“Dr. Livingstone, I presume?”

The above title is one of the most famous, fascinating quotes in history. It was, of course, uttered by Sir Henry Stanley upon finding Dr. David Livingstone near Africa’s Lake Tanganyika in November, 1871, after an arduous 8 month search. If you’re not familiar with the details, here’s a refresher:


I bring this up because today is Livingstone’s birthday (March 19, 1813), and one can hardly imagine a more droll, understated salutation than Stanley’s under the circumstances at the time. Stanley had been sent by the New York Herald to find Livingstone, the explorer who for several years had been out of contact with the outside world and was feared lost. To say it was an adventure which captured the world’s imagination would itself be an understatement. Almost 70 years later, in 1939 (a year of epic movies, such as GUNGA DIN and GONE WITH THE WIND), the story was still powerful enough to inspire an on-location biopic titled STANLEY AND LIVINGSTONE, starring Spencer Tracy.

As a lover of dry wit, it made me wonder what other droll quotes and witticisms are out there waiting to be discovered….so I set out in search thereof. You may presume I found the following to be the most telling (even though I don’t know who told some of them):

I have not yet begun to procrastinate.

You can observe a lot by just watching. -Yogi Berra

I’m sorry, but I never apologize.

Always go to other people’s funerals, otherwise they won’t come to yours. -Yogi Berra

A photon checks into a hotel and is asked if he needs help with his luggage. He says, “No, I’m traveling light.”

The best cure for insomnia is to get a lot of sleep. -W. C. Fields

Being able to predict the future is nothing like I thought it would be.

You’d be surprised how much it costs to look this cheap. -Dolly Parton

I used to think I was indecisive, but I’m not so sure now.

Nonetheless, I think this is THE END.



8 comments on ““Dr. Livingstone, I presume?”

  1. arekhill1 says:

    In addition to “The End,” how about a link to a video of a fat lady singing, to further honor Yogi?


  2. ladysighs says:

    I can’t think of any but I am reminded of some warnings on appliances etc. Something like: Do not use this chainsaw while sleeping or in the bathtub or performing some other activity.


  3. mistermuse says:

    I’ve come across a number of numbskull warnings like that from time to time, ladysighs. That’s another possibility for a future post.


  4. mistermuse says:

    Not just for the moment, I hope! šŸ™‚


  5. Joseph Nebus says:

    I had always wondered about the search for Dr Livingstone, and how Stanley went about it. My best guess was he just poked into Africa and started asking, “Hi, see any other white guys around?” And then I found out from someone who read Stanley’s memoirs that this is, in fact, more or less what he did.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. mistermuse says:

    Kinda makes one wonder if Stanley would’ve found him faster if he had asked, “Hi, see any Living stones around?” Probably not. More than likely, the natives would’ve led him to a gathering of turtles.


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