MAY IS OLDER AMERICANS MONTH (and don’t you forget it!)

May is OLDER AMERICANS MONTH. I’m pretty sure I qualify as an older American because, as George Washington told me, “The time is now near at hand which must probably determine whether Americans are to be free men or slaves”….or maybe I’m thinkin’ of Lincoln (incidental details, like who said what, can get a bit hazy at my age). No matter — either way, it proves I’ve been around long enough to establish my bona feces.

As long as I’m quoting bigwigs I have known or could have known (as the case may be), no doubt you will be interested in other memorable quotes that I remember, most of which admittedly weren’t said to me directly, but which I either overheard, or were whiskered to me in confidence by the quotees under their goatees (or beards, as the face may be):

Old age is no place for sissies. –Bette Davis (whose facial hair at the time was confined to a mustache, as I recall)

Life is a moderately good play with a badly written third act. –Truman Capote

Inside every older person is a younger person wondering what happened. –Jennifer Yane

If I’d known I was going to live this long, I’d have taken better care of myself. — variously attributed to  Eubie Blake, Adolph Zukor and Mae West, among others

There is no cure for the common birthday. —John Glenn

You’re only as old as the girl that you feel. –Groucho Marx

Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional. –Chili Davis

Time may be a great healer, but it’s a lousy beautician. –Anonymous

Life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer you get to the end, the faster it goes. –Anonymous

So there you have the story of my anonymous existence: just when I’m on a roll, I run flush out of time. C’est la vie. Take it on out, Pops (Louis) and Schnoz (Jimmy):

 

 

 

 

 

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WIT HUNT

Eight years ago, I said it was time to change the tone of politics; in hindsight, I should have been more specific. — Barack Obama (2016 White House Correspondents’ Dinner)

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I am going to miss President Obama when he’s ‘gone’….if for no other virtue than his laid-back wit — a quality sadly lacking in the two major candidates to succeed him, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump  (not to mention his wit-less former GOP rivals):

One View: 2016 candidates lack wit of predecessors

At least Hillary managed a treasonable (to Trump apologists) facsimile of wit in a June 21 speech: “Trump has written a lot of books about business – they all seem to end at chapter 11” (a reference to his four corporate bankruptcies). Granted, that line was probably conceived by a speech writer, but she delivered it as if it were her baby, and to hold it against her is extraneous to witticisms delivered by past actual or would-be Presidents. Wit the help of assiduous research, here are a dozen of yore favorites (and I quote):

I do declare, if this be true, General Pinckney has kept them all for himself and cheated me out of my two. –John Adams (in response to rumors that he had dispatched the General to England to bring back four mistresses: two for Pinckney and two for Adams)

If I had two faces, would I be wearing this one? –Abraham Lincoln (when accused by Stephen Douglas of being two-faced)

Accuracy to a newspaper is what virtue is to a lady; but a newspaper can always print a retraction. –Adlai Stevenson

Politics is supposed to be the second-oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first. –Ronald Reagan

Being President is like running a cemetery: you’ve got a lot of people under you and nobody’s listening. –Bill Clinton

If the Republicans will stop telling lies about the Democrats, we will stop telling the truth about them. –Adlai Stevenson

Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt. –Abraham Lincoln (Are you listening, Donald Trump?)

I hope you’re all Republicans. —Ronald Reagan (to surgeons upon entering the operating room following 1981 assassination attempt)

I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent, of human knowledge, that has ever been gathered together at the White House, with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone. –John F. Kennedy (at a White House dinner honoring Nobel Prize winners)

I have left orders to be awakened at any time in case of national emergency — even if I’m in a cabinet meeting. –Ronald Reagan

A hypocrite is the kind of politician who would cut down a redwood tree, then mount the stump and make a speech for conservation. –Adlai Stevenson

When they call the role in the Senate, the Senators don’t know whether to answer “present” or “not guilty.” –Teddy Roosevelt

And with that exhaustive compendium, I’m at wit’s end.

 

REIGNING CATS & DOGS TODAY

According to a recent article in the Cincinnati Enquirer, “Frank, a cat, lay sick as a dog” and “in critical need of care”at a local boarding kennel a few years ago, while the cat’s owners were out of the country. They could not be reached, so the kennel’s owner rushed Frank to a 24-hour facility “which is like the Mayo Clinic for animals” instead of his regular veterinarian.

The “Mayo Clinic” saved Frank (so-named after Ol’ Blue Eyes, Frank Sinatra), but when his owners returned home and went to pick him up, the bill was $2,600+ more than their regular vet would’ve charged. Long story short, owners hired attorney, sued kennel owner. Case finally comes to a hearing January 2015. Verdict: kennel had acted reasonably. Frank’s owners not only lost the case, they lost Frank, who had died in the meantime. They now have a dog.

What am I make to of all this? Another post about old sayings and proverbs, of course….but limited to cats and dogs — though human readers are welcome to tag along too. This being a pet-friendly site, there will be some doggone purrfect quotes but no trick sayings thrown in (as was the case in my Jan. 23 post GEORGE (STILL) ON MY MIND). Today, cats and dogs reign!

The dog may be wonderful prose, but only the cat is poetry. –French proverb

Cats are smarter than dogs. You can’t get eight cats to pull a sled through snow. —Jeff Valdez

Cats were put into the world to disprove the dogma that all things were created to serve man. –Paul Gray

No mater how much the cats fight, there always seem to be plenty of kittens. —Abraham Lincoln (who apparently didn’t feel free to say the same of humans)

The cat loves fish, but is loath to wet her feet. –English proverb

The man who carries a cat by the tail learns something that can be learned in no other way. —Mark Twain

You own a dog but you feed a cat. –Jenny de Vries

A cat is the only domestic animal I know who toilet trains itself and does a damned impressive job of it. –Joseph Epstein

In order to keep a true perspective of one’s importance, everyone should have a dog that will worship him and a cat that will ignore him. –Dereke Bruce

The cat is domestic only as far as suits its ends. –Saki

Speaking of ends….

 

 

 

 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME

Today is mistermuse’s birthday. Did I hear you say, “What of it?” Fine. It happens that I’ve been drawing a _____ lately trying to think of something to write about, so my birthday has come around at a most propitious time — the day of my birth — and now the world need not bear to go another day without the sound of musing. Thanks, mom….you too, dad.

I thought it might be interesting (to me, at any rate) to check this date in history to see what other noteworthy misters and misfits were born on October 18. Or….I could tell some birthday jokes. Or….if the lesser of two evils isn’t your idea of an optimum choice, I could do both. Actually, let’s do that. First, the October 18th birthdays:

1889 – Fanny Hurst, novelist. Notwithstanding early fame, her novels and autobiography (titled Anatomy of Me) didn’t sit well with most critics.
1918 – Bobby Troup, songwriter. You may not know his name, but his song lives on:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kLUYf6cekMA
1919 – Anita O’Day, vocalist. One of the top jazz stylists of her time.
1939 – Lee Harvey Oswald, JFK assassin. A name that lives in infamy.
1947 – Paul Chuckle, British comedian. As apt stage names go, no doubt a better choice than Paul Chortle, Paul Guffaw, or Paul Bearer.
1961 – Wynton Marsalis, jazz trumpeter. 1983 Grammy Award winner.

Last but least, the birthday jokes:

What do Santa’s reindeer sing to him on his birthday? Freeze a jolly good fellow!
Why couldn’t Stone Age man send birthday cards? The stamps wouldn’t stick to the rocks.
What do George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and mistermuse all have in common? They were all (but for one oversight) born on holidays.
A man’s only as old as the woman he feels. –Groucho Marx
When I asked my wife what she wanted for her birthday, she said “Nothing would make me happier than diamond earrings.” So I gave her nothing.
In life one has to go to the funerals of people we like and the birthdays of people we don’t. Thanks for coming anyway.

 

 

 

IT’S NATIONAL HONESTY DAY — HONEST!

April 30 is National Honesty Day, and in all honesty, few are better qualified to wax veracious on this subject than I, or my name isn’t mistermuse. I have even composed a little poem (which I dedicate to my fellow man) to celebrate the occasion:

Always be honest with yourself
To make the most of life —
It will save you untold trouble
Unless you tell your wife.

Of course, no homage to honesty would be complete without a contribution from the most honest man (recusing myself from consideration) who ever lived, “Honest Abe,” whose real name was Abraham Lincoln. Fortunately, “Honest Abe” acquired that reputation well before becoming a politician, so we can be reasonably confident that he was indeed honest, and so accustomed to truth-telling that not even politics could break him of the habit. He therefore gets the honor of leading off this compilation of quotations on honesty:

If I were two-faced, would I be wearing this one?  –Abraham Lincoln

Honesty is the best policy.  —Benjamin Franklin

I have not observed men’s honesty to increase with their riches.  –Thomas Jefferson

Honesty is the best policy – for poor people.  —Evan Esar

It is better to be quotable than to be honest.  –Tom Stoppard (who managed to be both for the price of one?)

Honesty is the best policy – when there is money in it.  —Mark Twain

Pretty much all the honest truth-telling in the world is done by children.  –Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.

Today I bent the truth to be kind, and I have no regret, for I am far surer of what is kind than I am of what is true.  –Robert Brault

Nothing is so difficult as not deceiving oneself.  –Ludwig Wittgenstein

We are all travelers in the wilderness of this world, and the best we can find is an honest friend.  –Robert Louis Stevenson