Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Quips and Quotations (Yuletide Edition)

The Supreme Court has ruled that they cannot have a nativity scene in Washington, D.C. This wasn't for any religious reasons. They couldn't find three wise men and a virgin.

--Jay Leno

Aren't we forgetting the true meaning of Christmas?
You know...the birth of Santa.

--Bart Simpson

I once bought my kids a set of batteries for Christmas with a note on it saying, toys not included.

--Bernard Manning

Once again we find ourselves enmeshed in the Holiday Season, that very special time of year when we join with our loved ones in sharing centuries-old traditions such as trying to find a parking space at the mall. We traditionally do this in my family by driving around the parking lot until we see a shopper emerge from the mall, then we follow her, in very much the same spirit as the Three Wise Men, who 2,000 years ago followed a star, week after week, until it led them to a parking space.

--Dave Barry

Christmas is a time when everybody wants his past forgotten and his present remembered.

--Phyllis Diller

Christmas at my house is always at least six or seven times more pleasant than anywhere else. We start drinking early. And while everyone else is seeing only one Santa Claus, we'll be seeing six or seven.

--W.C. Fields

Three men died on Christmas Eve and were met by Saint Peter at the pearly gates. "In honor of this holy season," Saint Peter said, "You must each possess something that symbolizes Christmas to get into heaven." The first man fumbled through his pockets and pulled out a lighter. He flicked it on. "It represents a candle," he said. "You may pass through the pearly gates," Saint Peter said. The second man reached into his pocket and pulled out a set of keys. He shook them and said, "They're bells." Saint Peter said, "You may pass through the pearly gates." The third man started searching desperately through his pockets and finally pulled out a pair of nylons. St. Peter looked at the man with a raised eyebrow and asked, "And just what do those symbolize?" The man replied, "They're Carol's."

--Anonymous (who may have had a little too much egg nog when he told that one.)

Let me see if I've got this Santa business straight. You say he wears a beard, has no discernible source of income and flies to cities all over the world under cover of darkness? You sure this guy isn't laundering illegal drug money?

--Tom Armstrong

Top Ten Signs Your Mall Santa Is Overworked:

10.Instead of, "What do you want for Christmas?" Asks, "Where the hell am I?"
9.Calls every kid he meets "Ricky"
8.Constantly breaks down sobbing like John Boehner
7.Excuses himself to bathe in the fountain
6.Will only hear what you want if you go through a pat down or full body scan
5.Barricades himself under the escalator brandishing a sharpened candy cane
4.Angrily tells everyone, "You're getting a Waterpik"
3.Many times a day, mall security has to taser him
2.Asks every kid, "You're not Jewish, are you?"
1.Instead of milk and cookies, asks for Xanax

--David Letterman

And he, he himself, the Grinch, carved the roast beast.

--Dr. Seuss

(Merry Christmas, folks--KJ)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Old Standard

(Originally posted on 12/10/2008--KJ)

The one disease where you don't look forward to the cure.

--Citizen Kane

I dread getting old.

Not that it's imminent, but I do have a birthday coming up, so it'll be just a little bit closer this year than it was this same time last year. Which was just a little bit closer that year than that same time the year before.

Nice, leisurely pace, huh? Then how come it feels more like justalittlebitcloserthisyearthanitwasthissametimelastyear whichwasjustalittlebitcloserthatyearthanthatsametimetheyearbefore?

And that's just during the waking hours.

Why should I look forward to the aging process? Liver spots change your complexion. There's wet spaghetti where your neck used to be. Your fingers and toes petrify. Your flesh turns to corduroy. A speed bump sprouts from your back. And, if your male, your pelvis apparently disappears so that you have to pull your waist band all the way up to your nipples.

When you're old your voice hushes up. Maybe that's where the phrase "dirty old man" comes from. If you're going to talk like an obscene phone caller anyway...

You walk, talk, think, eat, breathe, and do absolutely nothing, at a much slower pace. You become more susceptible to gravitational force. Why else do so many elderly people walk with their heads bent over like they're at Catholic Mass?

When you're old your eyesight deteriorates so that your squint is just one more line on your face. Your hearing deteriorates so that you tip sideways, like a buoy, trying to understand what people are saying. And, finally, your mind deteriorates so that you no longer have to squint or tip your head sideways, as you can now see and hear people who aren't even there!

Getting old is a bummer. Huh? What's that? Nobody says "bummer" anymore? That's another problem with the aging process--your vocabulary deteriorates.

Thinking about all this the other night left me in a very bad way. So I did what I often do when consumed with despair. I reached for the remote and started channel surfing.

I came upon Entertainment Tonight. This show has been on the air for a very long time now. In fact, I think the year it premiered, the term "bummer" was at the height of it's popularity. Anyway, watching ET I flashed back to a segment that aired, oh, God, some twenty-five years earlier.

Estelle Winwood was an acclaimed British stage actress who, in her later years, played character roles in Hollywood movies. In 1983, she turned 100. About this same time, comedian George Burns, then 87, came out with a book titled How to Live to be 100 or More. Some publicist got the clever idea that Miss Winwood should appear at a book signing with Burns.

She agreed to do it, but may not have been vetted properly. As they both sat there before the assembled media (including Entertainment Tonight), a reporter held the book, about the positive aspects of aging, up to Miss Winwood. She took one look at the title and said, "Oh, dear, don't remind me!"

A moment later, she turned to George Burns, whom she had apparently never met nor, in spite his being very well-known in 1983, heard of before, and asked, "Are you some sort of doctor?"

Never one to take offense easily, Burns answered, "No, I'm an entertainer. I sing a little, dance a little, tell a few jokes."

"Oh," exclaimed Estelle Winwood. "Why, how marvelous!"

If I could just hang around with the likes of those two, I think I'd look forward to aging.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

In Memoriam: Harry (Henry) Morgan 1915-2011

Actor. The Ox-Bow Incident (watch how the focus is on Morgan during Henry Fonda's monologue). Dragonwyke. All My Sons. The Big Clock. Race Street. Scandal Sheet. High Noon. The Glen Miller Story. Inherit the Wind. What Did You Do in the War, Daddy? Dragnet (1967-1970 TV series). Support Your Local Sheriff. Support Your Local Gunfighter. Viva Max. The Apple Dumpling Gang (believe it or not, it was a box office hit, so I felt I had to include it.) MASH (TV series). Dragnet (1987 movie).

"He [Colonel Potter on MASH] was firm. He was a good officer and he had a good sense of humor. I think it's the best part I ever had."

(That may have been the best part Morgan ever had, but it wasn't the funniest character he ever played on MASH. A year before he became a regular member of the cast, when the man he eventually replaced, McLean Stevenson, was still on the show, Morgan played Major General Bartford Hamilton Steele. But first, a number --KJ)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Jingle Bawls

Religious Persecution 64 AD

Nero: I command the hungry lions be sent into the arena!


Religious Persecution 2011

Retail sales clerk: Happy holidays!