As you may know, dear reader, being snuggled away in self-isolation, even in comfortable conditions, can become something of a drag after awhile. So, I’ve taken to searching the web for uplifting and humourous utterances from famous people to lighten my mood.
It works most of the time, except for when I stumble upon something truly brilliant—at which point I fall into a funk, wishing it had been I who had said it first.
Nevertheless, here are a number of my favourites, sure to brighten the dullest day, lighten the heaviest melancholy, restore the most forlorn soul.
To make reading them a tad more fun, and to afford readers a chance to guess who the speaker of each might have been, I’ve appended the speakers’ names at the end of this post, listed in alpha order by surname. Some of the speakers are no longer with us, alas, but their joie de vivre lives on after them in their humour.
The three items with a double-asterisk indicate which of the speakers might have been (but were not) offering comments about books I have written.
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a) I like long walks, especially when they are taken by people who annoy me.
b) Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.
c) You can get much farther with a kind word and a gun than you can with a kind word alone.
d) They told me that Gladstone read Homer for fun, which I thought served him right.
e) The difference between fiction and reality is that fiction has to make sense.**
f) There is only one difference between a madman and me. I am not mad.
g) Fill what’s empty, empty what’s full, and scratch where it itches.
h) Remember, when you are dead, you do not know you are dead. It is only painful for others. The same applies when you are stupid.
i) My mother’s menu consisted of two choices: Take it or leave it.
j) No man has a good enough memory to be a successful liar.
k) My doctor gave me six months to live, but when I couldn’t pay the bill, he gave me six months more.
l) To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funny bone.
m) When did I realize I was God? Well, I was praying and I suddenly realized I was talking to myself.
n) This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force.**
o) Everything is changing. People are taking the comedians seriously and the politicians as a joke.
p) I’m the only man in the world with a marriage licence made out to whom it may concern.
q) Only I can fix it.
r) Once you’ve put one of his books down, you simply can’t pick it up again.**
s) When choosing between two evils, I always like to try the one I’ve never tried before.
t) The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it.
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If you have your own favourite quotation from a famous person, please feel free to add it in the Comment section below.