When discussing famous quotes, friends around me often try to assure me that I, too, have a way with words. After blushing, I tell them they’re stupid and illiterate, then I swig another glass of cheap scotch, stagger outside to the balcony, and stare down into the night wondering about the absurdity of life and the point of it all. Then, just before I jump, I think of these quotes and decide not to paint that Mercury Marquis parked on the street below with my own blood. You know what I mean?
Yeah, I know you do.
Here’s a list of famous quotes from other, more clever people than I.
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able, and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?—Epicurus (c. 341 BCE)
Reasonable people adapt themselves to the world. Unreasonable people attempt to adapt the world to themselves. Progress, therefore, depends on unreasonable people.— GB Shaw
We’re all in this alone.— Lily Tomlin
Detroit is Cleveland without the glitter.— unknown
“Shut Up,” he explained.— Ring Lardner (1885-1933)
“Hello,” he lied.— Don Carpenter
Living with a saint is more grueling than being one.— Robert Neville
The Good Lord never gives you more than you can handle. Unless you die of something.— Dick Guindon cartoon caption
I hate quotations.— Ralph Waldo Emerson (1805-1882)
It is better to have loved and lost than never to have lost at all.— Samuel Butler (1835-1902)
My work is done, why wait?— Suicide note left by George Eastman (1854-1932)
I don’t feel good.— last words of Luther Burbank (1849-1926)
Don’t let it end like this. Tell them I said something.— Last words of Pancho Villa (1877-1923)
You might as well fall flat on your face as lean over too far backward.— James Thurber (1899-1961)
I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence or insanity to anyone, but they always worked for me.— Hunter E. Thompson
Nixon is a shift-eyed goddamn liar.— Harry S. Truman (1884-1922)
I don’t give a shit about the Italian lira.— President Richard M. Nixon on being asked by H. R. Haldeman if he wanted to hear a report on the decline of the Italian lira.
I would have made a good pope.— Richard M. Nixon
I am the only man standing between Richard M. Nixon and the White House.— John F. Kennedy (1960)
No— President Jimmy Carter’s daughter Amy when asked by a reporter if she had any message for the children of America.
Well, I would — if they realized that we — again if — if we led them back to that stalemate only because that our retaliatory power, our seconds, or strike at them after or first strike, would be so destructive that they couldn’t afford it, that would hold them off.— Ronald Regan when asked if nuclear war could be limited to tactical weapons.
The only thing that saves us from bureaucracy is its inefficiency.— Eugene McCarthy
Never eat more than you can lift.— Miss Piggy
I was gratified to be able to answer promptly. I said I don’t know.— Mark Twain (1835-1910)
Byrne’s Law — in any electrical circuit, appliances and wiring will burn out to protect fuses.—Robert Byrne
More than any time in history mankind faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness, the other to total extinction. Let us pray that we have the wisdom to choose correctly.— Woody Allen
Fifteen cents of every twenty-cent stamp goes for storage.— Louis Rukeyser
The race may not be to the swift or the victory to the strong, but that’s how you bet.— Daman Runyon (1844-1946)
Go, and never darken my towels again.— Groucho Marx (1895-1977)
The future isn’t what it used to be.— Variously ascribed
They say you can’t do it, but sometimes it doesn’t always work.— Casey Stengel (1891-1975)
If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee.— Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)
He who hesitates is miles from the next exit.— Unknown
Here are some more quotes to read.
If my film makes one more person miserable, I’ll feel I’ve done my job.— Woody Allen
A hypocrite is a person who — but who isn’t?— Don Marquis (1878-1937)
Nothin’ can’t stop us if we want it to.— Back Seat Sally (aka, Sally Cohen)
Brain Damage Reading Test: People tell me one thing and out the other. I feel as much like I did yesterday as I did today. I never liked room temperature. My throat is closer than it seems. Likes and dislikes are among my favorites. No napkin is sanitary enough for me. I don’t like any of my loved ones.— Daniel M. Wegner
Thank you for sending me a copy of your book. I’ll waste no time reading it.— Moses Hadas (1900-1966) in a letter
This book fills a much-needed gap.— Moses Hadas in a review.
It wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark.— Howard Ruff
Of all noises, I think music is the least disagreeable.— Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)
Lord Ronald said nothing; he flung himself from the room, flung himself upon his horse and rode madly off in all directions.— Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)
Ugh, so many quotes to read.
Rituals are things we do to avoid feeling guilty.— Greg Bear on marriage
If people don’t want to come out to the ballbark, nobody’s going to stop them.— Yogi Berra
Keep breathing.— Sophie Tucker (1884-1966)
I will always cherish the original misconceptions I had about you.— Unknown
God is not dead but alive and well and working on a much less ambitious project.— Graffito
Every day people are straying away from the church and going back to God.— Lenny Bruce (1923-1966)
Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich.— Napoleon (1769-1821)
Go away, I’m alright.— Last words of H.G. Wells (1885-1946)
You can pretend to be serious, but you can’t pretend to be witty.— Sacha Guitry (1885-1957)
Everybody likes a kidder, but nobody lends him money.— Arthur Miller
I am a deeply superficial person.— Andy Warhol
A gentleman never strikes a lady with his hat on.— Fred Allen (1894-1956)
I’ve never struck a woman in my life, not even my own mother.— W.C. Fields (1880-1946)
Being in the Army is a lot like the Boy Scouts, except the Boy Scouts have adult supervision.— Blake Clark
It’s so beautifully arranged on the plate — you know someone’s fingers have been all over it.— Julia Child on nouvelle cuisine
When it comes to foreign food, the less authentic the better.— Gerald Nachman
Poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese.— G.K. Chesterton (1874-1936)
It is not true that life is one damn thing after another — it is one damn thing over and over.— Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892-1936)
I have found little that is good about human beings, in my experience most of them are trash.— Sigmund Freud (1856-1936)
Gaiety is the most outstanding feature of the Soviet Union.— Joseph Stalin (1879-1953)
I’m so miserable without you it’s almost like having you here.— Steven Bishop
If you are a police dog, where’s your badge?— The question James Thruber (1894-1961) used to drive his German Shepherd crazy.
Vote early and vote often.— Al Capone (1899-1947)
It matters not whether you win or lose; what matters is whether I win or lose.— Darin Weinberg
The future is like the present, only longer.— Don Quisenberry
It is easier to get forgiveness than permission.— Stewart’s Law of Retroaction in Murphy’s Law, Book Two
It is impossible to get something clean without making something else dirty.— Murphy’s Law of Conservation of Filth
I took a speed reading course and was able to read War and Peace in twenty minutes — it’s about Russia.— Woody Allen
When smashing monuments, save the pedestals — they always come in handy.— Stanislaw Lem
If it weren’t for the last minute, nothing would ever get done.— Unknown
Bored with these famous quotes yet? Good, because there’s more.
You can get more with a kind word and a gun than with a kind word alone.— Johnny Carson
The five phases of a project: 1. Enthusiasm; 2. Disillusionment; 3. Panic; 4. Punishment of the innocent; 5. Praise and honors for the non-participants— Unknown
O Lord, help me to be pure, but not yet.— St. Augustine (345-430)
I will not eat oysters—I want my food dead, not sick, not wounded, dead.— Woody Allen
Attention to health is life’s greatest hindrance.— Plato (427-347BC)
Plato was a bore.— Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900)
Nietzsche was stupid and abnormal.— Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910)
I can’t give you brains, but I can give you a diploma.— reference to Wizard of Oz, seen on a blackboard at Purdue University
It takes a leap of faith, I don’t think you could prove any of this stuff.—Bob Mitchel, Purdue University Professor
You’ve got to understand, with electricity you never really know what’s going on.— Overheard from a Purdue University Electrical Engineering department official.
Pray for faith.— Graffitio
I’ve lost my faith in Nihilism.— Graffitio
We are dealing in facts, not realities.— Samuel Goldwyn
It is much easier to be critical than correct.— Benjamin Disraeli
Good, cheap, fast; pick two.— Office Graffitio
Love means having to say you’re sorry every five minutes.— Unknown
Eat cheese or die.— Motto suggested for Wisconsin license plates
Ignore previous cookie.— Message found in fortune cookie
In six pages I can’t even say “hello.”— James Michner
Enough. Definition of “once.”— Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914)
What luck for rulers that men do not think.— Adolf Hitler (1889-1945)
It is fun being in the same decade with you.— Franklin Delano Roosevelt in a letter to Winston Churchill (1942)
Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.— George Bernard Shaw
Join for the capital gains tax cut, stay for the bigotry: We’re your Republican Party.— Mike Silverman
On what?— Boxer, Chris Eubank responding to the question, “Have you ever thought of writing your autobiography?”
Tell him he’s Pele and get him back on.— The Motherwell Manager after getting the message from his trainer that his center forward was suffering from concussion and didn’t know who he was.
The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favor to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.— Ecclesiastes
Balance is never achieved by holding it. If you try to hold your balance you will lose it. Instead reach out for it and receive it.— Some yoga dude