Here at ‘MFOL!’ we are working hard to bring you new stuff . . . in the meantime, please enjoy the ‘Fun & Learning’ that follows below on this page, or feel free to explore the other pages shown on the menu bar at the top of this page, such as the ‘Stories & Essays’ page.
This giraffe is seeing what is on the ‘Make Fun Of Life!’ Website and is keenly interested . . . perhaps you will be, too . . .
Here at ‘MFOL!’ we are working hard to bring you new stuff . . . in the meantime, please enjoy the ‘Fun & Learning’ that follows below on this page, or feel free to explore the other pages shown on the menu bar at the top of this page, such as the ‘Stories & Essays’ page.
Please join us as we attempt to discover why people everywhere are ‘going bananas’ . . .
Bradly: What do you call a banana that plays the trumpet?
Dylan: A tooty-fruity.
Some horticulturists believe that bananas were the Earth’s very first fruit, and they may have been the first fruit plant cultivated by humans, many thousands of years ago. One of the earliest known written records of bananas dates back to the time of Alexander the Great’s conquest of India in 327 B.C.E. Banana plants have been traced back to the Malaysian jungles of Southeast Asia, where many varieties and names for the banana are found. In 1516, Friar Tomàs de Berlanga sailed to the Caribbean, carrying the roots of banana plants with him. Upon his arrival, he planted bananas in the rich, fertile soil of the tropics, thus beginning the banana plant’s future in the New World.
Jillian: Why did the monkey like the banana?
William: Because he thought the banana had lots of ‘appeal.’
Bananas are grown for export in Latin American and South American countries including Brazil, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Colombia, Honduras, Panama, and Guatemala, where the climate and soil conditions are favorable to their growth. Bananas are a common food crop in Africa. Bananas are also grown in parts of India and China, which are now the world’s two top producers of bananas.
Occasionally, bananas arriving in the countries to which they are shipped are found to be harboring spiders such as tarantulas, snakes, and other tropical creatures. Buy a bunch of bananas, and maybe you will get a free pet, too - if you are extremely lucky!
The highest average per capita consumption of bananas in the world is in Uganda, where residents eat an average of 227 kilograms (500 pounds) of bananas per person each year. Bananas are such an important part of the diet of Ugandans that their single word ‘matooke’ has come to mean both ‘banana’ and ‘food.’
Julian: What did the banana say to the elephant?
Julius: Nothing - bananas cannot talk.
In Southeast Asia, banana leaves are used to wrap food, instead of plastic wrap, providing a unique flavor and aroma to nasi lemak and Indian banana leaf rice. Banana leaf packaging is completely natural and fully biodegradable, meaning it is not harmful to the environment.
Ken: What is long and yellow and always points north?
Len: A magnetic banana.
The Banana Club Museum, located on Highway 111 in Mecca, California, United States of America, houses the world’s largest collection of items devoted to a single fruit. They have more than 17,000 banana items, most of which have been donated by members. To join the club, visit www.bananaclub.com.
Wilbur: What do you call two bananas?
Willis: A pair of slippers.
Bananas grow on tropical plants that can be easily mistaken for trees, due to their large size and height, but are actually the world’s largest herbaceous plants, or herbs, and banana fruits are classified botanically as berries. What may seem to be banana plant trunks are sheaths, or stems, formed by tightly wrapped overlapping leaves. Their central stems can grow to be 6 to 7.6 meters (20 to 25 feet) tall, and their leaves can grow up to 2.7 meters (9 feet) long.
Wally: They are not going to grow bananas any longer.
Walter: Really - why not?
Wally: Because they are long enough already!
Banana plants are scientifically classified in the genus Musa of the Musaceae family. They belong to the same family as lilies, orchids, and palms. The scientific name for banana is ‘musa sapientum’ meaning ‘fruit of the wise men.’
“Life is full of banana skins. You slip, you carry on.” -Daphne Guinness
Because banana plants are herbaceous plants, they do not have woody stems, or trunks and branches, like trees have, and all their plant matter above the ground decays back into the soil at the end of each annual, or yearly, cycle. However, the part of the plants that is below the ground survives from year to year, and can be hundreds of years old. Although some types of wild bananas grow large, hard seeds, domestic banana plants, from which come the bananas we buy in stores, do not grow from seeds but rather from corms that grow below the ground. Corms are also known as rhizomes or bulbs, and are sometimes referred to by the simplistic term ‘roots,’ although they are actually specialized stems of the plant. Banana plant corms look like brown balls, and are about 25 centimeters (10 inches) in diameter. New offshoots, or the part of the plants that grows above the ground, develop from the corms year after year.
Erma: Why do bananas never get lonely?
Emma: Because they go around in bunches.
The yellow Cavendish banana is the most popular variety of banana in the world. It is the banana most often seen in American and European markets. Before the Cavendish, the Gros Michel was the main type of banana that was exported on a large scale. In the 1950’s, the Gros Michel was ravaged by Panama disease and is no longer sold commercially. Panama disease, also known as Fusarium wilt, is a fungus that attacks the roots of banana plants. It was initially reported in Australia in the nineteenth century. The Cavendish banana is resistant to the strain of Panama disease that effectively wiped out the Gros Michel banana, and is safe for now; however, it is believed that the Cavendish, like the Gros Michel, will eventually be devastated by Panama disease and someday will no longer be produced commercially. This could happen within twenty years, and it would be a major blow to the banana industry. Scientists are now trying to develop a hybrid, disease-resistant banana.
Ruby: How do you make a banana split?
Jade: Sneak up on a banana and shout, “Boo!”
The Cavendish is a shorter, stubbier plant than earlier varieties. It was developed to resist plant diseases, insects, and windstorms better than its predecessors did. The fruit of the Cavendish plant is of medium size, with a creamier texture and a thinner peel than some other varieties. Although the yellow Cavendish variety is the banana most commonly seen in markets around the world, sweet bananas come in a variety of colors, including green, yellow, red, purple, and brown. Among varieties of wild bananas are found bubblegum pink bananas with fuzzy skins, green-and-white striped bananas with pulp the color of orange sherbet, and red bananas with reddish-purple skin, which are said to taste like strawberries when cooked. Among the most common types of bananas are the Dwarf Cavendish, the Valery, and the Williams Hybrid bananas. Other types of bananas include Apple and the small red banana called the Red Jamaica. Lady Finger bananas are small, sweet, and have relatively thin skins. More than 500 varieties of bananas exist.
“On a traffic light, yellow means yield, and green means go, and red means stop. On a banana, it’s just the opposite: yellow means go ahead, green means stop, and red means, where’d you get that banana?” -Mitch Hedberg (1968 - 2005)
Bananas are one of the few fruits that ripen best off the plant. If left on the plant, the fruit splits open and the pulp develops a ‘cottony’ texture and flavor. In tropical growing areas, bananas for domestic, or within the country or area, consumption are cut while still green and then stored in moist shady places to ripen slowly. Bananas for export are picked while still green and unripe, and are ripened in special storage chambers using ethylene after they reach their destinations.
“People are like bananas - when they leave the bunch, they get skinned.” -Author Unknown
Take bananas apart when you get them home, because if you leave them connected together at the stem, they will ripen much faster. Purportedly, wrapping banana stems tightly in plastic cling wrap will make them last three to five days longer. To ripen bananas faster, put them in a sealed container - ideally a brown paper bag with the top tightly folded over. Adding another fruit to the bag, such as an apple or a tomato, will further speed up the ripening process. As bananas ripen, the starch in the fruit turns to sugar; therefore, the riper the bananas, the sweeter they will taste. If bananas are placed in a refrigerator, the peels will turn an unattractive, blotchy dark brown or black, but the fruit inside will remain unaffected. And finally, although usually thrown away, banana peels are edible, though not very palatable unless cooked.
Milford: Why did the banana go to the hospital?
Clifford: Because it was not peeling well.
Though not commonly eaten in much of the world, plantains are a dietary staple in many tropical regions. Plantains are thicker-skinned, larger, have a firmer flesh, and are less sweet tasting than ‘dessert’ varieties of bananas. They are starchy and require some type of cooking to break down the starches into sugars, to make them edible. Plantains are usually baked, boiled, or fried before being eaten, much as potatoes are prepared.
My Pet Banana
I bought a pet banana
and I tried to teach him tricks,
but he wasn’t any good at
catching balls or fetching sticks.
He could never catch a Frisbee,
and he wouldn’t sit or speak,
though we practiced every afternoon
and evening for a week.
He refused to shake or wave or crawl
or beg or take a bow,
and I tried, but couldn’t make him bark
or get him to meow.
He was terrible at playing dead.
He couldn’t jump a rope.
When he wouldn’t do a single trick
I simply gave up hope.
Though I liked my pet banana,
I returned him with regret.
Boy, I sure do hope this watermelon
makes a better pet.
A typical banana is yellow and curved, weighs about 125 grams (about 4.41 ounces), and contains about 111 calories, about 448 milligrams of potassium, about 18 percent of the United States Department of Agriculture’s ‘Recommended Daily Intake’ of vitamin C, and about 13 percent of the USDA’s ‘RDI’ of dietary fiber. Bananas have no cholesterol, no sodium, and a negligible amount of fat. Bananas are 75 percent water. Overall, bananas have good nutritional value and make a healthy snack or mealtime addition. So, as the monkeys say, “Oo-oo aa-aa oo-oo aa-aa!”
Let us consider that some more. Bananas are low in calories and have almost no fat, no sodium, and no cholesterol. They are one of the few foods that contain the six major vitamin groups. Bananas contain vitamin B6, which the brain needs to function properly. They contain vitamin C, which prevents scurvy. Bananas help the body produce serotonin, a natural substance that may possibly alleviate depression in some people. They are the only fruit that contains the amino acid tryptophan. Bananas are also high in potassium and fiber. To learn if bananas are right for you, speak with your local grocer or monkey - wait, that can’t be right . . . instead, consult your nutritionist, dietician, physician, or other educated, trained, licensed professional human person.
Derek: Why don’t bananas snore?
Erika: Because they don’t want to wake up the rest of the bunch.
Bananas are excellent fuel for athletic and fitness activities, because they replenish necessary carbohydrates, glycogen, and body fluids that are used up during exercise. Containing three natural sugars - sucrose, fructose, and glucose, bananas give people an instant, sustained, and substantial boost of energy. Research shows that two bananas provide enough energy for a strenuous ninety-minute workout. No wonder the banana is the number one fruit among the world’s leading athletes.
The fastest marathon ever completed by a competitor dressed as a fruit was run in 2 hours, 58 minutes, and 20 seconds. The record was set at the Barcelona Marathon on 6 March 2011, and the runner was Patrick Wightman from the United Kingdom, who dressed as a banana. Do you think a zucchini could run faster?
Loren: What is yellow on the inside and green on the outside?
Laura: A banana dressed up as a cucumber.
Bananas are slightly radioactive due to the small amount of naturally occurring isotope potassium-40 that is found in their overall relatively high potassium content. While bananas are more radioactive than most other fruits, you need not be alarmed, because their naturally occurring radiation is not high enough to harm humans.
Lynnette: What is yellow and flashes?
Jennet: A banana with a loose connection.
Banana: An elongated curved fruit, which grows in bunches, and has a sweet creamy flesh and smooth skin.
Overheard: Bananas just look so relaxed. I bet no one ever yells at a banana and says, “Hey, get out of the produce section and go get a job!”
Bananas are a perennial crop that is grown and harvested all year round. ‘Perennial’ means the plants grow year after year, unlike some plants that are annuals and live for just one year, and other plants that are biennials and live for just two years. Each banana plant produces only one cluster of fruit each year. The large clusters grow off the main stems of banana plants, and can weigh more than 100 pounds in total, with between 100 and 400 individual bananas per cluster. Because banana fruits are harvested every day of the year, they are always ‘in season,’ or available any day of the year, in grocery stores and markets.
The “Banana Boat Song” (1923), also known as, “Yes, We Have No Bananas” was written by Irving Burgie (Lord Burgess), who was inspired by the banana shortage at the time. The song was sung by Harry Belafonte, became hugely popular, and continues to this day to be the best-known song about bananas. “Come, Mister Tally Man, tally me bananas . . . Daylight come and me wan’ go home . . .”
Centuries ago, the varieties of bananas available to them were described by Arab traders as small and about the size of a person’s finger, so they called them ‘banan’ meaning ‘fingertips’ in Arabic. The phrase ‘going bananas’ is from the fruit’s whimsical association with monkeys. The term ‘banana republic’ was coined by the writer O. Henry. He originally used it in reference to Honduras, though the term has since been used to refer to any country that is politically unstable, relies heavily on simple agriculture, and is not technologically advanced.
Bananas float in water. Naturally, you will want to test this for yourself, you good little scientist, you. Bananas, apples, and watermelons all float in water, which makes them good fruits to place in tubs of water so that guests at parties can go bobbing for fruit . . . although maybe not so much bobbing for watermelons, unless they happen to have mouths the size of the ones hippopotamuses have.
The strings that go up and down the length of bananas under the peels are called phloem (pronounced like ‘floh-em’ or ‘flō'ǝm’; rhymes with ‘poem’) bundles. Phloem bundles help distribute nutrients throughout bananas as they grow. If you peel a banana from the bottom, you will not have to peel those little stringy things off it. It is said that monkeys do exactly that - they peel their bananas from the bottoms of the bananas up to the stems. If you like, on your next trip to the zoo, take along a bunch of bananas for the monkeys, and watch how they peel the bananas to verify this.
Chrissy: Why did the banana go out with the fig?
Missy: Because he couldn’t find a date.
Banana Day is observed on the third Wednesday of April each year. We have not been able to find any authoritative information on the holiday, so if you are interested in observing it, you could probably make up your own traditions. Perhaps you could dress up as a giant banana, call yourself Santa Banana, and walk around with a bunch of bananas, handing one to each person you meet.
James: Who brings presents to good little monkeys?
Jamie: Banana Claus!
Bananas and Plantains Quiz
- Do bananas grow on trees?
- Is a banana a fruit or a vegetable?
- What is the difference between a dessert banana and a plantain?
A man in India once ate 81 bananas in half an hour.
Bananas and Plantains Quiz Answers
- Bananas grow not on trees, but on the world’s largest and tallest herb plants.
- Bananas are a type of fruit.
- Dessert bananas are a type of banana that is slightly sweet and commonly eaten raw, while plantains are a type of banana that is less sweet and are cooked before being eaten.
What is a top banana? The top banana is the one in the bunch that receives more sunlight, and becomes riper and sweeter, and is therefore ‘the best of the bunch.’
This is ‘MFOL!’ . . . where you are always top banana . . . the absolute best of the bunch . . .
Assorted doughnuts . . . which one is your favorite?
The two main types of doughnuts are those made from a cake-like batter, called cake doughnuts, and those made from yeast dough, called yeast doughnuts. Cake doughnuts have a consistency similar to dense, heavy cake, and yeast doughnuts have a consistency similar to lightweight bread. Yeast doughnuts could also be called bread doughnuts, if we lived in a world in which reason and logic rather than custom, or lazy old habits, prevailed.
Canada has more doughnut shops per person than any other country in the world. This is a matter that needs to be looked into - exactly what is going on here? We will get right back to you with our findings after we try some of these Canadian-gooseberry-jelly-filled doughnuts.
Shown here are plain doughnuts of the cake variety.
More than 10 billion doughnuts are made in the United States of America each year.
Most historians believe that the Dutch were the first to introduce the modern doughnut to North America in the form of ‘olykoeks,’ or ‘oily cakes’ as early as the mid-19th century. These early doughnuts were balls of cake fried in pork fat. Because the center of the cake did not cook as fast as the outside, the gooey center was often replaced with fruit or nuts.
Cream-filled doughnuts include Boston cream doughnuts (made with milk and eggs in the filling, as shown) and Bavarian cream-filled doughnuts (made with cream cheese).
“A doughnut is a small fried cake of sweetened dough used to lull people into attending unnecessary meetings.” -Author Unknown
“Doughnut shop [sign]: No slam-dunking.” -Frank Tyger (1929 - 2011)
Doughnut seeds are actually commonly-available ring-shaped toasted-oat breakfast cereal food placed in packaging that resembles garden seeds packets. Though they will never grow into plants, doughnut seeds are an edible and harmless novelty item. You can easily make your own with a computer printer and a box of cereal.
Types of Doughnuts
- Apple Cider Doughnuts.
- Doughnut Holes.
- Glazed Doughnuts.
- Iced Doughnuts.
- Jelly Doughnuts.
- Long Johns.
- Plain Doughnuts.
- Powdered Doughnuts.
- Can you think of other types of doughnuts?
- What is your favorite type of doughnut?
A type of doughnut is mentioned in the Christian Bible and the Jewish Torah. In chapter 7, verse 12 of Leviticus, the scripture says that a thanksgiving to God should be made of “cakes mingled with oil, of fine flour, fried.”
Martha: Why did the doughnut roll across the road?
Martin: Because it fell off the bakery truck.
Even before people would trick or treat for candy, Halloween was celebrated by bobbing for doughnuts hung from a string.
The origin of the word ‘doughnut’ is uncertain. Some researchers suggest the name refers to the nuts that were placed inside the ball of dough to compensate for the uncooked center. Other researchers claim it refers to ‘dough knots,’ which was a shape of early doughnuts. The origin of the doughnut is unknown, though different nationalities have had their own version of the treat throughout history.
Washington Irving (1783 - 1859) was one of the first people to use the word ‘doughnut’ in print. In his “History of New York” (1809), he describes, “balls of sweetened dough, fried in hog’s fat, and called doughnuts.”
American ship captain Hanson Crockett Gregory (1832 - 1921) claimed to have invented the first ring-shaped doughnut, or a doughnut with a hole in the middle, while he was a sailor aboard a lime-trading ship at 16 years of age on 22 June 1847. Doughnuts of the time were cakes fried in oil; however, while the outside would cook, the centers remained uncooked dough or batter. To solve this problem, as he said, “I took the cover off the ship’s tin pepper box, and - I cut into the middle of that doughnut the first hole ever seen by mortal eyes!” The new ring shape allowed the hot oil to cook the doughnut dough evenly and completely.
During the time of whaling ships, whalers would sometimes celebrate the filling of the one-thousandth barrel with whale oil by frying doughnuts - not surprisingly - in the whale oil. How do you celebrate the achievements in your life?
The first recorded use of the spelling variation ‘donut’ is found in the 1900 story “Peck’s Bad Boy and His Pa” by George W. Peck. In it, a character is quoted as saying, “Pa said he guessed he hadn’t got much appetite and he would just drink a cup of coffee and eat a donut.”
Would you prefer a chocolate doughnut or a chocolate donut?
‘Doughnut’ is the more traditional spelling, although the shortened form, ‘donut,’ is considered by some to be acceptable in less-formal usage.
American explorer Richard Evelyn Byrd, Junior (1888 - 1957) took 100 barrels of doughnut flour, enough for 2 years, on one of his South Pole expeditions.
Angus: What kind of doughnuts do people eat at the South Pole?
Clyde: Frozen ones.
Sugar-glazed doughnuts are also known simply as glazed doughnuts.
Researchers have noted that the size of the hole in a doughnut correlates with the quality of the economy. Specifically, the worse the economy, the bigger the doughnut hole.
The missing centers of doughnuts are called ‘doughnut holes.’ Of course, many ring-shaped doughnuts are made without ever having had middles or centers in them, but doughnut holes are nonetheless somewhat-humorously sold as if that is what they were made from. The ones pictured above are of the yeast doughnut variety.
In the 1934 movie “It Happened One Night,” Clark Gable started the trend of dunking doughnuts in milk when he showed a fellow actor the “right way to do it.” During the 1940’s, stars such as Johnny Carson, Pearl Buck, Red Skelton, Jimmy Durante, and Martha Graham were members of the National Dunking Association. The association even provided membership cards for dunkers.
National Doughnut Day is observed on the first Friday of June every year. The holiday was established in 1938 to celebrate Salvation Army Workers, then known as Doughnut Girls, who supplied free doughnuts to American troops during World War 1. Another holiday celebrating the ubiquitous fried treat is National Doughnut Appreciation Day, which falls on 5 November of each year.
Adolph Levitt, a Russian-born American, invented the first automated doughnut machine in 1920. He called it the “Wonderful Almost Human Automatic Doughnut Machine.”
Long John Doughnuts, with cream filling and icing on top, are shown in the photograph.
At least 10 people in the United States of America have the surname, or last name, Doughnut or Donut. Ninety-five or more people have the surname Longjohn, which is the name of a long doughnut. Twelve people have the last name Bearclaw, 498 people have the surname Sprinkles, 470 people have the last name Fritter, and 1,634 have the surname Sugar.
Jelly-filled doughnuts are also known simply as jelly doughnuts.
Doughnuts can be as much as 25 percent fat because they absorb fat from the oil or grease in which they are fried.
A chocolate glazed doughnut has about 5 teaspoons of sugar. A possible dietary and nutritional counter-balance to that might be to eat, say, 30 pounds of broccoli or green beans for each chocolate glazed doughnut you eat. But to be sure, consult with your personal nutritionist beforehand.
If a person added a doughnut a day to his or her regular diet, that person would gain about one additional pound for each 10 days.
To go from a size 6 to a size 14 in just 3 months, in order to portray the character Bridget Jones in the movie series by that name, actress Renée Zellweger said she ate 20 doughnuts a day.
A typical glazed doughnut has about 240 calories, of which 120 are from fat. A 150-pound woman would have to walk 4 miles per hour for 48 minutes to burn off one 240-calorie doughnut. This would be equivalent to just over 4.8 kilometers (3 miles) distance.
Fun fact: The hollow center of a ring-shaped doughnut, where there’s nothing, is entirely free of fat and calories.
“Many people completely overlook the doughnut because they spend all their time looking at the hole.” -Author Unknown
As you go through life, my friend,
Whatever be your goal,
Keep your eye upon the doughnut,
And not upon the hole.
“Doughnut ever give up on your cherished hopes and dreams and goals; continue to stick to them, just like the sweet sticky mess from a glazed doughnut continues to stick to your fingers after you have eaten the doughnut.” -Nathan Thomas Taylor (born 1966)
“Don’t miss the doughnut by looking through the hole.” -Author Unknown
Constance: What has no beginning, no end, and no middle?
Connie: A doughnut.
Further fun follows below . . . doughnut forget to ‘MFOL!’
“Some people walk in the rain, others just get wet.” -Roger Miller
When the rain is splashing down
On the fields and on the town
Singing winds begin to blow
And the flowers start to grow.
Falling raindrops are not tear-shaped, but actually are shaped more like tiny hamburger buns . . . though without the sesame seeds.
“The best thing one can do when it’s raining is to let it rain.” -Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
It rains on the duck, cow, and horse.
It rains on the trees and leaves, of course!
It rains on a little girl and fella.
But I’m not wet; I have an umbrella!
Carl: How does the rain tie its shoes?
Clara: With a rainbow!
What is precipitation? Precipitation is any form of water particle that forms in the atmosphere and falls to the ground. Precipitation can be liquid or solid, as for example, raindrops, snowflakes, hail, sleet, or ice.
Rain, rain, falling down,
Landing all around.
What a lovely sound you make
Splashing on the ground!
-Author Unknown: sung to “Row, Row, Row Your Boat”
“Raindrops: Water-berries.” -Nathan Thomas Taylor (born 1966)
“When life gives you a rainy day, play in the puddles.” -Author Unknown
What is rain? What is drizzle? Rain and drizzle are precipitation in the form of liquid water drops. The size of the drops determines which type they are. Raindrops have a diameter of 0.5 millimeters (0.02 inches) or larger. Light rain is any rain falling at a rate of 2.5 millimeters (0.1 inches) or less per hour. Raindrops fall faster through the atmosphere than smaller, lighter, less densely packed drizzle drops. Both drizzle and light rain fall to the ground, unlike fog and mist, which stay in the air close to the ground.
Who Likes the Rain?
“I,” said the duck, “I call it fun,
For I have my little red rubbers on;
They make a cunning three-toed track
In the soft cool mud. Quack! Quack! Quack!”
“I,” cried the dandelion, “I,”
My roots are thirsty, my buds are dry;
And she lifted a tussled, yellow head
Out of her green and grassy bed.
“I hope ‘twill pour! I hope ‘twill pour!”
Purred the tree-toad at his gray back-door.
“For, with a broad leaf for a roof,
I am perfectly weather proof.”
Sang the brook, “I laugh at every drop,
And wish they never need to stop
Till a big, big river I grew to be,
And could find my way out to the sea.”
“I,” shouted Ted, “for I can run,
With my high-top boots and my rain coat on,
Through every puddle, and runlet, and pool,
That I find on my way to school.”
-Clara Doty Bates (1838 - 1895)
Overheard: I like rain so much that I have begun to suspect that I may be part duck. Quack! Quack! Oh, no - I am a duck! How did this happen to me?! Everybody should be made aware of this - if you go out walking in the rain, you might turn into a duck! Quack!
What if the little rain should say,
“So small a drop as I,
Can ne’er refresh a drooping earth,
I’ll tarry in the sky.”
“Nature saves up rain in cloud banks.” -Author Unknown
“If I were running the world I would have it rain only between 2 and 5 a.m. Anyone who was out then ought to get wet.” -William Lyon Phelps
Go away -
Raindrops fall through the sky at an average rate of 6.4 meters (21 feet) per second, or 11.3 kilometers (7 miles) per hour. They are like tiny, watery skydivers . . . minus any parachutes, of course.
The wettest spot on Earth is located on the island of Kauai, Hawaii. There, Mount Waialeale consistently receives rainfall at the rate of nearly 1,270 centimeters (500 inches) a year.
Because rain must come from somewhere, it has been decided that it will come from clouds . . .
Walking in the Rain
Once in the rain I saw a man,
Strolling with an umbrella in hand.
When I said it was insane
To walk in the rain,
He said, “Well then, I’ll just stand.”
“No single raindrop believes it is to blame for the flood.” -Author Unknown
Rich: What did one raindrop say to the other?
Chris: Two’s company, three’s a cloud.
“A rainy day is the perfect time for a walk in the woods.” -Rachel Carson
Two ducks went waddling down the lane.
Said one to the other, “What beautiful rain!”
Two children came to the door with a frown.
Said they, “What a pity, it’s pouring down!”
And old Mr. Weather scratched his head.
“You can’t please everyone!” he said.
The most rain fall ever recorded in one year was in Cherrapunji, India where more than 25.4 meters (83.3 feet) of the wet stuff crashed to the Earth’s surface.
“I can’t believe it,” said the foreign tourist. “I’ve been here an entire week and it’s done nothing but rain. When do you have summer here?” “Well, that’s hard to say,” replied the local resident. “Last year, it was on a Wednesday.”
Rain on the rooftop,
Rain on the tree.
Rain on the green grass,
But don’t rain on me!
Ombrophobia is a persistent fear of rain. If you have ombrophobia combined with umbrellaphobia, or a fear of umbrellas, your life is pretty much limited to the indoors on rainy days, which could cause you to develop a ‘fear of boredom’ - is there a word for that specific phobia?
“Timing has a lot to do with the outcome of a rain dance.” -Author Unknown
Falling from the sky.
Here is my umbrella
To keep me safe and dry.
When the rain is over
And the sun begins to glow,
Little flowers start to bud
And grow and grow and grow.
“It rained hard enough to fill a wire basket.” -attributed to Mike Royko (1932 - 1997)
The right amount of rain has a way of washing away the a great deal of the unpleasantness of life, making everything smell fresh and clean: making green things grow, giving animals a refreshing drink . . . but too much rain becomes floods, which have a way of washing away all of life itself. And, when areas go without rain or other water for long periods of time, it is called a drought, and life does not thrive in drought-like conditions.
“Many a man curses the rain that falls upon his head, and knows not that it brings abundance to drive away hunger.” -Basil (C.E. 330 - C.E. 379)
When the rain is coming down
In the puddles I splash around
The water’s wet, but I am dry
I have my boots on, that is why!
Amy: What is worse than raining cats and dogs?
May: Hailing taxis!
Overheard: It’s raining cats and dogs - and lions and tigers and bears, oh my!
“A man goes out to get the newspaper, comes back inside the house, and says to his wife, ‘It’s raining cats and dogs outside.’ His wife says, ‘Are you sure?’ ‘Yes,’ he says, ‘I just stepped in a poodle.’” -Jack Benny (1894 - 1974): “The Jack Benny Show” radio show
The phrase ‘raining cats and dogs’ originated in seventeenth-century England. During downpours of rain, stray animals would drown and float down the streets, seeming to show that it had ‘rained cats and dogs.’ Keep your pets safe at home!
Holly: What is it called when it rains ducks and geese?
Mollie: Fowl weather.
“Rain is a good reminder of how our attitude can affect everything. Some folks let it destroy their day; others consider it a blessing.” -Judy Ford
Rain, rain falls on the street,
mud in puddles cleaning my feet.
Thunder, thunder rumble and roar,
close the windows and lock the door.
Clouds, clouds black and gray,
heavy with water to drop all day.
Sun, sun is breaking through,
clouds are moving, the rain stops too.
Rainbow, rainbow across the sky,
see-through colors to tickle my eyes.
To ‘save something for a rainy day’ means to set money or other needs for a time when one will not be able to work to earn them, just as one might not be able to work on a rainy day or in a period of retirement from work.
Donald: I saved something for a rainy day.
Donna: That’s wonderful - what did you save?
Donald: A barrel of rainwater, from the last time it rained.
Welcome to ‘MFOL!’ We are here to bring a little happiness to the world, and we hope you will enjoy the fun and learning that follows below on this page, as well as on the pages shown on the menu bar at the top of this page, such as the ‘Stories & Essays’ page.
Let us bow our heads and say grace . . . Lord, we thank you for the blessings of this day and for the bounty before us . . .
Thank You God
Thank You God for
The world so sweet,
Thank You God for
The food we eat,
Thank You God for
The birds that sing,
Thank You God for
“Us and this, God bless.” -Author Unknown: Quaker grace
Johnny Appleseed Grace
Oh, the Lord’s been good to me
And so I thank the Lord
For giving me the things I need
The Sun and the rain and the apple seed.
The Lord’s been good to me.
Lord, we thank You
For the food before us
The family beside us
The love between us
And Your presence among us.
Lord, You give us good things to eat
Like spuds and carrots, peas and meat.
May all the things we say and do
Show our love and thanks to You.
Humorous or rhyming mealtime graces may not be appropriate for all occasions; however, we have been endowed by our Creator with an ability to be joyful and playful, and there is a time for them as there is a time and place for everything in God’s Creation.
For food and health
And happy days,
Our gratitude and praise.
Lettuce be thankful for our food.
God is great,
God is good,
Let us thank Him
For our food.
Lord, thank You for this food.
It’s yet another reminder,
Of this truth from “Lamentations”:
That You are good to those whose hope is in You,
To those who seek You.
Thank You, Lord,
For the richness of this food,
In color, taste, and texture,
And that it tastes all the sweeter,
For this blessing:
That we can enjoy it with those we love.
Table Grace for Christmastime
In the midst of our decorating, shopping, and baking,
Christmas whispers, “Immanuel.”
In the midst of our parties and merry-making,
Christmas whispers, “Immanuel.”
Help us pause, Lord, while this food partaking,
To rejoice in the promise, “Immanuel.”
-Author Unknown (For this prayer, whisper the first two occurrences of ‘Immanuel,’ but say the last one loudly and joyfully. Explain that ‘Immanuel’ means ‘God is with us.’)
Benedictus, Benedicat. [original Latin]
May the Blessed One, Bless. [English translation]
The treasures of this life
Are love, hope, and family.
God, thank you for all three.
Many prayers end with ‘amen’ meaning ‘so may it be.’
Grace with Hands
God bless us (touch hands on head).
God bless the food (place hands around plate).
Amen (fold hands).
Lord, we thank You for this food.
As we receive all You give,
Help us to trust You more:
To trust in Your generosity,
For You are eager to bless us,
To trust in Your love,
For You will never reject us,
To trust in Your strength,
For You want to work through us.
A Hare’s Prayer
God is great,
God is good,
For the hare
Grass is food,
And all the Earth
A dinner plate.
-Nathan Thomas Taylor (born 1966)
Please bless these sinners
As they eat their dinners,
In Jesus name we pray,
For food in a world where many walk in hunger;
For faith in a world where many walk in fear;
For friends in a world where many walk alone;
We give you thanks, O Lord. Amen.
-Author Unknown: from the Huron Hunger Fund, Anglican Church of Canada
Bread is a lovely thing to eat;
God bless the bakery and the wheat.
Bless this food for our use
And us to thy service. Amen.
There once was a cock and a hen,
Who gave lunch to a goose in a pen.
“Good Lord,” said the goose,
“For good food and those who prepare it,
For good friends with whom to share it,
We thank you Lord. Amen.”
Father, thank you for meat and bread.
May all the world be clothed and fed.
Thank you Lord,
And please know
That we are truly grateful
For every cup and every plate full.
We thank the Lord for happy hearts
For rain and sunny weather
We thank the Lord for this our food
And that we are together
Please make us able
To eat all the food on the table
I think we can do it
If we all stick to it.
We thank you Lord at our evening meal,
For the blessings, friendships, and love we feel.
Oh, guide our minds and our hearts we pray,
Let us all make tomorrow a joyful day.
-Author Unknown: sung to the tune of, “What Child is This”
God is great,
God is good.
Let us thank God
For our food.
By his grace
We are fed.
Thank you God
For daily bread.
God of goodness, please bless our food,
And please keep us in a pleasant mood.
Our hands we fold;
Our heads we bow;
For food and drink,
We thank thee now.
Many mealtime graces are short in length, because if hungry people are at a table with the promise of food, and they do not get food soon, they might start chewing on their fingernails, the napkins, the tablecloth, each other, or anything else that is within reach!
Thank you God
For milk and bread
And other things so good
Thank you God
For those who help
To grow and cook our food.
We thank you
For the food we eat,
For your protection,
From cold and heat,
For health and strength,
For love and laughter,
And finally, God,
For life ever after.
-Nathan Thomas Taylor (born 1966)
Thank You for the Special Things
We thank you for our food,
For life and joy and play,
We thank you for the special things
You give to us this day.
Lord, we thank You,
Lord, we thank You,
For our food,
For our food,
And our many blessings,
And our many blessings.
-Author Unknown: sung to the tune of “Frere Jacques,” also known as, “Are You Sleeping, Brother John?”
Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power
And the glory and the victory and the majesty,
For all that is in the Heavens and in the Earth is Yours.
We thank You and praise Your name,
For all this abundance comes from Your hand.
Help us keep joy and gratitude in our hearts
And direct our hearts toward You.
-Author Unknown: prayer based on “The Bible,” ‘First Chronicles,’ chapter 29
God our Father,
Lord and Savior,
Thank you for
Your love and favor
Bless this food we pray
And all who share it
With us today.
Thank You God
Thank You God for feet that run
And hop and jump and have such fun.
Thank You God for hands that clap,
Wiggle, wave, and pet a cat.
Thank You God for making me,
And mom and dad and friends I see.
We love You, praise You, and shout out Your name.
Our God is forever and ever the same!
We love our bread,
We love our butter,
But most of all,
We love each other,
Thank You Lord
For our food.
This is ‘MFOL!’ . . . your cheerful ways and pleasant smiles make it all worthwhile . . .
Here you will find fun stuff to say to people while they are eating pickles . . .
Stacy: What is green, noisy, and moves very fast?
Tracy: A herd of stampeding pickles! Look, there they go now!
Brightly colored pickles, an idea that likely originated in the Mississippi Delta, are spreading throughout the land. You can find them in red, purple, orange . . . all the colors of your favorite powdered drink mix. Even children like them. Just make Kool-Aid or other powdered drink mix according to package directions, but make it double-strength. Add pickles that have been cut lengthwise, and then place them in a refrigerator for a week to allow for color absorption.
Overheard: A pickle is, like, a really gnarly cucumber, dude!
The English word ‘pickle’ is derived from the Dutch word ‘pekel’ meaning ‘brine.’ Brine is a solution made of water and salt (commonly sodium chloride).
Carrie: What is green, bumpy, and faster than a speeding bullet?
Corey: Super Pickle!
According to pickle industry standards, a pickle’s crunch should be audible from ten paces away.
Ryan: What do you get if you cross a cucumber with a werewolf?
Brian: A pickle that gets hairy when there is a full moon.
The Italian financier, navigator, and cartographer Amerigo Vespucci, for whom the Americas (North and South) were named, was a pickle merchant before becoming an explorer. Because refrigeration did not exist back then, pickling was an important way of keeping food edible for long periods of time, and everything from fish to fruits was pickled in bottles and barrels.
Nelson: What do you do with a pickle when it is one year old?
Nellie: Wish it a happy birthday
Whole Gherkins are great for snacking, or can be served alongside a sandwich.
Any food can be pickled. Vegetables can be pickled, including peppers and beets, and there are pickled hard-boiled eggs, pickled fish such as herring, and pickled pig’s feet. However, the word ‘pickle’ used as a noun refers specifically to a pickled cucumber.
Stout: What is long and green and grouchy?
Slim: A sour pickle.
According to pickle industry research, the average American prefers pickles with seven ‘warts’ per square inch, while Europeans prefer pickles with no ‘warts.’ Apparently, Americans like pickles that are easy to grip and Europeans like their pickles slippery.
Paula: What is green and sour and always changing its mind?
Polly: A fickle pickle.
Twenty-six billion pickles are packed each year in the United States of America, which amounts to about nine pounds of pickles per person. So, who wants a pickle?
A funny young fellow named Perkins
Was terribly fond of small gherkins.
One day after tea
He ate ninety-three -
And pickled his internal workings.
An average-size dill pickle contains just 15 calories.
Al: What is long and green and jumps every few seconds?
Bert: A pickle with the hiccups!
Pickles are a fat-free food.
Alex: What is green and sour and gives presents to boys and girls?
Rex: Santa Pickle.
Sliced pickles are often found on hamburger sandwiches and other types of sandwiches.
Are pickles a fruit or a vegetable? Actually, they are both, according to the United States Supreme Court. Because pickles have seeds, they are technically a ‘fruit of the vine.’ However, because pickles are made from cucumbers, they are generally known as a vegetable.
Chase: What is a pickle in full bloom called?
Grace: A daffy-dill.
In order for a pickle to be considered officially a pickle in Connecticut, United States of America, it must bounce.
Question: What is black and white and green and bumpy?
Answer: A pickle wearing a tuxedo.
Peter Piper picked a peck
Of pickled peppers;
A peck of pickled peppers
Peter Piper Picked.
If Peter Piper picked a peck
Of Pickled peppers,
Where’s the peck of pickled peppers
Peter Piper Picked?
Varieties of cucumber pickles include Bread-and-Butter, Brined, Cornichon, Danish, Deep-Fried, Dill, Gherkin, Hungarian, Kosher Dill, Lime, Polish, and Swedish.
Josiah: What is green and hairy and hangs out in New York?
Joseph: King Kong Pickle.
National Pickle Day, or Pickle Appreciation Day as some folks like to call it, is observed on 14 November of each year.
Pickle relish goes well atop a hotdog on a bun, or can be put in potato salad, tuna salad, or macaroni salad.
“Hunger is the best pickle.” -Benjamin Franklin
Mick: What is green and goes through walls?
Mack: A pickle, but you have to throw it really hard!
Henry John Heinz, founder of the H. J. Heinz Company, was a marketing and advertising pioneer. His company had the largest commercial exhibit at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, and in 1900 erected the first electric sign in New York City, a colossal forty foot long pickle.
Claudia: What did one pickle say to the other?
Claudette: “You mean a great dill to me.”
The expression “in a pickle” originated with the English playwright William Shakespeare. He used it in his play, “The Tempest” (about 1611) in the two lines: “How cam’st thou in this pickle?” and “I have been in such a pickle!”
Russell: What is green and pecks on trees?
Randall: Woody Wood Pickle!
Natives of the Pacific Islands pickle food in holes in the ground lined with banana leaves, in order to have a reliable reserve of food during the rainy season. The pickles are so valuable that they have become a part of the courting process, helping a man to prove that he will be able to provide for a woman. So, in Fiji, a guy cannot marry a gal without first showing her parents his stock of pickled food.
Ricky: Why do gherkins giggle a lot?
Mickey: They’re pickle-ish!
Some people throw pickle juice away, but it can be poured through a sieve or cheesecloth and then served chilled as a beverage, just like lemonade.
Who wants a glass of pickle juice?!
“You can drink pickle juice and imitate gorillas and do silly dances and sing stupid songs and wear funny hats and be as imperfect as you please and still be a good person. Good people are hard to find nowadays. And they’re a lot more fun than perfect people any day of the week.” -Stephen Manes
Bread-and-Butter Pickles can go on bread on which has been spread a generous amount of real butter.
Mr. Jefferson: What is red, white, blue, and green?
Mr. Franklin: A patriotic pickle!
More than half the cucumbers grown in the United States of America are made into pickles. So, what is growing in your garden?
George turned to his wife Martha and said, “Do we need these pickles? They are on sale, and they seem like a really good dill.”
Overheard: I love you more than pickles!
This is ‘MFOL!’ . . . well, that finishes things pickle-ish, and so now it is time for us to go out to get more sweet pickles, sour pickles, sliced pickles, pickle relish, and pickle juice . . . it seems we are running low on all of them . . .
If you find yourself struggling with loneliness, you are not alone in what you are experiencing . . . and yet you are alone . . . so very, very alone . . .
“You call it being alone. I call it enjoying my own company.” -Author Unknown
“They are never alone that are accompanied with noble thoughts.” -Philip Sidney (1554 - 1586)
“I was never less alone than when by myself.” -Edward Gibbon (1737 - 1794): “Memoir” (1796), Volume 1, page 117
“People think being alone makes you lonely, but I don’t think that’s true. Being surrounded by the wrong people is the loneliest thing in the world.” -Kim Culbertson
Jered: Why are bananas never lonely?
Derek: Because they hang around in bunches.
Sometimes I like to be alone
And look up at the sky
And think my thoughts inside my head -
Just me, myself, and I.
-Mary Ann Hoberman (born 1930)
“In the silence of night I have often wished for just a few words of love from one man, rather than the applause of thousands of people.” -Judy Garland (Frances Gumm (1922 - 1969)): as quoted in Barbara Rowes: “The Book of Quotes” (1979)
“Dear sidewalk, please get wider. Sincerely, third friend walking behind feeling excluded.” -Author Unknown
“More than any other human problem, loneliness, the absence of meaningful human connection, drains the joy and sense of purpose from our lives. It explains why people go to shopping centers when they have no intention of shopping. They just need to be somewhere where other people are, hoping that among the hundreds of strangers passing by, they will find one familiar face. It explains why people come home from work or school and immediately switch on the television. They are not interested in the program much of the time, they do not even know what is on. But they are desperate for the sound of another human voice in their lives.” -Harold Kushner (Harold Samuel Kushner (born 1935))
“I think it’s very healthy to spend time alone. You need to know how to be alone and not be defined by another person.” -Oscar Wilde (Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wilde (1854 - 1900))
“The difference between solitude and loneliness is the quality of the company we keep.” -Author Unknown
How to Cope with Loneliness
- Adopt a pet.
- Take up a hobby or a cause.
- Keep busy with whatever you can find to do.
- Help others or become a volunteer.
- Make friends of strangers.
- Go to places where other people go.
- What can you add to this list?
“There is a French proverb: To live happy, live hidden. Where can Brigitte Bardot hide?” -Brigitte Bardot (born 1934)
“Loneliness is the way by which destiny endeavors to lead man to himself.” -Hermann Hesse (1877 - 1962): “Reflections” (1974), number 196
There are times when you want to be alone - but the world will not let you alone!
“I never said, ‘I want to be alone.’ I only said, ‘I want to be left alone.’ There is all the difference.” -Greta Garbo (Greta Lovisa Gustafsson (1905 - 1990))
“Conversation enriches the understanding, but solitude is the school of genius.” -Edward Gibbon (1737 - 1794)
“People are lonely because they build walls instead of bridges.” -Joseph F. Newton (Joseph Fort Newton (1878 - 1949))
“The pain of loneliness is normal, and is felt by everyone, and is nature’s way of telling us that we are meant to be with others of our own kind.” -Nathan Thomas Taylor (born 1966)
“I like to be alone, but I dislike being lonely.” -Author Unknown
“One can acquire everything in solitude - except character.” -Stendhal (pseudonym of Marie-Henri Beyle (1783 - 1842))
A guy was lonely and so he decided life would be more fun if he had a pet. He went to the pet store and told the owner that he wanted to buy an unusual pet. After some discussion, he finally bought a centipede (a one-hundred-legged bug), which came in a little white box to use for its house. He took the box back home, found a good location for the box, and decided he would start off by taking his new pet to a restaurant to have a meal. “Would you like to go to Frank’s Diner with me and have a bite to eat?” he asked the centipede in the box. But there was no answer from his new pet. This bothered him a bit, but he waited a few minutes and then asked him again, “How about going out and having a snack with me?” But again, there was no answer from his new friend and pet. So he waited a few minutes more, thinking about the situation. He decided to ask him one more time - this time putting his face up against the centipede’s house and shouting, he said, “Hey, in there! Would you like to go get some food with me?” A tiny little voice came squeaking out of the box in reply, “I heard you the first time! I’m putting on my shoes.”
“It is strange to be known so universally and yet be so lonely.” -Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)
“Loneliness is the most terrible poverty.” -Teresa of Calcutta (Anjezë Gonxhe Bojaxhiu (1910 - 1997))
“Loneliness is the poverty of self; solitude is the richness of self.” -May Sarton (pseudonym of Eleanore Marie Sarton (1912 - 1995))
“Nothing makes us so lonely as our secrets.” -Paul Tournier
“The finest hours of life are not those spent among groups of people, but in good conversation with a few, in reading good books, in listening to great music, wandering in a forest of giant Sequoias, peering into a microscope, unraveling Nature’s secrets in a laboratory. The men who have the most to give their fellow men are those who have enriched their minds and hearts in solitude. It is a poor education that does not fit a man to be alone with himself.” -Joel Henry Hildebrand
“The worst loneliness is to not be comfortable with yourself.” -Mark Twain (Samuel Langhorne Clemens (1835 - 1910))
“No greater burden can be borne by an individual than to know none who cares or understands.” -Arthur H. Stainback
“Don’t try to hog loneliness and keep it all to yourself. Share it with a special someone.” -Jarod Kintz (born 1982)
“It’s better to walk alone, than with a crowd going in the wrong direction.” -Diane Grant
“If I’m such a legend, why am I so lonely?” -Judy Garland (Frances Gumm (1922 - 1969))
“The eternal quest of the individual human being is to shatter his loneliness.” -Norman Cousins (1915 - 1990)
“City life: Millions of people being lonesome together.” -Henry David Thoreau (1817 - 1862)
“The strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone.” -Henrik Ibsen (Henrik Johan ‘Henrik’ Ibsen (1828 - 1906))
“What loneliness is more lonely than distrust?” -George Eliot (pseudonym of Marian Evans Cross (1819 - 1880))
“Learn to enjoy your own company. You are the one person you can count on living with for the rest of your life.” -Ann Richards
William Osler (1849 - 1919), visiting one of London’s leading children’s hospitals, noticed that in a convalescent ward all the children were clustered at one end of the room dressing their dolls, playing games, and playing in the sandbox - all except for one little girl, who sat forlornly on the edge of her high, narrow bed, clutching a cheap doll. The great physician looked at the lonely little figure, then at the ward nurse. “We’ve tried to get Susan to play,” the nurse whispered, “but the other children just won’t have anything to do with her. You see, no one comes to see her. Her mother is dead, and her father has been here just once - he brought her that doll. The children have a strange code. Visitors mean so much. If you don’t have any visitors, you are ignored.” William walked over to the child’s bed and asked in a voice loud enough for the others to hear, “May I sit down, please?” The little girl’s eyes lit up. “I can’t stay very long this visit,” Osler went on, “but I have wanted to see you so badly.” For five minutes he sat talking with her, even inquiring about her doll’s health and solemnly pulling out his stethoscope to listen to the doll’s chest. And as he left, he turned to the youngster and said in a carrying voice, “You won’t forget our secret, will you? - and mind, don’t tell anyone.” At the door he looked back. His new friend was now the center of a curious and admiring throng.
“When you have shut your doors and darkened your room, remember never to say that you are alone; for you are not alone, but God is within and your genius is within.” -Epictetus (C.E. 55 - C.E. 135)
“Language has created the word ‘loneliness’ to express the pain of being alone. And it has created the word ‘solitude’ to express the glory of being alone.” -Paul Tillich (Paul Johannes Tillich (1886 - 1965))
“My husband, a forester, often has to consult property owners to determine boundary lines. Walking up a dirt road to question one such individual, he encountered signs reading, ‘No Trespassing,’ ‘Beware of Dog,’ and ‘Keep Out - This Means You!’ Finally, arriving at the door, he talked with the congenial, cooperative landowner. When my husband was ready to leave, the man said to him, ‘Come and see me again sometime. I don’t get many visitors up this way.’ The lesson is simple: Ask yourself, am I lonely because of the ‘messages’ I am sending out?” -Author Unknown
Just as no day is complete without some fun in it, a trip around the internet is never complete without visiting the ‘Make Fun Of Life!’ Website. If you know something about loneliness - and don’t we all - please feel free to let us know at MakeFunOfLife@mail.com. This is ‘MFOL!’ . . . the website for people who laugh at their own jokes . . .
Mabel: How can I keep birds from nesting in my mailbox?
Gertrude: Install a cat.
In 1913, it was legal to ship children by mail. With postage attached to their clothing, they rode trains to their destinations, accompanied by a letter carrier.
Melvin: What two words have the most letters?
Mailman: ‘Post office.’
Post Office Clerk: This package is too heavy. You will have to put another stamp on it.
Customer: And putting another stamp on it will make it lighter?
“Wanted: Young, skinny, wiry fellows not over 18. Must be expert riders willing to risk death daily. Orphans preferred. Wages $25 per week.” -Author Unknown: Pony Express (1860) advertisement
Bobby: Have you heard about the romance at the post office?
Darren: Yes, a stamp is stuck on an envelope.
Tip for reopening envelope: If you seal an envelope and then realize you forgot to include something inside, place your sealed envelope inside a plastic bag, and then inside a freezer for an hour or two. It will then likely unseal quite easily.
A dog walked into a post-office, and joined the queue (got in line). When he reached the cashier, he said, “Hello, I’d like to send a telegram please.” The cashier, mildly startled to be addressed by a dog, said “Uh, certainly. What message would you like to send?” The dog said “Here is the message: Woof-woof. Woof-woof woof-woof. Woof-woof-woof, woof. Woof.” The cashier, half-sarcastically, said to the dog, “You haven’t quite reached the character-limit. Would you like to add an extra ‘woof’?” The dog replied, “Don’t be daft, that wouldn’t make any sense!”
One interesting fact about the Pony Express system for delivering mail in the United States of America is that there was not a single pony in the Pony Express . . . just horses.
A woman purchased a postage stamp at the post office. “Must I stick it on myself?” she asked. “Well, madam,” replied the postal clerk. “It might be better if you stuck it on the envelope.”
The ‘ZIP’ in ZIP code stands for ‘Zoning Improvement Plan.’
Gwendolyn: What travels around the world while sitting in a corner?
Wendy: A stamp.
Every time you lick a stamp, you consume one-tenth of a calorie. Thank goodness for the peel-and-stick stamps, which allow us to ‘stick’ to our diets!
Shannon: What starts with ‘e,’ ends with ‘e,’ and contains one letter?
Shane: An envelope.
The world’s first adhesive postage stamp went on sale in England in 1840. It was the called the Penny Black, and portrayed Queen Victoria.
Joseph: What two letters describe a mailbox with nothing in it?
Before 1863, the postal service in the United States of America was free.
A woman went to the Post Office to buy stamps for her Christmas cards. “What denomination?” asked the clerk. “Oh, good heavens! Have we come to this?” said the woman. “Well then, give me fifty Catholic stamps and fifty Baptist stamps.”
The glue on Israeli postage stamps is certified kosher.
No matter how much you push the envelope, it will still be stationery.
Benjamin Franklin was appointed the first United States Postmaster General on 26 July 1775.
“Neither Snow, Nor Rain, Nor Heat, Nor Gloom of Night Stops These Couriers From the Swift Completion of Their Appointed Rounds.” -adaptation of words by Herodotus: inscription on the façade of the General Post Office in New York City, New York, United States of America
The original wording of the above was: “Not snow, no, nor rain, nor night keeps them from accomplishing their appointed courses with all speed.” -Herodotus (484 B.C.E. - 425 B.C.E.): “The Histories of Herodotus,” book VIII, chapter 98
They just came out with a new postage stamp. It has a picture of people waiting in line to buy stamps at a post office.
Mailing an entire building has been illegal in the United States of America since 1916, when a man mailed a 40,000-ton brick house across Utah to avoid high freight rates.
Monica: What is big and gray, has forty feet, and runs to the post office?
Monique: A herd of elephants in a ‘stamp’-ede.
“Consider the postage stamp, my son. It secures success through its ability to stick to one thing till it gets there.” -Josh Billings (Henry Wheeler Shaw (1818 - 1885))
Postmen in Victorian England were popularly called ‘robins.’ This was because their uniforms were red. The British Post Office grew out of the carrying of royal dispatches. Red was considered a royal color, so uniforms and letterboxes were red. Christmas cards often showed a robin delivering Christmas mail.
Xavier: How many 3-cent stamps are there in a dozen?
Yvette: 12. (If you answered 4, go to the back of the line!)
Have you heard about the new postage stamps?
- The Peanut Butter Stamp: It sticks to the roof of your mouth.
- The Athlete Stamp: It is so sweaty that you do not have to lick it.
- The Hermit Stamp: It sticks to itself.
- The Welder’s Stamp: If you cannot lick it, join it.
- The Santa Claus Stamp: Yule love it.
- The Cat Stamp: It licks itself.
- The Stork Stamp: It delivers itself.
- The King Arthur Stamp: It is good for over-knight delivery.
- The Kindergarten Stamp: It is good for first class.
- The Fog Stamp: It comes with postage dew.
Before you run out to buy some stamps to mail that letter, would you please send us your mail and post office humor? We are at - where else but - MakeFunOfLife@mail.com.
Some people believe their purpose in life is to be entertained, but might there be some greater purpose for them?
“You are asking yourself, as all of us must: ‘Who am I?’ . . . ‘Where am I?’ . . . ‘Whence do I go?’ The process of enlightenment is usually slow. But, in the end, our seeking always brings a finding. These great mysteries are, after all, enshrined in complete simplicity.” -Bill W. (William Griffith Wilson (1895 - 1971))
“Go forward in life with a twinkle in your eye and a smile on your face, but with great and strong purpose in your heart.” -Gordon B. Hinckley (Gordon Bitner Hinckley (1910 - 2008))
“Every noble life leaves its fiber interwoven forever in the work of the world.” -John Ruskin (1819 - 1900)
“We are here to add what we can to life, not to get what we can from life.” -William Osler (1849 - 1919)
“The purpose of life is to discover your gift. The meaning of life is giving your gift away.” -David Viscott
“We are here on Earth to do good unto others. What the others are here for, I have no idea.” -W. H. Auden (Wystan Hugh Auden (1907 - 1973))
“Love life and help others to love life. Be happy and make others happy.” -Author Unknown
“It’s not what you gather, but what you scatter that tells what kind of life you have lived.” -Author Unknown
“The whole secret of life is to be interested in one thing profoundly and in a thousand things well.” -Horace Walpole (1717 - 1797)
“I don’t know why we are here, but I’m pretty sure that it is not in order to enjoy ourselves.” -Ludwig Wittgenstein (Ludwig Josef Johann Wittgenstein (1889 - 1951)): as quoted in Peter Hershey: “The Beginning of the End” (2004), page 109
“We are not powerless specks of dust drifting around in the wind, blown by random destiny. We are, each of us, like beautiful snowflakes - unique, and born for a specific reason and purpose.” -Elizabeth Kübler-Ross (1926 - 2004): “To Live Until You Say Goodbye”
“What allows us, as human beings, to psychologically survive life on Earth, with all of its pain, drama, and challenges, is a sense of purpose and meaning.” -Barbara De Angelis (born 1951)
“I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I woke and saw that life was service. I served and behold, service was joy.” -Rabindranath Tagore (1861 - 1941)
“The meaning of earthly existence lies, not as we have grown used to thinking, in prospering, but in the development of the soul.” -Alexander Solzhenitsyn
“If you would find happiness and joy, lose your life in some noble cause. A worthy purpose must be at the center of every worthy life.” -Jack H. Goaslind, Junior
“The greatest use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it.” -William James (1842 - 1910)
“I see my purpose in life as making the world a happier place to be in.” -David Niven
“The service we render to others is really the rent we pay for our room on this Earth. It is obvious that man is himself a traveler; that the purpose of this world is not ‘to have and to hold’ but ‘to give and to serve.’ There can be no other meaning.” -Wilfred T. Grenfell
“No matter what age you are, or what your circumstances might be, you are special, and you still have something unique to offer. Your life, because of who you are, has meaning.” -Barbara De Angelis (born 1951)
“Life is not long, and too much of it should not be spent in idle deliberation how it shall be spent.” -Samuel Johnson (1709 - 1784): as quoted in James Boswell: “Life of Johnson”
“Unless a life is lived for others, it is not worthwhile.” -Teresa of Calcutta (Anjezë Gonxhe Bojaxhiu (1910 - 1997))
“Above all be of single aim; have a legitimate and useful purpose, and devote yourself unreservedly to it.” -James Allen (1864 - 1912)
“A life of purpose is the purpose of life.” -Nathan Thomas Taylor (born 1966)
“I have discovered the meaning of life. It resides in what I can wrest* from each day that I live.” -Nancy Thayer
* wrest: take with effort.
“There are ten or twenty basic truths, and life is the process of discovering them over and over and over.” -David Nichols
“Man cannot stand a meaningless life.” -C. G. Jung (Carl Gustav Jung (1875 - 1961))
“Our destiny can be examined, but it cannot be justified or totally explained. We are simply here.” -Jean Iris Murdoch
“Perhaps the meaning of life is something each of us is meant to try to figure out for our own selves, and in so doing, learn things that we could learn in no other way and upon which we might not otherwise place so high a value.” -Nathan Thomas Taylor (born 1966)
“I cannot believe that the purpose of life is to be ‘happy.’ I think the purpose of life is to be useful, to be responsible, to be compassionate. It is, above all, to matter: to count, to stand for something, to have made some difference that you lived at all.” -Leo Rosten (1908 - 1997): “Passions and Prejudices” (1978)
“There is not one big cosmic meaning for all, there is only the meaning we each give to our own life.” -Anaïs Nin
“There is only one meaning of life, the act of living itself.” -Erich Fromm (Erich Seligmann Fromm (1900 - 1980))
“Don’t ask what the meaning of life is; you define it.” -Author Unknown
“Man is the only animal for whom his existence is a problem which he has to solve.” -Erich Fromm (Erich Seligmann Fromm (1900 - 1980)): “Man for Himself” (1947)
“The man without a purpose is like a ship without a rudder - a waif, a nothing, a no man. Have a purpose in life, and, having it, throw such strength of mind and muscle into your work as God has given you.” -Thomas Carlyle (1795 - 1881)
“Life’s meaning has always eluded me and I guess it always will. But I love it just the same.” -E. B. White (Elwyn Brooks White (1899 - 1985))
“Life is rather like a tin of sardines - we’re all of us looking for the key.” -Alan Bennett (born 1934)
“What is the meaning of life? Whatever you want it to be.” -James Frey
“Purpose is what gives life a meaning.” -Charles Henry Parkhurst (1842 - 1933)
“The meaning of life is to give life meaning.” -Ken Hudgins
“There is one purpose to life and one only: to bear witness to and understand as much as possible of the complexity of the world - its beauty, its mysteries, its riddles. The more you understand, the more you look, the greater is your enjoyment of life and your sense of peace. That’s all there is to it.” -Anne Rice (born 1941)
“The meaning and purpose of life is too important to be decided by philosophers and sages; let’s hear what the simpletons and fools have to say about it.” -Nathan Thomas Taylor (born 1966)
“To be human is to keep rattling the bars of the cage of existence hollering, ‘What’s it for?’” -Robert Fulghum (Robert Lee Fulghum (born 1937))
“The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.” -Mitch Albom (born 1958)
“He who has a ‘why’ to live can bear almost any ‘how’.” -Friedrich Nietzsche (Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (1844 - 1900)): “Twilight of the Idols” (1888), ‘Maxims and Arrows,’ 12
“Life is a great and wondrous mystery, and the only thing we know that we have for sure is what is right here right now. Don’t miss it.” -Leo Buscaglia (1924 - 1998)
“The essence of life is finding something you really love and then making the daily experience worthwhile.” -Denis Waitley (Denis E. Waitley (born 1933))
Meaning and Purpose of Life Quiz
- Why do people ask the question, “What is the meaning and purpose of life?”
- What is the meaning and purpose of life?
- Can different people believe that life has different meanings and purposes?
- What meaning and purpose have you given to your life?
“Life is not a having and a getting, but a being and a becoming.” -Myrna Lay
This is ‘MFOL!’ . . . because what would life be, without fun?
“There is an old saying: ‘If you hang in there long enough, keep trying, and don’t give up, something good is sure to happen.’” -Nathan Thomas Taylor (born 1966)
You Can Do It
Giving up is easy
When your dreams seem far away,
And life is full of obstacles,
You face them every day.
But, no matter what the challenge
Some faith will get you through it.
So never quit believing,
Just remember, you can do it!
“No matter how many mistakes you make or how slow you progress, you are still way ahead of everyone who isn’t trying.” -Author Unknown
“I already know what giving up feels like. I want to see what happens if I don’t.” -Neila Rey
“Never quit. If you stumble, get back up. What happened yesterday no longer matters. Today is another day. So, get back on track and move closer to your dreams and goals. You can do it.” -Author Unknown
“Life is trying things to see if they work.” -Ray Bradbury (Ray Douglas Bradbury (1920 - 2012))
“It’s always too soon to quit!” -Norman Vincent Peale (1898 - 1993)
“The man who tried his best and failed is superior to the man who never tried.” -Bud Wilkinson
“Defeat is not the worst of failures. Not to have tried is the true failure.” -George E. Woodberry (George Edward Woodberry (1855 - 1930))
“Your biggest break can come from never quitting. Being at the right place at the right time can only happen when you keep moving toward the next opportunity.” -Arthur Pine
“Try a thing you haven’t done three times. Once, to get over the fear of doing it. Twice, to learn how to do it. And a third time to figure out whether you like it or not.” -Vigil Thomson (1896 - 1989)
“There is no failure except in no longer trying.” -Elbert Hubbard (Elbert Green Hubbard (1856 - 1915))
“Before you quit, try.” -Author Unknown
“Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.” -Dale Carnegie (Dale Breckenridge Carnegie (1888 - 1955))
“In great attempts it is glorious even to fail.” -Cassius Longinus (C.E. 213 - C.E. 273)
“Unless you’re willing to have a go, fail miserably, and have another go, success won’t happen.” -Phillip Adams
“If you only do what you know you can do, you never do very much.” -Tom Krause
“Try and fail, but don’t fail to try.” -Stephen Kaggwa
“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.” -Samuel Beckett
“Don’t give up. One day you will look back and be glad you didn’t.” -Author Unknown
“In every triumph there’s a lot of try.” -Frank Tyger (1929 - 2011)
“Don’t give up. Moses was once a basket case.” -Author Unknown
“No one knows what he can do till he tries.” -Publilius Syrus (85 B.C.E. - 43 B.C.E.): “Public Sayings”
“Never let a stumble in the road be the end of the journey.” -Author Unknown
“It doesn’t matter if you try and try and try again, and fail. It does matter if you try and fail, and fail to try again.” -Charles F. Kettering (Charles Franklin Kettering (1876 - 1958))
“Every accomplishment starts with a decision to try.” -Author Unknown
“If you don’t try, you can’t fail . . . or succeed.” -Author Unknown
“Resolve never to quit, never to give up, no matter what the situation.” -Jack Nicklaus (born 1940)
“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” -Maya Angelou (Marguerite Ann Johnson (1928 - 2014))
“One must learn by doing the thing. For though you think you know it, you have no certainty until you try.” -Sophocles (496 B.C.E. - 406 B.C.E.)
“‘It’s impossible,’ said pride. ‘It’s risky,’ said experience. ‘It’s pointless,’ said reason. ‘Give it a try,’ whispered the heart.” -Author Unknown
“Many a man never fails because he never tries.” -Norman MacEwan
“You can’t even be a failure if you’ve never tried.” -Andy Capp
“Losers quit when they are tired. Winners quit when they have won.” -Author Unknown
“If you never try, you will never know.” -Author Unknown
“If you find yourself in surroundings or around people who tell you that you are a failure before you have even begun to try, you must find a way to begin to try somewhere else and either around people who do not condemn you, or in peaceful solitude.” -Nathan Thomas Taylor (born 1966)
“You can’t hit a home run unless you step up to the plate. You can’t catch fish unless you put your line in the water. You can’t reach your goals if you don’t try.” -Kathy Seligman
Overheard: Give it one more try . . .
“Trying will do anything in this world.” -Theocritus (about 300 B.C.E. - after 260 B.C.E.)
“Try something, anything. If it doesn’t work, try something else. The important thing is that you try, and keep on trying, and never give up trying.” -Nathan Thomas Taylor (born 1966)
“Most people give up just when they’re about to achieve success. They quit on the one-yard line. They give up at the last minute of the game, one foot from a winning touchdown.” -Ross Perot (born 1930)
“What isn’t tried won’t work.” -Claude McDonald
“Michelangelo stated, ‘The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but it is too low and we reach it.’ Don’t give up. Success is within reach of everyone, as long as you try. As long as someone is willing to take the first step and continue taking steps, success can be realized. In fact, taking that first step could be the greatest success because it is the building block for all steps that follow and all successes that will be realized in your life. Remember, always try, and remember this simple saying. I never see failure as failure, but only an opportunity to practice and perfect my skills as I take the journey to becoming successful at whatever I decide to do.” -Author Unknown
“They fail, and they alone, who have not striven.” -Thomas Bailey Aldrich (1836 - 1907)
“Always remember: All that other folks can do, why with patient persistent trying should not you? Keep that noble chin up and keep trying - wonderful things can happen when we just try! Now, think happy thoughts, put your smile on, and have the best imaginable day!” -Nathan Thomas Taylor (born 1966)
“Life has two rules: Number one, never quit; Number two, always remember rule number one.” -Duke Ellington (1899 - 1974)
“Learned helplessness is the giving-up reaction, the quitting response that follows from the belief that whatever you do doesn’t matter.” -Martin Seligman (Martin E. P. ‘Marty’ Seligman (born 1942))
“You’ll never find out what you can do, until you do all you can to find out.” -John C. Maxwell (John Calvin Maxwell (born 1947))
“One does not always do the best there is. One does the best one can.” -Catherine the Great (also known as Catherine II (1729 - 1796))
“The only failure is a failure to try. Everything else is just learning.” -Nathan Thomas Taylor (born 1966)
“To try and fail is at least to learn; to fail to try is to suffer the inestimable loss of what might have been.” -Chester Barnard
“Winners never quit, and quitters never win.” -Author Unknown
“Forget about all the reasons why something may not work. You only need to find one good reason why it will.” -Robert Anthony
“The last dejected effort often becomes the winning stroke.” -W. J. Cameron (William John Cameron (1879 - 1953))
“Ninety percent of those who fail are not actually defeated. They simply quit.” -Paul J. Meyer (Paul James Meyer (1928 - 2009))
“If you kinda sorta try, you get kinda sorta results.” -Author Unknown
“You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don’t try.” -Beverly Sills (1929 - 2007)
“Do not give up, the beginning is always the hardest.” -Author Unknown
“Every single one of us possesses the strength to attempt something he isn’t sure he can accomplish.” -Scott Jurek (Scott Gordon Jurek (born 1973))
“You won’t succeed unless you try.” -Author Unknown
“How many a man has thrown up his hands at a time when a little more effort, a little more patience, would have achieved success.” -Elbert Hubbard (Elbert Green Hubbard (1856 - 1915))
“People of mediocre ability sometimes achieve outstanding success because they don’t know when to quit. Most men succeed because they are determined to.” -George H. Allen (George Herbert Allen, Senior (1918 - 1990))
“The only ones who truly fail are those that never try.” -Author Unknown
“If you try you might; if you don’t you won’t.” -Author Unknown
“You never fail until you stop trying.” -Florence Griffith Joyner (Florence Delorez Griffith-Joyner (1959 - 1998))
“When you win, nothing hurts.” -Joe Namath (born 1943)
This is ‘MFOL!’ . . . made from big chunks of imagination and little bits of reality . . . just like what follows next . . .
One way to weigh your difficult decisions is to make a decision chart, in which you list the good points under ‘Pros’ (In Favor Of) and bad points under ‘Cons’ (Against) . . .
“You are the possessor of a great and wonderful power. This power, when properly applied, will bring confidence instead of timidity, calmness instead of confusion, poise instead of restlessness, and peace of mind in place of heartache. What is your greatest power? The power to choose.” -J. Martin Kohe (Jack Martin Kohe (1902 - 1960)): “Your Greatest Power” (1953)
When faced with a decision, decide.
When faced with a choice, choose.
Sitting on the fence will leave you too tense,
Because you neither win not lose!
“We are our choices.” -Jean-Paul Sartre (Jean-Paul Charles Aymard Sartre (1905 - 1980))
“You can never successfully determine beforehand which side of the bread to butter.” -Author Unknown
“We are living in a time when the best of things are on the Earth . . . and the worst of things. Are we taking advantage of the best of things . . . and staying away from the worst of things?” -Author Unknown
“There are always two choices, two paths to take. One is easy . . . and its only reward is that it’s easy.” -Author Unknown
“Daily decisions determine destiny.” -Author Unknown
“Our lives are, in reality, the sum total of our seemingly unimportant decisions and of our capacity to live by those decisions.” -Gordon B. Hinckley (Gordon Bitner Hinckley (1910 - 2008))
“You are only one decision away from a totally different life.” -Author Unknown
“We are a product of the choices we make, not the circumstances that we face.” -Roger Crawford
“Doing isn’t difficult. Deciding is.” -Foster Hibbard
“There is but bad choice, where the whole stock is bad.” -Author Unknown
“The most important choice we make is what we choose to make important.” -Michael Neill
“Life is the sum of all your choices.” -Albert Camus (1913 - 1960)
“In a moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing to do. The worst thing you can do is nothing.” -Theodore Roosevelt (Theodore ‘Teddy’ Roosevelt (1858 - 1919))
“We make our choices, then our choices make us. Choose carefully.” -Author Unknown
“Between two evils, choose neither; between two goods, choose both.” -Tryon Edwards (1809 - 1894): as quoted in Tryon Edwards, editor: “A Dictionary of Thoughts: Being a Cyclopedia of Laconic Quotations from the Best Authors of the World, Both Ancient and Modern” (1891), page 68
“There are two primary choices in life: to accept conditions as they exist, or accept the responsibility for changing them.” -Denis Waitley (born 1933)
A wise person once said, “When you come to a fork in the road . . . hey, take it, because further ahead, there might be a slice of blueberry pie.”
“I must have a prodigious amount of mind; it takes me as much as a week, sometimes, to make it up!” -Mark Twain (Samuel Langhorne Clemens (1835 - 1910)): “The Innocents Abroad” (1869)
“Your life becomes the thing you have decided it shall be.” -Raymond Charles Barker
Does it scare you when someone says to you, “It’s your decision?”
“Don’t base your decisions on the advice of people who don’t have to deal with the result.” -Author Unknown
“Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” -Stephen Covey (Stephen Richards Covey (1932 - 2012))
“Always go with the choice that scares you the most, because that’s the one that is going to require the most from you.” -Caroline Myss
“It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” -J. K. Rowling (Joanne ‘Jo’ Rowling (born 1965)): “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” (1998); line spoken by character Professor Dumbledore
“Almost any decision is better than no decision at all.” -Brian Tracy (born 1944)
“When you have to make a choice and don’t make it, that in itself is a choice.” -William James (1842 - 1910)
“Sometimes walking away is the best decision.” -Kimberley Blaine
“There is no more miserable human being than one in whom nothing is habitual but indecision.” -William James (1842 - 1910): “The Principles of Psychology” (1890)
Overheard: It is terrible to be indecisive. I feel like a centipede that has just been told to put its best foot forward.
“It is better to make a wrong decision than build up a habit of indecision. If you’re wallowing in indecision, you certainty can’t act - and action is the basis of success.” -Marie Beynon Ray (1886 - 1963)
“Choices are the hinges of destiny.” -Pythagoras (about 570 B.C.E. - about 495 B.C.E.)
“Dwelling on past bad decisions you’ve made only allows those decisions to keep defining you. Forgive yourself and move on.” -Mandy Hale
Matthew: Yippee, I get to make a decision! Yahoo! I finally get to decide something!
Martha: Yes . . . so would you like liver and onions or cauliflower and tripe for dinner?
“The man who insists upon seeing with perfect clearness before he decides, never decides.” -Henri-Frédéric Amiel (1821 - 1881)
“It does not take much strength to do things, but it requires great strength to decide what to do.” -Elbert Hubbard (Elbert Green Hubbard (1856 - 1915))
Decidophobia is a fear of making decisions. Perhaps one approach to overcoming the fear would be to start out with making small or minor decisions. Decide which decisions are small.
“It is choice and not chance which determines our destiny.” -Author Unknown
“We cannot lead a choiceless life. Every day, every moment, every second, there is a choice.” -Ernest Holmes (Ernest Shurtleff Holmes (1887 - 1960))
Overheard: I used to think I was indecisive, but now I am not even sure about that.
“Can you not see that to decide to do nothing is the most wretched of all decisions?” -Victor Hugo (1802 - 1885)
“Everything in your life is a reflection of a choice you have made. If you want a different result, make a different choice.” -Author Unknown
“When faced with two equally tough choices, most people choose the third choice: to not choose.” -Jarod Kintz (born 1982): “This Book Title is Invisible”
“It is not so much the major events as the small day-to-day decisions that map the course of our living.” -Gordon B. Hinckley (Gordon Bitner Hinckley (1910 - 2008))
“Your life is a result of the choices you make . . . If you do not like your life, it is time to start making better choices.” -Author Unknown
“Make your judgement trustworthy by trusting it. You can develop good judgement as you do the muscles of your body - by judicious, daily exercise. To be known as a man of sound judgement will be much in your favor.” -Grantland Rice (Henry Grantland ‘Grantland’ Rice (1880 - 1954))
“It’s not hard to make decisions once you know what your values are.” -Roy E. Disney (Roy Edward Disney (1930 - 2009))
“My basic principle is that you don’t make decisions because they are easy; you don’t make them because they are cheap; you don’t make them because they’re popular; you make them because they’re right.” -Theodore Hesburgh (Theodore Martin Hesburgh (born 1917))
“Be decisive. Right or wrong, make a decision. The road of life is paved with flat squirrels who couldn’t make a decision.” -Author Unknown
“Your life is the sum result of all the choices you make, both consciously and unconsciously. If you can control the process of choosing, you can take control of all aspects of your life. You can find the freedom that comes from being in charge of yourself.” -Robert F. Bennett
“Five frogs are sitting on a log. Four decide to jump off. How many are left? Five, because there’s a difference between deciding and doing.” -Mark L. Feldman & Michael F. Spratt: “Five Frogs on a Log” (1999)
“You’ve got a lot of choices. If getting out of bed in the morning is a chore and you’re not smiling on a regular basis, try another choice.” -Steven D. Woodhull (born 1976)
“Scan. Select. Move on.” -Author Unknown
“Nothing is so exhausting as indecision, and nothing is so futile.” -Bertrand Russell (Bertrand Arthur William Russell (1872 - 1970)): “The Conquest of Happiness” (1930)
“Decisiveness is a characteristic of high-performing men and women.” -Brian Tracy (born 1944)
“Indecisiveness is the key to flexibility.” -Author Unknown
“Good judgment comes from experience, and often experience comes from bad judgment.” -Rita Mae Brown (born 1944)
“Whatever you decide to do, make sure it makes you happy.” -Paulo Coelho (born 1947)
“Sometimes it’s the smallest decisions that can change your life forever.” -Keri Russell
This is ‘MFOL!’ . . . perhaps the easiest decision you will make today . . . or maybe just the best . . . you get to decide.
Can you hear me now?
“For millions of years, mankind lived just like the animals. Then something happened which unleashed the power of our imagination. We learned to talk.” -Stephen Hawking (Stephen William Hawking (born 1942))
“Don’t take up a man’s time talking about the smartness of your children; he wants to talk to you about the smartness of his children.” -Edgar Watson Howe (1854 - 1937): “Country Town Sayings” (1911)
On average, women say 7,000 words per day. Men on average manage slightly more than 2,000 words in a day. But this is not a good thing or a bad thing. Men and women are different, and therefore do things differently based on their plans and goals. Women place priority in connections with other people, which they do primarily through communication. Men place priority in accomplishment, using communication as a means to that end.
“If you have learned how to disagree without being disagreeable, then you have discovered the secret of getting along - whether it be in business, family relations, or life itself.” -Bernard Meltzer
“A man is already halfway in love with a woman who listens to him.” -Brendan Francis
What is interpersonal communication? Interpersonal communication is communication that takes place between people, including conversation (verbal), letters and emails (written or text), and body language (nonverbal).
“Grunts and squeals were fine in the beginning, but eventually humans needed more precise methods of communication . . . and so, words were invented.” -Nathan Thomas Taylor (born 1966)
“Effective communications starts with listening.” -Robert Gately
In verbal communications, also known as conversations, there are two main parts: 1. Speaking, and 2. Listening. In ideal or typical conversations, each participant spends some time speaking and some time listening.
“When all other means of communication fail, try words.” -Author Unknown
“I felt it shelter to speak to you.” -Emily Dickinson (1830 - 1886)
How to Be a Good Conversationalist
- Make eye contact.
- Allow the other person to speak his or her mind.
- Ask questions and allow the other person to answer.
- Do not interrupt a person when he or she is speaking if at all possible.
- Use polite words and do not use offensive language such as cursing and swearing.
- Do not use slang, jargon, abbreviations, or other nonstandard, obscure terms or words.
- Show an interest in what the other person is saying.
- Speak in a calm, civil tone.
- Be agreeable even when you disagree.
- Be polite so that you always leave them liking you.
- What can you add to this list?
“You cannot not communicate.” -Steve Andreas
“Language was given to us that we might say pleasant things to each other.” -Author Unknown
How to Be a Good Listener
- Ask questions and wait for the answers.
- Nod your head in agreement or to acknowledge you hear what has been said.
- Paraphrase, or repeat back, to the speaker what he or she has said.
- Very often in conversations, it is more important to be a good listener than it is to be heard.
- What can you add to this list?
“After all, when you come right down to it, how many people speak the same language even when they speak the same language?” -Russell Hoban (Russell Conwell Hoban (1925 - 2011))
Before beginning any conversation, ask yourself if this is the proper time, place, and person to have the conversation with. If you use wild hand gestures when you talk, make an effort to keep your hands under control so that you do not appear to be physically menacing or ridiculous to the other person. Understand that you have goals in talking to people, and they also have their goals, and the best conversations are those in which both people move closer to achieving their goals.
Riddle: What can you break with just one word?
“There are three things in speech that ought to be considered before some things are spoken - the manner, the place, and the time.” -Robert Southey (1774 - 1843): as attributed in S. Austin Allibone: “Prose Quotations from Socrates to Macaulay” (1880)
“Remember, when you speak harshly or yell at people, the words can hit their ears so hard that they bounce right off them and are never accepted. If you speak softly and calmly, you have a chance of being understood.” -Nathan Thomas Taylor (born 1966)
“Speak properly, and in as few words as you can, but always plainly; for the end of speech is not ostentation, but to be understood.” -William Penn (1644 - 1718)
“Things crazy cat people do: You answer your cat’s random meows with, ‘Yes, yes, I know!’” -Author Unknown
“Speech is conveniently located midway between thought and action, where it often substitutes for both.” -John Andrew Holmes (1773 - 1843): “Wisdom in Small Doses” (1927)
“Whenever I meet people for the first time, I assume that they have a great story to tell and that it’s my job to find it.” -Sarah Ferguson, also known as the Duchess of York: “What I Know Now”
“Nature has given to men one tongue, but two ears, that we might hear from others twice as much as we speak.” -Epictetus (C.E. 55 - C.E. 135)
“A good listener is not only popular everywhere, but after a while he knows something.” -Wilson Mizner (1876 - 1933): as quoted in Evan Esar: “The Dictionary of Humorous Quotations” (1949)
“I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen.” -Ernest Hemingway (Ernest Miller Hemingway (1899 - 1961))
“Conversation may be compared to a lyre with seven chords - philosophy, art, poetry, love, scandal, and the weather.” -Anna Brownell Jameson (1794 - 1860)
“What most people really need is a good listening to.” -Mary Lou Casey
“A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.” -Author Unknown: “The Bible,” ‘Book of Proverbs,’ chapter 25, verse 11
“If you want to be listened to, you should put in time listening.” -Marge Piercy (born 1936)
“People should talk less and draw more. Personally, I would like to renounce speech altogether and, like organic nature, communicate everything I have to say visually.” -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749 - 1832)
“Know how to listen, and you will profit even from those who talk badly.” -Plutarch (C.E. 46 - C.E. 120)
Sign seen in a shop: For Your Convenience, Our Staff Is Fluent In Monosyllabic Grunts.
“Everyone should be quick to listen. Slow to speak.” -Author Unknown: “The Bible” (NIV) ‘James,’ chapter 1, verse 19
“The true spirit of conversation consists in building on another man’s observation, not overturning it.” -Edward George Earle Bulwer-Lytton (1803 - 1873)
“We have two ears and only one tongue in order that we may hear more and speak less.” -Diogenes Laërtius
Overheard: Say it straight, simple, and with a smile.
“Talk is cheap, and that’s why barbers give it away for free with haircuts.” -Author Unknown
“Be a good listener. Your ears will never get you into trouble.” -Frank Tyger (1929 - 2011)
Riddle: What can you hold without touching?
Solution: A conversation.
“To do all the talking and not be willing to listen is a form of greed.” -Democritus of Abdera (460 B.C.E. - 370 B.C.E.)
“Supportive listening: Smile . . . listen . . . agree. Repeat.” -Author Unknown
“The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing at the right time, but also to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.” -Dorothy Nevill (1826 - 1913)
“Where words fail, music speaks.” -Hans Christian Andersen (1805 - 1875)
“Chatter is not quite conversation.” -Charles M. Schulz (Charles Monroe ‘Sparky’ Schulz (1922 - 2000))
“There is no conversation more boring than the one where everybody agrees.” -Michel de Montaigne (Michel Eyquem de Montaigne (1533 - 1592))
“When in doubt, mumble.” -Author Unknown
“We’ll talk without listening to each other; that is the best way to get along.” -Alfred de Musset (1810 - 1857)
“A good listener is a silent flatterer.” -Author Unknown
“I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I’m not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.” -Robert McCloskey
And I oft have heard defended -
Little said is soonest mended.
-George Wither (1588 - 1667): “The Shepherd’s Hunting” (1615)
“There is a disease terrible that strikes 10 out of 1 Americans 15 every minutes. Vocal Dyslexia it’s called. An elment I’ve been lifing all my fight. It can warn without striking and has no regard for case, read, or crolor. Symptoms include speechaled garb, backs coming out wordward, and an inability to sent a complete putence together. The victims: innocent people like thou and me. Sadly, Vocal Dyslexia is wilding liek spreadfire and there is no cureful symp, butthere is hope. The dyslexia foundation has recommended these things 3: 3rd: at the first trub of signale phonsult a confition; 2nd: stay in bed and drink flenty of pluids; 1st: read as can as you much. For more information write: 999 Teenfifth Street, Grand Mapids, Ricaghan. Thank you muchy ver.” -Author Unknown
“If nobody spoke unless they had something to say, the human race would very soon lose the use of speech.” -W. Somerset Maugham (William Somerset Maugham (1874 - 1965))
“There are two kinds of people who don’t say much: those who are quiet and those who talk a lot.” -Author Unknown
“Drawing on my fine command of the English language, I said nothing.” -Robert Benchley
Before You Speak: THINK.
T: Is it true?
H: Is it helpful?
I: Is it inspiring?
N: Is it necessary?
K: Is it kind?
“My job is to talk to you, and your job is to listen. If you finish first, please let me know.” -Harry Hershfield
“Talk that does not end in any kind of action is better suppressed altogether.” -Thomas Carlyle (1795 - 1881)
“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” -George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950)
“The words you speak today should be soft and tender, for tomorrow you may have to eat them.” -Author Unknown
“One way to prevent conversation from being boring is to say the wrong thing.” -Frank Sheed
“He had occasional flashes of silence that made his conversation perfectly delightful.” -Sydney Smith (1771- 1845)
“Before you say something, stop and think how you’d feel if someone said that to you.” -Author Unknown
“Being heard is so close to being loved that for the average person they are almost indistinguishable.” -David Augsburger (David W. Augsburger (born 1938))
“Talkers are not good doers.” -William Shakespeare (1564 - 1616): “King Richard III” (1592 - 1593), Act I, scene iii
“The most important thing in communication is to hear what isn’t being said.” -Peter Drucker (Peter Ferdinand Drucker (1909 - 2005))
“To disagree, one does not have to be disagreeable.” -Barry M. Goldwater and Jack Casserly: “Goldwater” (12 October 1988)
“Fine words butter no parsnips.” -Walter Scott (1771 - 1832)
“Two monologues do not make a dialogue.” -Jeff Daly
“The time to stop talking is when the other person nods his head affirmatively but says nothing.” -Author Unknown
“When trying to make your way through a crowd of people, don’t say, ‘Excuse me,’ or ‘Pardon me.’ Instead say, ‘Beep, beep!’ because everybody, regardless of nationality or language, speaks car.” -Nathan Thomas Taylor (born 1966)
“Everyone hears only what he understands.” -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749 - 1832)
“Speech is a mirror of the soul; as a man speaks, so is he.” -Publilius Syrus (85 B.C.E. - 43 B.C.E.): as attributed in Darius Lyman: “The Moral Sayings of Publius Syrus, a Roman Slave: From the Latin” (1856): “Sententiae,” Maxim 1073
“Keep your conversation throughout the day consistent with what you really want to happen.” -Brian Tracy (born 1944)
Be careful of the words you say,
And keep them soft and sweet.
For you never know from day to day,
Which ones you’ll have to eat.
Overheard: It takes a great man to be a good listener.
Interpersonal Communications Quiz
- What is interpersonal communications?
- What is a conversation?
- What does being a good listener mean?
- How can people learn to be better at conversation?
“Communication - the human connection - is the key to personal and career success.” -Paul J. Meyer (Paul James Meyer (1928 - 2009))
This is ‘MFOL!’ . . . and now let us all engage in happy talk, serious talk, silly talk, or just making wild animal noises . . .
“There is nothing to it. You only have to hit the right notes at the right time and the instrument plays itself.” -J. S. Bach (Johann Sebastian Bach (1685 - 1750)): as quoted in K. Geiringer: “The Bach Family” (1954), ‘Of the Organ’
Austrian composer Joseph Haydn composed his Quartet Number 49 in D-major for two violins, viola and violoncello, in the year 1785. For the most part, it is a thoughtful and serious work, but in Opus 50, Number 6, a frog can be heard croaking loudly, even stridently, in sounds produced by playing the same notes alternately on two neighboring strings. This part of the set is popularly known as ‘The Frog.’
“My music is best understood by children and animals.” -Igor Stravinsky: as quoted in the “Observer” (8 October 1961)
“Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” -Berthold Auerbach (1812 - 1882)
Martha: What comes before a tuba?
Bertha: A one-ba.
Marta: What comes after a tuba?
Berta: A three-ba.
“Great symphonies begin with just one note.” -Priscilla Young Pratt
A New Song
There was a composer named Zong
Who composed a new popular song.
It was simply the croon
Of a lovesick baboon,
With occasional thumps on the gong.
“The great object of music is to touch the heart.” -Karl Philipp Emanuel Bach
Eric: My brother has been practicing the violin for twenty years.
Zack: He must be really good.
Eric: Not really - it was nineteen years before he realized you aren’t supposed to blow into it.
“I think the first time I knew what I wanted to do with my life was when I was about four years old. I was listening to an old Victrola, playing a railroad song. The song was called ‘Hobo Bill’s Last Ride.’ And I thought it was the most wonderful, amazing thing that I’d ever heard.” -Johnny Cash
Important Stuff You Need to Know about Music
- Handel was half German, half Italian, and half English. He was rather large.
- When a singer sings, he stirs up the air and makes it hit any passing eardrums. But if he is good, he knows how to keep it from hurting.
- Most authorities agree that the music of antiquity was written long ago.
- A tuba is much larger than its name.
- A trumpet is an instrument when it is not an elephant sound.
- Cymbals are round metal clangs.
- The main trouble with a French horn is that it is too tangled up.
- Tubas are a bit too much.
- The most dangerous part about playing cymbals is being near the noise.
“Music is moonlight in the gloomy night of life.” -Jean Paul (pseudonym of Johann Paul Friedrich Richter (1763 - 1825))
“Music is medicine to man.” -Author Unknown: inscription on bell number 4 at Saint Mary’s Church in Harrow-on-the-Hill, England
Kevin: What instrument plays only sour notes?
Marvin: A pickle-o.
“Long before there was human music, the harmony and rhythm of nature, such as falling rain (rhythm section), wind whispering in the trees and rocks (wind instruments), and pounding thunder (percussion instruments), all soothed the savage beast.” -Nathan Thomas Taylor (born 1966)
Harmony more jokes like these can a person take?
“I think I should have no other mortal wants, if I could always have plenty of music. It seems to infuse strength into my limbs and ideas into my brain. Life seems to go on without effort, when I am filled with music.” -George Eliot
Are smarter than trombonists
Because they can reed
“When you are about thirty-five years old, something terrible always happens to music.” -Steve Race
Marla: Why did the punk rocker take a pen and paper onstage?
Darla: He wanted to draw a big crowd.
“Music is so naturally united with us that we cannot be free from it even if we so desired.” -Anicius Manlius Severinus Boethius (C.E. 475 - C.E. 523)
A Tutor who tooted the flute
Tried to teach two young tooters to toot.
Said the two to the Tutor,
“Is it harder to toot, or
To tutor two tooters to toot?”
“Just how much impact does music have? In 1703, Andrew Fletcher, a great Scottish patriot, made this observation (and I paraphrase him): ‘You write the laws, let me write the music, and I will rule your country.’” -Zig Ziglar (Hilary Hinton ‘Zig’ Ziglar (1926 - 2012)): “Raising Positive Kids in a Negative World” (1985)
Jessica: What kind of sound comes from a refrigerator with a built-in stereo?
Jillian: Very cool music.
“I don’t care much about music. What I like is sounds.” -Dizzy Gillespie
Did the two Rock bands named Styx and Stones ever perform together? Styx and Stones may break my eardrums . . . but New Age Jazz music will never thrill me.
“Music is what feelings sound like.” -Author Unknown
Adolphe Sax was born in Belgium in the early nineteenth century. He grew up accident prone: He was struck on the head by a brick, swallowed a needle, fell down a flight of stairs, toppled himself onto a burning stove, and accidentally drank sulfuric acid. None of this, however, prevented him from perfecting, in 1835, a wind instrument combining the reed mouthpiece of a clarinet with a bent conical tube of metal, equipped with finger keys. In his honor, it is called the saxophone.
Oboe: An English tramp.
“Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness.” -Maya Angelou (Marguerite Ann Johnson (1928 - 2014))
Dancer: Say, can’t you stretch the music a little longer - just a dance or two more?
Band Leader: Sorry, sir, this isn’t a rubber band.
“Music is a friend of labor, for it lightens the task by refreshing the nerves and spirit of the worker.” -William Green
Two musicians were walking down the street, and one said to the other, “Who was that piccolo I saw you with last night?” The other replied, “That was no piccolo, that was my fife.”
Kermit: How do you make a small fortune in folk music?
Armand: Start with a large fortune.
Sign on music shop door: Gone Chopin. Back in a Minuet.
“An agreeable harmony for the honor of God and the permissible delights of the soul.” -J. S. Bach (Johann Sebastian Bach (1685 - 1750)): as quoted in Derek Watson: “Music Quotations” (1911), a definition of music
Suggested Minimum Safe Distances between Street Musicians and Audiences
- Violinist: 25 feet.
- Bad violinist: 50 feet.
- Tone deaf guitar player who knows 3 chords: 75 feet.
- 15 year-old electric guitar player with a Nirvana complex: 100 feet.
- Accordionist: 60 miles.
- Bagpipe player: 2 continents.
“I went to watch Pavarotti once. He doesn’t like it when you join in.” -Mick Miller
Good Reasons to Play the Tuba
8. People like shiny objects.
7. It is better than playing bagpipes.
6. When you play, people listen.
5. During rehearsal, you get to sit in the back of the room.
4. During marching practice, you can use the bell to block out the Sun.
3. People hold doors open for you.
2. You don’t have to wear those silly hats.
1. You will never be blamed for being the one with the squeaky reed.
If you wanted to learn to play a musical instrument, which one would you start with, and why?
“Music: A beautiful succession of sounds.” -Nathan Thomas Taylor (born 1966)
“The aim and final end of all music should be none other than the glory of God and the refreshment of the soul. If heed is not paid to this, it is not true music but a diabolical bawling and twanging.” -J. S. Bach (Johann Sebastian Bach (1685 - 1750))
Musical instruments have been traditionally grouped - for the most part - into one of four ‘Families,’ based on how they produce sound. The families are the Brasswind instruments, the Percussion instruments, the String instruments, and the Woodwind instruments. Additional families, including the Keyboard instruments and the Electronic instruments, have been suggested more recently. A few instruments, such as the piano, do not fit neatly into just one family group. The piano has strings that vibrate like the Stringed instruments, and hammers that strike like the Percussion instruments.
Daren: What does a musician use to clean his teeth?
Karen: A tootbrush and a tuba tootpaste.
Brasswind instruments are made of brass or other metals, and make sound when air blows through them. The musician’s lips buzz against the mouthpiece, as though making a raspberry noise. Air then vibrates inside the instrument to produce sound. The Brasswind Family includes bugles, cornets, French horns, sousaphones, trombones, trumpets, tubas, and other instruments. Some people shorten ‘Brasswind’ to simply ‘Brass.’
Buffy: How do you fix a broken tuba?
Dottie: With a tuba glue.
Percussion instruments make sound when they are struck, shaken, rubbed, scratched, or are otherwise subject to mechanical action. The Percussion Family includes bass drums, chimes, cowbells, cymbals, glockenspiels (bells), maracas, marimbas, snare drums, tam-tams (gongs), tambourines, timpani (kettle) drums, triangles, wood blocks, xylophones, and some other instruments. Grand pianos (uprights) can be included in this family, although they can also be included in the Strings and the Keyboards.
“If thine enemy wrong thee, buy each of his children a drum.” -Author Unknown
String instruments create sound with strings. The strings may be plucked, as in a guitar or harp; bowed, as with a cello or a violin; or struck, as with a dulcimer. When the strings vibrate, they create sound. In addition to the instruments already mentioned, in the String Family are the banjos, basses, electric guitars, fiddles, ukuleles, violas, zithers, and other similar instruments.
“The dulcimer is the wild animal of the musical kingdom. It can be anything: bagpipe, guitar, fiddle, banjo, slide guitar, harpsichord, mandolin, but mostly itself, a droning, angelic power chord of delicacy that lives in its own world, in tune with its surroundings at a level that the well-tempered revolution could never quite tame.” -David Schnaufer (2005), dulcimer virtuoso
Woodwind instruments produce sound when air (wind) is blown inside. Air might be blown across an edge, as with a flute; between a reed and a surface, as with a clarinet; or between two reeds, as with a bassoon. Sound is made when air vibrates inside the instruments. Other instruments belonging to the Woodwind Family include alto clarinets, alto saxophones, baritone saxophones, bass clarinets, English horns, oboes, piccolos, recorders, soprano saxophones, and tenor saxophones.
The definition of a flute, according to David W. Barber in his book “A Musician’s Dictionary” is as follows: “A sophisticated pea-shooter with a range up to five hundred yards and deadly accuracy in close quarters. Blown transversely to confuse the enemy, it can be dismantled into three small pieces, for easy concealment.”
“Music is the eye of the ear.” -Thomas Draxe (? - 1618)
Keyboard instruments produce sound electronically, with the exception of upright pianos such as the Grand Piano, which can be included both in this group and in the Percussion Family, and organs, some of which could fit into the Brasswind or Woodwind instruments Families. Among the other members of the Keyboards are electronic keyboards and synthesizers. Electronic instruments can mimic the sounds of any musical instruments and can make their own unique sounds.
“Humming is mumbling musically.” -Nathan Thomas Taylor (born 1966)
The human body can make a wide range of different vocal and percussive sounds. The vocalizations can include singing, chanting, humming, and yodeling. Percussives include clapping the hands, clicking the tongue, and snapping the fingers.
James: How many jazz musicians does it take to change a light bulb?
Kirk: None - jazz musicians can’t afford light bulbs.
Among the fun and unusual musical instruments are didgeridoos, kazoos, pots and pans, slide whistles, washboards, wooden spoons, zinks (cornets), and zithers.
“Next to the Word of God, the noble art of music is the greatest treasure in the world.” -Martin Luther (1483 - 1546)
One of the greatest conductors of all time was Arturo Toscanini, whose skill was shown during a rehearsal of Claude Debussy’s “La Mer.” He wanted to achieve an especially spiritual effect in one passage. His vocabulary in English was not vast, and he was at a loss for words to describe exactly what he wanted the orchestra to do. He took a large white silk handkerchief from his coat pocket and threw it high into the air. Every player in the group was mesmerized as the handkerchief floated softly and hypnotically to the floor. “There,” Toscanini said, smiling, “play it like that!”
Life has its music; let us seek a way
Not to jangle the chords whereon we play.
-Archilochus of Paros
This is ‘MFOL!’ . . . musically yours . . . please be advised that some of the humor that follows may be a little ‘offbeat.’
There are no such things as ghosts . . . there are no such things as ghosts . . . there are no such things as ghosts . . . aa-aaa-aaaah-aaa-aa! It’s a ghost! Run! Run! Run!
Edith: What should you do when you see a ghost?
Edwin: Hope the ghost does not see you!
“The house ghost is usually a harmless and well-meaning creature. It is put up with as long as possible. It brings good luck to those who live with it.” -William Butler Yeats (1865 - 1939): “The Celtic Twilight” (1902), page 32
Horace: When do ghosts usually appear?
Horatio: Just before someone screams.
Ghosts and Apparitions Facts
- Ghosts seem to want to be noticed.
- When a ghost is present, people often feel a chill or a cold sensation.
- Ghosts may appear as mists or vapors.
- Ghosts can make clearly audible sounds as well as very faint, barely discernable, sounds.
- Other words for ghost include apparition, disembodied soul, phantom, and spirit.
- Ghosts, just as with people, come in many different types: good, bad, friendly, humorless, mischievous, unfriendly, polite, rude, and so forth.
- Most ghosts either cannot or will not hurt people; however, people can injure themselves as they rush to get away from them.
- Ghosts sometimes hang out in groups with other ghosts.
- Ghosts make friends with other ghosts from different eras.
- Ghosts that lived hundreds of years ago can keep up with recent trends.
- A ghost is behind you right now - just kidding!
Elaine: Why did the ghost cross the road?
Eileen: To get to the other side - the spirit side!
Spirits can become more active at night, possibly due to a reduced electronic disturbance from appliances and other devices, which compete with or drown out ghostly apparitions. For this reason, you are more likely to sense ghostly presences when televisions and washing machines are not in use and your house is quiet.
Bertie: Where do ghosts get their mail?
Gertie: At the ghost office.
Ghosts appear in four of William Shakespeare’s plays: “Julius Caesar,” “Richard III,” “Hamlet,” and “Macbeth.”
Carla: What did the little ghost order at the restaurant?
If ghosts can walk through walls and glide down stairs, then why do they not fall through floors?
Phasmophobia is a persistent fear of ghosts or of phantoms. People with this phobia may fear going into empty houses or dark spaces, and may react with alarm to strange and unexplained noises, and have a strong opposition to watching ghost movies. ‘Phasmo’ is Greek for ‘apparition’ or ‘phantom’ and ‘phobia’ is Greek for ‘fear.’ Phasmophobia is also referred to as spectrophobia.
Clarence: What do ghosts put on their bagels?
Terrance: Scream cheese!
“Eventually scientists will discover something that explains ghosts, just like they discovered electricity, which explained lightning, and it might be something about people’s brains, or something about the Earth’s magnetic field, or it might be some new force altogether. And then ghosts won’t be mysteries. They will be like electricity and rainbows and nonstick frying pans.” -Mark Haddon (born 1962)
The ghost of bold Ned Kelly
came to haunt my Auntie Nellie,
but when it saw her in the light
it was the ghost that got the fright.
-Michael Dugan (1947 - 2006)
Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955) may have postulated a scientific basis for the existence of ghosts. Since energy cannot be created or destroyed, but can only change form, could life-force energy manifest in ghostly form when physical life ceases?
Al: What do ghosts add to their morning cereal?
Danielle: What do ghosts like for dessert?
Michelle: What do ghosts like on top of their I-scream?
Marcel: Whipped scream and boo-scaries!
Have you ever heard your name spoken when no one is around? It could be that a ghost is trying to get your attention. Spooky!
Freighter ghosts, are you?!
Ghosts have a sense of humor and love to hear humans laugh.
Rachelle: What is a ghost’s favorite breakfast?
Raquel: Ghost toasties with boo-berries.
Ghosts can leave behind certain scents, such as that of perfume, and they like the smell of lemons.
Nellie: Why did the mommy ghost take her ghost child to the doctor?
Kelly: She was worried because he was in such good spirits.
Ghosts do not sleep, so if you hear a strange whisper in your ear while you are sleeping, it may be a ghost.
Bob: Do ghosts make good pets?
Rob: Only if they are housebroken.
Animals seem to be able to sense ghosts or spirits, and that is why they may sometimes be seen staring intensely at what appears to be nothing, perhaps even showing signs of being ‘spooked,’ such as barking, hissing, whimpering, moving erratically, or acting frightened of something undetected by human senses.
Don’t be frightened, because underneath that bedsheet, there is probably just a . . . terrifying ghost!
Glenard: What happened when the ghosts went on strike?
Leonard: A skeleton crew took over.
Ghosts seem to be more active at night and in dark places, possibly because it takes less effort for them to appear, or ‘manifest’ themselves, in those conditions.
Wendell: What is the first thing a ghost does when she gets into a car?
Kendall: She boo-ckles her seatbelt.
Children are more likely to see ghosts than adults are, and children may perceive ghosts as being their ‘imaginary friends.’
Ghost: I hear you have a new ghoul friend.
Vampire: Yes, it was love at first fright.
Ghost: It’s no wonder. She’s so boo-tiful.
Ghosts like to climb up and down stairs and walk in hallways. Perhaps they can only manifest themselves in the physical world by motion or exertion (effort).
Three Little Ghosts
Three little ghosts on Halloween night
Saw a witch and shrieked in fright
The witch just laughed and shouted, “Boo!”
One ghost ran home and then there were two.
Two little ghosts who shiver and shook
With every single step they took.
When the door opened wide
One little ghost said to the other . . .
I’m going home and stay with my mother.
One little ghost can’t have much fun,
so he ran home, and then there were none.
Pat: What did the ghost say to Santa Claus?
Rick: “I’ll have a boo Christmas without you.”
Ghosts are often protective of the places they haunt, and may even jealously guard the individuals and families in those places - if they are not trying to drive them away.
Shelia: What sport is popular with ghosts?
Ophelia: Shadow boxing.
Some alleged hauntings are actually ‘residual occurrences,’ or past events that replay themselves over and over, like the echoes of a sound or the ripples made by a disturbance in a pond. History very much tends to repeat itself in this kind of scenario. History very much tends to repeat itself in this kind of scenario. History very much tends to repeat itself in this kind of scenario.
Meredith: What did the mother ghost tell her baby ghost at the dinner table?
Merry: “Quit goblin your food.”
glide across the
golden grass gathering
goblins and grabbing
They giggle and glide
Often ghosts do not seem to know that they are no longer living persons. They seem to exist in a permanent state of confusion, almost as if they are imprisoned in a dream from which they cannot awaken. Many ghosts are happy, but some appear to be experiencing emotional pain. Some ghosts retain all of the memories and emotions of being alive, while other ghosts seem to have forgotten everything, as though in a state of amnesia.
A ghost boo.
A ghost boo, who?
I’m sorry, please don’t cry, I didn’t mean to scare you.
Erma: What does a mother ghost say to her child when they get into the car?
Ernie: “Fasten your sheet-belt!”
If you like having a ghost around, say something nice to it, like: “You are really spooktacular and really great at haunting.” If you find being haunted bothersome, simply ask the ghost to leave, as they often will do just as they are asked. Say something like, “I know you are here but you are scaring me, please leave.”
Henny: What haunts your house and clucks?
Penny: A poultry-gheist!
A noisy, troublesome ghost is known as a ‘poltergeist,’ a word derived from the German words ‘poltern’ meaning to ‘create a disturbance’ and ‘geist’ meaning ‘ghost.’ They are pranksters who use their ghostly energies to move things and make noises. For example, they can cause objects to levitate, or make sounds such as door-knocking and chain-rattling.
Oscar: Why did the game warden ticket the ghost?
Carla: He was haunting without a license.
During American Woodrow Wilson’s presidency, his wife Edith Wilson ordered the gardeners to dig up Dolly Madison’s prized rose garden. It is said that Dolly Madison’s spirit showed up and put such a fear of ghosts into the workmen that they fled without turning over a single shovel-full of the soil. The garden still continues to bloom, having been in place for about two centuries now.
Elmer: What goes, “Boo, putty, putty, putty, boo, putty, putty, putty”?
Marla: A ghost replacing a broken window.
Cellphones spook ghosts. According to an expert in England, mobile phones are making ghosts disappear. Tony Cornell, of the Society for Psychical Research, told the British “Sunday Express” newspaper that reports of ghost sightings had begun to decline when mobile phones were first introduced. “Ghost sightings have remained consistent for centuries,” said Cornell, of Cambridge in Eastern England. “But with the introduction of mobile phones fifteen years ago, ghost sightings began to decline to the point where now we are receiving none.” Apparently, paranormal events, which some scientists put down to unusual electrical activity, could be drowned out by the electronic noise produced by phone calls and text messages.
Helen: What is a little ghost’s favorite game?
Laddie: What game do baby ghosts like to play?
Todd: What do you get when you cross a ghost and an elephant?
Maude: A great big nothing.
Spirits can manifest in various ways, including orbs, streaks of light, dark shadows, mists, and strange blurs. Full-body apparitions are possible, but rare.
Jimmy: What is a ghost’s favorite kind of music?
Jeremy: Haunting melodies.
Ghosts and Apparitions Quiz
- What does a ghost look like?
- Have you ever seen a ghost?
- Have you ever heard a ghost?
- Have you ever felt the presence of a ghost?
- Is it harmful to believe in ghosts?
- Do plants have ghosts?
- Do animals have ghosts?
- Do you know any ghost stories?
- Would a ghost make a good pet or friend?
- What should you do if you see a ghost?
Rob: Where do ghosts send their little girls?
Roy: To all-ghouls schools.
Overheard: During the day, I do not believe in ghosts, but at night, I am a little more open-minded!
Ronald: What did one ghost say to the other ghost?
Donald: “Do you believe in people?”
Riddle: What is spooky and scares people - but is also nervous and jumpy?
Solution: A ghost that is afraid of ghosts!
Lars: Where do ghosts go fishing?
Darcy: Lake Erie!
This is ‘MFOL!’ . . . if ghosts were real, you can be sure that we would be interviewing them right now, to find out if they know any silly jokes or have any secret knowledge. Yet, one can never be entirely sure, because there are many places in our world that have not yet been fully explored, and ghosts may be there waiting for us . . . Now go have fun with your life!
“The family is the nucleus of civilization.” -Will Durant (William James ‘Will’ Durant (1885 - 1981))
“In most homes, the father is concerned with parking space, the children with outer space, and the mother with closet space.” -Evan Esar (1899 - 1995)
“What makes a house a home are the people who live there.” -Author Unknown
“There is no synthetic replacement for a decent home life. Our high crime rate, particularly among juveniles, is directly traceable to a breakdown in moral fiber - to the disintegration of home and family life. Religion and home life are supplementary. Each strengthens the other. It is seldom that a solid and wholesome home life can be found in the absence of religious inspiration.” -J. Edgar Hoover (John Edgar Hoover (1895 - 1972)): as quoted in the “Christian Herald”
“My dad, he’s a nuclear physicist, my mom, she’s a mathematician, my brother is a chemical engineer - and I like to color.” -Shashi Bhatia
“The family that prays together stays together.” -Al Scalpone (Alfred James Scalpone (1913 - 2000))
Father: Did you children help your mother today?
First Child: Yes, daddy. I washed the dishes.
Second Child: I dried them.
Third Child: I picked up the pieces.
“A clean, comfortable dwelling, with wholesome meals, is no small aid to intellectual and moral progress. A man living in a damp cellar or a garret open to rain and snow, breathing the foul air of a filthy room, and striving without success to appease hunger on scanty or unsavory food, is in danger of abandoning himself to a desperate, selfish recklessness. Improve, then, your lot. Multiply comforts, and, still more, get wealth if you can by honorable means, and if it does not cost too much.” -William Ellery Channing (1780 - 1842)
My Little Sister
My little sister
Likes to eat.
But when she does
She’s not too neat.
The trouble is
She doesn’t know
The food should go!
-William Wise (born 1923)
“We often speak of a family circle, but there are none too many of them. Parallel lines never meeting, squares, triangles . . . these and other geometrical figures abound, but circles are comparatively few.” -Kate Douglas Wiggin (1856 - 1923): “Mother Carey’s Chickens” (1911)
Daryl: Your sister is spoiled, isn’t she?
Aaron: No, that’s just the perfume she’s wearing.
“One day as we were driving through the country, my small son David spoke up excitedly, saying, “Oh, mother, look at the cow’s popsicle!” I looked over in a field and saw a cow calmly licking a large block of salt which was placed atop a small post in the ground.” -Helen MacMillan
“He that will have none but a perfect brother must resign himself to remain brotherless.” -Author Unknown
I thought I’d seen a monster
From outer Outer Space,
Till Dad said, “No, it’s just your mum
With a mud-pack on her face . . .”
“For a man’s home is his castle.” -Edward Coke (1552 - 1634): “Third Institute” (1644)
The Family Bible
Old Brother Higgins built a shelf
for the Family Bible to rest itself
lest a sticky finger or grimy thumb
might injure the delicate pages some.
He cautioned his children to touch it not
and it rested there with never a blot
though the Higgins tribe were a troublesome lot.
His neighbor, Miggins, built a shelf
“Come children,” he said, “and help yourself.”
His book is old and ragged and worn,
with some of the choicest pages torn,
where children have fingered and thumbed and read.
But of the Miggins tribe I’ve heard it said,
each carries a Bible in his head.
Caution: This House Is Protected By Trained Attack Dust Bunnies.
“The family is both the fundamental unit of society as well as the root of culture. It . . . is a perpetual source of encouragement, advocacy, assurance, and emotional refueling that empowers a child to venture with confidence into the greater world and to become all that he can be.” -Marianne E. Neifert: “Dr. Mom’s Parenting Guide” (1991)
“In our family,” a little girl told her teacher, “everybody married relatives. My father married my mother, my uncle married my aunt, and just the other day I found out that my grandfather married my grandmother.”
A man came home from work and found his three children outside, still in their pajamas, playing in the mud, with empty food boxes and wrappers strewn all around the front yard. The door of his wife’s car was open, as was the front door to the house and there was no sign of the dog. Proceeding into the entry, he found an even bigger mess. A lamp had been knocked over, and the throw rug was wadded against one wall. In the front room, the television was loudly blaring a cartoon channel, and the family room was strewn with toys and various items of clothing. In the kitchen, dishes filled the sink, breakfast food was spilled on the counter, the fridge door was open wide, dog food was spilled on the floor, a broken glass lay under the table, and a small pile of sand was spread by the back door. He quickly headed up the stairs, stepping over toys and more piles of clothes, looking for his wife. He was worried she might be ill, or that something serious had happened. He was met with a small trickle of water as it made its way out the bathroom door. As he peered inside, he found wet towels, scummy soap and more toys strewn over the floor. Towels lay in a heap and toothpaste had been smeared over the mirror and walls. As he rushed to the bedroom, he found his wife still curled up in the bed in her pajamas, reading a novel. She looked up at him, smiled, and asked how his day went. He looked at her bewildered and asked, “What happened here today?” She again smiled and answered, “You know every day when you come home from work and you ask me what in the world I do all day?” “Yes?” was his incredulous reply. She answered, “Well, today I didn’t do it.”
Home: A place where a man can say what he likes - because no one takes any notice of him anyway.
“All happy families resemble one another, each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” -Leo Tolstoy (Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy (1828 - 1910)): “Anna Karenina” (1875 - 1877), part I, chapter 1
“[Matthew] knows what he would like to do but he’s not sure where he could find a rocket that would shoot [his sister] Vanessa to Mars.” -Paula Danziger: “Earth to Matthew” (1991)
“I was raised as an only child, which really annoyed my sister.” -Will Marsh
“The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.” -Maya Angelou (Marguerite Ann Johnson (1928 - 2014))
Daniel: Why is your little brother standing in the kitchen pantry wearing a red costume with the number 57 on it?
Daniella: He’s playing ketchup.
“A man travels the world over in search of what he needs and returns home to find it.” -George Moore (George Augustus Moore (1852 - 1933)): “The Brook Kerith” (1916), chapter 11
“Having a family is like having a bowling alley installed in your head.” -Martin Mull
“Home is where the heart is.” -Pliny (Gaius Plinius Secundus, also known as Pliny the Elder (C.E. 23 - C.E. 79)) (similar quotation attributed to James J. McCloskey)
Homes and Families Quiz
- What is fun for the whole family?
- How often should a family share a meal together?
- Who leads a family?
“What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family.” -Teresa of Calcutta (Anjezë Gonxhe Bojaxhiu (1910 - 1997))
“A loving family provides the foundation children need to succeed, and strong families with a man and a woman - bonded together for life - always have been, and always will be, the key to such families.” -Jim Bunning
“This world will be no better than its homes.” -Richard L. Evans (Richard Louis Evans (1906 - 1971))
“The family is one of nature’s masterpieces.” -George Santayana (1863 - 1952): “The Life of Reason” (1905)
’Mid pleasures and palaces though we may roam,
Be it ever so humble, there’s no place like home.
-J. H. Payne (John Howard Payne (1791 - 1852)): “Clari, or The Maid of Milan” (1823), ‘Home! Sweet Home!’; poem and ballad (song) within an opera
“A happy family is but an earlier Heaven.” -John Bowring (1792 - 1872) (similar quotation attributed to George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950))
There Was an Old Woman
There was an old woman
Who lived in a shoe.
She had so many children
She didn’t know what to do.
She gave them some broth
Without any bread.
She kissed them all sweetly
And sent them to bed.
-Author Unknown: a Mother Goose rhyme
“Wherever we are together, that is home.” -Author Unknown
“Having a place to go - is a home. Having someone to love - is a family. Having both - is a blessing.” -Donna Hedges
“Family: A unit composed not only of children but of men, women, an occasional animal, and the common cold virus.” -Ogden Nash (Frederick Ogden ‘Ogden’ Nash (1902 - 1971))
“Good homes are still the best source of good humans.” -Neal A. Maxwell (Neal Ash Maxwell (1926 - 2004)): as quoted in “Ensign” (October 1974), page 71
“Home is home, be it never so homely.” -Thomas Fuller (1654 - 1734): “Gnomologia: Adages and Proverbs” (1732), number 2523
“What is the use of a house if you haven’t got a tolerable planet to put it on?” -Henry David Thoreau (1817 - 1862): letter (20 May 1860) to Harrison Gray Otis Blake, as published in “Familiar Letters” (1865)
“If this world affords true happiness, it is to be found in a home where love and confidence increase with the years, where the necessities of life come without severe strain, where luxuries enter only after their cost has been carefully considered.” -Alfred Edward Newton
“Family: A group of people, no two of whom like their breakfast eggs cooked the same way.” -Author Unknown
“Three essential ingredients in the recipe for a happier family life are prayer, patience, and understanding.” -Author Unknown
“The family unit plays a critical role in our society and in the training of the generation to come.” -Sandra Day O’Connor
This is ‘MFOL!’ . . . much more follows below . . . some serious and some not so serious . . . and some that is difficult to be sure of at all . . .
Be kind, but don’t let people abuse you.
Trust, but don’t be deceived.
Be content, but never stop improving yourself.
“You must get good at one of two things: planting in the spring or begging in the fall.” -Jim Rohn (Emanuel James ‘Jim’ Rohn (1930 - 2009))
“Life is too important to be taken seriously.” -Author Unknown
“Be good to yourself so that you can above all be good to others.” -Jessi Lane Adams (pseudonym name of Terri Guillemets (born 1973))
“Keep five yards from a carriage, ten yards from a horse, and a hundred yards from an elephant. But the distance one should keep from a wicked man cannot be measured.” -Author Unknown: Indian proverb
“One day you’ll just be a memory to some people. Do your best to be a good one.” -Author Unknown
Cocks crow in the morn
To tell us to rise,
And he who lies late
Will never be wise.
For early to bed
And early to rise
Is the way to be healthy,
And wealthy, and wise.
“What cannot be helped must be endured.” -Author Unknown: “Rob Roy” (7 April 1995) movie; words spoken by fictional character Mary MacGregor
“Whatever advice you give, be brief.” -Horace (Quintus Horatius Flaccus (65 B.C.E. - 8 B.C.E.))
“Be excellent to each other!” -Author Unknown: “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure” (1989) movie
“In many cases the person who gives advice hasn’t tried it himself and wishes to see it tested to see if it really works.” -Author Unknown
“If you would know the road ahead, ask someone who has traveled it.” -Author Unknown
“Don’t ever let anyone dull your sparkle.” -Author Unknown
“Three things it is best to avoid: a strange dog, a flood, and a man who thinks he is wise.” -Author Unknown: Welsh proverb
“Pursue worthy aims.” -Solon (636 B.C.E. - 558 B.C.E.)
“To be conscious of your ignorance is a great step to knowledge.” -Author Unknown
“It is better to feed one cat than many mice.” -Author Unknown: Norwegian proverb
“Whoever said sunshine brings happiness has never danced in the rain.” -Author Unknown
Accept a proverb out of Wisdom’s schools -
“Barbers first learn to shave by shaving fools.”
-John Wolcot (1738 - 1819): “Works” (1792)
“Keep trying. Stay humble. Trust your instincts. Most importantly, act. When you come to a fork in the road, take it.” -Yogi Berra (Lawrence Peter ‘Yogi’ Berra (1925 - 2015))
“The words you speak today should be soft and tender . . . for tomorrow you may have to eat them.” -Author Unknown
“How you spend your time is more important than how you spend your money. Money mistakes can be corrected, but misspent time is gone forever.” -Author Unknown
“Wise people carry their possessions within them.” -Author Unknown
“Few persons have good enough sight to see their own faults.” -Author Unknown
“The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.” -Socrates (470 B.C.E. - 399 B.C.E.)
“He who seeks wisdom is a wise man; he who thinks he has found it is mad.” -Seneca (Lucius Annaeus Seneca, also known as Seneca the Younger (4 B.C.E. - C.E. 65))
“It’s so simple to be wise. Just think of something stupid to say and then don’t say it.” -Sam Levenson (1911 - 1980)
“A mountain shames a molehill until both are humbled by the stars.” -Author Unknown: proverb
“We should be careful to get out of an experience only the wisdom that is in it - and stop there; lest we be like the cat that sits down on a hot stove-lid. She will never sit down on a hot stove-lid again - and that is well; but also she will never sit down on a cold one anymore.” -Mark Twain (Samuel Langhorne Clemens (1835 - 1910))
“Good judgment comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgment.” -Barry LePatner
Keep your eye on the ball.
Keep your shoulder to the wheel.
Keep your nose to the grindstone.
Now try to work in that position.
“It’s possible to own too much. A man with one watch knows what time it is; a man with two watches is never quite sure.” -Lee Segall
“Write a wise saying and your name will live forever.” -Author Unknown
“If ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’ were candy and nuts, we’d all have a wonderful Christmas!” -Author Unknown
“Two wrongs do not make a right, but they often make a fight.” -Author Unknown
Wisdom: Common sense in an uncommon degree.
“The only thing to do with good advice is to pass it on; it is never of any use to oneself.” -Oscar Wilde (Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wilde (1854 - 1900))
“Never approach a bull from the front, a horse from the rear, or a fool from any direction.” -Author Unknown
“Remember, people will judge you by your actions, not your intentions. You may have a heart of gold - but so does a hard-boiled egg.” -Author Unknown
“Don’t ever slam a door; you might want to go back.” -Author Unknown
“If wishes were horses, beggars would ride.” -Author Unknown
“I give myself, sometimes, admirable advice, but I am incapable of taking it.” -Mary Wortley Montagu (1689 - 1762)
“A wise man lowers a ladder before he jumps into a pit.” -Author Unknown
“Spend time with those you love, because one of these days you will say either, ‘I wish I had,’ or, ‘I’m glad I did.’” -Author Unknown
“Remember, it’s not the fall that hurts you; it’s the stop at the end.” -Author Unknown
“My parents told me, ‘Finish your dinner. People in China and India are starving.’ I tell my daughters, ‘Finish your homework. People in India and China are starving for your job.’” -Thomas Friedman
Don’t cry over the past, it’s gone.
Don’t worry about the future, it hasn’t arrived.
Live in the present, and make it beautiful.
“The first step toward madness is to think oneself wise.” -Fernando de Rojas
“Seek the wisdom of the ages, but look at the world through the eyes of a child.” -Ron Wild
“Don’t trust advice from a person who’s in trouble.” -Author Unknown
“Wisdom is knowing what to do next; virtue is doing it.” -David Starr Jordan (1851 - 1931): “The Philosophy of Despair” (1902)
“Some folks are wise and some are otherwise.” -Tobias Smollett
“Wisdom is the sunlight of the soul.” -Author Unknown
“Perhaps no one needs advice more than those who go around offering unsolicited advice.” -Nathan Thomas Taylor (born 1966)
It’s later than you think.
-Herb Magidson (1906 - 1986): “Enjoy Yourself” (1950) song
“Work hard, dress well, and be nice to people.” -Author Unknown
“The road to wisdom? - Well, it’s plain and simple to express: Err and err and err again but less and less and less.” -Piet Hein (1905 - 1996)
“No man is wise enough by himself.” -Titus Maccius Plautus (254 B.C.E. - 184 B.C.E.)
“A wise word is not a substitute for a piece of herring.” -Sholom Aleichem
“I always advise people never to give advice.” -P. G. Wodehouse (Pelham Grenville Wodehouse (1881 - 1975))
“Many receive advice; only the wise profit from it.” -Publilius Syrus (85 B.C.E. - 43 B.C.E.)
“Never tell people your troubles. Half of them are not interested and the other half are glad you’re getting what’s coming to you.” -Tommy Cooper
“It is easy when we are in prosperity to give advice to the afflicted.” -Aeschylus (525 B.C.E. - 456 B.C.E.)
“Rise with the sun and go to bed with the chickens.” -Author Unknown
“If I could only give three words of advice, they would be, ‘Tell the truth.’ If I got three more words, I’d add, ‘All the time.’” -Randy Pausch
“Be wise to-day; ’tis madness to defer.” -Edward Young (1683 - 1765): “Night Thoughts,” ‘Night’ Part 1, line 390
“You will always find some Eskimos ready to instruct the Congolese on how to cope with heat waves.” -Stanislaw Jerzy Lec (1909 - 1966): “Unkempt Thoughts” (1962)
“The surest sign of wisdom is constant cheerfulness.” -Michel de Montaigne (Michel Eyquem de Montaigne (1533 - 1592))
“Don’t throw away the old bucket until you know whether the new one holds water.” -Author Unknown: Swedish proverb
“Colors fade, temples crumble, empires fall, but wise words endure.” -Edward Thorndike (Edward Lee Thorndike (1874 - 1949))
“Be such a man, and live such a life, that if every man were such as you, and every life a life like yours, this Earth would be God’s Paradise.” -Phillips Brooks (1835 - 1893)
“The true secret of giving advice is, after you have honestly given it, to be perfectly indifferent whether it is taken or not, and never persist in trying to set people right. That has been my secret, and I have never had any quarrels.” -Hannah Whitall Smith (1832 - 1911): “Philadelphia Quaker: The Letters of Hannah Whitall Smith” (1950), page 146
“Who lives without folly is not so wise as he thinks.” -François de La Rochefoucauld (also known as François Duc de La Rochefoucauld (1613 - 1680)).
“Wise sayings often fall on barren ground; but a kind word is never thrown away.” -Arthur Helps (1813 - 1875)
Overheard: Free advice is worth every penny.
“Charity gives itself rich; greed hoards itself poor.” -Author Unknown: German proverb
“If I wanted to become a tramp, I would seek information and advice from the most successful tramp I could find. If I wanted to become a failure, I would seek advice from men who have never succeeded. If I wanted to succeed in all things, I would look around me for those who are succeeding, and do as they have done.” -Joseph Marshall Wade
“No man was ever wise by chance.” [English translation]
“Nulli sapere casu obtigit.” [original Latin]
-Seneca (Lucius Annaeus Seneca, also known as Seneca the Younger (4 B.C.E. - C.E. 65))
“To offer a man unsolicited advice is to presume that he doesn’t know what to do or that he can’t do it on his own.” -John Gray (born 1951)
For the sake
Of a dream;
In the dish
Is worth ten
In the stream.
“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.” -Robert Brault (born 1938)
“Never take the advice of someone who has not had your kind of trouble.” -Sydney J. Harris (Sydney Justin Harris (1917 - 1986))
“Advice is like snow, the softer it falls the longer it dwells upon, and the deeper it sinks into the mind.” -Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772 - 1834)
“As I grow older, I pay less attention to what men say. I just watch what they do.” -Andrew Carnegie (1835 - 1919)
“Enjoy yourself. These are the good old days you’re going to miss in the years ahead.” -Author Unknown
We are not yet wise enough, because we lack a contribution of ‘Advice and Wisdom’ from you to complete this topic . . . please tell us what you know at MakeFunOfLife@mail.com.
“Don’t put off for tomorrow what you can do today, because if you enjoy it today, you can do it again tomorrow.” -James A. Michener: “The Drifters” (1971) novel
They said procrastination was
The source of all my sorrow
I don’t know what that big word means -
I’ll look it up tomorrow
“Begin while others are procrastinating. Work while others are wishing.” -William Arthur Ward
Jimmy: Can you give me the definition of procrastination?
Johnny: I will do it later.
Jimmy: You could not be more right!
“How soon not now, becomes never.” -Martin Luther (1483 - 1546)
“Doing just a little bit during the time we have available puts you that much further ahead than if you took no action at all.” -Byron Pulsifer
“Someday is not a day of the week.” -Janet Dailey
“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” -Anne Frank (1929 - 1945): “The Diary of a Young Girl” (1952)
“All things come to those who wait, but when they come they’re out of date.” -Author Unknown
Lose This Day Loitering
Lose this day loitering - ‘twill be the same story
To-morrow - and the next more dilatory;
Each indecision brings its own delays,
And days are lost lamenting o’er lost days,
Are you in earnest? Seize this very minute -
Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.
Only engage, and then the mind grows heated -
Begin it, and then the work will be completed!
-Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749 - 1832): “Faust” (Part 1 (1808) and Part 2 (1832))
Overheard: Some tasks have to be put off dozens of times before they will completely slip your mind.
“Things don’t get any easier by putting them off.” -W. Somerset Maugham (William Somerset Maugham (1874 - 1965)): “The Razor’s Edge” (1943)
“Lingering labors come to naught.” -Robert Southwell
“Procrastination is the seed of self-destruction.” -Matthew Burton
“I’m very busy doing things I don’t need to do in order to avoid anything I’m actually supposed to be doing.” -Author Unknown
“Do you know what happens when you give a procrastinator a good idea? Nothing!” -Donald Gardner
“Waiting to develop courage is just another form of procrastination. We must take action while we’re afraid.” -Author Unknown
“A procrastinator’s work is never done.” -Author Unknown
“A primary reason people don’t do new things is because they want to do them perfectly - first time. It’s completely irrational, impractical, not workable - and yet, it’s how most people run their lives.” -John-Roger and Peter McWilliams
“Getting an idea should be like sitting on a pin; it should make you jump up and do something.” -E. L. Simpson
“No task is a long one but the task on which one dare not start. It becomes a nightmare.” -Charles Baudelaire (1821 - 1867)
“Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.” -Thomas Draxe (birth year unknown - 1618): “Adages” (1616)
“Remember, action today can prevent a crisis tomorrow.” -Steve Shallenberger: “Becoming Your Best: The 12 Principles of Highly Successful Leaders” (2014)
“What is deferred is not avoided.” -Thomas More (1478 - 1535): “Utopia” (1516)
Procrastination is the thief of time:
Year after year it steals, till all are fled,
And to the mercies of a moment leaves
The vast concerns of an eternal scene.
-Edward Young (1683 - 1765): “Night Thoughts” (1742 - 1745), line 393
“Procrastination is a road-block in the path of success.” -Author Unknown
“Whatever can be done another day can be done today.” -Michel de Montaigne (Michel Eyquem de Montaigne (1533 - 1592)): “Essais” (“Essays”) (March 1580), Book 1, chapter 20
How to Benefit by Procrastinating
- Put off spending money when you need to save.
- Put off eating when you are trying to lose weight.
- Put off feeling angry, sad, or fearful until you are thinking clearly.
- In most other things, procrastinating brings no good result.
-Nathan Thomas Taylor (born 1966)
“Always put off till tomorrow what you should not do at all.” -Author Unknown
“The habit of always putting off an experience until you can afford it, or until the time is right, or until you know how to do it, is one of the greatest burglars of joy. Be deliberate, but once you’ve made up your mind - jump in.” -Charles R. Swindoll (Charles Rozell ‘Chuck’ Swindoll (born 1934)): “Living on the Ragged Edge” (1985), page 110
“Often greater risk is involved in postponement than in making a wrong decision.” -Harry A. Hopf
“Procrastination is something best put off until tomorrow.” -Gerald Vaughan
“One of the most tragic things I know about human nature is that all of us tend to put off living. We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon - instead of enjoying the roses that are blooming outside our windows today.” -Dale Carnegie (Dale Breckenridge Carnegie (1888 - 1955)): “How to Stop Worrying and Start Living” (1948)
“I’m going to stop putting things off, starting tomorrow!” -Sam Levenson
“What may be done at any Time will be done at no Time.” -Thomas Fuller (1654 - 1734): “Gnomologia: Adages and Proverbs” (1732), number 5500
“If you believe you can accomplish everything by ‘cramming’ at the eleventh hour, by all means, don’t lift a finger now. But you may think twice about beginning to build your ark once it has already started raining.” -Max Brooks
“Procrastination is a teardrop in the sands of time.” -Heath Byers
“One of these days is none of these days.” -Author Unknown (attributed to both Henri Tubach and H. G. Bohn)
“Procrastination is like a credit card: it’s a lot of fun until you get the bill.” -Christopher Parker
“If you procrastinate when faced with a big, difficult problem . . . break the problem into parts, and handle one part at a time.” -Robert Collier (1885 - 1950)
“Live now . . . procrastinate tomorrow!” -Author Unknown
Overheard: It has been a productive day - I got a lot of procrastinating accomplished.
“The really happy people are those who have broken the chains of procrastination, those who find satisfaction in doing the job at hand. They’re full of eagerness, zest, productivity. You can be, too.” -Norman Vincent Peale (1898 - 1993)
“The man who will not act until he knows all will never act at all . . .” -Jim Elliot (1927 - 1956)
“Procrastination usually results in sorrowful regret. Today’s duties put off until tomorrow give us a double burden to bear; the best way is to do them in their proper time.” -Ida Scott Taylor (Ida Scott Taylor McKinney (1855 - 1932))
“If you put off everything till you’re sure of it, you’ll never get anything done.” -Norman Vincent Peale (1898 - 1993)
“The fact is, that to do anything in the world worth doing, we must not stand back shivering and thinking of the cold and danger, but jump in and scramble through as well as we can.” -Richard Cushing (Richard James Cushing (1895 - 1970))
“There are those of us who are always about to live. We are waiting until things change, until there is more time, until we are less tired, until we get a promotion, until we settle down - until, until, until. It always seems as if there is some major event that must occur in our lives before we begin living.” -George Sheehan (1918 - 1993)
“One day you will wake up and there won’t be any more time to do the things you’ve always wanted. Do it now.” -Paulo Coelho (born 1947)
“Procrastination is the bad habit of putting off until the day after tomorrow what should have been done the day before yesterday.” -Napoleon Hill (1883 - 1970)
Defer not till to-morrow to be wise,
To-morrow’s Sun to thee may never rise.
-William Congreve (1670 - 1729): “Letter to Cobham,” line 61
“Putting off an easy thing makes it hard. Putting off a hard thing makes it impossible.” -George Horace Lorimer (1867 - 1937): “Letters from a Self-Made Merchant to His Son” (1902)
“While we are postponing, life speeds by.” -Seneca (Lucius Annaeus Seneca (4 B.C.E. - C.E. 65))
“I have spent my days stringing and unstringing my instrument, while the song I came to sing remains unsung.” -Rabindranath Tagore (1861 - 1941)
“You can’t get much done in life if you only work on the days when you feel good.” -Jerry Alan West
“Postpone not a good action.” -Author Unknown: Irish proverb
All the Woulda-Coulda-Shouldas
Layin’ in the sun,
Talkin’ bout the things
They woulda-coulda-shoulda done . . .
But those Woulda-Coulda-Shouldas
All ran away and hid
From one little did.
-Shel Silverstein (Sheldon Allan ‘Shel’ Silverstein (1930 - 1999)): “Falling Up” (1996)
Procrastination is my sin.
It brings me naught but sorrow.
I know that I should stop it.
In fact, I will - tomorrow!
“Let’s get started while we’re still young!” -Author Unknown: comment made by a man who was seventy-five years of age
“By the street of By-and-By, one arrives at the House of Never.” -Miguel de Cervantes (Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (1547 - 1616)): “Don Quixote” (1605)
“I don’t wait for moods. You accomplish nothing if you do that. Your mind must know it has got to get down to work.” -Pearl S. Buck (Pearl Sydenstricker Buck (1892 - 1973))
Butter late than never!
“Don’t put off for tomorrow what you should do today.” -Aesop: “The Grasshopper and the Ants” (about 6th century B.C.E.)
“By one delay after another they spin out their whole lives, till there’s no more future left for them.” -Roger L’Estrange (1616 - 1704)
procrastination is the
art of keeping
up with yesterday
-Don Marquis (1878 - 1937): “the lives and times of archy & mehitabel” (1940), using lower case letters and no punctuation, in the style of the fictional writer character he created
“If not now, when will you begin living your life?” -Jack Borland
“Do not wait; the time will never be ‘just right.’ Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along.” -Napoleon Hill (1883 - 1970)
“If you have goals and procrastination, you have nothing. If you have goals and you take action, you will have anything you want.” -Thomas J. Vilord
“A man who procrastinates in his choosing will inevitably have his choice made for him by circumstance.” -Hunter S. Thompson: ”The Proud Highway” (1955 - 1967)
“If and When were planted, and Nothing grew.” -Catherine Pulsifer (born 1927): “If and When”
“Procrastination is not laziness,” I tell him. “It is fear. Call it by its right name, and forgive yourself.” -Julia Cameron: “The Prosperous Heart” (2012)
“There is no avoidance in delay.” -Aeschylus (about 525 B.C.E. - about 456 B.C.E.): “Agamemnon” (about 458 B.C.E.)
“Anyone can do any amount of work, provided it isn’t the work he is supposed to be doing at the moment.” -Robert Benchley (1889 - 1945)
“If it weren’t for the last minute, nothing would get done.” -Rita Mae Brown (born 1944)
Overheard: I am just waiting to do my work at the last minute, because by then I will be older and wiser.
“Often just by taking action, by doing something about the situation, you can relieve the stress and help correct the situation.” -Catherine Pulsifer (born 1927)
“It was my fear of failure that first kept me from attempting the master work. Now, I’m beginning what I could have started ten years ago. But I’m happy at least that I didn’t wait twenty years.” -Paulo Coelho (born 1947)
“Join the circus of chaos . . . juggling, stilt walking, and other skills for socially acceptable procrastination.” -Pat Murphy
“Every duty which is bidden to wait, returns with seven fresh duties at its back.” -Charles Kingsley (1819 - 1875): “Sermons for the Times” (1855)
“If you wait until all the lights are ‘green’ before you leave home, you’ll never get started on your trip to the top.” -Zig Ziglar (Hilary Hinton ‘Zig’ Ziglar (1926 - 2012))
“KISS Procrastination Away: Keep It Super Simple, Keep It Step-by-Step, Keep It Scheduled and Systematic.” -Lisa A. Mininni
“In delay there lies no plenty.” -William Shakespeare (1564 - 1616)
Overheard: I bought a book titled “How to Stop Procrastinating,” and I have promised myself that someday, I am going to actually read it.
“Do not put your work off till tomorrow and the day after; for a sluggish worker does not fill his barn.” -Hesiod (about 800 B.C.E. - about 720 B.C.E.)
“When we procrastinate, we also put a hold on happiness.” -Charles F. Glassman
This is ‘MFOL’ . . . let’s make ‘someday’ into ‘today’ . . . and in so doing, make our present lives into more than they are now . . .
“Only look back to see how far you’ve come.” -Author Unknown
“Don’t look back - that’s not where the future is.” -Nathan Thomas Taylor (born 1966)
“You can clutch the past so tightly to your chest, that it leaves your arms too full to embrace the present.” -Jan Glidewell (James Janis ‘Jan’ Glidewell (1944 - 2013))
“If you let go of the past, it no longer has a hold on you.” -Author Unknown
“Do not look back; if Cinderella had gone back to pick up her shoe, she would never have become a princess.” -Author Unknown
“You can’t have a better tomorrow if you are thinking about yesterday all the time.” -Charles F. Kettering (Charles Franklin Kettering (1876 - 1958))
“I live in the past because it’s cheaper there.” -Author Unknown
“For those who live in the past, there is no future.” -Author Unknown
“Living in the past is a dull and lonely business; looking back strains the neck muscles, causes you to bump into people not going your way.” -Edna Ferber (1887 - 1968)
“Don’t let yesterday use up too much of today.” -Will Rogers (William Penn Adair ‘Will’ Rogers (1879 - 1935)) (similar quotation attributed to Richard H. Nelson)
“Remember, you can’t reach for what’s in front of you, until you let go of what’s behind you.” -Author Unknown
“Don’t look back. You’re not going that way.” -Author Unknown
“We can draw lessons from the past, but we cannot live in it.” -Lyndon B. Johnson (Lyndon Baines Johnson (1908 - 1973))
“The past is a guidepost, not a hitching post.” -L. Thomas Holdcroft
“Stop being a prisoner of your past. Become the architect of your future.” -Robin Sharma (born 1965)
“That which is past is gone and irrevocable, and wise men have enough to do with things present and to come.” -Francis Bacon (1561 - 1626): “Essays” (1597)
“The water that is past cannot make the mill go.” -Author Unknown
“If you are still talking about what you did yesterday, you haven’t done much today.” -Author Unknown
“Move forward, don’t look back, just forget the past.” -Author Unknown
Aaron: How many past-dwellers does it take to change a light bulb?
Erin: Four. One to change the bulb and three to reminisce about how good the old burned-out, broken bulb was.
“I can’t go back to yesterday because I was a different person then.” -Lewis Carroll (pseudonym of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (1832 - 1898)): “Alice in Wonderland” (1865)
Retrosaurus: A backward-looking dinosaur. Usage example: Past-dwellers can be crusty old retrosauruses at times.
“When we cling to the past, we become unavailable in the present.” -Author Unknown
“Never look back unless you are planning to go that way.” -Henry David Thoreau (1817 - 1862)
Past-Dwelling and Past-Dwellers Quiz
- What does it mean when a person is said to be dwelling in the past?
- What is the difference between dwelling in the past and reminiscing?
- What harm can it do to dwell in the past?
- How can a person stop dwelling in the past, start living in the present, and start working and planning for the future?
“It’s okay to look back at the past. Just don’t stare.” -Benjamin Dover
“We consume our tomorrows fretting about our yesterdays.” -Persius (Aulus Persius Flaccus (C.E. 34 - C.E. 62))
“It is not possible to go forward while looking back.” -Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (1886 - 1969)
“When you focus on what might have been, it gets in the way of what can be.” -Patricia Fripp
“Looking back gives you regrets. Looking ahead gives you opportunities.” -Author Unknown
This is ‘MFOL!’ . . . perhaps someday, we will look back on all of this, laugh nervously, and change the subject . . . until then, we will just keep going forward . . . and hope we are headed in the right direction . . .
“Long before I grew up, my Teddy Bear taught me what love really meant: being there when you’re needed.” -Jim Nelson
Bernie: What do Teddy Bears do when it rains?
Barney: They get wet.
The history of Teddy Bears is believed to have started in about 1902 or shortly thereafter, when the first stuffed Teddy Bears were produced by the Ideal Novelty & Toy Company in America and also by the Steiff Company in Germany. The origin of the name ‘Teddy Bear’ is claimed to be derived from the twenty-sixth American President, Theodore ‘Teddy’ Roosevelt (1858 - 1919; in office 1901 - 1909). His nickname was ‘Teddy,’ so technically, the ‘Teddy Bear’ would be his namesake.
Tad: What’s the difference between Teddy Bears and apples?
Tod: Teddy Bears don’t grow on trees.
“A bear remains a bear - even when most of him has fallen off or worn away.” -Charlotte Gray
Two Little Teddy Bears
Two little Teddy Bears
Big brown eyes
Fluffy little Teddy Bears
Making mud pies
Muddy little paws, dirty little feet
Making mud pies is a very special treat
Pop them in the oven
Bake them in the oven
Bake them till they’re brown
Our mud pies are the best in town
Ask all the other Bears
Won’t you come to tea
To eat the finest mud pies
In the whole country?
by Author Unknown
Melissa: What did the Teddy Bear say when he was offered a second helping?
Chrissy: “No thanks; I’m already stuffed!”
Once upon a time there were three bears . . . three Teddy Bears, that is . . .
“My Teddy was there when I had no friends to play with, no one to talk to, no one to share my little woes or my big joys. He looked constant and was constant. He never aged, no matter how tattered he became. His smell was the smell of my years as a boy, and he alone knew everything. Now, when I see him on the shelf, he is like my flesh and my soul - older, worn, but still full of happiness.” -Robert Kunciov
Theodore: How do Teddy Bears keep their houses cool in summer?
Ted: They use bear-conditioning.
“It is astonishing, really, how many thoroughly mature, well-adjusted grown-ups harbor a Teddy Bear - which is perhaps why they are thoroughly mature and well-adjusted.” -Joseph Lempa
“Teddy Bears live more commonly in the arms of children than in the woods.” -Author Unknown
Ellie: What do you call a Teddy Bear at the North Pole?
Dutch police cars carry toy Teddy Bears in case something troubling happens to a child.
Theo: How do Teddy Bears send their letters?
Teddy: By bear mail, of course!
Shakespeare pre-dated the Teddy Bear, but he captured the companionship and bond we share with our bears when he wrote: “He was my friend, faithful, and just to me . . .” -William Shakespeare (1564 - 1616)
“A bear knows all your secrets - and keeps them.” -Rosanne Brown
“After people and dolls, Teddy Bears are the third most likely guests to be invited to tea parties.” -Author Unknown
“The world is divided into two nations: those with Teddy bears, those without. Each thinks the other is odd.” -Jenny De Vries
“A Teddy Bear does not depend upon mechanics to give him the semblance of life. He is loved - and therefore he lives.” -Pat Brown
“The gift of a Teddy Bear is good for boys and girls of nearly any age, as well as men and women; they are acceptable in all seasons and on all holidays; they are found in homes, hospitals, and schools. They bring warmth and a sense of belonging to new arrivals in orphanages, foster homes, and emergency shelters. It is not unknown for them to be given by police officers, firefighters, paramedics, soldiers, and rescuers, to persons in distress. As a practical matter, they take up little space, are easily packed and carried, and can double as a pillow for one’s head. They are never out-of-date. In a store somewhere is a Teddy Bear or perhaps a few dozen, waiting to be picked up and presented by you as a welcome gift to someone who is certain to be appreciative.” -Nathan Thomas Taylor (born 1966)
“Whoever said, ‘Diamonds are a girl’s best friend,’ would retract that statement after seeing the sparkle in a Teddy’s eyes.” -Lana T. Zeis
“Now that I’m all grown up, I can buy any old Teddy Bear I want - except the old Teddy Bear I want.” -William Sternman
“One never quite gets over a lost bear.” -Jane Swan
Teddy was under the lilac bush -
when the snow went away we found him there.
And one of his shoebutton eyes was lost
and the shine was gone from his yellow hair.
But Teddy blinked with his last black eye
and said that he really didn’t care
(except that his cave was a trifle cold)
as long as we came and found him there.
And he said with a smile on his white yarn mouth
that Real bears slept in a cave or lair
All through the winter . . . and if they could,
well then, why couldn’t a Teddy Bear?
by Aileen Fisher (Aileen Lucia Fisher (1906 - 2002))
“There’s no bear like an old bear.” -Samantha Armstrong
Nellie: Why couldn’t the Teddy Bear finish his lunch?
Nettie: Because he was stuffed!
“There’s just something about a Teddy Bear that’s impossible to explain. When you hold one in your arms, you get a feeling of love, comfort, and security. It’s almost supernatural.” -James Ownby
For just the right Teddy Bear, visit Vermont Teddy Bears at https://www.VermontTeddyBear.com/ and be sure to let them know you found out about them from www.MakeFunOfLife.net.
Fuzzy: How do you start a Teddy Bear race?
Wuzzy: Teddy, set, go!
“A Teddy Bear’s virtue is that he cannot love himself . . . only others.” -Ted Menten
Teddy Bears are one of the most popular gifts to present at baby showers and to newborn babies.
Tricia: What kind of umbrella does a Teddy Bear carry in the rain?
Beatrice: A wet one!
“You really don’t have to be young to find a friend in a Teddy Bear.” -Rachel Newman
“Anyone who has looked a Teddy Bear in the face will recognize the friendly twinkle in his knowing look.” -Harold Nadolny
Geoffrey: Why did the Teddy Bear not eat dessert?
George: Because he was already stuffed.
“A bear grows more alive with age. No one with an ounce of sensitivity could ever consign a bear to the dustbin.” -Johnnie Hague
“A Teddy Bear is your childhood wrapped up in faded yellow fur, and as such, he commands affection long after he is outgrown.” -Pat Brown
“All bears merit a dignified old age.” -Peter Gray
Vincent: What is the difference between a Teddy Bear and a turkey?
Sylvia: If you don’t know, maybe you shouldn’t cook any holiday dinners!
“A bedroom without a Teddy is like a face without a smile.” -Gil Davies
“Bears are just about the only toy that can lose just about everything and still maintain their dignity and worth.” -Samantha Armstrong
Your Tiny Teddy Bear
I will be your tiny Teddy Bear,
And when you need comforting, I will be there!
I’m huggable, lovable, and portable,
And for the value I bring, I’m quite affordable!
I am cushiony soft and squeezable,
And I need no batteries, and I am hand-washable!
I am waiting for you, in a shop all alone,
And now . . . please pick me up and take me home!
-Nathan Thomas Taylor (born 1966)
“Once a bear has been loved by a human being, its expression is forever marked.” -Jama Kim Rattigan
This is ‘MFOL!’ . . . we cannot wait to see what is coming next . . .
“We come in peace.” -Unidentified Extraterrestrial Being
“Innumerable suns exist; innumerable earths revolve around these suns in a manner similar to the way the seven planets revolve around our sun. Living beings inhabit these worlds.” -Giordano Bruno (1548 - 1600): “On the Infinite Universe and Worlds” (1584)
“Take me to your leader.” -Unidentified Extraterrestrial Being
Eddy: What did the metric alien say?
Freddy: “Take me to your liter.”
Scientists have yet to discover a sign of extraterrestrial life, but the discovery of planets outside of our solar system, having what is believed to be life-sustaining matter and supposedly habitable climates, is claimed to be a promising possible indication of life outside Earth.
It Came from Outer Space
There was a Martian named Zed
With antennae all over his head.
He sent out a lot
But nobody knows what he said.
-John Ciardi (John Anthony Ciardi (1916 - 1986))
“Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us.” -Bill Watterson
Bernice: What are the slowest space monsters?
Extra = beyond. Terrestrial = Earth. Extraterrestrial = beyond Earth.
Overheard: Are you from outer space . . . or just from out of town?
“Personally, I don’t think there’s intelligent life on other planets. Why should other planets be any different from this one?” -Bob Monkhouse (Robert Alan ‘Bob’ Monkhouse (1928 - 2003))
Otis: Where do alien fish swim?
Otto: In the Galax Sea. (galaxy)
Two outer space aliens stopped to look at a parking meter. One of them picked up a quarter from the ground, and after a little trial and error, inserted the quarter into the meter. When she saw the needle on the dial move, she said to her companion, “How about that? I weigh an hour.”
Hans: What did the space alien cook for breakfast?
Hansel: An Unidentified Frying Object (UFO).
Curiously, now that so many people have cell phones with built-in cameras, claims of Unidentified Flying Objects sightings have dropped to nearly zero. You would think that just the opposite would be the case if UFO’s were real.
Was as round as the moon.
Five legs he had
And his ears played a tune.
His hair was pink
And his knees were green,
He was the funniest thing I’d seen
As he danced in the door
Of his strange spacecraft,
He looked at me -
And laughed and laughed!
Spaceship landmark in Mars, Pennsylvania, United States of America . . . oddly, the aliens were nowhere to be found.
Pam: Have you ever noticed that space aliens have no noses?
Sam: Really? How do they smell?
“I think that it is much more likely that the reports of flying saucers are the results of the known irrational characteristics of terrestrial intelligence than of the unknown rational efforts of extra-terrestrial intelligence.” -Richard Feynman (Richard Phillips Feynman (1918 - 1988))
Ella: If you run into a three-headed alien, what should you say?
Ellie: “Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye!”
If an alien were to hover a few
Hundred yards above the planet
It could be forgiven for thinking
That cars were the dominant life form,
And that human beings were a kind of
Ambulatory fuel cell:
Injected when the car wished to move off,
And ejected when they were spent.
-Heathcote Williams (1988)
If the United States government has no knowledge of aliens, then why does Title 14, Section 1211 of the Code of Federal Regulations, implemented on 16 July 1969, make it illegal for American citizens to have any contact with extraterrestrials or their vehicles?
“Sometimes I think we’re alone in the Universe, and sometimes I think we’re not. In either case the idea is quite staggering.” -Arthur C. Clarke (Arthur Charles Clarke (1917 - 2008))
Greta: What kind of music do aliens listen to in their spaceships?
The shocking truth: Extraterrestrials and their spacecraft, commonly called UFO’s, possibly have never visited Earth and may not even exist. The entire space aliens and alien spacecraft idea was a propaganda campaign created by the government of the United States of America around the end of World War 2, and continued over the next several years. It was an attempt to gain a psychological edge over the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (U.S.S.R.) as both sides raced to reach supremacy in the military technological advancements of the Cold War Era. The technologies that now allow us to have cell phones, computers, and other comparatively recent and stunning advances, are not reverse-engineered from alien technologies, but have been created entirely by our fellow human beings.
“There are many intelligent species in the universe. They are all owned by cats.” -Author Unknown
The image shown above is how a United States Air Force Lenticular Reentry Vehicle might have looked. Some information on the experimental flying disk program was declassified in 1997, but none of the original aircraft are known to still exist. The flying disks had problems with flight stability and suffered from a high crash rate, so the government ultimately chose to go with more reliable conventional fixed-wing aircraft designs similar to what are in use today. However, the LRV’s were real aircraft, conceptually designed to operate as re-entry vehicles in near-space and at high-altitude, to deploy special weapons (meaning nuclear). Casual observers who spotted these craft in the sky above them decades ago might have imagined they were seeing flying saucers from outer space that were filled with space aliens.
An alien spaceship was running low on fuel, so it landed at a gas station in the middle of the desert near area 51. On one side were printed the letters ‘UFO.’ The station attendant was completely stunned as he came out to see what was going on. Pointing to the side of the craft, he asked, “I’ll bet that stands for ‘Unidentified Flying Object,’ right?” “Nope,” said one of the aliens. “It stands for ‘Unleaded Fuel Only’.”
Experimental aircraft and other seemingly odd things can be seen in the sky from time to time. What does it mean? Inventors, governments, and other folks are simply going about their usual activities, which includes trying out new ideas.
First Space Alien: Is there somewhere around here where I can wash up?
Second Space Alien: Sure, just keep going straight ahead until you come to the meteor showers.
While the fantasy that beings or entities from other places in the Universe would build spaceships and fly them all the way to Earth might be momentarily fascinating, it might not be the best long-term idea to have as one’s life focus. Planting orchards, teaching Sunday school, learning and using good manners, building furniture, raising children, or any of an endless number of other activities, all can yield greater rewards and a richer life than obsessing over the remote possibility of the existence of extraterrestrials and UFO’s. Use your imagination to help you create real things and real results; do not allow your imagination or fantasies to become your entire life. The risk of living in imagination or becoming wrapped up in fantasy is that a person can come to his or her senses at the end of a lifetime to find out he or she never had anything that was real.
Elsa: What did the alien say when he walked into his spaceship?
You can still watch and enjoy movies about pretend space aliens and pretend people. Have fun in life, but do not lose your focus on the real world, in which you live every moment.
Cosmo: On what kind of plates do space aliens serve their food?
Astoria: Flying saucers!
So, just what is the truth about extraterrestrials and UFO’s? Our conclusion is that alien spacecraft and space aliens have never visited Earth, given the lack of any real evidence, but every person is free to believe as he or she chooses.
“What is the name of your spaceship?” we asked. “We call it our ‘Imagination,’” the alien said.
Now let’s have further harmless fun . . . on ‘MFOL!’
The many stories of Mr. Lincoln’s self-reliance and tenacity have been summed up in the somewhat exaggerated quip, “Abraham Lincoln was born in a log cabin that he built with his own hands.”
The log cabin in which Abraham Lincoln was born measured about 4.9 meters by 5.5 meters (16 feet by 18 feet). The logs were oak and chestnut and numbered 143. They were chinked with clay. Rough wooden shingles covered the roof. There was a stone fireplace, one door which swung on leather hinges, and one window covered with thin animal skin so that those inside could get a rough estimate on whether it was daytime or nighttime outside the cabin. There was a small stick-and-clay chimney and the floor was dirt.
“He’ll never come to much, fur I’ll tell you he wuz the puniest, cryin’est little youngster I ever saw.” -Dennis Hanks (first cousin of Nancy Hanks Lincoln), on the day Abraham Lincoln was born
“It is difficult to make a man miserable while he feels he is worthy of himself and claims kindred to the great God who made him.” -Abraham Lincoln
As a boy, Abe was rented out to local farmers by his father to do hard labor. His father used the proceeds to buy alcohol, and was in a near-constant state of inebriation. His father was also a believer in applying a stern hand to his children, to an extent that in the present day would be called child abuse. Later in life, upon being informed of his father’s failing health preceding his demise, Lincoln declined to visit him and asked his stepbrother to, “Say to him that if we could meet now, it is doubtful whether it would not be more painful than pleasant.” Abe did not attend his father’s funeral.
“Let the past as nothing be.” -Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln may have had a medical condition called Marfans syndrome. Some of its symptoms include extremely long bones, a curved spine, an arm span that is longer than a person’s height, eye problems, heart problems, and very little fat. Marfans is a rare and inherited condition.
“I fear explanations explanatory of things explained.” -Abraham Lincoln
People seeing Abe when he first stepped out of the backwoods and into civilization as a young man described him as showing a kind of poverty not seen in even the worst of circumstances. His was extremely thin, and his shoes and clothes were worn out and patched and held together in the roughest way imaginable. But he didn’t let that stop him from attempting to make something of himself. He worked hard and played hard. In his free hours, he would take on any man who was foolish enough to challenge him in a wrestling contest, and he had a record of coming out the winner most times.
“No men living are more worthy to be trusted than those who toil up from poverty.” -Abraham Lincoln
“When you have got an elephant by the hind leg, and he is trying to run away, it’s best to let him run.” -Abraham Lincoln: as attributed in Charles Anderson Dana: “Recollections of the Civil War” (1897)
When we think of Abraham Lincoln, we are called to mind of a tall, gaunt, bearded figure dressed in a stovepipe hat and coattails. Abe was 6 foot, 3-and-3/4 inches tall with his shoes removed, and his shoe size was somewhere between a 12 and a 14. Lincoln was the first American President to wear a beard, but he didn’t always have that beard (more about that later). Abraham Lincoln’s size 7-and-1/8th stovepipe hat was called his ‘desk and memorandum book’ and also his ‘filing cabinet’ because he kept his mail, bankbook, and important papers in it.
“If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee.” -Abraham Lincoln
Abe was a shopkeeper and a lawyer at different times in his life, so he had a trade and a profession long before pursuing the highest office in the land. He earned the handle ‘Honest Abe’ from walking long distances to return just a few pennies to customers he had mistakenly overcharged for their store purchases.
“I like to see a man proud of the place in which he lives. I like to see a man live so that his place will be proud of him.” -Abraham Lincoln
“The thing about quotes from the internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity.” -Abraham Lincoln (Yes, we have played a little trick on you - he never actually said that one.)
“The way for a young man to rise is to improve himself every way he can, never suspecting that anybody wishes to hinder him.” -Abraham Lincoln: letter (10 July 1848) to William H. Herndon
“I will study and prepare myself . . . and someday my chance will come.” -Abraham Lincoln
Mr. Lincoln was a self-taught lawyer, spending many hours reading books on the law in a time and place in which law schools were not as common as today, and he received his license to practice law simply by appearing before a court and having someone testify as to the soundness of his character.
“If there is anything that a man can do well, I say let him do it. Give him a chance.” -Abraham Lincoln
“Leave nothing for tomorrow which can be done today.” -Abraham Lincoln: memorandum for law lecture (1850)
Lawyer Lincoln answers an inquiry concerning the financial standing of a fellow townsman: “First of all, he has a wife and baby; together they ought to be worth $500,000 to any man. Secondly, he has an office in which there is a table worth $1.50, and three chairs, worth, say $1.00. Last of all, there is in one corner a large rat-hole, which will bear looking into.” -Respectfully, A. Lincoln
“Sir, my concern is not whether God is on our side; my great concern is to be on God’s side, for God is always right.” -Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln was brought up Baptist and occasionally attended Presbyterian churches in Springfield, Illinois and in Washington, District of Columbia. He was married by an Episcopal minister. Though he never joined a church during his life, he did sporadically attend services with his wife Mary Todd Lincoln, who was a regular churchgoer. Still, he had arduously read and studied “The Bible” and could quote scripture, having a particular affinity for ‘The Book of Psalms.’
“I care not much for a man’s religion whose dog and cat are not the better for it.” -Abraham Lincoln
Abe was no stranger to tools and manual labor. He once worked as a rail-splitter, a job in which he hand-split long sections of logs lengthwise into rails used in the building of fences. He lived way back when the world was brand-new, that is to say, when civilization was still in the process of being carved out of the rough wilderness of North America. (Rest assured, the world will be brand-new again someday, as nature has a way of taking back from us land we ‘borrow’ in a constant renewal of itself; everything ultimately belongs to a higher order than us, and we - every one of us individually and we collectively as a species - could be said to be ‘just passing through.’ Well, no matter, let us work in the shade and frolic in the sunlight while we are here, for that is what we were designed to do. But we digress.)
“If I had eight hours to cut down a big tree, I’d spend six hours sharpening the axe.” -Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln, his hand and pen,
He will be good, but God knows when.
-Abraham Lincoln, in a little ditty he wrote about himself
“With the fearful strain that is on me night and day, if I did not laugh I should die.” -Abraham Lincoln
“Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” -Abraham Lincoln
In 1832, during the Black Hawk War, a conflict between the United States federal government and the Sac and Fox Indians, Abraham Lincoln, then a young captain of the Bucktail Rangers, was in command of his platoon as they marched across the county. Lincoln was rather ignorant of matters of drill, tactics, and formations; and when his soldiers came to a narrow gate in a fence, he had no idea how to deal with the situation in a proper military way. So he commanded, “Halt! Company dismissed for two minutes. At the end of that time, reassemble on the other side of the fence.”
On Crossing a Stream before You Reach It
“Many years ago, when I was a young lawyer, and Illinois was little settled, except on her southern border, I, and other lawyers, used to ride the circuit; journeying with the judge from county-seat to county-seat in quest of business. Once, after a long spell of pouring rain, which had flooded the whole country, transforming small creeks into rivers, we were often stopped by these swollen streams, which we with difficulty crossed. Still ahead of us was the Fox River, larger than all the rest; and we could not help saying to each other, ‘If these streams give us so much trouble, how shall we get over Fox River?’ Darkness fell before we had reached that stream; and we all stopped at a log tavern, had our horses put out, and resolved to pass the night. Here we were right glad to fall in with the Methodist Presiding Elder of the circuit [Peter Cartwright, whom Lincoln had once defeated for Congress], who rode it in all weather, knew all its ways, and could tell us about Fox River. So we all gathered around him, and asked him if he knew about the crossing of Fox River. ‘Oh, yes,’ he replied, ‘I know all about Fox River. I have crossed it often and understand it well; but I have one fixed rule with regard to Fox River: I never cross it till I reach it.’”
In 1839, Lincoln met future ‘First Lady’ Mary Ann Todd Lincoln, who had moved to Springfield from Lexington, Kentucky. Most likely, the couple met at a ball. Mary was then living at the home of her older sister, Elizabeth Edwards. Mary was educated and from a wealthy family. When she caught sight of Abraham, her first words were, “Who is that man?” Lincoln wore a custom-made suit by Brooks Brothers, a maker of finer men’s clothing that is still a going concern today. So, take a hint, guys, clothes do make the man, and may get you the kind of attention you are seeking.
“Tact is the ability to describe others as they see themselves.” -Abraham Lincoln
“Whatever you are, be a good one.” -Abraham Lincoln
So now you know part of the answer to Mary Ann Todd’s question in the paragraph above. If you’d like to know more, there are over 15,000 different books on the life of Abraham Lincoln. Read two a day, and in 20 years, you’ll know enough to write your own book about Honest Abe. Right now would be a good time to get started on that reading.
“For those who like this kind of a book, this is the kind of a book they will like.” -Abraham Lincoln, in a remark made upon reviewing a book
“Determine that the thing can and shall be done, and then we shall find the way.” -Abraham Lincoln: speech (20 June 1848) in the United States House of Representatives
Abraham Lincoln is the only American President ever granted a patent. He invented a hydraulic device for lifting ships over shoals (shallows). (Thomas Jefferson invented the coat hanger, but did not patent it.) Mr. Lincoln received patent number 6469 in the year 1849 for his invention.
“Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed, is more important than any other one thing.” -Abraham Lincoln: letter (5 November 1855) to Isham Reavis
In 1858, Abraham Lincoln was debating Stephen A. Douglas, his opponent, in a campaign for the United States Senate. Not only was Mr. Lincoln not as great an orator (speechmaker) as Mr. Douglas, he was also not what some would call a handsome man. At one point, Mr. Douglas accused Mr. Lincoln of being two-faced, and Mr. Lincoln replied, “I leave it to my audience. If I had two faces, would I be wearing this one?”
“I don’t like that man. I must get to know him better.” -Abraham Lincoln
“Do not worry; eat three square meals a day; say your prayers; be courteous to your creditors; keep your digestion good; exercise; go slow and easy. Maybe there are other things your special case requires to make you happy, but my friend, these I reckon will give you a good lift.” -Abraham Lincoln
“I hold that if the Almighty had ever made a set of men that should do all the eating and none of the work, he would have made them with mouths only and no hands, and if he had ever made another class that he intended should do all the work and none of the eating, he would have made them without mouths and with all hands.” -Abraham Lincoln: notes for speech (17 September 1859) in Cincinnati, Ohio
“It is said an Eastern monarch once charged his wise men to invent him a sentence to be ever in view, and which should be true and appropriate in all times and situations. They presented him the words: 'And this, too, shall pass away.' How much it expresses! How chastening in the hour of pride! How consoling in the depths of affliction!” -Abraham Lincoln: in an address to the Wisconsin State Agricultural Society in Milwaukee, Wisconsin (30 September 1859)
In 1860, Abraham Lincoln grew a beard, purportedly at the suggestion of an eleven-year-old girl.
“This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or their revolutionary right to dismember it or overthrow it.” - Abraham Lincoln: First Inaugural Address (4 March 1861)
In 1860, Abraham Lincoln won the election to become President of the United States of America.
On 3 October 1863, President Lincoln made the traditional Thanksgiving Day celebration into a national holiday. He did so at the urging of Sarah Josepha Hale, who is perhaps best known as the author of the poem, “Mary Had a Little Lamb” (1830).
“That some achieve great success, is proof to all that others can achieve it as well.” -Abraham Lincoln
“I do the very best I know how - the very best I can; and mean to keep doing so until the end. If the end brings me out all right, what is said against me won’t amount to anything.” -Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln was born on 12 February 1809. Among other things, he was a lawyer, a shopkeeper, and a Republican statesman who became the sixteenth President of the United States of America (1861 - 1865), during the American Civil War. Abraham Lincoln was shot by Confederate agent John Wilkes Booth on 14 April 1865, just five days after the end of the Civil War, and passed away on 15 April 1865 from the wound received.
“And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that counts. It’s the life in your years.” -Abraham Lincoln
President Theodore Roosevelt wore a ring containing a lock of Abraham Lincoln’s hair when he was inaugurated in 1905.
Abraham Lincoln was born on 12 February 1809, and George Washington was born on 22 February 1732. The two men’s birthdays are holidays in some states; however, for all federal government purposes, their birthdays have been overshadowed by Presidents Day, a national holiday that falls on the third Monday in February of each year and commemorates all American Presidents.
“I want it said by those who knew me best, that I always plucked a thistle and planted a flower where I thought a flower would grow.” -Abraham Lincoln
The Abraham Lincoln online memorial is at https://goo.gl/RjmqRX. Visitors may leave virtual flowers and personal messages, as well as view the linked online memorials of Abraham Lincoln’s family and relatives.
“Behind the cloud the Sun is still shining.” -Abraham Lincoln
Make Fun Of Life! . . . because we’re all just a little bit funny . . . If you would like to add to the ‘Abraham Lincoln’ topic, please contact us at MakeFunOfLife@mail.com. We encourage everyone to be of good cheer and go out into the world every day to ‘MFOL!’
Thousands of sunny yellow dandelions in fields of green grass in the daytime is perhaps the Earth answering back to nighttime skies filled with twinkling stars . . .
The word ‘dandelion’ is derived from the French phrase ‘dent de lion’ meaning ‘lion’s tooth.’
“When you look at a field of dandelions, you can choose to see thousands of weeds or thousands of wishes. Pluck by the stem a dandelion flower that has turned from yellow to white. Make a secret wish from your heart’s desires. When you blow on them, the fluffy white tufts attached to each of the individual seeds will drift away, sometimes even to be borne aloft by breezes. If you are lucky, one of them may land in the hidden realm of the fairies, and a fairy may find the wish attached to it and make the wish real in some way. May all of your secret dandelion wishes come true.” -Nathan Thomas Taylor (born 1966)
Dandelion flowers start out as tight bundles of long thin green leaves, which open to reveal bright yellow flowers, that eventually form the fluffy white matter consisting of tiny seeds connected to little tufts of fluff called ‘clocks’ that are easily captured by the wind and taken aloft, spreading the seeds far and wide to begin new dandelion plants.
A Dandelion Ditty
Roses are red,
Violets are blue -
But they don’t get around
Like the dandelions do!
When plants reach the stage of development in which they produce seeds, they are often referred to as having ‘gone to seed.’ Dandelions visibly go to seed when their yellow flowers turn into spherical constellations of white tufts.
A dandelion doesn’t roar
Which is a lucky thing
With all the millions that there are
That would be frightening.
When I went out to play today
I found dandelions yellow and gay
And then when I came in tonight
The dandelions had turned to white.
Dandelions are very tough plants because their strong roots reach far down into the soil to obtain water and nutrients. The roots can be 3 to 4.5 meters (10 to 15 feet) in length, but often are only 15 to 45 centimeters (6 to 18 inches) in length.
Is this a solution to your dandelion problem? Are dandelion flowers taking over your yard, annoying you with their bright yellow optimism, and confusing your eyes by making you think you are looking directly at the Sun whenever you see a dandelion in the sea of green grass surrounding your home or business? Call Rent-a-Turtle Professional Landscaping Services today at 555 - 5555. Hungry turtles are standing by to take your call, so act now!
What are the nutritional benefits of dandelions? Dandelion flowers contain antioxidants. Dandelion leaves are high in vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, and the minerals calcium, copper, iron, manganese, and potassium. Dandelion roots are rich in iron, boron, beta-carotene, and potassium.
It is against the law in Pueblo, Colorado, United States of America, to raise a dandelion or permit a dandelion to grow within city limits. Some people do not know what else to do with themselves, so they spend a part of their lives making unnecessary laws.
“If dandelions were rare and fragile, people would knock themselves out to pay $14.95 a plant, raise them by hand in greenhouses, and form dandelion societies and all that. But, they are everywhere and don’t need us and kind of do what they please. So we call them weeds and murder them at every opportunity. Well, I say they are flowers.” -Robert Fulgham
Dandelions can be washed in water and eaten raw, or cooked. Dandelion flowers and leaves add color and flavor to salads. Dandelion leaves can also be juiced. Dandelion roots can be roasted or used to make tea.
In Wilton, Maine, United States of America, they have a cannery business that imports and cans dandelion greens and sometimes sells fresh fiddleheads in season. You might consider getting into this business yourself.
Dandelions have been used as a food source and as a medicine for more than 1,000 years. European immigrants purposely brought dandelion seeds to America, to use the greens, or leaves of the plant, for making salads and teas. Dandelion roots can be served as a vegetable course, or dried and used as a coffee substitute. The flowers can be used to make a yellow dye for wool. There are periodic revivals of using dandelions in these ways, as generation after generation rediscovers dandelions.
Luscious edible dandelions grow wild, and the freshly picked greens can be eaten raw in salads, or cooked in ways similar to how other greens, such as spinach, are cooked. Health-conscious people, frugal people, and people with little or no money can include dandelions in their diets. We can still, to some extent, ‘live off the land.’
Dandelions: Small bursts of sunshine in your lawn.
This is ‘MFOL!’ . . . a website for the two kinds of humans: the serious ones and the silly ones . . . now see if you can guess what comes next.
Now that is indeed a job whale done . . .
“Everybody likes a compliment.” -Abraham Lincoln (1809 - 1865)
“Praise works with only three types of people; men, women, and children.” -Author Unknown
Arnold Bennett, the British novelist, had a publisher who boasted about the extraordinary efficiency of his secretary. One day while visiting the publisher’s office, Bennett asked her: “Your boss claims you’re extremely efficient. What’s your secret?” “It’s not my secret,” said the secretary, “it’s his.” Each time she did something for him, no matter how insignificant, she explained, he never failed to acknowledge and appreciate it. Because of this, she took infinite pains with her work.
“I can live for two months on a good compliment.” -Mark Twain (Samuel Langhorne Clemens (1835 -1910))
“Remember the compliments you have received and forget the rude remarks.” -Author Unknown
’Tis an old maxim in the schools,
That flattery’s the food of fools;
Yet now and then your men of wit
Will condescend to take a bit.
-Jonathan Swift (1667 - 1745): “Cadenus and Vanessa” (1713)
“Celebrate what you want to see more of.” -Tom Peters (born 1942)
“When you feel in need of a compliment, give one to someone else.” -Author Unknown
“You know, somebody actually complimented me on my driving today. They left a little note on the windshield; it said ‘Parking Fine.’ So that was nice.” -Tim Vine
“The sweetest of all sounds is praise.” -Xenophon (430 B.C.E. - 352 B.C.E.) (about 380 B.C.E.)
“Be quick to praise people. People like to praise those who praise them.” -Bernard Baruch (1870 - 1965): as attributed in William Safire and Leonard Safir: “Words of Wisdom: More Good Advice” (1989), page 294
“Any man’s life will be filled with constant and unexpected encouragement if he makes up his mind to do his level best each day.” -Booker T. Washington (Booker Taliaferro Washington (1856 - 1915))
An Old Person of Filey
There was an old person of Filey,
Of whom his acquaintance spoke highly;
He danced perfectly well,
To the sound of a bell,
And delighted the people of Filey.
“A person places themselves on a level with the ones they praise.” -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749 - 1832)
“Correction does much, but encouragement does more.” -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749 - 1832)
“What really flatters a man is that you think him worth flattering.” -George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950): “John Bull’s Other Island” (1904), Act 4
“Note how good you feel after you have encouraged someone else. No other argument is necessary to suggest that one never miss the opportunity to give encouragement.” -George Adams (George Matthew Adams (1878 - 1962))
“You can’t eat compliments.” -Charles M. Schulz (Charles Monroe ‘Sparky’ Schulz (1922 - 2000)): “Things I’ve Had to Learn Over and Over Again (Plus a Few Minor Discoveries)” (1984)
“Flattery must be pretty thick before anybody objects to it.” -William Feather (1889 - 1981): “The Business of Life” (1949)
“Appreciate good people. They are hard to come by.” -Author Unknown
“If you mean to profit, learn to praise.” -Charles Churchill (1731 - 1764): “Gotham” (1764), book II
“Praise does wonders for our sense of hearing.” -Arnold H. Glasow (Arnold Henry Glasow (1905 - 1998))
“The most effective way to achieve right relations with any living thing is to look for the best in it, and then help that best into the fullest expression.” -J. Allen Boone
“Praise, like gold and diamonds, owes its value only to its scarcity.” -Samuel Johnson (1709 - 1784): “The Rambler” (6 June 1751)
“Praise makes good Men better, and bad Men worse.” -Thomas Fuller (1654 - 1734): “Gnomologia: Adages and Proverbs” (1732), number 3918
High praise indeed . . . comes from mountaintops!
“Be advised that all flatterers live at the expense of those who listen to them.” -Jean de La Fontaine (1621 - 1695)
“The people who are lifting the world onward and upward are those who encourage more than they criticize.” -Elizabeth Harrison
“People are in greater need of your praise when they try and fail, than when they try and succeed.” -Bob Moawad
“Flattery is like chewing gum. Enjoy it but don’t swallow it.” -Hank Ketcham
Overheard: If you can’t get a compliment any other way, pay yourself one.
“One kind word can change someone’s entire day.” -Author Unknown
“. . . envy is a kind of praise.” -John Gay (1685 - 1732)
“When your goal is to build people up, to make them feel better, to share in their joy, you too reap the rewards of their positive feelings. The next time you have the chance to correct someone, even if their facts are a little off, resist the temptation. Instead, ask yourself, “What do I really want out of this interaction?” Chances are, what you want is a peaceful interaction where all parties leave feeling good. Each time you resist ‘being right,’ and instead choose kindness, you’ll notice a peaceful feeling within.” -Richard Carlson
Flattery: False praise, a form of lying; see also exaggeration, another form of lying.
Compliment: A hug by way of words.
You are not just another fish in the sea . . . You are the best!
“Flatterers look like friends, as wolves like dogs.” -George Chapman
“A compliment is something like a kiss through a veil.” -Victor Hugo (Victor Marie Hugo (1802 - 1885))
“Nothing else can quite substitute for a few well-chosen, well-timed, sincere words of praise. They’re absolutely free and worth a fortune.” -Sam Walton (1918 - 1992)
“You need to be aware of what others are doing, applaud their efforts, acknowledge their successes, and encourage them in their pursuits. When we all help one another, everybody wins.” -Jim Stovall
“Never let an opportunity pass to say a kind or encouraging word to another person.” -Author Unknown
“Fair words butter no parsnips.” -John Clarke (1596 - 1658): “Paroemiologia” (1639), page 21
“Praise is like sunlight to the human spirit: we cannot flower and grow without it.” -Jess Lair
“When someone does something well, applaud! You will make two people happy.” -Samuel Goldwyn (also known as Samuel Goldfish, born as Szmuel Gelbfisz (1879 - 1974))
“When a proud Man hears another praised, he thinks himself injured.” -Thomas Fuller (1654 - 1734)
“I have always said that if I were a rich man I’d hire a professional praiser.” -Osbert Sitwell
“Flattery corrupts both the receiver and the giver.” -Edmund Burke (1729 - 1797): “Reflections on the Revolution in France” (1790)
“Compliment people; magnify their strengths, not their weaknesses.” -Author Unknown
“Let’s cease thinking of our accomplishments, our wants. Let’s try to figure out the other man’s good points. Then forget flattery. Give honest, sincere appreciation. Be hearty in your approbation and lavish in your praise, and people will cherish your words and treasure them and repeat them over a lifetime - repeat them years after you have forgotten them.” -Dale Carnegie (Dale Breckenridge Carnegie (1888 - 1955))
“I would like to compliment you on the fine job you are doing of complimenting me.” -Author Unknown
“You are every lovely word I could possibly think of.” -Author Unknown
“Compliments are free of cost and obligation; indeed, they are ‘complimentary.’” -Author Unknown
“Encourage one another. Many times a word of praise or thanks or appreciation or cheer has kept people on their feet.” -Charles R. Swindoll (Charles Rozell ‘Chuck’ Swindoll (born 1934))
“Compliments are the gift of prosperity. I have learned to accept them graciously.” -Louise Hay (Louise Lynn Hay (1926 - 2017))
This is ‘MFOL!’ . . . the website for exceedingly extraordinarily exceptionally excellent extra-special people like yourself . . . now what could be better than that, except possibly what is coming up next . . .
“Forever on Thanksgiving Day, the heart will find the pathway home.” -Wilbur D. Nesbit (Wilbur Dick Nesbit (1872 - 1927))
Orange is a pumpkin.
Yellow is the corn.
Brown is the turkey
With stuffing to adorn.
Red are the cranberries.
Green are the beans.
Five delicious colors -
In a feast of my dreams.
“At Thanksgiving, my mom always makes too much food, especially one item, like 700 or 800 pounds of sweet potatoes. She’s got to push it during the meal. ‘Did you get some sweet potatoes? . . . They’re hot. There’s more in the oven . . . some more in the garage. The rest are at the Johnson’s.’” -Louie Anderson
Thanksgiving Holiday tongue twister: If the two-toed turkey towed twelve times ten talking turtles, how many talking turtles did the two-toed turkey tow?
The Pilgrims were English Protestant Christians who wanted to be free from religious persecution by the Church of England. In September 1620, 102 Pilgrims set sail to the part of the ‘New World’ now known as North America. They sailed for 66 days across the Atlantic Ocean on a ship named the Mayflower. The ship was moved along on the journey by only the wind in its sails and the ocean’s currents. On board, they carried a few things they would need to start new lives in the New World, including Bibles, muskets for hunting and defense, plant seeds for growing food crops, and livestock, or farm animals. On 11 December 1620, the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock in the Colony of Plymouth, which is now Plymouth, Massachusetts, United States of America.
A Child’s Grace
Turkeys come and turkeys go
And trimmings can be lost,
But we’re together,
That’s what matters . . .
Not what’s served upon
Jake: What is the best way to stuff a turkey?
Tom: Take him out for pizza and ice cream!
Years ago, there was something called the Butterball Turkey Hotline, which sadly no longer exists. It offered advice to callers from experts on how to cook turkeys. A woman once called the hotline to find out how long it would take to roast her turkey. To answer the question, the talk-line home economist asked how much the bird weighed. The woman replied, “I don’t know - it’s still running around outside.” Enjoy your Thanksgiving Holiday turkey!
Belinda: Why do turkeys always go gobble, gobble?
Melinda: Because they have never learned good table manners!
The area in which the Pilgrims landed was within a part of southern New England inhabited by a semi-nomadic hunting and gathering tribal people who practiced some agriculture. The remnants of their people, numbering a few thousand or less, are still surviving, and are called the Wampanoags, although they are still commonly mislabeled as ‘Indians,’ a persistent error. Among the Wampanoags of the time was Squanto, who had been to Europe and who had learned to speak English. Squanto was a frequent visitor to the Pilgrims.
Overheard: If, as the saying goes, you are what you eat, that makes us all turkeys!
“Thanksgiving, after all, is a word of action.” -W. J. Cameron
Five Little Turkeys
5 little turkeys standing by a door,
One waddled off, and then there were 4.
4 little turkeys under a tree,
One waddled off, and then there were 3.
3 little turkeys with nothing to do,
One waddled off, and then there were 2.
2 little turkeys in the noonday sun,
One waddled off, and then there was 1.
1 little turkey had better run away,
For soon will come Thanksgiving Day.
Squanto taught to the Pilgrims the native inhabitants’ ‘Three Sisters’ method of growing corn, beans, and squash. First, flat-topped mounds of dirt about 50 centimeters (20 inches) across and about 30 centimeters (1 foot) high were made. Then corn, or maize, seeds (kernels of corn) were planted in the middle of each mound. When the corn plants grew to about 15 centimeters (6 inches) in height, the bean seeds and squash seeds were planted in the mounds, in an alternating order around the corn plants. As the naturally climbing bean and squash plants grew up from the ground, they would cling to and be supported by the corn plant stalks as they themselves grew taller. The roots of the bean plants affixed nitrogen to the soil, which the corn and squash plants need to grow. The large leaves of the squash plants shade the ground, stopping weeds from growing out of it and preventing the Sun from drying out the soil. In areas with poor soil, fish and eels were buried in the soil to fertilize it. The combination of corn, beans, and squash in the diet can provide people with the essential fatty acids, complex carbohydrates, and 8 essential amino acids necessary to stay in good health.
Moon Buggy: What do hippies put on their mashed potatoes?
Flower Child: Groovy, man!
“The Pilgrims made seven times more graves than huts. No Americans have been more impoverished than these who, nevertheless, set aside a day of thanksgiving.” -H. U. Westermayer
In March 1621, a pact, or agreement, was made between the Pilgrims’ leader Governor William Bradford and the Wampanoag’s Chief Massasoit. The two groups agreed to fight together to protect each other against raiding tribes and warring tribes in the region. The harvest later that year was a successful one, following a particularly harsh winter, so to celebrate the success of the harvest and the success of the pact, the Pilgrims held a traditional English harvest feast, which is now widely recognized as the first Thanksgiving. The pilgrims invited the Wampanoags to the three-day celebration. The women and youth played ball games, sang songs, and danced. The men engaged in contests of physical strength and demonstrations of hunting skills. The Pilgrims would have likely sung praise hymns and shared the Gospel with the Wampanoags insofar as was possible.
“Thanksgiving Day comes, by statute, once a year; to the honest man it comes as frequently as the heart of gratitude will allow.” -Edward Sandford Martin
There once was a turkey named Anne
She gobbled whenever she ran
Her feathers, always ruffled
Her voice, never muffled
But she still ended up in the pan.
“Here’s a Thanksgiving tip: Generally, your turkey is not cooked enough if it passes you the cranberry sauce.” -Joan Rivers
Lobster, venison (deer meat), rabbit, chicken, fish, shellfish, squashes, beans, chestnuts, hickory nuts, onions, leeks, dried fruits, maple syrup, honey, radishes, cabbages, carrots, eggs, wild birds, and goat cheese are believed to have been served at the first Thanksgiving celebration. Mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, pumpkin pies, popcorn, milk, corn on the cob, and cranberries were not part of the very first Thanksgiving. While no one knows for sure if they had turkey, which would have been wild turkey, they likely did have goose and duck. Pumpkins cooked in the shell and corn cut off the cob and cooked possibly may have been served.
Jeremiah: How many pilgrims does it take to change a light bulb?
Tobias: What is this ‘light bulb’ of which thou speakest, stranger?
How to Observe Thanksgiving
Count your blessings instead of your crosses;
Count your gains instead of your losses.
Count your joys instead of your woes;
Count your friends instead of your foes.
Count your smiles instead of your tears;
Count your courage instead of your fears.
Count your full years instead of your lean;
Count your kind deeds instead of your mean.
Count your health instead of your wealth;
Count on God instead of yourself.
Days of thanksgiving continued to be celebrated throughout the American colonies following fall harvests, but on different dates. Then, in October 1777, following a successful defeat of British military forces, all 13 colonies celebrated Thanksgiving together for the first time. Following the colonies becoming a new nation that would eventually be known as the United States of America, President George Washington declared the first national Thanksgiving Holiday, initially in 1789 and again in 1795.
A Thanksgiving Dinner
Take a turkey, stuff it fat,
Some of this and some of that.
Get some turnips, peel them well.
Cook a big squash in its shell.
Now potatoes, big and white,
Mash till they are soft and light.
Cranberries, so tart and sweet,
With the turkey we must eat.
Pickles - yes - and then, oh my!
For a dessert a pumpkin pie,
Golden brown and spicy sweet.
What a fine Thanksgiving treat!
-Maude M. Grant
By the mid-1800’s, many states observed a Thanksgiving holiday. In 1846, Sarah Josepha Hale, the editor of “Godey’s Lady’s Book” magazine and the writer of the nursery rhyme “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” worked to have Thanksgiving made into a national holiday that would be dedicated to giving thanks and making prayers. She succeeded in her campaign. On 3 October 1863, in the midst of the American Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln issued a ‘Thanksgiving Proclamation,’ declaring two Thanksgivings: one in August to commemorate the Battle of Gettysburg, and the second on the last Thursday in November to give thanks.
May your stuffing be tasty,
may your turkey be plump.
May your potatoes ‘n gravy
have nary a lump.
May your yams be delicious,
may your pies take the prize.
May your thanksgiving dinner
stay off of your thighs!!
May your thanksgiving
truly be blessed!!
In 1939, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt wanted to move Thanksgiving from the fourth to the third Thursday in November. The country was still suffering from the devastating Great Depression, and President Roosevelt believed that having Thanksgiving one week early would help the economy by making the Christmas shopping season longer. However, many people were upset with the idea of moving Thanksgiving to a different calendar date, so on 26 December 1941, the United States Congress passed a law that declared Thanksgiving a national holiday to be held on the fourth Thursday in November of each year.
Asked about what she was thankful for on Thanksgiving Holiday, one child said she was thankful that she was not a turkey.
Thanksgiving, noun. 1. a. the act of giving thanks. b. an expression of this, especially, a formal, often public, expression of thanks to God in the form of prayer, and so forth. 2. an annual American holiday observed on the fourth Thursday of November, as a day of giving thanks and feasting; it commemorates the Pilgrims’ celebration of the good harvest of 1621.
“Thanksgiving Day is coming”
So Mr. Turkey said,
“And very careful I must be
or I will lose my head.”
The pumpkin heard the turkey,
“Oh, goodness me, oh my,
They’ll mix me up with sugar and spice
And I’ll be pumpkin pie.”
Question: Why was the glutton tickled when he ate the turkey?
Answer: Because he forgot to pluck the feathers!
It was the first time the young woman would be eating Thanksgiving dinner without her family. Trying to re-enact the tradition, she prepared a dinner for herself alone. The next day, her mother called to find out how everything went. “Oh, mother, I made myself a lovely dinner, but I had trouble trying to eat the turkey!” said the young woman. “Did it taste good?” her mother asked. “I don’t know,” the young woman said. “It wouldn’t sit still.”
If Turkeys Thought
If turkeys thought, they’d run away,
A week before Thanksgiving Day.
But turkeys can’t anticipate,
And so there’s turkey on my plate!
Since 1947, the National Turkey Federation has presented a live turkey and two dressed turkeys to the President at the White House. Starting with the first live turkey, which was given to President Harry S Truman in 1947, every President has ‘pardoned’ the turkey, rather than eating it, and the live turkeys have been allowed to live out their days on a historic farm, where they “Gobble-gobble!” all day long.
First Turkey: What are you thankful for?
Second Turkey: Vegetarians and vegans!
Fat Turkey’s Song
Oh, gobble, gobble, gobble,
Fat turkeys, fat turkeys.
Oh, gobble, gobble, gobble,
Fat turkeys are we.
We walk very proudly and gobble so loudly,
Gobble, gobble, gobble, gobble, gobble.
Oh, gobble, gobble, gobble.
Fat turkeys are we.
-Author Unknown: sung to the tune of “Did You Ever See a Lassie?”
It was the day before Thanksgiving, and the butcher was just locking up when a man began pounding on the front door. “Please let me in,” the man pleaded desperately. “I forgot to buy a turkey, and my wife will lock me out of the house if I don’t come home with one.” “Okay,” said the butcher. “Let me see what I have left.” He went into the freezer and discovered that there was only one scrawny turkey left. He brought it out to show to the man. “That one is too skinny. What else have you got?” asked the man. The butcher took the bird back into the freezer, waited a few minutes, and brought the same turkey back out to the man. “Oh, no,” said the man. “That one doesn’t look any better. You’d better give me both of them!”
Martin: If the Pilgrims were alive today, what would they be famous for?
Marcella: Their age.
Five Little Pilgrims
Five little Pilgrims on Thanksgiving Day
The first one said, “I’ll have cake if I may.”
The second one said, “I’ll have turkey roasted.”
The third one said, “I’ll have chestnuts toasted.”
The fourth one said, “I’ll have pumpkin pie.”
The fifth one said, “Oh, cranberries I spy.”
But before the Pilgrims ate their turkey dressing,
They bowed their heads and said a Thanksgiving blessing.
Marla: What do you get when you cross a turkey with a centipede?
Darla: Enough drumsticks for everybody!
“I think that one of the things I’m most grateful for on Thanksgiving is that, when the Lord was deciding who would need help at this season and who would be in a position to give help, he permitted me to be among the givers.” -Bill Gold
Ten Little Turkeys
One little, two little, three little turkeys
Four little, five little, six little turkeys
Seven little, eight little, nine little turkeys
Ten little turkeys - run away!
Rick: Why did the Thanksgiving turkey cross the road?
Rich: To prove he was not chicken.
This is ‘MFOL!’ . . . because life is funny sometimes . . . if not all the time . . .
Will the real Mr. Shakespeare please stand up? We may be making “much ado about nothing,” but in fact, how William Shakespeare really looked is a matter of conjecture, though paintings and other types of images showing how people imagine he may have looked do exist. So, just who is the oddly-attired, follicly-challenged man in the above portrait? Your guess is possibly as good as anyone’s - it might even be William Shakespeare.
Might this be a truer likeness? Following a custom of the time, when William Shakespeare passed away at 52 years of age, a cast was made of his face, and a bust similar to that shown above was made from the cast, then painted in colors and hues to create a true-to-life image of the subject. This practice was not unusual in the days before photography, and at a time when portrait painters were of varying skill and sometimes created paintings that were less than faithful to a subject’s true appearance.
“What time hath scanted men in hair, he hath given them in wit.” -William Shakespeare
“In Shakespeare, the birds sing, the bushes are clothed with green, hearts love, souls suffer, the cloud wanders, it is hot, it is cold, night falls, time passes, forests and multitudes speak, the vast eternal dream hovers over all.” -Victor Hugo (1802 - 1885): “William Shakespeare” (1864)
William Shakespeare is recorded as an actor on documents from 1592, 1598, 1603, and 1608. It is believed that he likely played modest roles, such as the ghost in “The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark” (1601), so that he could devote his time to writing his plays and sonnets.
“Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt.” -William Shakespeare: “Measure for Measure” (1604), Act 1, scene 4
William Shakespeare is commonly referred to as a ‘dramatist.’ A dramatist is a playwright or a poet who writes dramas, or stories involving conflict or contrasts between characters. Dramas usually involve highly emotional scenes in which the characters engage in dialogue or argument or debate, often on the subjects of relationships between people, actions by people, beliefs about right and wrong, or matters of opinion. Dramas are popular because people find them captivating, as expressed in the sentence, “I just cannot tear myself away from this story!”
Shakespeare was a dramatist of note;
He lived by writing things to quote.
-H. C. Bunner (Henry Cuyler Bunner (1855 - 1896))
The first definite reference to Shakespeare as a playwright is in a pamphlet by Robert Greene, who wrote, “There is an upstart Crow, beautified with our feathers, that with his Tiger’s heart wrapped in a Player’s hide, supposes he is as well able to bombast out a blank verse as the best of you: and being an absolute Johannes fac totum, is in his own conceit the only Shake-scene in a country.” “Tiger’s heart wrapped in a Player’s hide” is an allusion to a line from “Henry VI” (1592), Part 3.
Frame your mind to mirth and merriment,
Which bars a thousand harms and lengthens life.
-William Shakespeare: “The Taming of the Shrew” (possibly written between 1590 and 1592)
The Lord Chamberlain’s Men was an acting company created in early 1594. William Shakespeare joined the troupe later in that year, and remained a key player and business partner in the company for the rest of his career.
“Be not the first by whom the new is tried, nor last to lay the old aside.” -William Shakespeare: “The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark” (1601)
In 1597, Shakespeare’s company, the Lord Chamberlain’s Men, leased a theater (or theatre, as the English spell it). However, when the time came, the owner was reluctant to renew the lease, so on 28 December 1598, the Lord Chamberlain’s Men and about a dozen workers dismantled the theater and reassembled it across England’s River Thames. The rebuilt theater became known as the New Globe, said to be the first playhouse built by actors for actors.
“Some falls are means the happier to rise.” -William Shakespeare
In February 1599, the land for the New Globe is known to have been leased to the actors and brothers Cuthbert Burbage and Richard Burbage, as well as five other members of the acting troupe including William Shakespeare, for a period of 31 years. Shakespeare’s share of the lease varied over the years from one fourteenth to one tenth.
What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.
-William Shakespeare: “Romeo and Juliet” (1595), Act 2, scene 2; line of fictional character Juliet
In 1603, the newly crowned King James I, himself a theater enthusiast, became the patron (financial supporter) of the Chamberlain’s Men, and the company was thenceforth known by the name ‘the King’s Men.’
“. . . brevity is the soul of wit . . .” -William Shakespeare: “The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark” (1601), Act 2, scene 2, line 90
In 1608, The King’s Men opened the Blackfriar’s Theater, allowing the company to perform indoors during the winter months, while continuing to perform at the New Globe Theater during the summer months.
“See first that the design is wise and just; that ascertained, pursue it resolutely.” -William Shakespeare
The New Globe Theater burned to the ground on 29 June 1613, set afire by cannon-shot during a performance of Shakespeare’s “Henry VIII.” In more recent times, the theater has been rebuilt, and Shakespeare’s plays are once again being acted - authentically - within it.
“Playing Shakespeare is very tiring. You never get to sit down unless you’re a King.” -Josephine Hull (Marie Josephine Hull (1877 - 1957))
The letters in the name ‘William Shakespeare’ can be rearranged to spell ‘I am a weakish speller.’ When the letters in a word or phrase are rearranged to create another word or phrase, the result is called an ‘anagram.’ However, in actuality, Mr. Shakespeare’s spelling was fine for his time, because dictionaries were not common and word spellings had not been standardized. So, it’s only a playful joke after all, and not to be taken seriously.
It is believed that William Shakespeare was 46 years of age around the time the King James Version of the Bible was translated into English, and he may possibly have been employed as one of its translators. In Psalms 46, the 46th word from the first word is ‘shake’ and the 46th word from the last word is ‘spear.’ Is this a coincidence or was this a deliberately embedded message stating, ‘I was here’?
“The remarkable thing about Shakespeare is that he is really very good - in spite of all the people who say he is very good.” -Robert Graves (1895 - 1985): as quoted in ‘Sayings of the Week’ published in “The Observer” (6 December 1964)
Some people claim that William Shakespeare did not write his own plays. About fifty other candidates have been proposed as writers of his plays; however, there is more evidence to suggest that Mr. Shakespeare wrote his own works than that he did not.
Neither a borrower nor a lender be;
For loan oft loses both itself and friend,
and borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.
-William Shakespeare: “The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark” (1601), Act 1, scene 3
Even though William Shakespeare likely wrote his own works, he probably did not write all of them all by himself. As many as a dozen of his later plays are collaborative efforts with other authors, including “The Two Noble Kinsmen” (1613), known to have been written with John Fletcher (1579 - 1625); “Timon of Athens” (1607) written with Thomas Middleton, and “Pericles, Prince of Tyre” (1619) written with George Wilkins. Additionally, many of Shakespeare’s plays are based on other authors’ earlier plays, histories, and poems - a common practice during his time, and a practice not unknown among ‘creative types’ today.
William Shakespeare: A man whose writings are so excellent that it is believed by some people that someone other than William Shakespeare must have written them.
One half of me is yours, the other half yours -
Mine own, I would say; but if mine, then yours,
And so all yours.
-William Shakespeare: “The Merchant of Venice” (1596 - 1598), Act 3, scene 2, lines 16 through 18
William and Anne Shakespeare (maiden name Hathaway) had three children. Susanna was christened in May 1583, and the twins Judith and Hamnet were christened in February 1585. William Shakespeare’s son, Hamnet, passed on in 1596. His daughter Susanna passed on in 1649. His younger daughter Judith had three children, but they all passed on before their mother and without having had their own children. William Shakespeare’s granddaughter Elizabeth, daughter of Susanna, passed on childless in 1670, ending the William Shakespeare line. William Shakespeare has no living descendants.
All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts.
-William Shakespeare: “As You Like It” (1599), Act 2, scene 7; line of fictional character Jacques
Dear Mr. Shakespeare, if indeed “all the world’s a stage,” as you say, where is the audience sitting? Sincerely, the folks at ‘Make Fun Of Life!’
In Shakespeare’s time, theaters had no curtain and used little or no scenery. Playwrights described the setting within the text of the performance. They would have had to skillfully ‘paint word pictures’ for their audiences.
All of the roles in Shakespeare’s plays were originally acted by men and boys, including the female characters. In England at that time, it was believed improper for women and girls to appear on stage.
Theatergoers could purchase apples and pears to eat during Shakespeare’s shows. The fruits were often thrown at the actors by unhappy people in the audiences. When the starving actors could catch them, they could dice them up and dine on fruit salad after the show. What, you say that last sentence is not true at all?!
“To be or not to be: that is the question, whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.” -William Shakespeare: “The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark,” Act 3, scene 1
The line “To be or not to be: that is the question, whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,” with the letters rearranged, spells an anagrammatic synopsis of the play, as follows: “In one of the Bard’s best-thought-of tragedies, our insistent hero, Hamlet, queries on two fronts about how life turns rotten.”
A Silly Poem
Said Hamlet to Ophelia,
I’ll draw a sketch of thee,
What kind of pencil shall I use?
2B or not 2B?
Juliet: Romeo, oh Romeo, wherefore art thou?
Romeo: Down here in the flowers - the trellis broke!
The Italian city of Verona, where English playwright William Shakespeare’s fictional characters Romeo and Juliet lived, receives about 1,000 letters addressed to Juliet on 14 February of every year, also known as Valentine’s Day.
This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
-William Shakespeare: “The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark” (1601), Act 1, scene 3, lines 78 through 80; lines of fictional character Polonius
Although William Shakespeare likely did not know that the planet Uranus existed, 24 of its 27 recognized moons are named after characters he created for his plays. The exceptions are the moons Bianca, Umbriel, and Ariel, that are named after characters in plays by Alexander Pope - not the better-known Ariel in William Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” (1611).
William Shakespeare’s works contain the first-ever written records of some 2,035 or more English words and phrases. The words include blushing, bump, critical, excellent, frugal, gossip, hobnob, lonely, madcap, moonbeam, watchdog, and zany. Many phrases now used occurred first in Mr. Shakespeare’s works, including ‘one fell swoop,’ ‘vanish into thin air,’ ‘be in a pickle,’ ‘foul play,’ and ‘tower of strength.’ According to the “Oxford Dictionary of Quotations,” William Shakespeare wrote about one-tenth of the most quotable quotations ever written or spoken in English. However, though it is widely attributed to him, Mr. Shakespeare is not known to have ever used the word ‘gadzooks.’
In addition to 37 plays, Mr. Shakespeare also wrote 154 sonnets using a form adapted, with slight changes, from the sonnet structure created centuries earlier by the Italian poet Giacomo Da Lentini (1210 - 1260). William Shakespeare’s sonnets are on subjects such as the passage of time, love, beauty, and mortality.
Through his plays and sonnets, William Shakespeare’s influence continues to endure even many centuries after his passing. William Shakespeare passed on at 52 years of age on 23 April 1616, and rests near the altar of the Holy Trinity Church, where he was baptized as an infant, in Stratford-upon-Avon, England. The slab-stone over his tomb includes the following inscription, possibly written by William Shakespeare himself:
Good friend for Jesus’ sake forbeare,
To digg the dust encloased heare!
Blest be the man that spares thes stones,
And curst be he that moves my bones.
-Epitaph of William Shakespeare, in Holy Trinity Church, Stratford-upon-Avon, England
Love all, trust a few;
Do wrong to none.
-William Shakespeare: “All’s Well That Ends Well” (1602 - 1604), Act 1, scene 1; line of fictional character Countess of Rousillon
The “First Folio,” the primary source for most of Shakespeare’s plays, was published in August 1623 by the last two surviving Lord Chamberlain’s Men: John Heminges and Henry Condell. It is the only source for 18 of Shakespeare’s 37 plays, which otherwise would have been lost forever.
Two of Mr. Shakespeare’s plays have been translated into Klingon: “Much Ado About Nothing” (1598 - 1599) and “The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark” (1601). William Shakespeare . . . boldly going where no playwright has gone before . . . set your phasers on ‘imagine that.’
“William Shakespeare’s plays are levity with gravitas - or perhaps they are the other way around.” -Nathan Thomas Taylor (born 1966)
Be not afraid of greatness. Some are born
great, some achieve greatness, and some have
greatness thrust upon ’em.*
-William Shakespeare: “Twelfth Night” (1601), Act 2, scene 5; line spoken by fictional character Malvolio, reading aloud a letter he believes to be from fictional character Olivia
* ’em: them
In honor of ‘The Great Bard,’ his birthdate of 23 April has been declared William Shakespeare Day. At ‘MFOL!’ we celebrate the day by going around randomly quoting Shakespeare in a dramatic stage voice to people . . . much to their annoyance and befuddlement.
“He was not of an age, but for all time!” -Ben Jonson: “First Folio” (1623), preface, ‘To the Memory of My Beloved, the Author, Mr. William Shakespeare’
William Shakespeare was born on about 23 April 1564 in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, West Midlands, England. He was a dramatist (playwright), a poet, and an actor. Other than what has been found in a few church records, legal documents, and contemporary documents such as playgoers’ diaries, most evidence of William Shakespeare’s life is circumstantial - surprisingly little is known with certainty about the life of the world’s most famous playwright. His extant works, including some collaborations, consist of about 37 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and a few other verses, the authorship of some of which is uncertain. William Shakespeare passed on at 52 years of age on 23 April 1616 in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, West Midlands, England. The William Shakespeare online memorial is at https://goo.gl/ePCdiA.
“What e’er* thou art, act well thy part.” -William Shakespeare
* e’er: ever
If you would like to add to the Shakespearean wit and wisdom here, or correct an error (we are known for that), please drop us a line at MakeFunOfLife@mail.com.
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