JACK HANDEY QUOTES
#1: It takes a big man to cry, but it takes a bigger man to laugh at that man.
#2: If you ever fall off the Sears Tower, just go real limp, because maybe you'll look like a dummy and people will try to catch you because, hey, free dummy.
#3: If a kid asks where rain comes from, I think a cute thing to tell him is "God is crying." And if he asks why God is crying, another cute thing to tell him is "Probably because of something you did."
#4: To me, boxing is like a ballet, except there's no music, no choreography, and the dancers hit each other.
#5: If trees could scream, would we be so cavalier about cutting them down? We might, if they screamed all the time, for no good reason.
#6: Better not take a dog on the Space Shuttle, because if he sticks his head out when you're coming home his face might burn up.
#7: To me, clowns aren't funny. In fact, they're kinda scary. I've wondered where this started, and I think it goes back to the time I went to the circus and a clown killed my dad.
#8: I'd like to see a nude opera, because when they hit those high notes I bet you can really see it in those genitals.
#9: Contrary to popular belief, the most dangerous animal is not the lion or tiger or even the elephant. The most dangerous animal is a shark riding on an elephant, just trampling and eating everything they see.
#10: As we were driving, we saw a sign that said "Watch For Rocks." Marta said it should read "Watch For Pretty Rocks." I told her she should write in her suggestion to the highway department, but she started saying it was a joke - just to get out of writing a simple letter! And I thought I was lazy!
#11: As I bit into the nectarine, it had a crisp juiciness about it that was very pleasurable - until I realized it wasn't a nectarine at all, but a HUMAN HEAD!!
#12: Once, when I was in Hawaii, on the island of Kauai, I met a mysterious old stranger. He said he was about to die and wanted to tell someone about the treasure. I said, "Okay, as long as it's not a long story. Some of us have a plane to catch, you know." He started telling his story, about the treasure and his life and all, and I thought: "This story isn't too long." But then, he kept going, and I started thinking, "Uh-oh, this story is getting long." But then, the story was over, and I said to myself: "You know, that story wasn't too long after all." I forget what the story was about, but there was a good movie on the plane. It was a little long, though.
#13: If you ever teach a yodeling class, probably the hardest thing is to keep the students from just trying to yodel right off. You see, we build to that.
#14: Is there anything more beautiful than a beautiful, beautiful flamingo, flying across in front of a beautiful sunset? And he's carrying a beautiful rose in his beak, and also he's carrying a very beautiful painting with his feet? And also, you're drunk.
#15: I guess of all my uncles, I liked Uncle Cave Man the best. We called him Uncle Cave Man because he lived in a cave and because sometimes he'd eat one of us. Later on we found out he was a bear.
#16: Anytime I see something screech across a room and latch onto someone's neck, and the guy screams and tries to get it off, I have to laugh, because what is that thing?!
#17: In weightlifting, I don't think sudden, uncontrolled urination should automatically disqualify you.
#18: If you ever teach a yodeling class, probably the hardest thing is to keep the students from just trying to yodel right off. You see, we build to that.
#19: Is there anything more beautiful than a beautiful, beautiful flamingo, flying across in front of a beautiful sunset? And he's carrying a beautiful rose in his beak, and also he's carrying a very beautiful painting with his feet? And also, you're drunk.
#20: I guess of all my uncles, I liked Uncle Cave Man the best. We called him Uncle Cave Man because he lived in a cave and because sometimes he'd eat one of us. Later on we found out he was a bear.
#21: Anytime I see something screech across a room and latch onto someone's neck, and the guy screams and tries to get it off, I have to laugh, because what is that thing?!
#22: In weightlifting, I don't think sudden, uncontrolled urination should automatically disqualify you.
#23: If you're a horse, and someone gets on you, and falls off, and then gets right back on you, I think you should buck him off right away.
#24: If you define cowardice as running away at the first sign of danger, screaming and tripping and begging for mercy, then yes, Mister Brave Man, I guess I am a coward.
#25: The memories of my family outings are still a source of strength to me. I remember we'd all pile into the car - I forget what kind it was - and drive and drive. I'm not sure where we'd go, but I think there were some trees there. The smell of something was strong in the air as we played whatever sport we played. I remember a bigger, older guy we called "Dad." We'd eat some stuff, or not, and then I think we went home. I guess some things never leave you.
#26: Blow ye winds, like the trumpet blows; but without that noise.
#27: I wish a robot would get elected President. That way, when he came to town, we could all take a shot at him and not feel too bad.
#28: He was a cowboy, mister, and he loved the land. He loved it so much he made a woman out of dirt and married her. But when he kissed her, she disintegrated. Later, at the funeral, when the preacher said "Dust to dust," some people laughed, and the cowboy shot them. At his hanging, he told the others, "I'll be waiting for you in heaven - with a gun."
#29: When the age of the Vikings came to a close, they must have sensed it. Probably, they gathered together one evening, slapped each other on the back and said, "Hey, good job."
#30: If you go parachuting, and your parachute doesn't open, and your friends are all watching you fall, I think a funny gag would be to pretend you were swimming.
#31: Sometimes when I feel like killing someone, I do a little trick to calm myself down. I'll go over to the person's house and ring the doorbell. When the person comes to the door, I'm gone, but you know what I've left on the porch? A jack-o'-lantern with a knife in the side of its head with a note that says "You." After that, I usually feel a lot better, and no harm done.
#32: I can still recall old Mister Barnslow getting out every morning and nailing a fresh load of tadpoles to that old board of his. Then he'd spin it round and round, like a wheel of fortune, and no matter where it stopped he'd yell out, "Tadpoles! Tadpoles is a winner!" We all thought he was crazy. But then, we had some growing up to do.
#33: The face of a child can say it all, especially the mouth part of the face.
#34: If I ever opened a trampoline store, I don't think I'd call it Trampo-Land, because you might think it was a store for tramps, which is not the impression we re trying to convey with our store. On the other hand, we would not prohibit tramps from browsing, or testing the trampolines, unless a tramp's gyrations seemed to be getting out of control.
#35: I wish I had a kryptonite cross, because then you could keep both Dracula and Superman away.
#36: Too bad you can't just grab a tree by the very tiptop and bend it clear over the ground and then let her fly, because I bet you'd be amazed at all the stuff that comes flying out.
#37: I remember that fateful day when Coach took me aside. I knew what was coming. "You don't have to tell me," I said. "I'm off the team, aren't I?" "Well," said Coach, "you never were really on the team. You made that uniform you're wearing out of rags and towels, and your helmet is a toy space helmet. You show up at practice and then either steal the ball and make us chase you to get it back, or you try to tackle people at inappropriate times." It was all true what he was saying. And yet, I thought, something is brewing inside the head of this Coach. He sees something in me, some kind of raw talent that he can mold. But that's when I felt the handcuffs go on.
#38: If you saw two guys named Hambone and Flippy, which one would you think liked dolphins the most? I'd say Flippy, wouldn't you? You'd be wrong though. It's Hambone.
#39: When I heard that trees grow a new "ring" for each year they live, I thought, we humans are kind of like that: we grow a new layer of skin each year, and after many years we are thick and unwieldy from all our skin layers.
#40: Laurie got offended that I used the word "puke." But to me, that's what her dinner tasted like.
#41: If you're in a boxing match, try not to let the other guy's glove tough your lips, because you don't know where that glove has been.
#42: It's too bad that whole families have to be torn apart by something as simple as wild dogs.
#43: Marta says the interesting thing about fly fishing is that it's two lives connected by a thin strand. Come on, Marta. Grow up.
#44: The old pool shooter had won many a game in his life. But now it was time to hang up the cue. When he did, all the other cues came crashing to the floor. "Sorry," he said with a smile.
#45: If I ever do a book on the Amazon, I hope I am able to bring a certain lightheartedness to the subject, in a way that tell the reader we are going to have fun with this thing.
#46: Even though he was an enemy of mine, I had to admit that what he had accomplished was a brilliant piece of strategy. First, he punched me, then he kicked me, then he punched me again.
#47: If you're at a Thanksgiving dinner, but you don't like the stuffing or the cranberry sauce or anything else, just pretend like you're eating it, but instead, put it all in your lap and form it into a big mushy ball. Then, later, when you're out back having cigars with the boys, let out a big fake cough and throw the ball to the ground. Then say, "Boy, these are good cigars!"
#48: Most people don't realize that large pieces of coral, which have been painted brown and attached to the skull by common wood screws, can make a child look like a deer.
#49: The sound of fresh rain run-off splashing from the roof reminded me of the sound of urine splashing into a filthy Texaco latrine.
#50: I think somebody should come up with a way to breed a very large shrimp. That way, you could ride him, then, after you camped at night, you could eat him. How about it, science?
#51: When you go for a job interview, I think a good thing to ask is if they ever press charges.
#52: I bet the main reason the police keep people away from a plane crash is they don't want anybody walking in and lying down in the crash stuff, then when somebody comes up act like they just woke up and go, "What was that?!"
#53: I scrambled to the top of the precipice where Nick was waiting. "That was fun," I said. "You bet it was," said Nick. "Let's climb higher." "No," I said. "I think we should be heading back now." "We have time," Nick insisted. I said we didn't, and Nick said we did. We argued back and forth like that for about 20 minutes, then finally decided to head back. I didn't say it was an interesting story.
#54: If you're a young Mafia gangster out on your first date, I bet it's really embarrassing if someone tries to kill you.
#55: Some folks say it was a miracle. Saint Francis suddenly appeared and knocked the next pitch clean over the fence. But I think it was just a lucky swing.
#56: Too bad there's not such a thing as a golden skunk, because you'd probably be proud to be sprayed by one.
#57: I bet one legend that keeps recurring throughout history, in every culture, is the story of Popeye.
#58: To me, truth is not some vague, foggy notion. Truth is real. And, at the same time, unreal. Fiction and fact and everything in between, plus some things I can't remember, all rolled into one big "thing." This is truth, to me.
#59: Whenever I see an old lady slip and fall on a wet sidewalk, my first instinct is to laugh. But then I think, what if I was an ant, and she fell on me. Then it wouldn't seem quite so funny.
#60: You know what would make a good story? Something about a clown who makes people happy, but inside he's real sad. Also, he has severe diarrhea.
#61: I bet a fun thing would be to go way back in time to where there was going to be an eclipse and tell the cave men, "If I have come to destroy you, may the sun be blotted out from the sky." Just then the eclipse would start, and they'd probably try to kill you or something, but then you could explain about the rotation of the moon and all, and everyone would get a good laugh.
#62: We used to laugh at Grandpa when he'd head off to go fishing. But we wouldn't be laughing that evening, when he'd come back with some skank he picked up in town.
#63: I think in one of my previous lives I was a mighty king, because I like people to do what I say.
#64: Today I accidentally stepped on a snail on the sidewalk in front of our house. And I thought, I too am like that snail. I build a defensive wall around myself, a "shell" if you will. But my shell isn't made out of a hard, protective substance. Mine is made out of tinfoil and paper bags.
#65: A man doesn't automatically get my respect. He has to get down in the dirt and get for it.
#66: One thing kids like is to be tricked. For instance, I was going to take my little nephew to Disneyland, but instead I drove him to an old burned-out warehouse. "Oh, no," I said, "Disneyland burned down." He cried and cried, but I think that deep down, he thought it was a pretty good joke. I started to drive over to the real Disneyland, but it was getting pretty late.
#67: As the evening sun faded from a salmon color to a sort of flint gray, I thought back to the salmon I caught that morning, and how gray he was, and how I named him Flint.
#68: If you're ever stuck in some thick undergrowth, in your underwear, don't stop and start thinking of what other words have "under" in them, because that's probably the first sign of jungle madness.
#69: Sometimes the beauty of the world is so overwhelming, I just want to throw back my head and gargle. Just gargle and gargle, and I don't care who hears me, because I am beautiful.
#70: Fear can sometimes be a useful emotion. For instance, let's say you're an astronaut on the moon and you fear that your partner has been turned into Dracula. The next time he goes out for the moon pieces, wham!, you just slam the door behind him and blast off. He might call you on the radio and say he's not Dracula, but you just say, "Think again, bat man."
#71: I wish scientists would come up with a way to make dogs a lot bigger, but with a smaller head. That way, they'd still be good as watchdogs, but they wouldn't eat so much.
#72: I bet for an Indian, shooting an old fat pioneer woman in the back with an arrow, and she fires her shotgun into the ground as she falls over, is like the top thing you can do.
#73: I think a good movie would be about a guy who's a brain scientist, but he gets hit on the head and it damages the part of the brain that makes you want to study the brain.
#74: I wouldn't be surprised if someday some fishermen caught a big shark and cut it open, and there inside was a whole person. Then they cut the person open, and in him is a little baby shark. And in the baby shark there isn't a person, because it would be too small. But there's a little doll or something, like a Johnny Combat little toy guy - something like that.
#75: It makes me mad when I go to all the trouble of having Marta cook up about a hundred drumsticks, then the guy at Marineland says, "You can't throw chicken to the dolphins. They eat fish." Sure they eat fish, if that's all you give them. Man, wise up.
#76: If the Vikings were around today, they would probably be amazed at how much glow-in-the-dark stuff we have, and how we take so much of it for granted.
#77: We tend to scoff at the beliefs of the ancients. But we can't scoff at them personally, to their faces, and this is what annoys me.
#78: It's not good to let any kid near a container that has a skull and crossbones on it, because there might be a skeleton costume inside and the kid could put it on and really scare you.
#79: If you had a school for professional fireworks people, I don't think you could cover fuses in just one class. It's just too rich a subject.
#80: People think it would be fun to be a bird because you could fly. But they forget the negative side, which is the preening.
#81: If I lived back in the Wild West days, instead of carrying a six-gun in my holster, I'd carry a soldering iron. That way, if some smart-aleck cowboy said something like "Hey, look. He's carrying a soldering iron!" and started laughing, and everybody else started laughing, I could just say, "That's right, it's a soldering iron. The soldering iron of justice." Then everybody would get real quiet and ashamed, because they made fun of the soldering iron of justice, and I could probably hit them up for a free drink.
#82: When I think back on all the blessings I have been given in my life, I can't think of a single one, unless you could that rattlesnake that granted me all those wishes.
#83: I hope in the future Americans are thought of as a warlike, vicious people, because I bet a lot of high schools would pick "Americans" as their mascot.
#84: Sometimes I think the world has gone completely mad. And then I think, "Aw, who cares?" And then I think, "Hey, what's for supper?"
#85: If you ever discover that what you're seeing is a play within a play, just slow down, take a deep breath, and hold on for the ride of your life.
#86: I can see why it would be prohibited to throw most things off the top of the Empire State Building, but what's wrong with little bits of cheese? They probably break down into their various gases before they even hit.
#87: If you're a circus clown, and you have a dog that you use in your act, I don't think it's a good idea to also dress the dog up like a clown, because people see that and they think, "Forgive me, but that's just too much."
#88: Here's a good joke to do during an earthquake: straddle a big crack in the ground, and if it opens wider, go "Whoa! Whoa!" and flail your arms around, like you're going to fall in.
#89: If you ever go temporarily insane, don't shoot somebody, like a lot of people do. Instead, try to get some weeding done, because you'd really be surprised.
#90: It makes me mad when people say I turned and ran like a scared rabbit. Maybe it was like an angry rabbit, who was running to go fight in another fight, away from the first fight.
#91: I hope if dogs ever take over the world, and they choose a king, they don't just go by size, because I bet there are some Chihuahuas with some good ideas.
#92: I think a good way to get into a movie is to show up where they're making the movie, then stick a big cactus plant onto your buttocks and start yowling and running around. Everyone would think it was funny, and the head movie guy would say, "Hey, let's put him in the movie."
#93: What is it that makes a complete stranger dive into an icy river to save a solid gold baby? Maybe we'll never know.
#94: Instead of having "answers" on a math test, they should just call them "impressions," and if you got a different "impression," so what, can't we all be brothers?
#95: If God dwells inside us, like some people say, I sure hope He likes enchiladas, because that's what He's getting.
#96: Probably to a shark, about the funniest thing there is is a wounded seal, trying to swim to shore, because where does he think he's going?!
#97: Perhaps, if I am very lucky, the feeble efforts of my lifetime will someday be noticed, and maybe, in some small way, they will be acknowledged as the greatest works of genius ever created by Man.
#98: Maybe in order to understand mankind, we have to look at the word itself. Mankind. Basically, it's made up of two separate works-"mank" and "ind." What do these words mean? It's a mystery, and that's why so is mankind.
#99: Children need encouragement. So if a kid gets an answer right, tell him it was a lucky guess. That way, he develops a good, lucky feeling.
#100: If you ever drop your keys into a river of molten lava, let 'em go, because, man, they're gone.
#101: I think a good novel would be where a bunch of men on a ship are looking for a whale. They look and look, but you know what? They never find him. And you know why they never find him? It doesn't say. The book leaves it up to you, the reader, to decide. Then, at the very end, there's a page that can lick and it tastes like Kool-Aid.
#102: Marta talks about sensuality, but I don't think she'd know sensuality if it bit her on the butt.
#103: It's easy to sit there and say you'd like to have more money. And I guess that's what I like about it. It's easy. Just sitting there, rocking back and forth, wanting that money.
#104: I think a good gift for the President would be a chocolate revolver. And since he's so busy, you'd probably have to run up to him real quick and hand it to him.
#105: Whether they ever find life there or not, I think Jupiter should be considered an enemy planet.
#106: If you lived in the Dark Ages, and you were a catapult operator, I bet the most common question people would ask is, "Can't you make it shoot farther?" No. I'm sorry. That's as far as it shoots.
#107: Why is it that we will laugh at a man in a clown outfit, but we won't laugh at a man just walking down the street carrying a clown outfit in one of those plastic dry-cleaner bags?
#108: Probably the earliest fly swatters were nothing more than some sort of striking surface attached to the end of a long stick.
#109: Instead of trying to build newer and bigger weapons of destruction, mankind should be thinking about getting more use out of the weapons we already have.
#110: I wonder why the crows seemed to be calling my name, thought Caw.
#111: If you go flying back through time, and you see somebody else flying forward into the future, it's probably best to avoid eye contact.
#112: To me, it's a good idea to always carry two sacks of something when you walk around. That way, if anybody asks, "Hey, can you give me a hand?" you can say, "Sorry, got these sacks."
#113: Whenever someone asks me to define love, I usually think for a minute, then I spin around and pin the guy's arm behind his back. Now who's asking the questions?
#114: I remember we were all horrified to see Grandpa up on the roof with his Superman cape on. "Get down!" yelled Uncle Lou. "Don't move!" screamed Grandma. But Grandpa wouldn't listen. He walked to the edge of the roof and stuck out his arms, like he was going to fly. I forget what happened after that.
#115: If you ever catch on fire, try to avoid seeing yourself in the mirror, because I bet that's what really throws you into a panic.
#116: I wish my name was Todd, because then I could say, "Yes, my name's Todd. Todd Blankenship." Oh, also I wish my last name was Blankenship.
#117: If you're an ant, and you're walking along across the top of a cup of pudding, you probably have no idea that the only thing between you and disaster is the strength of that pudding skin.
#118: Dad always thought laughter was the best medicine, which I guess was why several of us died of tuberculosis.
#119: I don't think God put me on this planet to judge others. I think he put me on this planet to gather specimens and take them back to my home planet.
#120: Just because swans mate for life, I don't think it's that big of a deal. First of all, if you're a swan, you're probably not going to find a swan that looks that much better than the one you've got so why not mate for life.
#121: If you're robbing a bank, and your pants suddenly fall down, I think it's okay to laugh, and to let the hostages laugh too, because some on, life is funny.
#122: Just as bees will swarm about to protect their nest, so will I "swarm about" to protect my nest of chocolate eggs.
#123: If you were a gladiator in olden days, I bet the inefficiency of how gladiator fights were organized and scheduled would just drive you up a wall.
#124: Sometimes I think I'd be better off dead. No, wait. Not me, you.
#125: Something tells me that the first mousetrap wasn't designed to catch mice at all, but to protect little cheese "gems" from burglars.
#126: I can't stand cheap people. It makes me real made when someone says something like "Hey, when are you going to pay me that hundred dollars you owe me?" or "Do you have that fifty dollars you borrowed?" Man, quit being so cheap!
#127: You can't tell me that cowboys, when they're branding cattle, don't sort of "accidentally" brand each other every once in a while. It's their way of letting off stress.
#128: One day one of my little nephews came up to me and asked me if the equator was a real line that went around the Earth, or just an imaginary one. I had to laugh. And laugh and laugh. Because I didn't know, and I thought that maybe by laughing he would forget what he asked me.
#129: If I come back as an animal in my next lifetime, I hope it's some type of parasite, because this is the part where I take it easy!
#130: I think the mistake a lot of us make is thinking the state-appointed psychiatrist is our "friend."
#131: When you first start wearing a turban, probably the most common mistake is wrapping it too tight. You have to allow the head to breathe.
#132: If you go through a lot of hammers each month, I don't think it necessarily means you're a hard worker. It may just mean that you have a lot to learn about proper hammer maintenance.
#133: When people say that the desert is lifeless, it just makes me want to grab them by the collar and yell, "Why you stupid, stupid person!" Then I drive them out into the desert to where the circus is, and point out the many forms of zebra and clown life.
#134: If there was a big gardening convention, and you got up and gave a speech in favor of fast-motion gardening, I bet you would get booed right off the stage. They're just not ready.
#135: We like to praise birds for flying. But how much of it is actually flying, and how much of it is just sort of coasting from the previous flap?
#136: Instead of raising your hand to ask a question in class, how about individual push buttons on each desk? That way, when you want to ask a question, you just push the button and it lights up a corresponding number on a tote board at the front of the class. Then all the professor has to do is check the lighted number against a master sheet of names and numbers to see who is asking the question.
#137: If you're a boxing referee, it's probably illegal to wear a bow tie that spins or changes colors.
#138: You know something that would really make me applaud? A guy gets stuck in quicksand, then sinks, then suddenly comes shooting out, riding on water skis! How do they do that?!
#139: Whether they live in an igloo or a grass shack or a mud hut, people around the world all want the same thing: a better house!
#140: When you're going up the stairs and you take a step, kick the other leg up high behind you to keep people from following too close.
#141: When Rick told me he was having trouble with his wife, I had to laugh. Not because of what he said, but because of a joke I thought of. I told him the joke, but he didn't laugh very much. Some friend he is.
#142: If you ever reach total enlightenment while you're drinking a beer, I bet it makes beer shoot out your nose.
#143: Love is not something that you can put chains on and throw into a lake. That's called Houdini. Love is liking someone a lot.
#144: If I was being executed by injection, I'd clean up my cell real neat. Then, when they came to get me, I'd say, "Injection? I thought you said 'inspection.'" They'd probably feel real bad, and maybe I could get out of it.
#145: I'm not afraid of insects taking over the world, and you know why? It would take about a billion ants just to aim a gun at me, let alone fire it. And you know what I'm doing while they're aiming it at me? I just sort of slip off to the side, and then suddenly run up and kick the gun out of their hands.
#146: I believe in making the world safe for our children, but not our children's children, because I don't think children should be having sex.
#147: If you're a blacksmith, probably the proudest day of your life is when you get your first anvil. How innocent you are, little blacksmith.
#148: What am I afraid of? I'll tell you: a feather. That's right, a feather. How could anyone be afraid of a feather, you say. That's an honest question, and I'll try to give it an honest answer. First of all, did I say it was a poison feather?
#149: When you die, if you get a choice between going to regular heaven and pie heaven, choose pie heaven. It might be a trick, but if it's not, ummmm, boy.
#150: Of all the warning sounds that animals make, I think the one that's the least effective on me is a kind of clicking noise.
#151: I bet a funny thing about driving a car off a cliff is, while you're in midair, you still hit those brakes! Hey, better try the emergency brake!
#152: I wish there was a disease where you're afraid of clouds, because I think I could cure it. First, you sit the patient down and have a long personal talk. After that, I'm not sure, but maybe you could throw some water in his face or something.
#153: As the light changed from red to green to yellow and back again, I sat there thinking about life. Was it nothing more than a bunch of honking and yelling? Sometimes it seemed that way.
#154: How come the dove gets to be the peace symbol? How about the pillow? It has more feathers than the dove, and it doesn't have that dangerous beak.
#155: Even though I was their captive, the Indians allowed me quite a bit of freedom. I could walk about freely, make my own meals, and even hurl large rocks at their heads. It was only later that I discovered they were not Indians at all, but dirty clothes hampers.
#156: If life deals you lemons, why not go kill someone with the lemons (maybe by shoving them down his throat)?
#157: I wish outer-space guys would conquer Earth and make people their pets, because I'd like to have one of those little basket-beds with my name on it.
#158: I think Superman and Santa Claus are actually the same guy, and I'll tell you why: Both fly, and both have a beard.
#159: Frank knew that no man had ever crossed the desert on foot and lived to tell about it. So, he decided to get back in his car and keep driving.
#160: It's true that every time you head a bell, an angel gets his wings. But what they don't tell you is, every time you hear a mousetrap snap, an angel gets set on fire.
#161: If I was a father in a waiting room, and the nurse came out and said, "Congratulations, it's a girl," I think a good gag would be to get real mad and yell, "A girl? You must have mixed me up with that dork!" and point to another father.
#162: I bet what happened was, they discovered fire and invented the wheel on the same day. Then, that night, they burned the wheel.
#163: The wise man can pick up a grain of sand and envision a whole universe. But the stupid man will just lay down on some seaweed and roll around until he's completely draped in it. Then he'll stand up and go, "Hey, I'm Vine Man."
#164: I remember how, in college, I got that part-time job as a circus clown, and how the children would laugh and laugh at me. I vowed, then and there, that I would get revenge.
#165: If I could be a bird, I think I'd be a penguin, because then I could walk around on two feet with a lot of other guys like me.
#166: The big, huge meteor headed toward the Earth. Could nothing stop it? Maybe Bob could. He was suddenly on top of the meteor-through some kind of space warp or something. "Go, Bob, go!" yelled one of the generals. "Give me that!" said the big-guy general as he took the microphone away. "Listen, Bob," he said. "You've got to steer that meteor away from Earth." "Yes, but how?" thought Bob. Then he got an idea. Right next to him there was a steering wheel sticking out of the meteor.
#167: If I come back as a horsefly, I think my favorite thing would be to land on someone's lip. Even if they smack you, ick!, you're all over their lip.
#168: I think a new, different kind of bowling should be "carpet bowling." It's just like regular bowling, only the lanes are carpet instead of wood. I don't know why we should do this, but my gosh, we've got to try something!
#169: Isn't it funny how whenever we got to a country fair or a state fair, the first thing we do is see if they have some kind of pornography booth.
#170: A QUIZ: If I am my brother's brother, who am I? (Answer: me.)
#171: People laugh when I say that I think a jellyfish is one of the most beautiful things in the world. What they don't understand is, I mean a jellyfish with long, blond hair.
#172: If you want to be the popular one at a party, here a good thing to do: Go up to some people who are talking and laughing and say, "Well, technically that's illegal." It might fit in with that somebody just said. And even if it doesn't, so what, I hate this stupid party.
#173: To us, it might look like just a rag. But to the brave, embattled men of the fort, it was more than that. It was a flag of surrender. And after that, it was torn up and used for shoe-shine rags, so the men would look nice for the surrender.
#174: It's easy to sit and scoff at an old man's folly. But also, check out his Adam's apple!
#175: I think one way police departments could make some money would be to hold a yard sale of murder weapons. Many people, for example, could probably use a cheap ice pick.
#176: I hope they never find out that lightning has a lot of vitamins in it, because do you hide from it or not?
#177: There are many stages to a man's life. In the first stage, he is young and eager, like a beaver. In the second stage, he wants to build things, like dams, and maybe chew down some trees. In the third stage, he feels trapped, and then "skinned." I'm not sure what the fourth stage is.
#178: I wish I would have a real tragic love affair and get so bummed out that I'd just quit my job and become a bum for a few years, because I was thinking about doing that anyway.
#179: If aliens from outer space ever come and we show them our civilization and they make fun of it, we should say we were just kidding, that this isn't really our civilization, but a gag we hoped they would like. Then we tell them to come back in twenty years to see our real civilization. After that, we start a crash program of coming up with an impressive new civilization. Either that, or just shoot down the aliens as they're waving good-bye.
#180: Like jewels in a crown, the precious stones glittered in the queen's round metal hat.
#181: I wish I could shrink down to the size of an ant. And maybe there would be thousands of other people shrunken down to ant-size, and we would get together and dig tunnels down into the ground, and live there. But don't ever call us "ants," because we hate that.
#182: If you're traveling in a time machine, and you're eating corn on the cob, I don't think it's going to affect things one way or the other. But here's the point I'm trying to make: Corn on the cob is good, isn't it.
#183: I bet if you were a mummy wrapper in ancient Egypt, one thing you would constantly find yourself telling people would be, "Be sure, before I start, you have all the jewelry and so forth on the body, because I am not unwrapping him later."
#184: If you're ever selling your house, and some people come by, and a big rat comes out and he's dragging the rattrap because it didn't quite kill him, just tell the people he's your pet and that's a trick you taught him.
#185: If I had the time to sit down and write a thank-you note to everyone who sent me a nice, expensive present, what a wonderful world that would be!
#186: You know one thing that will really make a woman mad? Just run up and kick her in the butt. (P.S. This also works with men.)
#187: It seemed to me that, somehow, the blue jay was trying to communicate with me. I would see him fly into the house across the way, pick up the telephone, and dial. My phone would ring, and it would be him, but it was just this squawking and cheeping. "What?! What?!" I would yell back, but he never did speak English.
#188: If you're in a war, instead of throwing a hand grenade at some guys, throw one of those little baby-type pumpkins. Maybe it'll make everyone think of how crazy war is, and while they're thinking, you can throw a real grenade.
#189: I hope life isn't a big joke, because I don't get it.
#190: I can picture in my mind a world without war, and a world without hate. And I can picture us attacking that world, because they'd never expect it.
#191: I hope some animal never bores a hole in my head and lays its eggs in my brain, because later you might think you're having a good idea but it's just eggs hatching.
#192: Whenever you read a good book, it's like the author is right there, in the room, talking to you, which is why I don't like to read good books.
#193: What is it about a beautiful sunny afternoon, with the birds singing and the wind rustling through the leaves, that makes you want to get drunk. And after you're real drunk, maybe go down to the public park and stagger around and ask people for money, and then lay down and go to sleep.
#194: Instead of a trap door, what about a trap window? The guy looks out it, and if he leans too far, he falls out. Wait. I guess that's like a regular window.
#195: During the Middle Ages, probably one of the biggest mistakes was not putting on your armor because you were "just going down to the corner."
#196: If your kid makes one of those little homemade guitars out of a cigar box and rubber bands, don't let him just play it once or twice and then throw it away. Make him practice on it, every day, for about three hours a day. Later, he'll thank you.
#197: If I ever get real rich, I hope I'm not real mean to poor people, like I am now.
#198: When I found the skull in the woods, the first thing I did was call the police. But then I got curious about it. I picked it up, and started wondering who this person was, and why he had deer horns.
#199: I remember how my great-uncle Jerry would sit on the porch and whittle all day long. Once he whittled me a toy boat out of a larger toy boat I had. It was almost as good as the first one, except now it had bumpy whittle marks all over it. And no paint, because he had whittled off the paint.
#200: Here's a good thing to do if you go to a party and you don't know anybody: First, take out the garbage. Then go around and collect any extra garbage that people might have, like a crumpled-up napkin, and take that out too. Pretty soon people will want to meet the busy garbage guy.
#201: Sometimes I think you have to march right in and demand your rights, even if you don't know what your rights are, or who the person is you're talking to. Then, on the way out, slam the door.
#202: If you're a cowboy, and you're dragging a guy behind your horse, I bet it would really make you mad if you looked back and the guy was reading a magazine.
#203: I think that a hat that has a little cannon that fires and then goes back inside the hat is at least a decade away.
#204: If your friend is already dead, and being eaten by vultures, I think it's okay to feed some bits of your friend to one of the vultures, to teach him to do some tricks. But only if you're serious about adopting the vulture.
#205: Broken promises don't upset me. I just think, why did they believe me?
#206: If you want to sue somebody, just get a little plastic skeleton and lay it in their yard. Then tell them their ants ate your baby.
#207: If you ever crawl inside an old hollow log and go to sleep, and while you're in there some guys some and seal up both ends and then put it on a truck and take it to another city, boy, I don't know what to tell you.
#208: Can't the Marx Brothers be arrested and maybe even tortured for all the confusion and problems they've caused?
#209: You know what's probably a good thing to hang on your porch in the summertime, to keep mosquitoes away from you and your guests? Just a big bag full of blood.
#210: I'm just guessing, but probably one of the early signs that your radarscope is wearing out is something I call "image fuzz-out." But I've never even seen a radarscope, so I wouldn't totally go by what I've just said here.
#211: Sometimes I think the so-called experts actually are experts.
#212: One thing vampire children have to be taught early on is, don't run with a wooden stake.
#213: If you go to a costume party at your boss's house, wouldn't you think a good costume would be to dress up like the boss's wife? Trust me, it's not.
#214: Most of the time it was probably real bad being stuck down in a dungeon. But some days, when there was a bad storm outside, you'd look out your little window and think, "Boy, I'm glad I'm not out in that."
#215: Instead of a Seeing Eye dog, what about a gun? It's cheaper than a dog, plus if you walk around shooting all the time, people are going to get out of the way. Cars too!
#216: Basically, there are three ways the skunk and I are a lot alike. The first is we both like to spread our "stink" around. The second is we both get hit by cars a lot. The third is stripes.
#217: When I was a child, there were times when we had to entertain ourselves. And usually the best way to do that was to turn on the TV.
#218: The first thing was, I learned to forgive myself. Then I told myself, "Go ahead and do whatever you want, it's okay by me."
#219: Consider the daffodil. And while you're doing that, I'll be over here, looking through your stuff.
#220: If I was the head of a country that lost a war, and I had to sign a peace treaty, just as I was signing I'd glance over the treaty and then suddenly act surprised. "Wait a minute! I thought we won!"
#221: For mad scientists who keep brains in jars, here's a tip: why not add a slice of lemon to each jar, for freshness.
#222: I'd like to see a nature film where an eagle swoops down and pulls a fish out of a lake, and then maybe he's flying along, low to the ground, and the fish pulls a worm out of the ground. Now that's a documentary!
#223: If you were an ancient barbarian, I bet a real embarrassing thing would be if you were sacking Rome and your cape got caught on something and you couldn't get it unhooked, and you had to ask another barbarian to unhook it for you.
#224: Sometimes I wish Marta was more loyal to me. Like the other day. The car parked next to ours had a real dirty windshield, so I wrote "This car looks like a fart" in the dirt. Later, I asked Marta if she thought it was a childish thing to do. She said, "Well, maybe." Man, whose side is she on, anyway?
#225: Instead of putting a quarter under a kid's pillow, how about a pinecone? That way, he learns that "wishing" isn't going to save our national forests.
#226: Sometimes you have to be careful when selecting a new nickname for yourself. For instance, let's say you have chosen the nickname "Fly Head." Normally, you would think that "Fly Head" would mean a person who has beautiful swept-back features, as if flying through the air. But think again. Couldn't it also mean "having a head like a fly"? I'm afraid some people might actually think that.
#227: When you go ice-skating, try not to swing your arms too much, because that really annoys me.
#228: Somebody told me how frightening it was how much topsoil we are losing each year, but I told that story around the campfire and nobody got scared.
#229: I remember one day I was at Grandpa's farm and I asked him about sex. He sort of smiled and said, "Maybe instead of telling you what sex is, why don't we go out to the horse pasture and I'll show you." So we did, and there on the ground were my parents having sex.
#230: Instead of burning a guy at the stake, what about burning him at the stilts? It probably lasts longer, plus is moves around.
#231: You know what would be the most terrifying thing that could ever happen to a flea? Getting caught inside a watch somehow. You don't even care, do you.
#232: I hope that after I die, people say of me: "That guy sure owed me a lot of money."
#233: If you see an animal and you can't tell if it's a skunk or a cat, here's a good saying to help: "Black and white, stinks all right. Tabby-colored, likes a fella."
#234: I bet the sparrow looks at the parrot and thinks, yes, you can talk, but listen to yourself!
#235: When this girl at the museum asked me whom I liked better, Monet or Manet, I said, "I like mayonnaise." She just stared at me, so I said it again, louder. Then she left. I guess she went to try to find some mayonnaise for me.
#236: Many people do not realize that the snowshoe can be used for a great many things besides walking on snow. For instance, it can be used to carry pancakes from the stove to the breakfast table. Also, it can be used to carry uneaten pancakes from the table to the garbage. Finally, it can be used as a kind of strainer, where you force pancakes through the strings to see if a piece of gold got in a pancake somehow.
#237: Higher beings from outer space may not want to tell us the secrets of life, because we're not ready. But maybe they'll change their tune after a little torture.
#238: Advice to vampires: why not "do your business" as a bat, not a human. Easier that way, and less pollution.
#239: As the snow started to fall, he tugged his coat tighter around himself. Too tight, as it turned out. "This is the fourth coat crushing this year," said the police sergeant as he outlined the body with a special pencil that writes on snow.
#240: I'd like to see a guy tap-dancing so fast his legs actually broke, because it would finally establish a "tap barrier," and we could move on from there.
#241: Let's be honest: isn't a lot of what we call tap-dancing really just nerves?
#242: A funny thing is if you're out hiking and your friend gets bitten by a poisonous snake, tell him you're going for help, then go about ten feet and pretend you got bit by a snake. Then start an argument about who's going to go get help. A lot of guys will start crying. That's why it makes you feel good when you tell them it was just a joke.
#243: The other day I got out my can opener and was opening a can of worms when I thought, "What am I doing?!"
#244: If you wear a toupee, why not let your friends try it on for a while. Come on, we're not going to hurt it.
#245: I guess one of the funniest memories of my grandfather was the time I was at his house and that tied-up man with the gag in his mouth came hopping out of the closet and started yelling that he was really my grandfather and the other guy was an imposter and to run for help. Who was that guy?! Oh, well, never saw him again.
#246: The tired and thirsty prospector threw himself down at the edge of the watering hole and started to drink. But then he looked around and saw skulls and bones everywhere. Uh-oh, he thought. This watering hole is reserved for skeletons.
#247: I'm telling you, just attach a big parachute to the plane itself! Is anyone listening to me?!
#248: I think there probably should be a rule that if you're talking about how many loaves of bread a bullet will go through, it's understood that you mean lengthwise loaves. Otherwise it makes no sense.
#249: It's funny that pirates were always going around searching for treasure, and they never realized that the real treasure was the fond memories they were creating.
#250: If you get invited to your first orgy, don't just show up nude. That's a common mistake. You have to let nudity "happen."
#251: I think a good scene in a movie would be where one scientist tells another scientist: "You know what will save the world? You're holding it in your hand." And the other scientist looks, and in his hand are some peanuts. Then, when he looks up, the first scientist is being taken away to the insane asylum.
#252: One thing a computer can do that most humans can't is be sealed up in a cardboard box and sit in a warehouse.
#253: If someone told me it wasn't "fashionable" to talk about freedom, I think I'd just have to look him square in the eye and say, "Okay, you tell me what's 'fashionable.'" But he won't. And you know why? Because you can't ask someone what's fashionable in a smart-alecky way like that. You have to be friendly and say, "By the way, what's fashionable?"
#254: When you go to a party at somebody's house, don't automatically assume that the drinks are free. Ask, and ask often.
#255: If I ever become a mummy, I'm going to have it so when somebody opens my lid a boxing glove on a spring shoots out.
#256: I think a good product would be "Baby Duck Hat." It's a fake baby duck, which you strap on top of your head. Then you go swimming underwater until you find a mommy duck and her babies, and you join them. Then, all of a sudden, you stand up out of the water and roar like Godzilla. Man, those ducks really take off! Also, Baby Duck Hat is good for parties.
#257: I wish I had a dollar for every time I spent a dollar, because then, yahoo!, I'd have all my money back.
#258: You know what makes good hair for a snowman? Real hair. Don't ask me why, but it works.
#259: If the Captain invited me to his party, after he had whipped me earlier in the day up on deck, I guess I'd go, but I'd try to find some excuse to leave early.
#260: Isn't it funny how one minute life can be such a struggle, and the next minute you're just driving real fast, swerving back and forth across the road?
#261: One way I think you can tell if you have a curse on you is if you open a box of toothpicks and they all fly up and stick in your face.
#262: The tiger can't change his spots. No, wait, he did! Good for him!
#263: I think my favorite monster movie is Gone With the Wind, because it has that ear monster and that big-dress monster.
#264: I guess I kinda lost control, because in the middle of the play I ran up and lit the evil puppet villain on fire. No, I didn't. Just kidding. I just said that to illustrate one of the human emotions, which is freaking out. Another emotion is greed, as when someone kills someone for money, or something like that. Another emotion is generosity, as when you pay someone double what he paid for his stupid puppet.
#265: Here's a good tip for when you go to the beach: a sand dollar may look like a nice cracker that someone left, but trust me, they don't taste like it.
#266: I bet when they weren't fighting, Vikings with horn helmets had to stick potatoes on the ends of the horns, so as to avoid eye-pokings to fellow Vikings and lady Vikings.
#267: Here's a suggestion for a new animal, if some new one gets created or evolve: something that stings you, then laughs at you.
#268: If you were a pirate, you know what would be the one thing that would really make you mad? Treasure chests with no handles. How the heck are you supposed to carry it?!
#269: Don't ever get your speedometer confused with your clock, like I did once, because the faster you go the later you think you are.
#270: You know how to paint a room real fast? Just put paint rollers on your feet and somehow figure out how to skate up the walls and across the ceiling.
#271: I think a cute movie idea would be about a parrot who is raised by eagles. It would be cute because the parrot can't seem to act like an eagle. After a while, though, to keep the movie from getting boring, maybe put in some pornography. Later, we see the happy parrot flying along, acting like an eagle. He sees two parrots below and starts to attack, but it's his parents. Then, some more pornography.
#272: I guess the hard thing for a lot of people to accept is why God would allow me to go running through their yards, yelling and spinning around.
#273: If I lived back in the olden days, and the doctor put leeches on me, I'd tell him to put them on my face, in the shape of a beard, so I could see how I'd look.
#274: If I could be any kind of dog, I think I'd be one of those little yappy dogs, because while you're sitting there on the couch trying to sound real smart, I'm just yapping away. Just yappin' and yappin', and there's nothing you can do about it, because I live here.
#275: If I was a cowboy in a lynch mob, I think I'd try to stay near the back. That way, if somebody shamed us into disbanding, I could sort of slip off to the side and pretend I was window-shopping or something.
#276: Do you know what happens when you slice a golf ball in half? Someone gets mad at you. I found this out the hard way.
#277: One thing about my aunt Nadie: she was gruff on the outside, but if you ever needed something, like a spanking or a scolding, she'd give it to you.
#278: It's interesting to think that my ancestors used to live in the trees, like apes, until finally they got the nerve to head out onto the plains, where some were probably hit by cars.
#279: I don't say that the bird is "good" or the bat is "bad." But I will say this: at least the bird is less nude.
#280: If you make ships in a bottle, I bet the thing that really makes your heart sink is when you look in and there at the wheel is Captain Termite.
#281: I don't pretend to have all the answers. I don't pretend to even know what the questions are. Hey, where am I?
#282: If you lose your job, your marriage and your mind all in one week, try to lose your mind first, because then the other stuff won't matter that much.
#283: As I walked through the woods, I looked up and saw a squirrel. I smiled and he smiled. At least I think it was a smile. My teeth were showing and my cheeks were pulled up. That's a smile, isn't it? (The squirrel was definitely smiling.)
#284: Probably the saddest thing you'll ever see is a mosquito sucking on a mummy. Forget it, little friend.
#285: Instead of a trap door, what about an area of the floor that just shoots up real quick and smashes the guy against the ceiling?
#286: I hope I never do anything to bring shame on myself, my family or my other family.
#287: When I think of all the arguments Marta and I have had, I realize how silly most of them were. And it makes me wonder why she wanted to argue over such stupid things. I think I'll go ask her.
#288: If you think a weakness can be turned into a strength, I hate to tell you this, but that's another weakness.
#289: There is one question that probably drives just about every vampire crazy: "Oh, do you know Dracula?"
#290: Before a mad scientist goes mad, there's probably a time when he's only partially mad. And this is the time when he's going to throw his best parties.
#291: One good thing about hell, at least, is you can probably pee wherever you want to.
#292: For me, the worst thing about having King Kong walk down your street is that kids could look up and see the giant genitalia.
#293: Many people don't realize that playing dead can help not only with bears, but also at important business meetings.
#294: The weirdest thing about going to the store and seeing a jar of pickles with your picture on it is not that your picture is on the jar. It's that the store manager won't give you the pickles for free, and doesn't even think the picture looks like you.
#295: There's a world that we know nothing about, that we can only imagine. And that is the world of books.
#296: If you're ever giving a speech, when you start out, act nervous and get mixed up a little bit. Then, as you go along, get better and better. Then, at the end, give off a white, glowing light and have rays shoot out of you.
#297: Instead of half-mast, maybe you could fly a flag at three-quarter-mast for a guy who's in a coma. Then, if he gets worse, the flag gets lower, or if he gets better, it starts to move up, so you can just look at the flag and see how he's doing.
#298: People need to realize that every time they talk about how "fragile" our planet is, it's just like asking outer-space aliens to come invade us.
#299: Basically, this is the way the economy works: I do a service for you, and you pay me, even if you claim you didn't want the service and that I "ruined" something of yours.
#300: Instead of a regular arm, Carl had been born with a pigeon's wing. The odd thing was, all through his life, no one had ever laughed at his wing - not even the mean kids at school. Then one day he realized why: He looked in the mirror and saw that HE WAS A PIGEON! He pooped right there, as he often did, wherever he was.
#301: One bad thing about Lassie, she was always warning you about something. Let me be surprised for a change.
#302: When I shake hands with a man, the first thing I do is look him right in the eye. Then I start poking my hand around in the air, pretending like I can't find his hand. Then, if the guy's still there, I finally shake it.
#303: What would annoy me if a space visitor ever came to our planet would be if he kept talking about things in "his world." Your world? We don't give a flying hoot about your world!
#304: Whenever I need to "get away," I just get away in my mind. I go to my imaginary spot, where the beach is perfect and the weather is perfect. There's only one bad thing there: the flies! They're terrible!
#305: When I think of all the hours and hours of my life I have spent watching television, it makes me realize, Man, I am really rich with television.
#306: Life is a constant battle between the heart and the brain. But guess who wins. The skeleton.
#307: I'm not sure I want to get the nickname "The Love Machine," because how does that affect my nickname now, which is "The Lawn-Cutting Machine"?
#308: If a kid ever asks you how Santa Claus can live forever, I think a good answer is that he drinks blood.
#309: They say the mountain holds many secrets, but the biggest is this: "I am a fake mountain."
#310: I don't advocate that children start smoking. But for those kids who already do smoke, boy, it's good, isn't it?
#311: It's funny how two simple words, "I promise," will stall people for a while.
#312: When I think of some of the things that have been done in the name of science, I have to cringe. No, wait, not science, vandalism. And not cringe, laugh.
#313: Instead of a bicycle built for two, what about no kinds of bicycles at all for anybody, anymore? There, are you happy now?
#314: It's too bad cowboys didn't eat much pizza back in the Old West, because I think a good painting would be a cowboy giving his last slice to his horse.
#315: There was probably an old Viking saying that said, "Ax in the head, early to bed; ax in the helmet, a friend of Helmut."
#316: I think it should be a law that if you ever get sucked up into a tornado, whatever you can grab with your hands while you're swirling around up there, you get to keep.
#317: Instead of mousetraps, what about baby traps? Not to harm the babies, but just to hold them down until they can be removed.
#318: Isn't it funny how whenever a party seems to be winding down at somebody's house, you can always keep it going just by talking a lot a eating and drinking whatever's left.
#319: I wish somebody would invent a fruit that had no seeds, tasted delicious, and would scream when you ate it.
#320: If you're ever on an airplane that's crashing, see if you can't organize a quick thing of group sex, because come on, you squares.
#321: Toward the end of the Stone Age I bet there was already a feeling that metal was just around the corner.
#322: The king threw back his head and laughed. He enjoyed a good laugh, and so did his wife, the queen. When she saw the king laughing she let out a big laugh too. In fact, she laughed so hard she broke her throne. This made them both laugh harder. Then they got serious when they remembered they had the plague. "The plague," said the king, but the way he said it made them both burst out laughing again.
#323: To my way of thinking, there's nothing that can't be cured by a big ol' pot o beans. Except maybe bean fever.
#324: When I picked up the little dead mouse that my cat had killed, at first I felt sad. Then I felt hungry. I forget what happened after that.
#325: Once I was passing a roadside fruit stand, and I stopped to ask for directions. There was an old grizzled farmer there, with a face that looked like he had seen many things in his life. I asked him which way to go. He paused for a moment, then took out a handkerchief and wiped his brow. I don't know what he said, because I just peeled out. I don't have time for guys to pull out handkerchiefs.
#326: In the first castles, I bet a common mistake was putting the torture room next to the master bedroom. Boy, you're just not going to get the good sleep that way.
#327: When the tire blew out on Gary's car, he and Bob got out and fixed it. But they had only driven a few miles when another tire blew out. "Well, I guess I'm the blowout king," said Gary. Bob tried to smile, but it was hard. He had always thought of himself as the blowout king.
#328: One time I don't think you should listen to your body is when it says "I'm dead."
#329: I think there is more wisdom in a single drop of rain than there is in all the books in all the libraries of the world. Wait, not rain. Super-concentrated brain juice.
#330: I'd like to see a James Bond movie where James Bond gets behind financially and maybe has to take out a bill consolidation loan, because even when he's applying for the loan he's still real smart-alecky.
#331: Probably one of the worst things about being a genie in a magic lamp is a little thing called "lamp stench."
#332: Instead of a welcome mat, what about just a plain mat and a little loudspeaker that says "welcome" over and over again?
#333: It's funny, but when you look at an old man, then you look at a photo of him when he was a young man, then you look at the old man, then the photo, back and forth, pretty soon you'll do whatever anybody tells you to.
#334: The next time you go to the doctor, go ahead and bring in a stool sample. They might need it. Better go ahead and bring some for the dentist too.
#335: A good way to keep a mob of peasants from killing your monster is when they break into your castle, make them be real quiet, then open a door and there's the monster, sound asleep.
#336: My friend Don is such a loser. But if he was here right now, he'd say I was the loser. No, Don, you're the loser. But if he was here, he'd say I was the loser. No way, Don, you're the loser.
#337: We're all afraid of something. Take my little nephew, for instance. He's afraid of skeletons. He thinks they live in closets and under beds, and at night they come out to get you when you're asleep. And what am I afraid of? Now, I'm afraid of skeletons.
#338: One of the bad things about panning for gold is maybe sometimes you'll get a crawdaddy in your pan, and you start to wonder if you should give up on the gold and just go for crawdaddies. I can't make that decision for you.
#339: When Gary told me he had found Jesus, I thought, Ya-hoo! We're rich! But it turned out to be something different.
#340: To become a knife thrower in the circus, they probably don't let you start off throwing at a live woman. They start you out with a little girl.
#341: They were a proud people. In fact, some said they were too proud. If you asked them whey they were so proud, they'd just laugh and say, "We're not even going to answer that."
#342: Later, they were tied to the bumper of a car and dragged around the block, as onlookers shrieked with delight. But one old man, who had a banjo, just shook his head and walked away. The crowd noticed this and set him on fire.
#343: I hope I never have to use my underpants as a flag, because after that I could never let my underpants touch the ground.
#344: If you're being chased by an angry bull, and then you notice you're also being chased by a swarm of bees, it doesn't really change things. Just keep on running.
#345: If they ever have a haunted house for dogs, I think a good display would be a bathtub full of soapy water.
#346: In some countries, what I did would be considered polite, especially Fartland.
#347: When I pick up a handful of sand at the beach and let it dribble through my fingers, I think, Man, this is not a very good vacation.
#348: Police Detective Riley was a no-nonsense kind of guy. Before, he really loved nonsense, and would use it a lot in his murder investigations. But he found that most people didn't appreciate it, especially the family of the victim.
#349: When I saw the old bum pushing his grocery cart down the street, at first I felt sorry for him. But then when I saw what was in his cart I thought, Well, no wonder you're a bum, look at the dumb things you bought.
#350: If they ever build a statue of me, I hope they don't have me with my mouth wide open and holding a sign that says "I love rotten eggs."
#351: Whenever I start thinking that I am not living up to my potential, I remind myself of the old farmer and his fight to the death with the insane pig. It's an exciting story, and it takes my mind off all this "potential" business.
#352: It's funny how annoyed people get when you carry around a bullhorn all the time, even if you don't use it that often.
#353: I'd like to see a movie where a guy is going to die when the sand runs out of an hourglass, but then at the last minute an ant stops the sand from running out. Then the rest of the movie is about the ant.
#354: One of the worst things you can do as an actor, I think, is to forget your lines, and then get so flustered you start stabbing the other actors.
#355: When he was a little boy, he had always wanted to be an acrobat. It looked like so much fun, spinning through the air, flipping, landing on other people's shoulders. Little did he know that when he finally did become an acrobat, it would seem so boring. Years later, after he finally quit, he found out he hadn't been working as an acrobat after all. He had just been a street weirdo.
#356: Here's a tip: If you ever decide to take apart a bird's nest, to see how it's made, first make sure it's not somebody's basket they got in South America.
#357: I guess if I was starving to death I would eat a god. But not a collie, because I don't like the taste of a collie.
#358: People were always talking about how mean this guy was who lived on our block. But I decided to go see for myself. I went to his door, but he said he wasn't the mean guy, the mean guy lived in that house over there. "No, you stupid idiot," I said, "that's my house."
#359: You might think that the favorite plant of the porcupine is the cactus, but it's thinking like that that has almost ruined this country.
#360: If you ever get some outer-space guy in a headlock, and his head starts throbbing and glowing different colors, don't let go. That just means the headlock is working.
#361: Someday I would like to make a movie that makes people laugh and makes people cry, and then makes them leave the theater in a quick and orderly manner so that others may come in.
#362: A lot of times when you first start out on a project you think, This is never going to be finished. But then it is, and you think, Wow, it wasn't even worth it.
#363: What are all these "other dimensions" I keep hearing about? To me, there's only one dimension worth anything, and that's the good ol' U.S. of A.
#364: I'll never forget the time that skunk got under the house and Grandpa went under to get him. Boy, it smelled for months. You know, that was the last time we ever saw Grandpa.
#365: Whenever you see a bunch of Italian guys talking Italian, just go up to them and start talking fake Italian. They may not understand you exactly, but at least everyone will get a nice warm "Italian" feeling.
#366: Normally I'm not one to believe in little green men from Mars. But one night, as I was driving home from a party, I caught something in my headlights I still can't explain. It had weird, catlike eyes and only stood about a foot tall. It was covered with grayish fur, and walked on all fours, like a cat. It had a tail, which if I had to describe in terms of something here on Earth was, in a way, like a cat's. Also, it was carrying a ray gun in its mouth. It was either a ray gun or a mouse.
#367: I wouldn't mind if animals ate my body, after I'm dead. And before I'm dead, they could lick me.
#368: One day a beaver and a termite were walking down the road together. "I can eat through a tree with my teeth," said the beaver. "That's nothing," said the termite, "I can burrow through a tree." Then they heard a voice behind them. "You two think you're so smart, but you're nothing!" It was a bitter old drunk lady.
#369: In my next life, I hope I come back as a parrot, because I already know quite a few words.
#370: If I ever get burned beyond recognition, and you can't decide if it's me or not, just put my funny fisherman's hat on my "head." See, it's me!
#371: When you're dying, a funny gag would be to act like you see an angel, then pretend like you're having sex with it.
#372: Probably one of the main problems with owning a robot is when you want him to go out in the snow to get the paper, he doesn't want to go because it's so cold, so you have to get out your whip and start whipping him, and the kids start crying, and oh why did I ever get this stupid robot?
#373: Warning to all outer-space guys: You can capture me and put me in your "space zoo" if you like, but I will sit way in the back of my cage, where it's hard to see me. And when I do come out, I won't be wearing any pants.
#374: With every new sunrise, there is a new chance. But with every sunset, you blew it.
#375: I think the best Thanksgiving I ever had was the one where we didn't even have a turkey. Mom and Dad sat us kids down and explained that business hadn't been good at Dad's store, so we couldn't afford a turkey. We had vegetables and bread and pie, and it was just fine. Later I went into Mom and Dad's bedroom to thank them, and I caught them eating a little turkey. I guess that wasn't really the best Thanksgiving.
#376: When we would go for a drive in the family car, I used to love to stick my head out the window, until one time we passed an oncoming car and my head knocked off a dog's head.
#377: There used to be a house on our block that we thought was haunted, because you'd hear people screaming inside and because people who went in never came out. Later on we found out it was just a murderer's house.
#378: "I'll take that little one, way in the back," I said. "That little collie mix?" said the animal shelter guy. "No," I said, "the other one behind him." "The gray terrier?" he said. "He's gray," I said, "but way in the back, in the corner." "You mean the water faucet?" he said. I realized then it was a water faucet, but I didn't want to look like a jerk, so I said, "Yeah, that's the one I want." It ended up costing me almost five hundred dollars to get that faucet removed. But you know, I've still got that faucet, and I wouldn't trade it for any dog in the world.
#379: When you're ten years old, and a car drives by and splashes a puddle of water all over you, it's hard to decide if you should go to school like that or try to go home and change and probably be late. So while he was trying to decide, I drove by and splashed him again.
#380: For a while there, instead of calling Grandpa "Grandpa," I started calling him "Grandpappy." But he didn't like that, and asked me to go back to Grandpa. So I did, but I changed it a little. I put an "e" in instead of an "a," so it became "Grendpa." At first he didn't notice, but then he said, "What did you call me?" "Grandpa," I said. But then I went back to calling him Grendpa. Finally he just said to go ahead and call him Grandpappy, which I did, only I changed it a little bit to "Grendpeppy."
#381: When I was seven, I told my friend Timmy Barker I would give him a million dollars if he would eat an earthworm. He ate the worm, but I never gave him the million dollars. As of last week, all I had given him was $9,840.
#382: I didn't want to cut down that tree. But I had no choice. It was growing right where I'm going to build my house, if I can ever get enough money together to build it and if I also have enough money to buy the land. That's another thing: I need to find out who owns that land.
#383: Mom used to make the most beautiful Easter eggs. Then she'd hide them in the backyard. But they were so beautiful, when we found one, we weren't allowed to pick it up. We had to point at it, and then Mom would come pick it up with her white gloves and put it back in its case. Somebody ended up smashing all those eggs with a hammer. I think it was our dog.
#384: I don't think I can be hypnotized. This hypnotist tried to hypnotize me one time, but he couldn't. And I tell him that each time I go over to wash his car, which is every Wednesday.
#385: Sometimes kids are so cruel to animals, especially insects. I remember one time I caught this grasshopper, and I made him wear a little straw hat that I had made. Also a little pair of denim overalls. And I made him hold this little tiny pitchfork. So guess what he looked like? What is the enemy of the grasshopper and the one thing he wouldn't want to look like? That's right, a farmer.
#386: As I felt the soft cool mud squish between my toes, I thought, Man, these are not very good shoes!
#387: Of all my imaginary friends, I don't think there was one that I didn't end up having to kill.
#388: Grandpa used to describe the size of everything in terms of a calf. For instance, if he was describing a large dog, he would say it was "about as big as a calf." Or about a car, he would say it "could seat four calves comfortably." (Oh, that was another thing: how many calves could ride in something.) One time he was talking about a calf he had, and I asked him how big it was. He said it was "about three-quarters as big as a calf." Sometimes Grandpa would tell time by calves. If you asked him how long something would take, he'd say, "About as long as it takes a calf to drive over here."
#389: I remember I was hammering on a fence in the backyard when Dad approached. He was carrying a letter or something in his hand, and he looked worried. I continued to hammer as he came toward me. "Son," he said, "why are you hammering on that fence? It already has plenty of nails in it." "Oh, I'm not using nails," I replied. "I'm just hammering." With that, I returned to my hammering. Dad asked me to stop hammering, as he had some news. I did stop hammering, but first I got a couple more hammers in, and this seemed to make Dad mad. "I said, stop hammering!" he yelled. I think he felt bad for yelling at me, especially since it looked like he had bad news. "Look," he said, "you can hammer later, but first-" Well, I didn't even wait to hear the rest. As soon as I heard "You can hammer," that's what I started doing. Hammering away, happy as an old hammer dog. Dad tried to physically stop me from hammering by inserting a small log of some sort between my hammer and the fence. But I just kept on hammering, 'cause that's the way I am when I get that hammer going. Then, he just grabbed my arm and made me stop. "I'm afraid I have some news for you," he said. I swear, what I did next was not hammering. I was just letting the hammer swing lazily at arm's length, and maybe it tapped the fence once or twice, but that's all. That apparently didn't make any difference whatsoever to Dad, because he just grabbed my hammer out of my hand and flung it across the field. And when I saw my hammer flying helplessly through the air like that, I just couldn't take it. I burst out crying, I admit it. And I ran to the house, as fast as my legs could take me. "Son, come back!" yelled Dad. "What about your hammer?!" But I could not have cared less about hammering at that point. I ran into the house and flung myself onto my bed, pounding the bed with my fists. I pounded and pounded, until finally, behind me, I heard a voice. "As long as you're pounding, why not use this?" I turned, and it was Dad, holding a brand-new solid-gold hammer. I quickly wiped the tears from my eyes and ran to Dad's outstretched arms. But suddenly, he jumped out of the way, and I went sailing through the second-story window behind him. Whenever I hear about a kid getting in trouble with drugs, I like to tell him this story.
#390: Once, when I got lost in the woods, I was afraid that eventually I might have to eat Tippy. But finally I found my way home, and I was able to put Tippy back in the refrigerator with my other sandwiches.
#391: Mom always told me I could be whatever I wanted to be when I grew up, "within reason." When I asked her what she meant by "within reason," she said, "You ask a lot of questions for a garbage man."
#392: At first I thought a good way to get people to dig you some flower beds for free would be to call the police and say you buried some bodies in your backyard. But here's the catch: they dig everywhere, not just where you tell them to.
#393: The day I met Marta was the happiest day of my life, because that was the day I screwed a friend of mine out of a bunch of money.
#394: As I stood there looking at the beautiful waterfall, I wondered how many other people had stood there, and how many had candy corn "teeth" sticking out between their lips like I did.
#395: I remember one night I was walking past Mom and Dad's room when I heard them talking about how they might not have enough money to pay their bills that month. I knew what I had to do. I went and got my piggy bank and buried it in the backyard, where they couldn't get their mitts on it.
#396: The smell of Aunt Lucy's pies would make me come a-runnin'. But the sight of Aunt Lucy's face would make me run away.
#397: When I was in the third grade, a bully at school started beating me up, every day. At first I didn't say anything, but then I told Dad. He got a real scared look on his face and asked if the bully had a big dad. I said I didn't know, but he still seemed scared, and just a few days later we moved to a new town. Dad told me if anybody picked on me not to fight back, unless I knew the kid didn't have a dad or the dad was real small. Otherwise, he said, "just curl up in a ball."
#398: I think the most beautiful sunset I ever saw was on page 4 and 5 of The Book of Sunsets.
#399: One thing I always felt bad about was kicking Grandma in the head with my football shoes on. But what was her head doing right by the football like that? And how did the football get in her bed?
#400: When I was a kid, the people next door had this little yappy poodle that I used to make fun of all the time. I thought it was real stupid-looking and annoying. But let me tell you, I didn't make fun of it after the time it saved my life. How did it save my live? It's a long story. Too long to tell here. But I can tell you it was full of excitement and danger, and afterwards I never made fun of that poodle again. Well, I suppose I can at least try to tell the story. I'm still not sure I believe it myself, so many strange and fantastic things happened. Briefly what happened, though, is this: I was walking across a vacant lot near my house when I heard a noise. I turned. You know what? This story is just too hard to try to tell here. Just believe it when I say that the poodle came out of nowhere to attack a cobra. Where did the cobra come from? Okay, I guess I can at least tell that part. No, I'm going to change my mind again. It's just too hard to explain - although if I did explain it, you would be glued to the edge of your seat. Maybe someday I'll tell the story of the poodle and the cobra. No, I won't. It's a good one though.
#401: I knew Mrs. Stewart, our neighbor, was afraid of black cats, so one day I dressed up in a black cat costume and went over and mowed her lawn. Then I left. I think that cured her.
#402: The first cigarette I ever had I smoked behind Grandpa's barn. It made me dizzy, and I coughed a lot. "Don't worry, that always happens with the first one," said Grandpa. "Try another one." And you know, he was right.
#403: Every year at Christmastime a whole set of emotions sweeps over me - emotions which probably go back to my childhood. The first emotion is wondering if I'm going to get any presents. Then it changes to "Hooray, I got some presents!" Then it changes to "Is that all the presents I got?"
#404: I'll never forget the time the president came to our town. When I saw him go by, he looked so much older and sadder than I thought he was. Also, why was he driving an ice cream truck?
#405: When I went for my first job interview, I guess I was pretty confident, because I told the guy who was interviewing me he was fired. I didn't get the job, but that isn't what bothered me. What bothered me was I found out a few months later that that guy was still working there. Hey, man, I fired you!
#406: I think the things you remember most are the little things, like that little space guy I kept tied up down in the basement. That little guy was only about five inches tall! He used to beg me to untie his rope, but I knew he'd just run away if I did. I think the cat finally got him, but the cat had little burn marks on him, from where the space guy shot him with his little gun, before his ammo ran out. I remember things like that.
#407: I'll never forget the time we were at the beach and we buried Uncle Joe in the sand. Boy, did we get in trouble! In fact, we got arrested. It turns out you can't bury people at the beach. Only at the cemetery.
#408: I couldn't believe it! Someone had stolen my new sled! My brand-new, all-white sled, with the runners I had painted white and the white tow-rope and my name written on the top, in white. I asked all of my so-called friends which one of them took it, but they all denied it. Finally, in the spring, right after the snow melted, the thief brought it back to where I had left it.
#409: When I was about ten years old, we set up a lemonade stand on the sidewalk in front of our house. But we didn't sell many glasses, and after a few hours, we took it down. I think that was the first time I realized that the world doesn't give a damn about you or anything you do.
#410: One year Dad decided he was going to take us on a "surprise vacation." We wouldn't know where we were going until we got there. We were all real excited when we piled into the station wagon early one morning. We went about five blocks, then we got in an accident at a four-way stop. I guess it was a pretty good surprise, but why did we need all that camping gear?
#411: I'll never forget my first true love. She was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. From her dark, raven hair to her slender, yellow, scaly feet, she was all woman. She loved corn, and could eat it all day with her hard, yellowish lips. "Caw!" she would yell, as a joke, then flap her arms with delight. One day, she was sitting on a fence, and some guy shot her.
#412: There's always been a good explanation for everything. When that owl attacked Grandma and started biting her head, at first it didn't make any sense. Why would an owl attack Grandma? But then we found out later: a mouse was living in her hairdo.
#413: I remember when we were kids, one of our favorite games was to play "pirate." We'd dress up like pirates. Then we'd go find an adult walking down the street and we'd go up to him and pull out our butcher knives, which we called "swords," and say, "We're pirates! Give us your money!" A lot of adults would pretend to be scared and give us their money. Others would suddenly run away, yelling for help. We played pirate until we were twenty or so.
#414: If I could go back and change one thing in my life, I think it would be that time I found that one-dollar bill on the sidewalk. I would change it to a million-dollar bill.
#415: When I gave the bellboy his tip, he just sort of snarled at me. So I gave him some more money, but he just kept snarling. More money, more snarling. Finally I realized, Hey, you're not the bellboy, this is a robbery! I asked him anyway if he would carry my bag, but he wouldn't.
#416: One day Dad asked me to go fishing with him. I got scared. I had the feeling he was going to try to drown me. I don't know why I thought that, because so far he had never tried to kill me. But he had never taken me fishing either, so I was suspicious. When we got to the lake, he walked right up to it. "Hey, son, come here," he said. "Look at these minnows." "Nice try, Dad - if that's your real name!" I yelled. Then I ran back to the car and locked myself in. Dad never took me fishing again. So I think that proves my case.
#417: Mom used to warn me that I could lose an eye playing with BB guns. But she never warned me that I could also lose my BB gun, which I did.
#418: What started out to be a nice pleasant drive into the country turned into the "Afternoon from Hell." First of all, when Marta and I were leaving, the cats looked at us like, "Where are you going?" Then, when we were driving, we had to stop and get gas. So right there that's time taken away from looking at scenery. Then, when we got home, guess what the cats are doing? Sleeping! Man, what next?
#419: We asked Dad if we could have a trampoline, but he said no, that they were too dangerous and too expensive. But then we went and talked to the trampoline salesman at the store, and he said they weren't too expensive or dangerous. I think I'm still sorta mad at Dad for lying to us like that.
#420: Remember when the teacher would forget to give the class homework and you'd raise your hand and tell her she forgot, there would always be people who would moan and complain. Didn't you hate those people?
#421: Sunday was always Pancake Day in our family, because that was the day we'd all drive up to Pancake Mountain, and then maybe on the way home stop and get some pizza. We'd always sing the same song, too, on the way home. It went like this: There's nothing flatter Than a pizza Nothing you can make. The only thing that might Be flatter Is a fish they call the hake!
#422: I'll never forget the time my friend Stew went skydiving. Boy, what a mistake that was! First of all, his parachute didn't open. Second, we didn't have the right address, so before we got there we got lost and went driving all around for almost an hour. And third, when we finally did get there, Stew tried to back out and we had to talk him into going.
#423: I don't think I received enough love when I was a child. And not just from my parents. From my other relatives, and my friends, and from strangers and from all the creatures of the world, including bugs.
#424: I'll never forget the time I got caught stealing watermelons from old Mr. Barnslow's watermelon patch. I was with my friend Bobby. We were giggling so hard I thought I'd wet my pants! At first we tried to steal two watermelons each, but they were too heavy and we dropped them, and that made us laugh even harder. Finally, we each picked out a good one, and we were just about to sneak back through the fence when we heard a low, deep voice behind us. "Just where do you think you're going with those watermelons?" I gulped and turned around. It was old Mr. Barnslow, pointing his shotgun at us. Bobby dropped his watermelon, then pulled out the .38 revolver he kept in his waist, turned, and fired. But the turning must have thrown off his aim, because the shot only hit Mr. Barnslow in the thigh. Mr. Barnslow immediately fired both barrels at Bobby. One blast of buckshot missed entirely, but the other tore into Bobby's shoulder. He tried to fire back, but his shoulder was so torn up he couldn't raise his arm. Just as he was trying to switch to his left hand, Mr. Barnslow ran up and cracked him across the face with the butt of his shotgun. Bobby fell to the ground in a heap. Mr. Barnslow raised the butt of his gun to finish him off, but just then Bobby pulled out his hunting knife and plunged it into the farmer's big white belly. After that, I don't think I stole watermelons for at least a year.
#425: One Thanksgiving my parents did something I don't know if I can ever forgive them for. We were eating our turkey dinner when suddenly I realized I hadn't seen my pet turkey all day. "Where's Mister Gobble?" I asked. Dad seemed confused. "Mister Gobble?" "Yes," I said. "My turkey. The one I picked out at the supermarket, and then after he thawed out I made him do a funny little turkey dance. Mister Gobble." Dad's silence said it all. We were eating Mister Gobble! I ran crying from the table and locked myself in my room. Later, Dad knocked on the door and said he had some dessert for me. When I opened the door, I couldn't believe it. It was a slice of Pumpkie, my pet pie!
#426: I only played hooky one time, so I'll never forget it. I hid in the bushes right outside my classroom. And since the window was open, I could hear the teacher, so I went ahead and took notes. When the teacher asked a question, I raised my hand, but she couldn't see me.
#427: I used to think Mom's biscuits were special, because she said she put a secret ingredient in them. Years later I asked her what the secret ingredient was, and she said it was "love." Right then I felt like the biggest sucker in the world.
#428: When I looked up at the scoreboard, there were fifteen seconds left. It seemed like plenty of time, but it wasn't. Before I could get to the restroom, I had wet my pants.
#429: I'll never forget the time Grandma tripped at the top of the stairs and fell all the way down and then rolled and hit her head against the front door. We all laughed and laughed, until we realized, Hey, she's not joking!
#430: The first time I ever saw the ocean, I was real disappointed. "That's the ocean?!" I said. No, said Mom and Dad, that's just the parking lot. When we pulled into the lot, I was real disappointed in it. It was hard to find a spot, and the spaces seemed way too narrow, in my book. The ocean was okay, I guess, but I still can't get over how disappointing that parking lot was.
#431: Every summer we'd get our baskets and buckets and go out into the hills and woods, looking for wild strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries. We never found any, though.
#432: Kids don't need expensive new toys to have fun. A lot of times we would have just as much fun getting in my dad's car and letting off the emergency brake and just seeing where the car would go before it stopped.
#433: I remember the first time I ever saw a shooting star I said, "What the heck is that?" But nowadays when I see one I just say, "What is that?" I leave off the "heck" part. Maybe when I'm old I'll just say, "Whazzit?"
#434: The first time I ever tried to milk a cow at Grandpa's farm, I didn't even know which end of the cow to milk! Then I guess I got even dumber, because the next time I couldn't even find the barn. Then the last time, I just went out in the woods and lived, with no clothes.
#435: Aunt Lucy always used to win first prize at the county fair for her apple pie. It wasn't a real county fair - that's just what they called it at the mental home where she lived. And it wasn't a real apple pie either. Usually it was a ball of dough with tongue depressors and pieces of gum sticking out of it. Still, she won.
#436: Maybe it's my imagination, but food seemed to taste better when I was a kid. Also, food would sing and dance and play musical instruments. But that could also have been my imagination.
#437: My parents used to abandon me a lot as a child. In the morning, they'd take me to my school and then abandon me there, until school got out. Then at night, after they tucked me in bed, they'd abandon me and go to sleep in their own bedroom. Sometimes they'd let me sleep with them in their room, but if I started playing my guitar they'd take me back to my bedroom and abandon me again. Once, they abandoned me for a whole week, at my grandparents' house.
#438: I don't remember much at all from when I was born, except for the bright lights and being held upside down and being slapped hard on my bottom. Also, I remember thinking the doctor had a funny mustache, and when I grew up I would never have a mustache like that.
#439: If you ever decide to go panning for gold, like my friend Bob and I did one time, here are a few tips: First of all, when you're leaving to go pan, don't lock your keys in your car. Then, when you go back in your house to get a coat hanger to open it, don't realize you also locked yourself out of your house. Next, while you're standing there trying to figure out what to do, don't get attacked by a big swarm of biting flies. But if you do, don't go running to the house next door and pound of the door and the window, screaming for the neighbors to let you in, because it scares them and they just start screaming back and yelling for you to go away. Finally, don't have a friend who has a nervous breakdown like Bob, because when the ambulance comes and you try to drive away in it so you can finally go panning, they get real mad at you.
#440: When Dad found out the house was full of termites, he got real mad. But I was glad, because now I wouldn't have to go all the way to the woods to get termites for my termite farm.
#441: In all the time I was growing up, I only saw Dad cry two times. After the first time, I didn't say anything. But after the second time I left a note on his dresser that said "See a psychiatrist." I don't know if he ever did, but at least I didn't see him cry again.
#442: I remember the time I asked Grandpa what he did in the war. At first he didn't say anything. Then he pulled a frozen T-bone steak from under his shirt. "I stole this," he said. "No," I said, "not the store, the war." He showed me a red mark on his stomach and said he was wounded, but I think it was from the T-bone.
#443: One year Dad decided he was going to save money on haircuts, so he bought an electric haircutter kit. At first everything went fine, but then he gave us haircuts. They were horrible. Then everything seemed to be going fine for a while, but then he gave us haircuts again. So I guess, mostly, it was a good idea.
#444: When I was a kid, I used to think you could jump off the roof of our house using an umbrella as a parachute. I thought my little brother could, anyway.
#445: Life is funny. One minute you're a little kid, running through a meadow, and the next, you're a skeleton, walking through a meadow, with dogs chasing you.
#446: When my cousin Billy came and stayed at our house for a week, at first everything seemed okay. But then I started noticing things were missing. The first thing was a bag of garbage we kept under the kitchen sink. Then the piles of ashes and butts in the ashtrays. Then all the weeds in the yard. I never said anything to him, but we never invited him back.
#447: It was really sad when I went to visit my friend Jim at the state mental institution. He was convinced he was on a tropical island with no cares and no worries. It took me a long time to convince him that no, he was in a room with bare walls and a bare bed and he was wearing a straitjacket.
#448: When we were kids, I used to make fun of my friend Kevin whenever he had to go to his piano lesson. But look where he is now and look where I am. Actually, I don't know where his is now. But look where I am, that's my point.
#449: When I found the wallet in the road, I started wondering about the guy who owned it. Who was he? Was it William Gregory of 2407 Eastwood Lane, like the driver's license said, or was it someone else? And what was he going to spend the $220 on? About a week later, I started wondering again about the wallet guy. What was he like? And where was he going to spend his five dollars?
#450: The way I see it, kids need exercise more than they need ice cream. So when I worked as an ice cream man, driving an ice cream truck, I would try to drive fast enough that the kid wouldn't catch me, but not so fast that he'd give up right away. Some kids will chase you for eight or nine blocks.
#451: I think the biggest mistake I ever made in my life was not eating all of that guy's pie instead of just half of it, because he was in the restroom for at least another two or three minutes.
#452: There used to be this bully who would demand my lunch money every day. Since I was smaller, I would give it to him. But then I decided to fight back. I started taking karate lessons. But then the karate lesson guy said I had to start paying him five dollars a lesson. So I just went back to paying the bully. Before I paid him, though, I would go into my karate stance, because that's all I learned before I got kicked out.
#453: One time I was going to throw a surprise party for Marta, but the surprise ended up being on me. That's because the party seemed like too much trouble and I eventually gave up, and I was surprised to find out I was that lazy.
#454: One afternoon, when I was about ten, I decided to walk over to the "wrong side of the tracks." At first I was a little scared. But then I noticed that the yards were nice, and so were the houses. In fact, most of the houses were better than those on our side of the tracks. A lot better.
#455: When I told Dad I wanted a kite he said, "Okay, but instead of buying a kite, let's make one." So we did. Then, about a month later, we also made me a bicycle, but it blew away.
#456: When I was about in the third grade I used to play with matches all the time. Then one day, something made me stop. I accidentally scraped one across a rough surface and it caught on fire!
#457: "Hey, sport, how would you like to go for a drive in the country - just you and me?" Grandpa had hardly finished the question before I was in the front seat of that big Buick of his. It was a beautiful sunny day, perfect for cruising the back roads. Suddenly we swerved off onto a narrow dirt road and skidded to a stop. Grandpa hustled me down into a gully, where this weird European-looking couple was waiting. They looked me up and down, even checking my teeth. Finally they told Grandpa, "No. No goot." Grandpa said, "Yes, goot," but that didn't seem to satisfy them. Then Grandpa said okay, but they couldn't have the money back they had already paid him. Then we got back in the car and drove home.
#458: At summer camp one night it was my turn to tell a ghost story around the campfire. I started to tell this story about a murderer who has a hook for a hand, but then I saw that one of the kids sitting there had a hook instead of a hand. When I saw that, I let out a big scream and went running for my tent, as fast as my little legs could take me.
#459: One weird thing that happened to me was one time I was in a plane that was landing and I suddenly stood up and yelled, "The plane's going to crash! The plane's going to crash!" The stewardess told me to sit down and be quiet, so I did. The plane landed okay, but as we were all going to get our bags, I started yelling, "Our bags aren't going to be there! They're not gonna be there!" But they were, even Strappy. So I rented one of those metal carts to put your bags on, and guess that happened? I crashed into another guy's cart. So that's pretty weird, isn't it?
#460: I remember the first time I ever went to the museum and saw the mummy. At first I was afraid of it. So, to get over my fear, I started pointing at the mummy and doing a funny little dance. But then I couldn't stop doing the dance. Something made me dance faster and faster until finally I fell on the floor. Even then I couldn't stop doing the dance. I flailed about helplessly, yelling some weird Egyptian words! Then I think I passed out, from hitting my head on the marble floor. Now, I'm happy to say, I'm no longer afraid of the mummy, mainly because I don't go there anymore.
#461: Sometimes it's hard to tell if something is actually a memory, or you just dreamed it. So I asked my boss if I called him a lying, stinking thief, or I just dreamed it, and he said I just dreamed it. Whew, that was close.
#462: I guess we were kinda poor when we were kids, but we didn't know it. That's because my dad always refused to let us look at the family's financial records.
#463: I'm not sure it's good to think back to my childhood memories, because I end up feeling happy and sad at the same time, and that gives me a weird "neutral" feeling.