LIKE WISE

Noble goal like chasing rainbow — beautiful while it lasts.

If the above quote sounds familiar, you have the memory of an elephant. It — the quote, not you or the elephant — appeared in my previous post as a Charlie Chanism which I made up after a trip to the latest local library book sale where my returns are becoming re-nowned and their books are becoming re-owned….and one of my new buys was titled CHARLIE CHAN — The Untold Story of the Honorable Detective and His Rendezvous with American History, by Yunte Huang.

If you’re an old movie buff like me, you’ve probably seen a number of 1930s-40s Charlie Chan films (based on the 1920-3os novels by Earl Derr Biggers) in which Charlie chanted such gems of wisdom as these:

Hasty deduction, like ancient egg, look good from outside.
Mind, like parachute, only function when open.
Trouble, like first love, teach many lessons.
Facts like photographic film — must be exposed before developing.
Advice after mistake like medicine after funeral.

You will find these, and many more, Chanisms in Appendix I of the book. But that’s just a bonus — the real story of this book is “The Untold Story of the Honorable Detective”…. a story I can’t tell you because either I would have to kill you (leaving no clues), or it would spoil the story and leave you without a motive to buy the book. But I will tell you that the fictional Honolulu detective Charlie Chan was based on real-life Honolulu detective Chang Apana, who was a character in his own right and whose career included jobs ranging from gardener to gumshoe. So get the book, plant yourself in your favorite chair, and enjoy the read.

Speaking of flowery characters, Earl Derr Biggers was no shrinking violet. Before turning novelist, Biggers (a Harvard grad)) was an outspoken newspaper columnist and drama critic. In one of his columns, he wrote of “a citizen of Mingo, Okla., [who] whipped out his trusty six-shooter the other day and shot the mustache off another citizen. We sincerely hope that the gentleman who lost the mustache appreciated the fact that he had a mighty close shave.” Shades of such baldfaced punsters as Dorothy Parker, Oscar Wilde and mistermuse! (The latter includes himself in such company on the grounds that the dead can’t object.)

But enough about me. Here’s Charlie!

 

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14 comments on “LIKE WISE

  1. linnetmoss says:

    Hahaha! Is that Tim Conway?
    What cracks me up about the Biggers story is the name “Mingo, Okla.”

    Liked by 2 people

  2. mistermuse says:

    Yes, that is Tim Conway, and that clip is like a scrambled egg — it breaks me up. 😦

    “Mingo” reminds me on “Mongo” in BLAZING SADDLES — which also breaks me up. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ricardo says:

    One of the Facebooks groups I belong to has the parachute quote on its home page, Sr. Muse, only they attribute it to Frank Zappa. Since Chan preceded Zappa in the popular canon, it’s probably a misattribution. However, let’s face it–the fictional Chan never thought of it, either. It sprang from the brain of a now-forgotten writer. Such is the eventual fate of all we scribblers.

    Liked by 2 people

    • mistermuse says:

      Maybe I should have that “Noble goal like chasing rainbow” quote etched on my gravestone, Ricardo, so at least one of my scribblings survives long after I’m gone.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Don Frankel says:

    I went looking for a Charlie Chan saying for this case. “Blond hair can be obtained from a bottle – or wig maker.”

    I also semi-remembered something about Number 1 son. Looked that up too. He was played ,many times by Keye Luke who went onto to be in a ton of movies. He might best be remembered by TV fans as the old master in Kung Fu the TV show..

    Liked by 2 people

  5. mistermuse says:

    Don, here’s a bit of trivia for you. As you know, the best Marx Brothers movie is generally considered to be A NIGHT AT THE OPERA (1935). The best Charlie Chan movie (according to film critic Leonard Maltin) appeared a year later: CHARLIE CHAN AT THE OPERA (1936).
    Coincidence?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. restlessjo says:

    I love the wisdoms in Chan, so concisely put. 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. BroadBlogs says:

    I’ve never seen a Charlie Chan movie, I hate to admit! I’ll have to check it out sometime.

    Funny Carol Burnett sketch!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. eliza rudolf says:

    Nice post❤💖❤💖

    Liked by 2 people

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