Tag Archives: humor

Top ten rejected Winter Olympic events

From Bob Sullivan at When Falls the Coliseum:

10. Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Doubles Luge

9. Snowplowing

8. Synchronized Curling

7. Bottomless Ski Jump

6. Icicle Toss

5. Chechen Rebelling

4. Nordic Hot Tub

3. Ice Hockey Free-For-All

2. Uphill Speed Skiing

1. Gay Bashing

P. J. O’Rourke—The Boomer Bust

A humorous piece from The Wall Street Journal. O’Rourke asks, “what have we wrought?” I’m pre-baby boomer generation, but not by much, and O’Rourke’s wit resonates.

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Self-Deprecating Quotes from Your Favorite Authors

From Flavorwire, where the original title was “Hilariously Self-Deprecating Quotes from Your Favorite Authors.” I didn’t use the word, “hilariously” because I found them interesting and of some value, but they were not “extremely amusing” or “boisterously merry,” which is what “hilarious” means.

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A book on Western Literature

Thoughts from Linda Cannon on “The Western Lit Survival Kit: An Irreverent Guide to the Classics, from Homer to Faulkner,” by Sandra Newman. An excerpt of Ms. Cannon’s review:

As advertised, it runs through the Western canon from Homer through Faulkner, including novelists, short story writers and poets. The book is divided by literary periods into 13 chapters, from “Greece: Cradle of Greek Civilization” to “The Messy Twentieth: Finally Over.” The chapter titles alone give you a sense of the tone of the book…

In addition to discussing the works, Newman also covers the private lives of the authors. Most of the really irreverent material comes from those entries, but the books, plays and poems themselves come in for more than a little ribbing.

Sounds like fun.

 

 

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Q&A: Margaret Atwood

From The Guardian:

Margaret Atwood, 71, was born in Ottawa and lives in Toronto. She has written more than 50 volumes, but is best known for her novels, including The Handmaid’s Tale and Booker prizewinner The Blind Assassin; her most recent is The Year Of The Flood. A campaigner for the environment, she has contributed to the Ghosts Of Gone Birds exhibition at the Rochelle School, east London, from 2-23 November.

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Metaphorical Love

From Richard Nordquist, an article referring to a piece from the past called, Love Is a Metaphor—99 of them.

As our collection demonstrates, love has been compared to everything from a migraine headache and a hawk with velvet claws to a banana peel and an exploding cigar. And while some comparisons evoke a sense of rapture, others impart feelings of cynicism or despair.

And some are simply funny, like Frank Cardone’s comment that love is like a river:

She fell for him like her heart was a mob informant and he was the east river!!!

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The Porcupines in the Artichokes by James Thurber

From my distant friend, Tony, who blogs at Tony’s Musings, a James Thurber piece from October 1959:

“I have writers the way other people have mice,” a disturbed hostess has written me. “What can I do to keep them from arguing, fighting, and throwing highball glasses after dinner? One doesn’t dare mention names, such as Herman Melville and Harold Loeb, or the fight is on. What would you suggest?”

Well, now, it isn’t easy to entertain writers and have any fun. You might begin by saying, over the first cocktail, “I don’t want any writers to be mentioned this evening.” Do not make the mistake of adding, “From Washington Irving to Jack Kerouac,” because that would instantly precipitate an argument about Washington Irving and Jack Kerouac. You might begin by saying, “The porcupines are getting our artichokes.” This could, of course, lead to literary wrangling and jangling, but everything is a calculated risk when writers are present, even “My grandfather almost married a Pawnee woman,” or “I wonder if you gentlemen would help me put the handle back on my icebox.” A writer, of course, can turn anything at all into a literary discussion, and it might be better not to say anything about anything …

My wife, during a party in August, when writers are at their worst, brought out the pencils and paper and said, “I want you all to write down the names of as many animals and birds as you can think of with a double ‘o’ in their names.” This worked fine for about half an hour, during which the literary men wrote down: moose, goose, mongoose, raccoon, baboon …

The trouble started, as my wife should have known it would, when the papers were gathered up and the scoring began …

There are always two or three writers, in this kind of game, who deliberately louse things up by taking and holding an untenable position. One of these obstinate fellows had written down pool shark, and another had come up with booze hound …

All of a moment a whooping literary argument was on. It concerned the merits and demerits of Rupert Brooke, Stephen Crane, Tennyson’s “The Brook” and Tennyson himself, Hart Crane, and Bret Harte; also The Heart of the Matter, The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, and The Death of the Heart, thus involving Graham Greene, Carson McCullers …

That night three highball glasses, two friendships, and a woman’s heart were broken. There is really only one safe rule for a hostess to go by. Do not ask writers to your house, especially in the summer, and in three other seasons of the year–spring, autumn, and winter.

 

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Renaming Books

In a Guardian article called, Should The Great Gatsby really be called Drink Responsibly?, the columnist is really asking, what if book titles described the actual content of the book? and offers us a blog called Better Book Titles that has been doing that. A cursory look indicates some good humor, such as Shakespeare’s King Lear, renamed Not the best time to explain how you really feel about your dad.

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Progress—the illusion that people are getting somewhere when they’re not

Comedian, actor, director Albert Brooks has written a novel called 2030—The Real Story of What Happens to America covered in this New York Times review, A Wry Eye on Problems of the Future. Brooks said, “I don’t want to be the one to break it to you, but the future ain’t that funny.” The book apparently is.

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