Insults, gloom and other trivia

Earl Weaver, manager of the Baltimore Orioles in the old days, used to storm out of the dugout after what he considered a bad call. He would go nose-to-nose with the umpire and grumble, “Are you going to get any better or is this it?”

Some of my readers may feel that way about recent heavy-duty blogs, or with my often optimistic views. In reparation I give you this potpourri of insults, gloom and other trivia.

If you want a really classy insult consult the chart that a friend and loyal reader, Ann Boyer, sent me a few years ago. Here is how Shakespeare might do it:

Pick one word from each column below prefaced with “thou” and gain new stature among the literati.

artless                        base-court                 apple-john

bawdy                        bat-fowling               baggage

bootless                     beef-witted               barnacle

churlish                      beetle-headed           bladder

clouted                      boil-brained               boar-pig

craven                        fly-bitten                  maggot-pie

droning                      common-kissing        bum-bailey

puking                        pox-marked              hugger-mugger

puny                           knotty-pated            malt-worm

saucy                          reeling-ripe               nut-hook

If you want to be accepted in intellectual circles you could use the columns invented by Dinesh D’Souza. Pick a word from each of the three columns, put them together and look au courant at your next cocktail party.

profound                    interpersonal             awareness

diverse                       emotional                   oneness

genuine                      dialectical                   relationship

subjective                   harmonious               network

complex                      communal                  response

mutual                        collective                   dialogue

meaningful                 humane                      linkage

realistic                       societal                      consensus

sophisticated               open                          forum

objective                     interactive                  context

If none of these work try some of the insults below forwarded from friend and long-time reader Gib Docken.

“Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go.” Oscar Wilde.

“He has Van Gogh’s ear for music.” Billy Wilder.

“I feel so miserable without you. It’s almost like having you here.” Stephen Bishop.

“This summer one-third of the nation will be ill-housed, ill-nourished and ill-clad. Only they call it a vacation.” Joseph Salak.

“If aliens are smart enough to travel through space

why do they keep abducting the dumbest people on earth?”

A member of Parliament to Disraeli. “Sir, you will either die on the gallows or of some unspeakable disease.” “That depends, Sir,” said Disraeli, “whether I embrace your policies or your mistress.”

An old friend and faithful reader from California, Lin Haley, (like her father Leroy) loves a good pun. Here are a few she sent recently.

A three-legged dog walks into a saloon in the Old West. He slides up to the bar and announces: “I’m looking for the man who shot my paw.”

She had a boyfriend with a wooden leg, but broke it off.

Two peanuts walk into a bar, and one was a salted.

A dyslexic man walks into a bra.

An invisible man marries an invisible woman. The kids were nothing to look at either.

A Buddhist refused Novocain during a root canal. He wanted to transcend dental medication.

Two cows are standing next to each other in a field. Daisy says to Dolly, “I was artificially inseminated this morning.” “I don’t believe you,” says Dolly. “It’s true, no bull!” exclaims Daisy.

Two vultures board an airplane, each carrying two dead raccoons. The stewardess looks at them and says, “Sorry gentlemen, only one carrion allowed per passenger.”

Not puns, but fun–and sad to say, accurate:

The graduate with a Science degree asks, “Why does it work?”

The graduate with an Engineering degree asks, “How does it work?”

The graduate with an Accounting degree asks, “How much will it cost?”

The graduate with a Liberal Arts degree asks, “Do you want fries with that?”

Wisdom from kids forwarded by Samuel Dykema (currently working for the State Department in Iraq–not a very fun place).

“No person really decides before they grow up who they’re going to marry. God decides it all way before, and you get to find out later who you’re stuck with.” Kirsten, age 10.

Question: “How do you decide who to marry? Answer: You got to find somebody who likes the same stuff. Like, if you like sports, she should like sports, and she should keep the chips and dip coming.” Alan, age 10.

Question: “How can a stranger tell if two people are married?” Answer: “You might have to guess, based on whether they seem to be yelling at the same kids.” Derrick, age 8.

Question: “When it is ok to kiss someone?” Answers: “When they’re rich.” Pam, age 7. “The law says you have to be eighteen, so I wouldn’t want to mess with that.” Curt, age 7. “The rule goes like this: if you kiss someone, then you should marry them and have kids with them. It’s the right thing to do.” Howard, age 8.

If these quotes aren’t gloomy enough consider the wisdom forwarded by Lisa Woske at Cal Poly State University. In Japan they have replaced the impersonal Microsoft Error messages with haiku poems (five syllables in line one, seven in line two, five in line three).

Your file was so big.

It might by very useful.

But now it is gone.

Yesterday it worked.

Today it is not working.

Windows is like that.

The Website you seek

Cannot be located,

But Countless more exist.

First snow, then silence.

This thousand-dollar screen dies.

So beautifully.

These things are certain.

Death, taxes and lost data.

Guess which has occurred.

I often escape from gloom by taking the long view. Critics are quick to point out that in the long run we’re all dead. Arthur Guiterman understood when he wrote “On the Vanity of Earthly Greatness.”

“The tusks which clashed in mighty brawls

Of mastodons, are billiard balls.

“The sword of Charlemagne the Just

Is ferric oxide, know as rust.

“The grizzly bear, whose mighty hug

Was feared by all, is now a rug.

“Great Caesar’s bust is on the shelf,

And I don’t feel so well myself.”

As to the optimistic flavor in many of my blogs, I am reminded of an Ogden Nash poem I sometimes recite to Jane. It is about a couple, Mr. & Mrs. McCloud. He is a hopeless optimist. She is not. Here are a few lines.

“Whatever happened, no matter how hateful,

McCloud found excuses for being grateful. …

Had he hives, he was grateful it wasn’t measles.

Had he mice, he was grateful it wasn’t weasels.

Had he roaches, he was grateful it wasn’t tarantulas.

Did his wife go to San Francisco,

He was grateful it wasn’t Los Angeles.

“Mrs. McCloud on the other hand was always complaining to beat the band.

If she had the mumps, she found it no tonic

To be told to be grateful it wasn’t bubonic. …

“One day she tired of her husband’s cheery note

And stuffed a silver tea tray down his throat.

Said he from the floor where they found him reclining,

I’m just a McCloud with a silver lining.”

Bill Stonebarger, Owner/President Hawkhill

P.S. Not exactly a Pulitzer Prize but even Mrs. McCloud might be impressed. Out of 764,448 self-published titles (in 2009, probably over a million in 2011), 52 got full reviews last month in Publisher’s Weekly Select. The 52 included, Twilight or Dawn: A Traveller’s Guide to Free-Market Liberal Democracy by Bill Stonebarger. A silver lining indeed.

P.P.S. Continuing to practice what I preach, this blog is shorter and less foggy (8.0) than my average (11.1)–8th grade talk, not foggy enough for high schools.

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