Dear Reader:

I can’t resist. Deena picks on me so often for repeating my favorite curse—“May you live in interesting times”—but it seems, now, that we’re in the midst of “interesting times” on steroids. I hope all of you and yours are staying safe. We’re hunkered down in Texas asking everyone “What’s a weekend?” And, having never cooked a meal in my 70+ years, I’ve started to become the family chef. It’s been a rocky road for someone who didn’t understand the difference between simmer, low boil and boil, but I’m getting there.

Given that, if you’re like most of us and have a bit of time on your hands, you might enjoy the shorter versions of my musings that I’ve decided to send a bit earlier and more frequently than usual. I’ve also ratched up some of the fun stuff to go with the serious; hope you like it. So, without further ado …

THE “ART OF THE INSULT”

From my friend Freddie …

For when someone is driving you crazy because of Covid:

  • A Member of Parliament to Disraeli: “Sir, you will either die on the gallows or of some unspeakable disease.”
  • “That depends, Sir,” said Disraeli, “on whether I embrace your policies or your mistress.”
  • “He had delusions of adequacy.”—Walter Kerr
  • “I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure.”—Clarence Darrow
  • “He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary.”—William Faulkner (about Ernest Hemingway)
  • “Thank you for sending me a copy of your book; I’ll waste no time reading it.”—Moses Hadas
  • “I didn’t attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it.”—Mark Twain
  • “I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my new play; bring a friend, if you have one.”—George Bernard Shaw to Winston Churchill; “Cannot possibly attend first night, will attend second... if there is one.”—Winston Churchill, in response
  • “He is a self-made man and worships his creator.”—John Bright
  • “I’ve just learned about his illness. Let’s hope it’s nothing trivial.”—Irvin S. Cobb
  • “In order to avoid being called a flirt, she always yielded easily.”—Charles, Count Talleyrand
  • “Why do you sit there looking like an envelope without any address on it?”—Mark Twain
  • “Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go.”—Oscar Wilde
  • “He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts ... for support rather than illumination.”—Andrew Lang
  • “I’ve had a perfectly wonderful evening. But I’m afraid this wasn’t it.”—Groucho Marx
  • There are more chickens than people in the world.
  • There are only four words in the English language that end in “dous”: tremendous, horrendous, stupendous, and hazardous.
  • There are two words in the English language that have all five vowels in order: “abstemious” and “facetious.”
  • Winston Churchill was born in a ladies’ room during a dance.