I love books of almost all sorts but humor has a special place in my heart. My mind, however, is Teflon-coated and almost anything that I read just skids off it without making any lasting impression. I have always envied the felicity that some people have of remembering and quoting the books that they read but, try as I might, I could never be one of them.
Some quotes, however, have found precarious handholds in the Teflon. Oscar Wilde’s classic “The importance of being Ernest” offered one of them. The girl’s mother is interviewing the girl’s beau.
Boyfriend : Unfortunately, I have lost both my parents
Girl’s Mother: To lose one may be termed a misfortune. To lose both seems to me like sheer carelessness!
Or, take this description of P.G. Wodehouse about one of Emsworth’s sisters.
Her first husband was a big game hunter. He died in a misunderstanding with a tiger. He thought the tiger was dead. The tiger didn’t. Her second husband met a lorry coming at him. Instead of going around it, he tried to go through it.
The irrepressible Richard Armour has been a great rib-tickler for me. His description of the teetotal Queen
Although she reigned, she never poured.
It is not necessary for you to seek in the humor authors for a laugh. Sometimes, you find unexpected gems in other genres. Take this one from a western when a stranger comes into town with a dead body on another horse.
Stranger: He was bushwhacked five miles out yonder. Toted the body in.
Bully : You pointing that at me?
Stranger: Throw a stone into a pack of dogs. The one that yelps is the one that got hit.
Sometimes it is your own fancies that give you a fun time. Upon reading the zillionth Perry Mason mystery, I had this idea of a whimsical interview of the police lieutenant Tragg.
Reporter: So, Lieutenant, could you let your viewers in on the investigative methods that made you successful?
Tragg: You see, the moment we encounter a homicide we look around to see if there is a remote possibility of arresting one of Perry Mason’s clients for it. After that, all we have to do is lie back and relax. Perry will solve the case for us.
Reporter: And if you do not?
Tragg: That is why we have that ‘Unsolved Homicides’ file!
Books can either be fun or you can have fun with them! They are man’s best friends – which friend will allow you to talk any way to him and will not talk back?