a man who, when asked to name the three best surgeons in the world, would have difficulty deciding on the other two.
Denton Cooley

You're getting old when you see a girl who looks like someone you used to know, and it turns out to be her daughter.
Mike Connolly

Made by General Motors, on order from Sears Roebuck.
Richard Condon, on American cities

Generally the theories we believe we call facts, and the facts we disbelieve we call theories.
Felix Cohen

America is the only nation in history which miraculously has gone directly from barbarism to degeneration, without the usual interval of civilization.
Georges Clemenceau

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
Arthur C. Clarke

It has yet to be proven that intelligence has any survival value.
Arthur C. Clarke

"But no one expected he'd ever get very far, because I don't suppose he could even integrate e to the x."
"Is such ignorance possible?"
"Maybe I exaggerate. Let's say x e to the x."
Arthur C. Clarke, Tales from the White Hart

Gentility is what is left over from rich ancestors after the money is gone.
John Ciardi

Occassionally men stumble over the truth, but usually they pick themselves up and keep going.
Winston Churchill

When a lot of remedies are suggested for a disease, that means it can't be cured.
Anton Chekhov

No one has ever complained of a parachute not opening.
Rutgers Chanticler

An optimist is a driver who thinks that empty space at the curb won't have a hydrant beside it.
Changing Times

When science finishes getting a man up to the moon, maybe it can have another try at getting pigeons down from public buildings.
Changing Times

Football season: The only time of the year when a man can walk down the street with a blond on one arm and a blanket on the other without encountering raised eyebrows.
Bennett Cerf

At least one good thing has come out of it. My wife is pregnant.
Matt Cavanaugh, Patriot's quarterback as the NFL strike ended

What's all this fuss about plutonium? How can something named after a Disney character be dangerous?
Johnny Carson

They say atomic rad-i-ation can hurt your reproductive organs. My answer is, so can a hockey stick. But we don't stop building them.
Johnny Carson

Speak in French when you can't think of the English for the thing.
Lewis Carroll

In order to get a loan, you must first prove that you don't need it.
John Cameron

The optimist proclaims that we live in the best of all possible worlds; and the pessimist fears this is true.
James Cabekk

Too bad that all the people who know how to run this country are busy driving taxicabs and cutting hair.
George Burns

I am constantly amazed when I talk to young people to learn how much they know about sex and how little about soap.
Billie Burke

The Beatles are not merely awful. I would consider it sacrilegious to say anything less than that they are godawful.
William F. Buckley Jr.

Americans are broad-minded people. They'll accept the fact that a person can be an alcoholic, a dope fiend, a wife beater, and even a newspaperman, but if a man doesn't drive there's something wrong with him.
Art Buchwald

Medicine, the only profession that labors incessantly to destroy the reason for its own existence.
James Bryce

The volume of paper expands to fill the available briefcases.
Gov. Jerry Brown

The reason why everybody likes planning is because nobody has to do anything.
Edmund Brown

Only uncomfortable chairs become antiques -- the comfortable ones are worn out by hard use.
Jacob Braude

The surest way to get a job done is to give it to a busy man. He'll have his secretary do it.
Jacob Braude

After all, what is a pedestrian? He is a man who has two cars -- one being driven by his wife, the other by one of his children.
Robert Bradbury

Why does a slight tax increase cost you two hundred dollars and a substantial tax cut save you thirty cents?
Peg Bracken

Those who give up cigarette smoking aren't the heroes. The real heroes are the rest of us -- who have to listen to them.
Hal Boyle

The bumper's only use is a Braille device to help you park.
Eugene Bordinat

Do you realize that if it weren't for Edison, we'd be watching TV by candlelight?
Al Boliska

Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future.
Niels Bohr

Warren's Rule: To spot the expert, pick the one who predicts the job will take the longest and cost the most.
Arthur Bloch, Murphy's Law Book Two

Rugby is a beastly game played by gentlemen; soccer is a gentlemen's game played by beasts; football is a beast's game played by beasts.
Henry Blaha

When I was forty, my doctor advised me that a man in his forties shouldn't play tennis. I heeded his advice carefully and could hardly wait until I was fifty to start again.
Justice Hugo Black

I have finally come to the conclusion that a reliable set of bowels is worth more to any man than any quantity of brains.
Josh Billings

I never knew an auctioneer to lie unless it was absolutely necessary.
Josh Billings

Newfoundland dogs are good to save children from drowning, but you must have a pond of water handy and a child, or else there will be no profit in boarding a Newfoundland.
Josh Billings

Bore: A person who talks when you wish him to listen.
Ambrose Bierce

To apologize is to lay the foundation for a future offence.
Ambrose Bierce

Bigot: One who is obstinately and zealously attached to an opinion you don't entertain.
Ambrose Bierce

Before undergoing a surgical operation arrange your temporal affairs. You may live.
Ambrose Bierce

Barometer: An ingenious instrument which indicates what kind of weather we are having.
Ambrose Bierce

It's amazing what dogged application combined with simple fear can accomplish.
Otto Bettman

All that glistens may not be gold, but at least it contains free electrons.
J.D. Bernal

Committee -- a group of men who keep minutes and waste hours.
Milton Berle

This congestion in the post offices is due to what are technically known as "regulations" but what are really a series of acrostics and anagrams devised by some officials who got around a table one night and tried to be funny.
Robert Benchley

It must be a source of great chagrin to those in charge to think of so many people being able to stick a stamp on a letter and drop it in a mail box without any trouble or suffering at all. They are probably working on a system this very minute, trying to devise some way in which the public can be made to fill out a blank, stand in line, consult some underling who will refer him to a superior, and then be made to black up with burned cork before they can mail a letter.
Robert Benchley

Anyone can do any amount of work provided it isn't the work he is supposed to be doing at the moment.
Robert Benchley

In America there are two classes of travel -- first class and with children.
Robert Benchley

Traveling with children corresponds roughly to traveling third class in Bulgaria.
Robert Benchley

On close inspection, this device turned out to be a funereal juke box -- the result of mixing Lloyd's on London with the principle of the chewing gum dispenser.
Cecil Beaton, on airport insurance machines

Never in the history of fashion has so little material been raised so high to reveal so much that needs to be covered so badly.
Cecil Beaton, on the miniskirt

My program is to leave the fools to nature. She has diseases with which to deal with them.
Bruce Barton

Inanimate objects are classified scientifically into three major categories -- those that don't work, those that break down, and those that get lost.
Russell Baker

A $10 million windfall? At today's prices, I'd feel almost as rich as I did one day in 1936 when I found a dime on the sidewalk and blew the whole wad on 20 Mary Jane candy bars, a box of jujubes, and a double feature.
Russell Baker

The people who are always hankering loudest for some golden yesteryear usually drive new cars.
Russell Baker

We can't test these absolute limits on humans. We can't blast them with sound. However, we can do that to animals because they don't have the same political base that we do.
John Baird

Every person born in the USA is endowed with life, liberty, and a substantial share of the national debt.
Francis Bacon

We [Americans] are game-playing, fun-loving creatures; we are the otters of the universe.
Richard Bach

Although we will hate and fight the machines, we will be supplanted anyway, and rightly so, for the intelligent machines to which we will give birth may, better than we, carry on the striving toward the goal of understanding and using the Universe, climbing to heights we ourselves could never aspire to.
Isaac Asimov

When the lay public rallies around to an idea that is denounced by distinguished but elderly scientists, and supports that idea with great fervor and emotion, the distinguished but elderly scientists are then, after all, right.
Isaac Asimov

The trouble with marriage is that a fellow can't support a wife and the government on one income.
Amos 'n' Andy

If horses won't eat it, I don't want to play on it.
Dick Allen, on Astroturf

Stewardess: Mr. Ali please fasten your seat belt. Ali: Superman don't need no seat belt. Stewardess: Superman don't need no plane either.
Sports Illustrated

Every great scientific truth goes through three stages. First, people say it conflicts with the Bible. Next, they say it has been discovered before. Lastly, they say they have always believed it.
Louis Agassiz

If beer got any lighter you could raise goldfish in it.
Jerry Adler

Early to bed and early to rise, and you'll meet very few of the best people.
George Ade

A man never feels more important than when he receives a telegram containing more than ten words.
George Ade

The most popular labor saving device is still a husband with money.
Joey Adams

Science is really going away at a rapid pace. Now it's only a hundred years behind the comic strips.
Joey Adams

The American civil space program is growing to maturity. It has passed through the joys and crises of precocious childhood and now is being called upon to do grown-up things, like earn a living and establish permanent roots in space.
John Noble Wilford

Give your child a spanking once a day. If you don't know why, he does.
Sam Levenson

In case of atomic attack the government regulation regarding prayer in schools will be temporarily suspended.
Note from school principal to his faculty

I don't need any bodyguards. I'm from the South Bronx.
Al Pacino

There was an old Woman who lived in a shoe
She had so many children
Her government subsidy check came to $4,892.
Sam Levenson

Those who are not shocked when they first come across quantum mechanics cannot possibly have understood it.
Neils Bohr

What we should have fought for was representation without taxation.
Sam Levenson

My God, the suburbs! They encircled the city's boundaries like enemy territory and we thought of them as a loss of privacy, a cesspool of conformity and a life of indescribable dreariness in some split-level village where the place name appeared in the New York Times only when some bored housewife blew off her head with a shotgun.
John Cheever

In the 1970s a new audiovisual clue was developed: The proles now went about the streets with 100-decibel over-the-shoulder stereo radios and tape decks the size of storm window salesman's suitcases. (Cultivated people, on the other hand, installed the stereos and tape decks in their cars and didn't walk around that much in the first place.)
Tom Wolfe

If you can keep your head while those about you are losing theirs, perhaps you've misunderstood the situation.
Graffito From Graffiti by Robert Reisner

Note that both of these papers [the New York Post and the New York Daily News] are big sellers in a city whose residents like to go around saying they'd never live anyplace else on account of they'd miss the opera.
Dave Barry

Keep New York clean. Throw your trash in New Jersey.

I'm gonna put all my money into taxes. They're sure to go up.
Sam Levenson

We cannot put the face of a person on a stamp unless said person is deceased. My suggestion, therefore, is to drop dead.
James Day Postmaster General, to a petitioner who wanted himself portrayed on a postage stamp

Ecology is boring for the same reason that destruction is fun.
Don de Lillo

Hockey's the only place where a guy can go nowadays and watch two white guys fight.
Frank Deford

I love to watch those old movies on late-night television, particularly when a couple get up from a champagne dinner in a posh restaurant and the hero hands the waiter $3. But the best part is when he says, "Keep the change."
Robert Orben

Now scarcely a week goes by without a news story about the cops swooping down on some adolescent prowler who is as skilled at breaking into computer systems as defense contractors are at breaking into the Federal budget.
Russell Baker

There are no funny lawyers -- only funny people who made a career mistake.
D. Robert White, author of The Official Lawyers Handbook

Everytime a lawyer writes something, he is not writing for posterity, he is writing something so that endless others of his craft can make a living out of trying to figure out what he said. Course perhaps he really haden't said anything, that's what makes it so hard to explain.
Will Rogers

We're living in a state where no one can trust his telephone conversations, nor even his personal conversations in a room, in a bar or anywhere else.
Walter Cronkite

When you are too old to play golf, you had better die.
Edward VIII, Prince of Wales

If I had it [life] to do all over again, I'd have been a plumber.
Albert Einstein

Now I can have Felix just like I did when he was alive. He's just like he was in real life except he's a little flatter in the middle.
Oramae Lewis, after having her run-over cat freeze-dried

They said today that we should stock up on canned goods. So I went out and bought a case of beer.
John Gretchen III Galveston resident, on preparing for hurricane Alicia

You have reached the ----- family. What you hear is the barking of our killer Doberman pinscher, Wolf. Please leave a message after the tone.
Phone answering machine in Palo Alto, CA

Ignorant people in preppy clothes are more dangerous to America than oil embargoes.
V.S. Naipaul

They say he hit the gull on purpose. They wouldn't say that if they'd seen the throws he'd been making all year.
Billy Martin, after Yankee outfielder Dave Winfield threw a baseball which killed a seagull

America has always been greatest when we dared to be great. We can reach for greatness again. We can follow our dreams to distant stars, living and working in space for peaceful, economic, and scientific gain. Tonight, I am directing NASA to develop a permanently manned space station, and to do it within a decade.
Ronald Reagan, State of the Union Message

When Columbus took off, the purpose was to improve trade relations with China. That problem has not been solved to this very day, but just look at the by-products.
Edward Teller, in defense of the space program

If we continue at this leisurly pace, we will have to pass Russian customs when we land on the moon.
Werner von Braun, 1959

No one needed the telephone either, until they had one and discovered how much easier it made their lives.
Jerry Grey, publisher of Aerospace America, on criticism of the proposed space station

Further investigation and experimentation have confirmed the findings of Isaac Newton in the 17th century and it is now definitely established that a rocket can function in a vacuum as well as in an atmosphere. The Times regrets the error.
The New York Times, July 17, 1969 in a very belated correction to its ridicule of American rocket pioneer John Goddard in the 1920's

Ten years ago the moon was an inspiration to sweethearts; ten years from now it will be just another airport.
Rep. Carroll Kearns

All chefs that flunk cooking school go to work for airlines.
R.W. Scott

Talk about it all you want, but there is one thing Orwell never predicted: that in 1984 thousands of people would be wasting their time wondering how their world compared to an over-written, futuristic condemnation of totalitarianism.
National Lampoon

Sending grown-ups up the wall is one of the things adolescence is all about. A few years ago it was done with rock 'n' roll music. Now at least they can do it quietly with a home computer.
Russell Baker

Cleaning your home while kids are still growing up is like shoveling the walk before it stops snowing.
Phyllis Diller

Have you ever known anyone who bought a fruitcake for himself? Of course not. They are purchased as Christmas gifts, mostly for people you don't particularly like.
Phyllis Diller

There are three kinds of lies: lies, damn lies, and statistics.
Benjamin Disraeli

Genetics explain why you look like your father, and, if you don't, why you should.
Harold Dunn

I wonder why you can always read a doctor's bill and you can never read his prescription.
Finley Dunne

The fellow who says he'll meet you halfway usually thinks he's standing on the dividing line.
O.A. Battista

Ninety-two percent of the stuff told you in confidence you couldn't get anyone else to listen to.
Frankin P. Adams

[Luging] is to sledding what mountain climbing is to hiking -- someone took a perfectly pleasant pastime and went to considerable trouble to make it dangerous.
Frederick Kempe

If my theory of relativity is proven successful, Germany will claim me as German, and France will declare that I am a citizen of the world. Should my theory prove untrue, France will say that I am a German, and Germany will declare that I am a Jew.
Albert Einstein

Today it takes more brains and effort to make out the income-tax form than it does to make the income.
Alfred E. Neuman

A Tax Loophole: A deduction that the other guy gets.
Malcolm Forbes

Unquestionably, there is progress. The average American now pays out twice as much in taxes as he formerly got paid in wages.
H.L. Mencken

According to unofficial sources, a new simplified income-tax form contains only four lines: 1) What was your income for the year? 2) What were your expenses? 3) How much have you left? 4) Send it in.
The Link

There is no better way to return the matter of taxation to full public discusssion than to repeal the withholding taxes on wages and salaries. Only when the American people are confronted with the enormous excesses of government in a personal and direct way -- by an annual bill for services rendered -- will they be able to make an informed judgment about which services they want and which ones they can do without.
Karl Hess, Barry Goldwater's principal speechwriter in the 1964 presidential campaign, 1984

It may be true that George Washington never told a lie, but there were no income tax blanks in his day.
Jack Herbert

Income tax has made more liars out of the American people than golf has.
Will Rogers

Next to being shot at and missed, nothing is really quite as satisfying as an income tax refund.
F.J. Raymond

If Patrick Henry thought that taxation without representation was bad, he should see how bad it is with representation.
The Old Farmer's Almanac

With his supporters singing and cheering outside the courtroom, the Reverend Sun Moon Stars has pleaded innocent to charges of income-tax evasion. Would God cheat the IRS? We hope so.
National Review

Even if such a vehicle could get into the air, how would it ever land again?
Head of Smithsonian, c. 1900 on airplanes

The hardest thing in the world to understand is the income tax.
Albert Einstein

And the wind shall say "Here were decent godless people; their only monument the asphalt road and a thousand lost golf balls."
T.S. Eliot

Walking isn't a lost art -- one must, by some means, get to the garage.
Evan Esar

Who would have believed we'd be sitting here with a son at Vassar and a daughter at West Point?
Joseph Farris

Setting a good example for your children takes all the fun out of middle age.
William Feather

Real Men no longer drive Corvettes. Despite being able to squander gas with the best of them, even today's least enlightened Real Man finds the notion of a $17,000 plastic car with no trunk somewhat absurd.
Bruce Feirstein, Author of Real Men Don't Eat Quiche

A man finds out what is meant by a spitting image when he tries to feed cereal to his infant.
Imogene Fey

If the shoe fits you're lucky.
Malcolm Forbes

What about the poor salesman who is calling into the office from the corner saloon instead of the home sickbed he claims he is in?
Malcolm Forbes, on the Picturephone

One of the greatest labor saving devices of today is tomorrow.
Vincent Foss

Never lend books, for no one ever returns them. The only books I have in my library are books that other folks have lent me.
Anatole France

It is human nature to think wisely and act foolishly.
Anatole France

A pedestrian ought to be legally allowed to toss at least one hand grenade at a motorist every day.
Brendan Francis

If you resolve to give up smoking, drinking, and loving, you don't actually live longer; it just seems longer.
Clement Freud

If you put tomfoolery into a computer, nothing comes out but tomfoolery. But this tomfoolery, having passed through a very expensive machine, is somehow enobled and no one dares criticise it.
Pierre Gallois

A tourist is a fellow who drives thousands of miles so he can be photographed standing in front of his car.
Emile Ganest

I'm not overweight. I'm undertall.

A jogger is a strange person with a thing for pain.

Adults are obsolete children.
Theodore Geisel (Dr. Seuss)

The human race never solves any of its problems, it only outlives them.
David Gerrold

The meek shall inherit the earth but not the mineral rights.
John Paul Getty

It's going to be fun to watch and see how long the meek can keep the earth after they inherit it.
Kin Hubbard

The meek shall inherit the earth; two meters long by one meter wide.
Robert Heinlein

Let the meek inherit the earth -- they have it coming to them.
James Thurber

Of course the meek will inherit the earth. They won't have the nerve to refuse it.
John Normandy

I'm proud to be paying taxes in the United States. The only thing is -- I could be just as proud for half the money.
Arthur Godfrey

An oldtimer is someone who can remember when a naughty child was taken to the woodshed instead of to a psychiatrist.
David Greenberg

In my life I've easily lost 500 pounds but for some reason they keep finding me.
Gael Greene

Music is art. Muzak the science.
Muzak Corporation ad

If rats are experiemented upon, they will develop cancer.
W.C. Morton Jr.

The jumbo jet is the airborne equivalent of the interstate highway...One might as well be stuffed into a cartridge and shot through a pneumatic tube, like interoffice mail.
Lance Morrow

When man sends colonies into space, he will be able to mount moveable, sun-reflecting mirrors to simulate rhythms of day and night and even the terrestial seasons...But he doubtless will follow the longstanding American habit of thinking that outer space should, as much as possible, resemble Southern California.
Lance Morrow

Human ingenuity has given centuries to the goal of ensuring that the human body might move around at an even 68 degrees all year.
Lance Morrow

Science is resourceful. It couldn't pry open the Pullman windows, so it air-conditioned the train.
Montreal Star

Millions long for immortality who do not know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon.
Wilson Mizner

It's not true that life is one damn thing after another -- it's one damn thing over and over.
Edna St. Vincent Millay

I hate all sports as rabidly as a person who likes sports hates common sense.
H.L. Mencken

There is always an easy solution to every human problem -- neat, plausible, and wrong.
H.L. Mencken

The first Rotarian was the first man to call John the Baptist Jack.
H.L. Mencken

The townspeople are morons, yokels, peasants and genus homo boobiensis...surrounded by gaping primates from the upland vallies.
H.L. Mencken, after covering the Scopes trial in Dayton, TN

The war on privilege will never end. Its next campaign will be against the special privileges of the underprivileged.
H.L. Mencken

You get no points for good faith in a game of dirty poker.
Gita Mehta

Anybody who has any doubt about the ingenuity or the resourcefulness of a plumber never got a bill from one.
George Meany

Xerox: A trademark for a photocopying device that can make rapid reproductions of human error, perfectly.
Merle L. Meacham

If you love something, set it free; If it comes back to you; it's yours, If it doesn't, find it and kill it.
Joe McGee

In the space age, man will be able to go around the world in two hours -- one hour for flying and the other to get to the airport.
Neil McElroy

Did you ever hear of a kid playing accountant -- even if he wanted to be one?
Jackie Mason

I've had a wonderful evening -- but this wasn't it.
Groucho Marx, to a Hollywood hostess

He who builds a better mousetrap these days runs into material shortages, patent-infringement suits, work stoppages, collusive bidding, discount discrimination - and taxes.
H.E. Martz

Men who play [chess] at the grandmaster level are, almost without exception, strange and unpleasant.
D. Keith Mano

The amount of quaint, authentic, rustic charm varies inversely with the pounds per square inch of water pressure in the shower.
Frank Mankiewicz

Fish and guests in three days are stale.
John Lyly

Young men still desire women as much as ever, even though they don't want to marry them as much.
Clare Boothe Luce

If it jams, force it. If it breaks, it needed replacing anyway.
Lowery's Law

When I go, I'll take New Year's Eve with me.
Guy Lombardo

Many a man wishes he were strong enough to tear a telephone book in half -- especially if he has a teenage daughter.
Guy Lombardo

A youth with his first cigar makes himself sick; a youth with his first girl makes other people sick.
Mary Wilson Little

Virus: A Latin medical term meaning "Your guess is as good as mine."
Leonard Levinson

I'd rather be a football coach. That way you only lose eleven games a year.
Abe Lemons, Univ. of Texas football coach

Large, naked, raw carrots are acceptable as food only to those who live in hutches eagerly awaiting Easter.
Fran Lebowitz

I detest life insurance agents; they always argue that I shall someday die, which is not so.
Stephen Leacock

A neurotic is a man who builds a castle in the air. A psychotic is the man who lives in it. A psychiatrist is the man who collects the rent.
Jerome Lawrence

It's like the little rat in the Skinner box who says, "I've got this psychologist under my control. Every time I press the bar, he gives me a food pellet."
Jess Lair

Women spend 85 percent of the consumer dollar, children 15 percent, and men the rest.
U.V. Known

It is now proved beyond doubt that smoking is one of the leading causes of statistics.
Fletcher Knebel

Now when I bore people at a party they think it's their fault.
Henry Kissinger

You know what amazes me about UFO's? They never land at the White House. They always land at laramie, Wyoming. Thiry miles out, where they're seen by one farmer.
Larry King

Doorman -- a genius who can open the door of your car with one hand, help you in with the other, and still have one left for the tip.
Dorothy Kilgallen

I feel about airplanes the way I feel about diets. It seems to me that they are wonderful objects for other people to go on.
Jean Kerr

I don't care if my lettuce has DDT on it, just as long as it's crisp.
Jorma Kaukonen

Under the new math, 2 and 2 sometimes make 22. Obviously the new math is well suited for interpreting the new economics.
Harry Karns

...telephone operators now routinely use '80s-babble, chirping, "Have a nice day," the moral equivalent of the smile button.
Stefan Kanfer

Football is violence and cold weather and sex and college rye. Horse racing is animated roulette. Boxing is smoky halls and kidneys battered until they bleed. Tennis and golf are best played, not watched. Basketball, hockey, and track meets are action heaped upon action, climax upon climax, until the onlooker's responses become deadened. Baseball is for the leisurely afternoons of summer and for the unchanging dreams.
Roger Kahn

We've lost more men to homosexuality than we ever did in two world wars.
Erica Jong

Anybody who doesn't know what soap tastes like never washed a dog.
Franklin P. Jones

The man who called it "near beer" was a bad judge of distance.
Philander Johnson

Unless you're planning to play football the only thing worse than a suit with padded shoulders is two of them.
Malcolm S. Forbes

If you haven't struck oil after five minutes, stop boring.
George Jessel, of after-dinner speakers

It is easy to say that poverty is no crime. No, if it were men wouldn't be ashamed of it. It's a blunder, though, and is punished as such.
Jerome K. Jerome

The biggest lies of the 1980's are: "The Mercedes is paid for," It's PC compatible," and "It's only a cold sore."
Martin Dean

Vanessa Williams was asked to resign as Miss America, apparently for posing as a Democratic Convention delegate.
National Review

The Age of Chivalry is gone; that of sophisters, economists, and calculators has succeeded.
Edmund Burke

The best way to clean up a son's room is to close the door and pretend it's not part of the house.
Art Buchwald

There isn't much to be seen in a small town, but what you hear makes up for it.
Kin Hubbard

There's another advantage to being poor -- a doctor will cure you faster.
Kin Hubbard

Most parents don't worry about a daughter until she fails to show up for breakfast.
Kin Hubbard

A bad cold wouldn't be so annoying except for the advice of our friends.
Kin Hubbard

The fellow who owns his own home is always just coming out of a hardware store.
Kin Hubbard

This will never be a civilized country until we spend more money for books than we do for chewing gum.
Elbert Hubbard

Some people can stay longer in an hour than others can in a week.
William Howells

All pro athletes are bilingual. They speak English and profanity.
Gordie Howe

We are in danger of developing a cult of the Common Man, which means a cult of mediocrity.
Herbert Hoover

What a lucky thing the wheel was invented before the automobile; otherwise can you imagine the awful screeching?
Samuel Hoffenstein

A computer can get more work done faster than a human being becuase it doesn't have to waste time answering the phone.
Dorothy Hofbauer

A boy becomes an adult three years before his parents think he does, and about two years after he thinks he does.
General Lewis Hershey, former director of Selective Service

What this country needs is more people who can appreciate a good cigar.
Malcolm S. Forbes

There is a major disease in this country called wall stare. When people read a computer manual, they just want to put it down and stare at the wall for as long as possible.
Sanford Rosen

Don't get too much sleep and don't tell anybody your troubles, Appearances count: Get a sun lamp to keep you looking as though you have just come back from somewhere expensive; maintain an elegant address even if you have to live in an attic.
Aristotle Onassis

Exercise is bunk. If you are healthy, you don't need it; if you are sick, you shouldn't take it.
Henry Ford

If thou art a master, be sometimes blind, if a servant, sometimes deaf.
Thomas Fuller

A woman's quest in life should be to find the perfect apartment. And I have found the perfect apartment. The perfect apartment is the first floor of the Metropolitan Museum. With a sofa.
Fran Lebowitz

When I fly, I'm never afraid the plane is going to crash. But there have often been times when I was afraid it wouldn't crash. I was just afraid it was going to circle O'Hare for the rest of my life.
Fran Lebowitz

Don't tell me man doesn't belong out there [in space]. Man belongs wherever he wants to go -- and he'll do plenty well when he gets there.
Werner von Braun

Do not join encounter groups. If you enjoy being made to feel inadequate, call your mother.
Liz Smith

Housework, if you do it right, can kill you.
Erma Bombeck

Why take pride in cooking, when they don't take pride in eating?
Erma Bombeck

We are a nation that worships speed and power. And for good reason. Without power we would still be part of England and everybody would be out of work... Bicycles are too slow and impuissant for a nation like ours. They belong in Czechoslovakia.
P.J. O'Rourke

The people I see on bicycles look like organic-gardening zealots who advocate federal regulation of bedtime and want American foreign policy to be dictated by UNICEF. These people should be confined.
P.J. O'Rourke

Get a bicycle. You will not regret it, if you live.
Mark Twain

Isn't it time to admit to ourselves that the 55 [mph speed] limit was a dumb idea that didn't work? Isn't it wrong for our government to spend all that money attempting to defend the unjustifiable proposition that Americans cannot safely drive as fast as Britons, or Belgians, or Frenchmen, or even Italians, for heavens sake?
David E. Davis

The way the [welfare] programs are organized, poor people are only paid to do things that are counter-productive -- such as breaking up their families, such as not earning above a certain level of income.
Thomas Sowell

As the horsepower in modern automobiles steadily rises, the congestion of traffic steadily lowers the average possible speed of your car. This is known as Progress.
Sydney J. Harris

I have always considered that the substitution of the internal combustion engine for the horse marked a very gloomy milestone in the progress of mankind.
Sir Winston Churchill

The good old horse-and-buggy days: then you lived until you died and not until you were run over.
Will Rogers

The Bible contains much that is relevant today, like Noah taking forty days to find a place to park.
Laurence J. Peter

One way to solve the traffic problem is to keep all the cars that are not paid for off the streets.
Will Rogers

This is my prediction for the future: Whatever hasn't happened will happen, and no one will be safe from it.
J.B.S. Haldane

Ugly is very popular this year...I had a feeling these clothes were deigned by someone who didn't like women.
Andy Rooney, speaking of a Paris fashion show

If the first person who answers the phone cannot answer your question, it's a bureaucracy.
Lyndon's Observation

Anyone who cannot cope with mathematics is not fully human. At best he is a tolerable subhuman who has learned to wear shoes, bathe, and not make messes in the house.
Robert Heinlein

The worst thing about work in the house or home is that whatever you do it is destroyed, laid waste or eaten within 24 hours.
Lady Hasluck

The marvels of modern technology include the development of a soda can which, when discarded, will last forever -- and a $7,000 car which, when properly cared for, will rust out in two or three years.
Paul Harwitz

From the clock at the Biltmore to LSD.
Jeffrey Hart, description of the transition of the fifties into the sixties

I don't want any kids under 12 to hear about lesbians, homosexuals, and sexual intercourse. They should be concerned with tops, yo-yo's and hide-and- seek.
Billy Hargis

The primary redeeming social value of New Wave is that it replaced Disco.
I. Mee

I think there are two areas where new ideas are terribly dangerous -- economics and sex. By and large, it's all been tried, and if it's new it's probably illegal or dangerous or unhealthy.
Felix Rohatyn, chief of New York's Municipal Assistance Corp., speaking of Gary Hart's platform

As soon as man applies his intelligence to any object at all, he unfailingly destroys the object.
Leo Tolstoy

There are two kinds of people in one's life -- people one keeps waiting and the people for whom one waits.
Samuel N. Behrman

The Egyptians had the locusts and in the Middle Ages there was the Black Death with the rats, but tourists are the plague of our century and we'll not survive this one.
Irish farmer, as quoted by Richard Conniff

Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the Western Spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun. Orbiting this at a distance of roughly ninety-eight million miles is an utterly insignificant little blue-green planet whose ape-descended life forms are so amazingly primitive that they still think digital watches are a pretty neat idea.
Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

The paperless office will arrive about the same time as the paperless toilet.
Amy Wohl, office automation consultant

By 1960, most computers understood programs. So did a handful of long-haired eccentrics called programmers, who were called systems analysts if they made over $15,000 a year.
Jack B. Rochester and John Gantz, The Naked Computer

When doctors and undertakers meet, they always wink at each other.
W.C. Fields

Never go to a doctor whose office plants have died.
Erma Bombeck

I had never considered marriage, but I had an open mind, and I was to learn after a brief try at it that most open minds should be closed for repairs.
Wilson Mizner

God gives us our relatives, but thank God we can choose our friends.
Addison Mizner

There is no bad beer; some kinds are better than others.
German Proverb

Americans: people who laugh at...African witch doctors and spend 100 million dollars on fake reducing systems.
Leonard Louis Levinson

The streets are safe in Philadelphia, it's only the people who make them unsafe.
Frank Rizzo

It is inexcusable for scientists to torture animals; let them make their experiments on journalists and politicians.
Henrik Ibsen

The reason we are called domestic car dealers is that all the rich people out here buy our cars for their domestics because their kids won't drive them.
Leonard Ely, Chevy dealer in Menlo Park, CA

We should sell them to our worst enemies, the Russians and the Cubans.
Ed Koch, on taking New York's problem-plauged Grumman buses out of service<p> Howard, you have a firm grasp of the obvious.
O.J. Simpson, to Howard Cosell at a Jets-Bills game

I have yet to see any problem, however complicated, which, when you looked at it in the right way, did not become still more complicated.
Poul Anderson

I don't care what they say. If I come in from the airport and two days later have seven thousand clients, that's the greatest ambulance chase in history.
John P. Cole, lawyer, showing up in India after the Union Carbide plant disaster

When disaster strikes far away in the Third World, the French send doctors. The Swedes send food packages. We send lawyers.
National Review

Everything that can be invented has been invented.
Charles H. Duell, Commissioner of the U.S. Office of Patents, 1899

DeForest has said in many newspapers and over his signature that it would be possible to transmit the human voice over the Atlantic before many years. Based on these absurd and misleading statements, the misguided public has been persuaded to purchase stock in his company.
U.S. District Attorney, responding to fraud charges against inventor Lee DeForest, 1913

While theoretically and technically television may be feasible, commercially and financially I consider it an impossibility, a development of which we need waste little time dreaming.
Lee DeForest, pioneer of radio

My imagination refuses to see any sort of submarine doing anything but suffocate its crew and founder at sea.
H.G. Wells

Save our beaches -- Harpoon a fat chick.
bumper sticker

Register matches -- prevent forest fires.
bumper sticker

Harry Edsel Smith
Born 1903-Died 1942
Looked up the elevator shaft to see if the car was on the way down. It was.
tombstone in Albany, N.Y.

Support nuclear power -- a little nukie never hurt anyone.
bumper sticker

Carcinogens in use in this lab. Do not lay down food or lick the lab benches.

Of course I want it today. If I had wanted it tomorrow, I'd have given it to you tomorrow.

My tastes are simple, I like the best.

Rates: $8/hr.; with you watching $16/hr.; with you helping $32/hr.
sign in print shop

Farmer, age 38, wishes to meet woman around 30 who owns tractor. Please enclose picture of tractor.
Want ad in N.Y. newspaper

Filing cabinet: A place to lose things alphabetically.

Live each day as if it were your last; sooner or later you will be right.

Don't smoke in our theatre. We don't show movies in your lungs.
slide in movie theatre

If the America's Cup is lost, its place will be taken by the head of the man who loses it.
motto of the NY Yacht Club

Old golfers never die; they just lose their balls.

The trouble with telling a good story is that it always reminds the other fellow of a dull one.

Next to the dog, the wastebasket is man's best friend.
San Francisco executive

The final test of fame is to have a crazy person imagine he is you.

No. Crashing.
Amtrak passenger, when asked if she was afraid of flying

Goodness! It would be cheaper to buy a horse and just be kind to it.
Woman, on seeing the ticket price for an ASPCA benefit

I collided with a stationary truck going the other way...The guy was all over the road. I had to swerve a number of times before I hit him...The pedestrian had no idea which direction to go, so I ran over him...To avoid hitting the bumper of the car in front, I struck the pedestrian.
Excerpts from insurance claim forms, Compiled by Michael Grant, Copley News Service

The three biggest lies in the USA today: 1) The check is in the mail. 2) I gave at the office. 3) (Big, cheery smile) Hello! I'm from Washington. I'm here to help you!

The importance of information is directly proportional to its improbability.
Fundamental axiom of information theory

Parents spend the first part of a child's life getting him to walk and talk, and the rest of his childhood getting him to sit down and shut up.

There's nothing wrong with teenagers that reasoning won't aggravate.

Never kick a man when he's down. He may get up.
Old saying

First in war, first in peace, and last in the American league.
Anonymous comment on Washington

There was a young man from the Tyne,
Put his head on the Northeastern line,
But he died of ennui, for the 5:53
Came no sooner than quarter past nine.
British lament

Adolescence is a battle between you and your hormones.

There are a hundred pennies in every minute.
MIT psychiatrist

Classless society is the dream of people with no class.
Robert Zend

The only thing wrong with architecture is architects.
Frank Lloyd Wright

A doctor can bury his mistakes but an architect can only advise his client to plant vines.
Frank Lloyd Wright

One listens to one's lawyer prattle on as long as one can stand it and then signs where indicated.
Alexander Woollcott

That's like blaming the Johnstown Flood on a leaky toilet in Altoona, Pennsylvania.
Stanley Woodward, on Army football coach Red Blair's excuse for a loss

Vetinarian to cat owner: Give him one of these pills every four hours. Then use this to stop your bleeding.
George Wolfe

Stewardesses with National Airlines spend most of their time flying between New York and Miami. This gives them an interesting combination of a hacking cough and a deep leathery suntan.
Cornelius Wohl

If you think nobody cares if you're alive, try missing a couple of car payments.
Earl Wilson

Benjamin Franklin may have discovered electricity -- but it was the man who invented the meter who made the money.
Earl Wison

A good catchword can obscure analysis for fifty years.
Wendell Wilkie

The only thing one never regrets are one's mistakes.
Oscar Wilde

We don't have to worry about endangered species -- why, we can't even get rid of the cockroach.
James Watt

To err is human, to really foul things up requires a computer.
popular saying

The only people making money these days are the ones who sell computer paper.
Wain's Conclusion

Computers may well become the Cuisinarts of the '80s -- everyone has one, but it will be used only to chop onions.
John & Martha Kanes

It is a sobering thought that Gomer Pyle and the Beverly Hillbillies may be among our chief interstellar emissaries.
Kurt Vonnegut, referring to the propogation of TV broadcasts through space

There are days when any electrical appliance in the house, including the vacuum cleaner, seems to offer more entertainment possibilities than the TV set.
Harriet von Horne

We can lick gravity, but sometimes the paperwork is overwhelming.
Werner von Braun

I do not much care for nature, and believe that flowers belong in vases rather than loose and untidy on the ground.
Gore Vidal

Conservation: The market for color photos of pond scum.
David Vestal

Progress is a continuing effort to make the things we eat, drink, and wear as good as they used to be.
Bill Vaughan

Nobody is sicker than the man who is sick on his day off.
Bill Vaughan

In the first place God made idiots; that was for practice; then he made school boards.
Mark Twain

Let us be thankful for the fools. But for them the rest of us could not succeed.
Mark Twain

I don't give a damn for a man who can spell a word only one way.
Mark Twain

I have found the best way to give advice to your children is to find out what they want and then advise them to do it.
Harry S Truman

I worry about kids today -- because of the sexual revolution, they're going to grow up and never know what "dirty" means.
Lily Tomlin

The trouble with the lost generation is that it didn't get lost enough.
James Thurber

Travel is glamorous only in retrospect.
Paul Theroux

We finally got Nebraska where we want them -- off the schedule.
Cal Stoll

Ability is the art of getting credit for the home runs somebody else hits.
Casey Stengel

It has always been my private conviction that any man who pits his intelligence against a fish and loses has it coming.
John Steinbeck

Psychiatrist to patient: Maybe you don't have a complex. Maybe you are inferior.
Herb Stein

It was an ideal day for football -- too cold for the spectators and too cold for the players.
Red Smith, on the 1963 NFL championship game

Petition -- a list of people who didn't have the guts to say "no."
The Sign

Every child should have an occassional pat on the back as long as it is applied low enough and hard enough.
Bishop Fulton J. Sheen

Depend on the rabbit's foot if you will, but remember it didn't work for the rabit.
R.E. Shay

We have not lost faith, but we have transferred it to the medical profession.
George Berard Shaw

The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.
George Bernard Shaw

There's one nice thing about driving a train. No one's gonna put a gun at your head and say "Havana."
E.B. Selover

If Apple ever has trouble making it as a corporation, it might consider applying for tax-exempt status as a religion.
Philip Schrodt

Unlike Woodstock, there is very little nudity here, as chnges in fashion have made that rather unnecessary. With the advent of the string swimsuit, only a bit of imagination and a basic understanding of human anatomy separate fashionable dress from nudity.
Philip Schrodt, of the Steve Wozniak (Apple Computers) sponsored rock concert

It works better when you plug it in.
Sattingler's Law

The amount of time it takes to deliver a letter is directly proportional to the price of the stamp.
Eddie Ryan

The road to hell is paved with works-in-progress.
Philip Roth

Come September, children return to school, grownups to work, and the brain to the head.
Roger Rosenblatt

The easist way to find something lost around the house is to buy a replacement.
Jack Rosenbaum

Singles hitters drive Fords. Home-run hitters drive Cadillacs.
Pete Rose

Let's face it, though, anything that's apt to happen to an appliance like a blender isn't covered by the warranty anyway, so I never send them in. If it breaks, I'll buy a new one. That's the American way.
Andy Rooney

Everything is funny as long as it's happening to someone else.
Will Rogers

Last year we said "Things can't go on like this." And they didn't. They got worse.
Will Rogers

We have killed more people celebrating our independence day than we lost fighting for it.
Will Rogers

There are two things I don't care how smart you are, you will never understand. One is an alienist's testimony, and the other is a railroad timetable.
Will Rogers

The deer season just opened. A deer hunter in Ventura Country brought in his first man yesterday.
Will Rogers

Half our life is spent trying to find something to do with the time we have rushed through life trying to save.
Will Rogers

Sex: Something that children never discuss in the presence of their elders.
Arthur Roche

Friends: People who borrow books and set wet glasses on them.
Edwin Robinson

I base most of my fashion taste on what doesn't itch.
Gilda Radner

Look here, Steward, if this is coffee, I want tea; but if this is tea, then I wish for coffee.

It is in the interests of society to put the Pill into slot machines and to place cigarettes on prescription.
Dr. Malcolm Potts

The worst thing about history is that every time it repeats itself the price goes up.

Competence, like truth, beauty, and contact lenses, is in the eye of the beholder.
Laurence J. Peter

For the fifth year in succession I have poured over the catalogue of dogs in the show at Madison Square Garden without finding a dog named Rover, Towser, Sport, Spot, or Fido. Who is the man who can call from his back door at night: "Here, Champion Alexander of Clane o' Wind-Holme! Here, Champion Alexander of Clane o' Wind-Holme"?
Westbrook Pegler

All our troubles come from not being able to be alone.
Blaise Pascal

Razors pain you;
Rivers are damp;
Acids stain you;
And drugs cause cramp.
Guns aren't lawful;
Nooses give;
Gas smells awful;
You might as well live.
Dorothy Parker

The best way to keep children at home is to make the home atmosphere pleasant -- and let the air out of the tires.
Dorothy Parker

A hospital should have a recovery room adjoining the cashier's office.
Francis O'Walsh

The desire to take medicine is perhaps the greatest feature which distinguishes man from the animals.
William Osler

They say kids today don't know the value of a dollar. They certainly do know the value of a dollar. That's why they ask for five.
Robert Orben

Our country has plenty of good five-cent cigars, but the trouble is they charge fifteen cents for them.
Will Rogers

Lincoln was known to have walked miles to borrow books, to get the most rudimentary form of education. So what do we do on his birthday? We close the schools!
Robert Orben

Too many damned people flying these days. Egalitarianism should never have been allowed to get off the ground.
William Bede O'Malley, character in The High Road to China

The thought of suicide is a great consolation; By means of it one gets successfully through many a bad night.
Friedrich Nietzsche

Beggars should be abolished. It annoys one to give to them, and it annoys one not to give to them.
Friedrich Nietzsche

Happiness is getting a bill you've already paid, so you can sit down and write a nasty note.
Peter New

National Review has learned that the Food and Drug Administration is sitting on a secret scientific study establishing that being forced to live in a box in a laboratory causes cancer in rats.
National Review

Won't you help change a world where Reader's Digest has 16,000,000 subscribers?
National Lampoon

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