Presents Funny Quotes

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Time will mellow it, make it a moment for laughter. But now it was not funny, now I did not laugh. It was not the future, it was the present. It was too vivid and too real.
Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)
It‘s funny how, when things seem the darkest, moments of beauty present themselves in the most unexpected places.
Karen Marie Moning (Dreamfever (Fever, #4))
At present, people are happy to give away their most valuable asset—their personal data—in exchange for free email services and funny cat videos. It’s a bit like African and Native American tribes who unwittingly sold entire countries to European imperialists in exchange for colorful beads and cheap trinkets.
Yuval Noah Harari (21 Lessons for the 21st Century)
I hated that the soldier doll had my name. I mean, please. I didn't play with him much. He was another Christmas present from my clueless grandparents. One time when they were visiting, my grandpa asked me if G.I. Joe had been in any wars lately. I said, "No, but he and Ken got married last week." Every Christmas since then, my grandparents have sent me a check.
James Howe (Totally Joe (The Misfits, #2))
 It’s like you had a coming-out party,” Andrea said. “You’ve been presented to polite society, except now everybody wants to kill you.” “Spare me.” “Kate Daniels, a debutante.” Andrea grinned. “It’s not funny.” “It’s hilarious.” The smile slid off Andrea’s face and she vomited on the snow. “Karma,” I told her.
Ilona Andrews (Magic Breaks (Kate Daniels, #7))
When they bombed Hiroshima, the explosion formed a mini-supernova, so every living animal, human or plant that received direct contact with the rays from that sun was instantly turned to ash. And what was left of the city soon followed. The long-lasting damage of nuclear radiation caused an entire city and its population to turn into powder. When I was born, my mom says I looked around the whole hospital room with a stare that said, "This? I've done this before." She says I have old eyes. When my Grandpa Genji died, I was only five years old, but I took my mom by the hand and told her, "Don't worry, he'll come back as a baby." And yet, for someone who's apparently done this already, I still haven't figured anything out yet. My knees still buckle every time I get on a stage. My self-confidence can be measured out in teaspoons mixed into my poetry, and it still always tastes funny in my mouth. But in Hiroshima, some people were wiped clean away, leaving only a wristwatch or a diary page. So no matter that I have inhibitions to fill all my pockets, I keep trying, hoping that one day I'll write a poem I can be proud to let sit in a museum exhibit as the only proof I existed. My parents named me Sarah, which is a biblical name. In the original story God told Sarah she could do something impossible and she laughed, because the first Sarah, she didn't know what to do with impossible. And me? Well, neither do I, but I see the impossible every day. Impossible is trying to connect in this world, trying to hold onto others while things are blowing up around you, knowing that while you're speaking, they aren't just waiting for their turn to talk -- they hear you. They feel exactly what you feel at the same time that you feel it. It's what I strive for every time I open my mouth -- that impossible connection. There's this piece of wall in Hiroshima that was completely burnt black by the radiation. But on the front step, a person who was sitting there blocked the rays from hitting the stone. The only thing left now is a permanent shadow of positive light. After the A bomb, specialists said it would take 75 years for the radiation damaged soil of Hiroshima City to ever grow anything again. But that spring, there were new buds popping up from the earth. When I meet you, in that moment, I'm no longer a part of your future. I start quickly becoming part of your past. But in that instant, I get to share your present. And you, you get to share mine. And that is the greatest present of all. So if you tell me I can do the impossible, I'll probably laugh at you. I don't know if I can change the world yet, because I don't know that much about it -- and I don't know that much about reincarnation either, but if you make me laugh hard enough, sometimes I forget what century I'm in. This isn't my first time here. This isn't my last time here. These aren't the last words I'll share. But just in case, I'm trying my hardest to get it right this time around.
Sarah Kay
It's funny how, when things seem the darkest, moments of beauty present themselves in the most unexpected places.
Karen Marie Moning (Dreamfever (Fever, #4))
Manchee comes outta the bushes and sits down next to me cuz I’ve stopped right there in the middle of a trail. He looks around to see what I might be seeing and then he says, ”Good poo, Todd.” ”I’m sure it was, Manchee.” I’d better not get another ruddy dog when my birthday comes. What I want this year is a hunting knife like the one Ben carries on the back of his belt. Now that’s a present for a man. “Poo,” Manchee’s says quietly.
Patrick Ness (The Knife of Never Letting Go (Chaos Walking, #1))
That's the funny thing about life. We're rarely aware of the bullets we dodge. The just-misses. The almost-never-happeneds. We spend so much time worrying about how the future is going to play out and not nearly enough time admiring the precious perfection of the present.
Lauren Miller (Parallel)
She sighed. Loudly. "Physical appearance is not what is important." Yeah right. Tell that to any girl who hasn't bothered to put on a presentable shirt or fix her hair because she's only running into the grocery store to get a quart of milk for her grandmother, and who does she see tending the 7-ITEMS-OR-LESS cash register but the guy of her dreams, except she can't even say hi—much less try to develop a meaningful relationship—since she looks like the poster child for the terminally geeky.
Vivian Vande Velde (Heir Apparent (Rasmussem Corporation, #2))
Just at present you only see the tree by the light of the lamp. I wonder when you would ever see the lamp by the light of the tree.
G.K. Chesterton
It was all Mrs. Bumble. She would do it," urged Mr. Bumble; first looking round, to ascertain that his partner had left the room. That is no excuse," returned Mr. Brownlow. "You were present on the occasion of the destruction of these trinkets, and, indeed, are the more guilty of the two, in the eye of the law; for the law supposes that your wife acts under your direction." If the law supposes that," said Mr. Bumble, squeezing his hat emphatically in both hands, "the law is a ass — a idiot. If that's the eye of the law, the law is a bachelor; and the worst I wish the law is, that his eye may be opened by experience — by experience.
Charles Dickens (Oliver Twist)
The past, the present, and the future walked into a bar. It was tense.
Lex Martin (Dearest Clementine (Dearest, #1))
You hate birthdays yet pee your pants over presents. There is clearly something wrong with you," Garrett joked.
Tara Sivec (A Beautiful Lie (Playing with Fire, #1))
Halt," said Horace, "I've been thinking..." Halt and Will exchanged an amused glance. "Always a dangerous pastime," they chorused. For many years, it had been Halt's unfailing response when Will had made the same statement. Horace waited patiently while they had their moment of fun, then continued. "Yes, yes. I know. But seriously, as we said last night, Macindaw isn't so far away from here..." "And?" Halt asked, seeing how Horace had left the statement hanging. "Well, there's a garrison there and it might not be a b ad idea for one of to go fetch some reinforcements. It wouldn't hurt to have a dozen knights and men-at-arms to back us up when we run into Tennyson." But Halt was already shaking his head. "Two problems, Horace. It'd take too long for one of us to get there, explain it all and mobilize a force. And even if we could do it quickly, I don't think we'd want a bunch of knights blundering around the countryside, crashing through the bracken, making noise and getting noticed." He realized that statement had been a little tactless. "No offense, Horace. Present company excepted, of course.
John Flanagan (Halt's Peril (Ranger's Apprentice, #9))
While I was backstage before presenting the Best New Artist award, I talked to George Strait for a while. He's so incredibly cool. So down-to-earth and funny. I think it should be known that George Strait has an awesome, dry, subtle sense of humor. Then I went back out into the crowd and watched the rest of the show. Keith Urban's new song KILLS ME, it's so good. And when Brad Paisley ran down into the front row and kissed Kimberley's stomach (she's pregnant) before accepting his award, Kellie, my mom, and I all started crying. That's probably the sweetest thing I've ever seen. I thought Kellie NAILED her performance of the song we wrote together "The Best Days of Your Life". I was so proud of her. I thought Darius Rucker's performance RULED, and his vocals were incredible. I'm a huge fan. I love it when I find out that the people who make the music I love are wonderful people. I love Faith Hill and how she always makes everyone in the room feel special. I love Keith Urban, and how he told me he knows every word to "Love Story" (That made my night). I love Nicole Kidman, and her sweet, warm personality. I love how Kenny Chesney always has something hilarious or thoughtful to say. But the real moment that brought on this wave of gratitude was when Shania Twain HERSELF walked up and introduced herself to me. Shania Twain, as in.. The reason I wanted to do this in the first place. Shania Twain, as in.. the most impressive and independent and confident and successful female artist to ever hit country music. She walked up to me and said she wanted to meet me and tell me I was doing a great job. She was so beautiful, guys. She really IS that beautiful. All the while, I was completely star struck. After she walked away, I realized I didn't have my camera. Then I cried. You know, last night made me feel really great about being a country music fan in general. Country music is the place to find reality in music, and reality in the stars who make that music. There's kindness and goodness and....honesty in the people I look up to, and knowing that makes me smile. I'm proud to sing country music, and that has never wavered. The reason for the being.. nights like last night.
Taylor Swift
Did you get Mom a birthday present?' Helen asked. 'Yes,' Gansey replied. 'Myself.' Helen said, 'The gift that keeps on giving.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1))
You are my everything,” Julie said. “You are challenging, and difficult, and guarded. I love those things about you. You are fascinating, and complex, and brilliant, and funny. I love those things about you, too. I am in love with your selflessness and your ability to sacrifice too much. I am in love with the parts of you that fear and that hurt and that push people away. I am love in with your vulnerability and your strength. I am in love with your capacity to love harder and with more loyalty than I ever imagined anyone could. I am in love with the choices you’ve made, even the mistakes, because they brought us to where we are right now. More than those things, I am very simply in love with you and everything that you are. Your past, your present, and your future.” She touched her fingers to him, tracing his lips and then moving across his jaw and over his cheek. “I think about you all the time, and I can’t get you out of my head. I am listening to my heart, finally, without doubting anything. And I will never stop.” And then she kissed him. Long and hard and endlessly, only eventually slowing. “Now open your eyes and look at me. I feel everything that you feel, Matt. I always have, and I know that now. And it is time to stop hurting.
Jessica Park (Flat-Out Matt (Flat-Out Love, #1.5))
Many if not most slaves would have each readily jumped, and many if not most slaves would each readily jump, at the opportunity to be a master, if such an opportunity presents or had presented itself.
Mokokoma Mokhonoana (The Use and Misuse of Children)
I had no idea that marriage was only supposed to be between two people who wanted to get between the sheets and make more people. What ever happened to marrying for love— or to get on your partner’s health insurance policy, or for presents? No one was going to buy two people in their thirties a four-slice toaster if we just continued to live in sin.
Jen Kirkman (I Can Barely Take Care of Myself: Tales From a Happy Life Without Kids)
You see, the future is a kind of stew, a soup, a vichyssoise of the present and the past. That's how you get the future: You mix up everything you did today with everything you did yesterday and all the days before and everything everyone you ever met did and anyone they ever met, too. And salt and lizard and pearl and umbrellas and typewriters and a lot of other things I'm not at liberty to tell you, because I took vows, and a witch's vows have teeth. Magic is funny like that. It's not a linear thinker. The point is if you mash it all up together and you have a big enough pot and you're very good at witchcraft, you can wind up with a cauldron full of tomorrow.
Catherynne M. Valente (The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making (Fairyland, #1))
Mr Moony presents his compliments to Professor Snape, and begs him to keep his abnormally large nose out of other people's business.' Snape froze. Harry stared, dumbstruck, at this message. But the map didn't stop there. More writing was appearing beneath the first. 'Mr Prongs agrees with Mr Moony, and would like to add that Professor Snape is an ugly git.' It would have been funny if the situation hadn't been so serious. And there was more... 'Mr Padfoot would like to register his astonishment that an idiot like that ever became a Professor.' Harry closed his eyes in horror. When he'd reopened them, the map had had its last word. 'Mr Wormtail bids Professor Snape good day, and advises him to wash his hair, the slimeball.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter, #3))
Occasionally, a dog will be presented as some training method for having a baby. "My girlfriend and I got a dog. We are going to see if we can handle that before we have kids." This is a little like testing the waters of being a vegetarian by having lettuce on your burger. Okay, maybe that metaphor doesn't make sense, but neither does using a dog as a training method for having a baby.
Jim Gaffigan (Dad Is Fat)
The funny thing about almost-dying is that afterward everyone expects you to jump on the happy train and take time to chase butterflies through grassy fields or see rainbows in puddles of oil on the highway. It’s a miracle, they’ll say with an expectant look, as if you’ve been given a big old gift and you better not disappoint Grandma by pulling a face when you unwrap the box and find a lumpy, misshapen sweater. That’s what life is, pretty much: full of holes and tangles and ways to get stuck. Uncomfortable and itchy. A present you never asked for, never wanted, never chose. A present you’re supposed to be excited to wear, day after day, even when you’d rather stay in bed and do nothing. The truth is this: it doesn’t take any skill to almost-die, or to almost-live, either.
Lauren Oliver (Vanishing Girls)
Richard Feynman was fond of giving the following advice on how to be a genius. You have to keep a dozen of your favorite problems constantly present in your mind, although by and large they will lay in a dormant state. Every time you hear or read a new trick or a new result, test it against each of your twelve problems to see whether it helps. Every once in a while there will be a hit, and people will say, 'How did he do it? He must be a genius!
Gian-Carlo Rota (Indiscrete Thoughts)
POLONIUS My lord, the queen would speak with you, and presently. HAMLET Do you see yonder cloud that's almost in shape of a camel? POLONIUS By th'mass, and 'tis like a camel indeed. HAMLET Methinks it is like a weasel. POLONIUS It is backed like a weasel. HAMLET Or like a whale? POLONIUS Very like a whale. HAMLET Then I will come to my mother by and by. - They fool me to the top of my bent. - I will come by and by.
William Shakespeare (Hamlet, Prince of Denmark)
Well, well, well,” Santa said once the elf had retreated. “Come and sit on my lap, little boy.” This Santa’s beard was real, and so was his hair. He wasn’t fucking around. “I’m not really a little boy,” I pointed out. “Get on my lap, then, big boy.” I walked up to him. There wasn’t much lap under his belly. And even though he tried to disguise it, as I went up there, I swear he adjusted his crotch. “Ho ho ho!” he chortled. I sat gingerly on his knee, like it was a subway seat with gum on it. “Have you been a good little boy this year?” he asked. I didn’t feel that I was the right person to determine my own goodness or badness, but in the interest of speeding along this encounter, I said yes. He actually wobbled with joy. “Good! Good! Then what can I bring you this Christmas?” I thought it was obvious. “A message from Lily,” I said. “That’s what I want for Christmas. But I want it right now.” “So impatient!” Santa lowered his voice and whispered in my ear. “But Santa does have a little something for you”—he shifted a little in his seat—“right under his coat. If you want to have your present, you’ll have to rub Santa’s belly.” “What?” I asked. He gestured with his eyes down to his stomach. “Go ahead.” I looked closely and saw the faint outline of an envelope beneath his red velvet coat. “You know you want it,” he whispered. The only way I could survive this was to think of it as the dare it was. Fuck off, Lily. You can’t intimidate me. I reached right under Santa’s coat. To my horror, I found he wasn’t wearing anything underneath. It was hot, sweaty, Geshy, hairy … and his belly was this massive obstacle, blocking me from the envelope. I had to lean over to angle my arm in order to reach it, the whole time having Santa laugh, “Oh ho ho, ho ho oh ho!” in my ear. I heard the elf scream, “What the hell!” and various parents start to shriek. Yes, I was feeling up Santa. And now the corner of the envelope was in my hand. He tried to jiggle it away from me, but I held tight and yanked it out, pulling some of his white belly hair with me. “OW ho ho!” he cried. I jumped o1 his lap. “Security’s here!” the elf proclaimed. The letter was in my hand, damp but intact. “He touched Santa!” a young child squealed.
Rachel Cohn (Dash & Lily's Book of Dares (Dash & Lily, #1))
You're funny.' Phoebe passed me the last chocolate cupcake. 'And I always thought your friends were laughing over their own farts.' 'Ninety percent of Eastwood's male population laughs over their own farts. Present company excluded, naturally.
Robyn Schneider (The Beginning of Everything)
The usual example given to illustrate an Outside Context Problem was imagining you were a tribe on a largish, fertile island; you'd tamed the land, invented the wheel or writing or whatever, the neighbours were cooperative or enslaved but at any rate peaceful and you were busy raising temples to yourself with all the excess productive capacity you had, you were in a position of near-absolute power and control which your hallowed ancestors could hardly have dreamed of and the whole situation was just running along nicely like a canoe on wet grass... when suddenly this bristling lump of iron appears sailless and trailing steam in the bay and these guys carrying long funny-looking sticks come ashore and announce you've just been discovered, you're all subjects of the Emperor now, he's keen on presents called tax and these bright-eyed holy men would like a word with your priests.
Iain Banks
Bad writing, it is easily verified, has never kept scholarship from being published.
Jacques Barzun (From Dawn to Decadence: 500 Years of Western Cultural Life, 1500 to the Present)
Although they probably know that some children were used and some children are used as miners, most adults are ignorant of the chocolate industry’s use of minors.
Mokokoma Mokhonoana (The Use and Misuse of Children)
Forgive my brother," Camira apologized. "We don't normally let him out of his cage when guests are present.
Brandon Mull (Keys to the Demon Prison (Fablehaven, #5))
It may look as though I do not know how to start. Funny sight, the elderly gentleman who comes lumbering by, jowl flesh flopping, in a valiant dash for the last bus, which he eventually overtakes but is afraid to board in motion and so, with a sheepish smile, drops back, still going at a trot. Is it that I dare not make the leap? It roars, gathers speed, will presently vanish irrevocably around the corner, the bus, the motorbus, the mighty montibus of my tale. Rather bulky imagery, this. I am still running.
Vladimir Nabokov (Despair)
My dear fellow " Said Albert, turning to Franz " here is an admirable adventure; we will fill our carriage with pistols, blunderbusses, and double-barreled shotguns. Luigi Vampa comes to take us, and we take him - we bring him back to Rome , and present him to him holiness the Pope, who asks how he can repay so great a service; Then we merely ask for a cariage and a pair of horses, and we will see the Carnival in the carriage , and doubtless the Roman people will crown us at the capitol , and proclaim us, like Curtius and the veiled Horatius, the preservers of there country." Whilst Albert proposed this scheme, signor Pastrini's face assumed an expression impossible to describe.
Alexandre Dumas (The Count of Monte Cristo)
The past, the present, and the future walked into a bar. It was tense.
Martin Lex
Are you afraid of the future? That is funny because future does not exist yet! Future is not even a shadow, because shadow exists! Let go your fear and concentrate on the present time!
Mehmet Murat ildan
Her eyes narrowed, and her lips parted around a knowing laugh. "Oh. It's you." "Pardon?" He was taken aback. "Do we know each other, lass?" He was quite certain they didn't; he could never have forgotten this woman. The enticing manner in which her lips were currently pursed would have been seared into his memory. "The answer is no. I don't know you. But every other woman in this room does. Duncan Douglas, isn't it?" she said dryly. Duncan studied her face. Although she was young-perhaps no more than twenty-she had a regal bearing beyond her years. "I do have some reputation with the lasses," he conceded, downplaying his prowess, confident of her impending maidenly swoon. The look she gave him was far from admiring. He did a double take when he realized her gaze was downright disparaging. "Not something I care for in a man," she said coolly. "Thank you for your offer, but I'd sooner dance with last week's rushes. They would be less used. Who wants what everyone else has already had?" The words were delivered in a cool, modulated tone, shaped by an odd accent he couldn't place. Quite finished with him, she presented her back and resumed talking to her companion. Duncan was immobilized by shock.
Karen Marie Moning (The Highlander's Touch (Highlander, #3))
Oh shit, oh shit, stupid shower present!” Now she did pull her hair as she made the dash to her office. Roarke sat in her visitor’s chair, comfortably involved with his PPC. He glanced up, let loose a regretful sigh. “You changed. And I didn’t have any time to ogle you in uniform.” “I have to go shopping!” Staring at her, Roarke pressed his fingertips to his temple. “I’m sorry, I believe I must have had a small stroke. What did you say?” “This isn’t funny.” She bent down, gripped him by the lapels. “I forgot to get a thing for the thing, and I don’t even know what the thing is supposed to be. Now I have to go out and hunt something down. Except—” Her eyes went from slightly mad to speculative. “We have all kinds of things around the house. Couldn’t I just wrap something up and—” “No.” “Crap!
J.D. Robb (Promises in Death (In Death, #28))
Suddenly, however, the dastardly department of my personality presented two plans, one of which involved dynamite, mustache wax, some rope, and train tracks . . . which I rejected due to financial investment.
Laurie Notaro (It Looked Different on the Model: Epic Tales of Impending Shame and Infamy)
A good many times I have been present at gatherings of people who, by the standards of the traditional culture, are thought highly educated and who have with considerable gusto been expressing their incredulity at the illiteracy of scientists. Once or twice I have been provoked and have asked the company how many of them could describe the Second Law of Thermodynamics. The response was cold: it was also negative. Yet I was asking something which is about the scientific equivalent of: Have you read a work of Shakespeare's?
C.P. Snow
Touching a penis? Yes. That's in the contract." "I didn't mean-" "You did. That's what all the straight guys are worried about. First, do they have to touch a penis? Second, any butt stuff? Because they'd really prefer to not do the butt stuff.
Emory Vargas (Rock Rod Studios Presents: Alex Undone)
What is it?” “Something with which to penetrate you.” “But you can penetrate me now. As often as you like.” “Doesn’t mean we shouldn’t explore other options.” “Hmm,” I said. “Soooo instead of diamonds or shoes, you got me a . . .” I stared at him, and waited for him to reveal the nature of his present. He grinned. “Buzz, buzz, Ellie Bee.
Michele Bardsley (Cross Your Heart (Broken Heart #7))
Mr. Darcy is a construct designed to make woman feel bad about the partners that they're capable of attracting versus the fantasized image he presents.
Caitlin Kittredge (Second Skin (Nocturne City, #3))
The funny thing about courage is that it is often more of an internal journey than it is an external challenge – thought it may present as one
Rasheed Ogunlaru
It’s funny how, when things seem the darkest, moments of beauty present themselves in the most unexpected places.
Karen Marie Moning (Dreamfever (Fever #4))
Dearly weird and motley beings, we're gathered here today for . . . yada, yada, yada. Seth say something profound and sweet to Lydia." Savitar "My Lydia is like a star rising to guide me through the darkest night." Seth "Look, kid, I can say the words for you, but I think she'd rather hear them from your lips. Ignore the assholes in the chairs. If one of them laughs, I'll gut him for you." Savitar Lydia laid her hand against his cheek and kissed his lips. "Hey, hey, hey!" Savitar snapped. "You're jumping ahead, woman. It's your turn to make a vow to him." "Love is paitent. Love is kind. It does not envy. It does not boast. It does not proud. It is not rude. It is not self seeking. It is not easily angered> It keeps no records of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, it always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres." Lydia "Yeah, okay,beings . . . now you ." Savitar "Alright then, to the handful here, let me present Mr. and Mrs. Demigod jackal beings." Savitar "You know this would be much easier if some of us had last names." Savitar to Seth and Lydia "Would you stop ruining this for them?" Ma'at "I'm not ruining it, Mennie, I'm making it memorable," Savitar
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Dark Bites (Dark-Hunter #22.5; Hellchaser, #0.5; Dream-Hunter, #0.5; Were-Hunter, #3.5))
Fifteen minutes later, Justin looks at his pint of blood with pride. He doesn't want it to go to some stranger, he almost wants to bring it to the hospital himself, survey the wards and present it to someone special, for it's the first thing to come straight from his heart in a very long time.
Cecelia Ahern (Thanks for the Memories)
How he has patience for foreplay right now is beyond me. Then again, I was always the kid who peeked at my Christmas presents before they were wrapped, so … maybe when it comes to fun shit, I’m just overzealous.
Laura Thalassa (Pestilence (The Four Horsemen, #1))
If she did not wish to lead a virtuous life, at least she desired to enjoy a character for virtue, and we know that no lady in the genteel world can possess this desideratum, until she has put on a train and feathers and has been presented to her Sovereign at Court. From that august interview they come out stamped as honest women. The Lord Chamberlain gives them a certificate of virtue.
William Makepeace Thackeray (Vanity Fair)
There is some confusion as to what magic actually is. I think this can be cleared up if you just look at the very earliest descriptions of magic. Magic in its earliest form is often referred to as “the art”. I believe this is completely literal. I believe that magic is art and that art, whether it be writing, music, sculpture, or any other form is literally magic. Art is, like magic, the science of manipulating symbols, words, or images, to achieve changes in consciousness. The very language about magic seems to be talking as much about writing or art as it is about supernatural events. A grimmoir for example, the book of spells is simply a fancy way of saying grammar. Indeed, to cast a spell, is simply to spell, to manipulate words, to change people's consciousness. And I believe that this is why an artist or writer is the closest thing in the contemporary world that you are likely to see to a Shaman. I believe that all culture must have arisen from cult. Originally, all of the faucets of our culture, whether they be in the arts or sciences were the province of the Shaman. The fact that in present times, this magical power has degenerated to the level of cheap entertainment and manipulation, is, I think a tragedy. At the moment the people who are using Shamanism and magic to shape our culture are advertisers. Rather than try to wake people up, their Shamanism is used as an opiate to tranquilize people, to make people more manipulable. Their magic box of television, and by their magic words, their jingles can cause everyone in the country to be thinking the same words and have the same banal thoughts all at exactly the same moment. In all of magic there is an incredibly large linguistic component. The Bardic tradition of magic would place a bard as being much higher and more fearsome than a magician. A magician might curse you. That might make your hands lay funny or you might have a child born with a club foot. If a Bard were to place not a curse upon you, but a satire, then that could destroy you. If it was a clever satire, it might not just destroy you in the eyes of your associates; it would destroy you in the eyes of your family. It would destroy you in your own eyes. And if it was a finely worded and clever satire that might survive and be remembered for decades, even centuries. Then years after you were dead people still might be reading it and laughing at you and your wretchedness and your absurdity. Writers and people who had command of words were respected and feared as people who manipulated magic. In latter times I think that artists and writers have allowed themselves to be sold down the river. They have accepted the prevailing belief that art and writing are merely forms of entertainment. They’re not seen as transformative forces that can change a human being; that can change a society. They are seen as simple entertainment; things with which we can fill 20 minutes, half an hour, while we’re waiting to die. It’s not the job of the artist to give the audience what the audience wants. If the audience knew what they needed, then they wouldn’t be the audience. They would be the artists. It is the job of artists to give the audience what they need.
Alan Moore
I want gifts and Christmas music. I don’t care how many Draziri are out there. They won’t take Christmas from me.” “Yes, but we don’t have a suitable male,” Orro said. “And only one dog.” I looked at him. “What is this Christmas?” Wing asked. Orro turned from the stove. “It’s the rite of passage during which the young males of the human species learn to display aggression and use weapons.” Sean stopped what he was doing and looked at Orro. “The young men go out in small packs,” Orro continued. “They brave the cold and come into conflict with other packs and they have to prove their dominance through physical combat. Their fathers teach them lessons in the proper use of swear words, and the young men have to undergo tests of endurance, like holding soap in their mouths and licking cold metal objects.” Sean made a strangled noise. “At the end of their trials, they go to see a wise elder in a red suit to prove their worth. If they are judged worthy, the family erects a ceremonial tree and presents them with gifts of weapons.” Sean was clearly struggling, because his head was shaking. “Also,” Orro added, “a sacrificial poultry is prepared and then given to the wild animals, probably to appease the nature spirits.” Sean roared with laughter.
Ilona Andrews (One Fell Sweep (Innkeeper Chronicles, #3))
It is the custom on the stage: in all good, murderous melodramas: to present the tragic and the comic scenes, in as regular alternation, as the layers of red and white in a side of streaky, well-cured bacon. The hero sinks upon his straw bed, weighed down by fetters and misfortunes; and, in the next scene, his faithful but unconscious squire regales the audience with a comic song. We behold, with throbbing bosoms, the heroine in the grasp of a proud and ruthless baron: her virtue and her life alike in danger; drawing forth a dagger to preserve the one at the cost of the other; and, just as our expectations are wrought up to the highest pitch, a whistle is heard: and we are straightway transported to the great hall of the castle: where a grey-headed seneschal sings a funny chorus with a funnier body of vassals, who are free of all sorts of places from church vaults to palaces, and roam about in company, carolling perpetually. Such changes appear absurd; but they are not so unnatural as they would seem at first sight. The transitions in real life from well-spread boards to death-beds, and from mourning weeds to holiday garments, are not a whit less startling; only, there, we are busy actors, instead of passive lookers-on; which makes a vast difference. The actors in the mimic life of the theatre, are blind to violent transitions and abrupt impulses of passion or feeling, which, presented before the eyes of mere spectators, are at once condemned as outrageous and preposterous.
Charles Dickens (Oliver Twist)
Where was Lauren in this maelstrom of awfulness? Where was the person she had previously thought herself to be? Intelligent, funny, in control, that Lauren. She'd been hiding as best as she could, sheltering in the back of her psyche somewhere, allowing the least evolved part of her instinctive self to be the thing that was present in this trauma.
Melanie Golding (Little Darlings)
It's not that I can't express myself, it's that I still feel present when I'm not expressing myself.
Kim Myungsoo
Irony arises when a person is presented with one truth but a greater truth lies beneath it. They do not see that truth but another person does. Some people find the contrast funny.
John Yeoman (Dream Of Darkness)
Wherefore the present age is given up as a reproach to the heathen, and for what cause the people whom thou hast loved is given over unto ungodly nations?!
But you can't say no to a birthday present, so she took the little pony to her room, where it ate things it shouldn't have, and farted too much.
Kate Beaton (The Princess and the Pony)
If she says “I love you,” and I say “I know,” that’s beautiful and acceptable and funny.
Chris Taylor (How Star Wars Conquered the Universe: The Past, Present, and Future of a Multibillion Dollar Franchise)
It is dull, Son of Adam, to drink without eating," said the Queen presently. "What would you like best to eat?" "Turkish Delight, please, your Majesty," said Edmund.
C.S. Lewis
Delivering your message with a funny or touching story end is the key to creating emotion and making a lasting impact in their hearts and minds.
Barry Powell (99 Inspiring Stories for Presentations: Instantly Improve Your Business Storytelling, Public Speaking and Conversation Skills (Presentation skills for ... short stories and motivational quotations))
Miranda wants Andre to rim you. Is that okay?" "What that?" Alex thinks about basketball. He played soccer in high school and he's kind of embarrassed about how little he knows the sport. Rim. Rim shot. Lay up? Free throw? "It's where he licks your asshole...But most guys get into it after a little while...It feels nice, I promise." So. Not basketball.
Emory Vargas (Rock Rod Studios Presents: Alex Undone)
Presently she began again. 'I wonder if I shall fall right through the earth! How funny it'll seem to come out among the people that walk with their heads downward! The Antipathies, I think--' (she was rather glad there WAS no one listening, this time, as it didn't sound at all the right word) '--but I shall have to ask them what the name of the country is, you
Lewis Carroll (Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, #1))
the giants let loose a deafening cheer. “Kill the humans!” “Shut it!” Thrynga yelled. “We have humans with us!” The giants murmured. Someone in the back said, “Present company excepted.
Rick Riordan (The Hammer of Thor (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, #2))
One of my great wishes is that people of the present will see those of the past as friendly (or irritating) acquaintances they can look to for advice. It’s easy to forget that people from the past weren’t the two-dimensional black-and-white photos or line drawings you might encounter in some dry textbooks. They weren’t just gray-faced guys in top hats. They were living, breathing, joking, burping people, who could be happy or sad, funny or boring, cool or the lamest people you ever met in your life. They had no idea they were living in the past. They all thought they were living in the present. Accordingly, like any person, past or present, could be, some of them were smart and kind and geniuses about medicine and also completely dull on a personal level. (I’m trying to come to terms with loving John Snow’s deductive brilliance and being absolutely certain I would never want to spend more than ten minutes talking to him.)
Jennifer Wright (Get Well Soon: History's Worst Plagues and the Heroes Who Fought Them)
Sometimes we don't want to be tethered to yesterday. It's nicer to forget. Maybe the gaps in our memory are there for a reason, evolutionary perhaps, to give us the space to grow, to get away from childishness or childish things. Or maybe it's so we have the chance to invent, or at least include, some magic in our yesterdays, surely the consolation of getting older, of moving away from youth, is that we can shape our past to our fantasies. So, even if the present isn't going the way we want it, we can stand and remember our earlier selves as exciting and funny and daring
Sue Perkins (Spectacles)
The old agility was still present and the passion was undeniable, but it was the wobbling of the gut, the puffing of the cheeks and the profuse sweating that lent the performance its true magic.
Jamie Holoran (Rounder's People)
I lost myself immediately in one of the books, only emerging when the phone rang. “Dashiell?” my father intoned. As if someone else with my voice might be answering the phone at my mother’s apartment. “Yes, Father?” “Leeza and I would like to wish you a merry Christmas.” “Thank you, Father. And to you, as well.” [awkward pause] [even more awkward pause] “I hope your mother isn’t giving you any trouble.” Oh, Father, I love it when you play this game. “She told me if I clean all the ashes out of the grate, then I’ll be able to help my sisters get ready for the ball.” “It’s Christmas, Dashiell. Can’t you give that attitude a rest?” “Merry Christmas, Dad. And thanks for the presents.” “What presents?” “I’m sorry—those were all from Mom, weren’t they?” “Dashiell …” “I gotta go. The gingerbread men are on
Rachel Cohn
He looks up. Our eyes lock,and he breaks into a slow smile. My heart beats faster and faster. Almost there.He sets down his book and stands.And then this-the moment he calls my name-is the real moment everything changes. He is no longer St. Clair, everyone's pal, everyone's friend. He is Etienne. Etienne,like the night we met. He is Etienne,he is my friend. He is so much more. Etienne.My feet trip in three syllables. E-ti-enne. E-ti-enne, E-ti-enne. His name coats my tongue like melting chocolate. He is so beautiful, so perfect. My throat catches as he opens his arms and wraps me in a hug.My heart pounds furiously,and I'm embarrassed,because I know he feels it. We break apart, and I stagger backward. He catches me before I fall down the stairs. "Whoa," he says. But I don't think he means me falling. I blush and blame it on clumsiness. "Yeesh,that could've been bad." Phew.A steady voice. He looks dazed. "Are you all right?" I realize his hands are still on my shoulders,and my entire body stiffens underneath his touch. "Yeah.Great. Super!" "Hey,Anna. How was your break?" John.I forget he was here.Etienne lets go of me carefully as I acknowledge Josh,but the whole time we're chatting, I wish he'd return to drawing and leave us alone. After a minute, he glances behind me-to where Etienne is standing-and gets a funny expression on hs face. His speech trails off,and he buries his nose in his sketchbook. I look back, but Etienne's own face has been wiped blank. We sit on the steps together. I haven't been this nervous around him since the first week of school. My mind is tangled, my tongue tied,my stomach in knots. "Well," he says, after an excruciating minute. "Did we use up all our conversation over the holiday?" The pressure inside me eases enough to speak. "Guess I'll go back to the dorm." I pretend to stand, and he laughs. "I have something for you." He pulls me back down by my sleeve. "A late Christmas present." "For me? But I didn't get you anything!" He reaches into a coat pocket and brings out his hand in a fist, closed around something very small. "It's not much,so don't get excited." "Ooo,what is it?" "I saw it when I was out with Mum, and it made me think of you-" "Etienne! Come on!" He blinks at hearing his first name. My face turns red, and I'm filled with the overwhelming sensation that he knows exactly what I'm thinking. His expression turns to amazement as he says, "Close your eyes and hold out your hand." Still blushing,I hold one out. His fingers brush against my palm, and my hand jerks back as if he were electrified. Something goes flying and lands with a faith dink behind us. I open my eyes. He's staring at me, equally stunned. "Whoops," I say. He tilts his head at me. "I think...I think it landed back here." I scramble to my feet, but I don't even know what I'm looking for. I never felt what he placed in my hands. I only felt him. "I don't see anything! Just pebbles and pigeon droppings," I add,trying to act normal. Where is it? What is it? "Here." He plucks something tiny and yellow from the steps above him. I fumble back and hold out my hand again, bracing myself for the contact. Etienne pauses and then drops it from a few inches above my hand.As if he's avoiding me,too. It's a glass bead.A banana. He clears his throat. "I know you said Bridgette was the only one who could call you "Banana," but Mum was feeling better last weekend,so I took her to her favorite bead shop. I saw that and thought of you.I hope you don't mind someone else adding to your collection. Especially since you and know..." I close my hand around the bead. "Thank you." "Mum wondered why I wanted it." "What did you tell her?" "That it was for you,of course." He says this like, duh. I beam.The bead is so lightweight I hardly feel it, except for the teeny cold patch it leaves in my palm.
Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1))
When I was done raking and bagging, I banged on the door and demanded entry /...let me in by the hair on your chinny, chin-chin/ (a fairytale moment there) Dick opened it and in his posthest voice, said that before he could possibly consider letting me re-cross the threshold he needed to ask me whether I was a good f*cking fairy or a bad f*cking fairy? Grinning, I told him that I was very wicked fairy and if he had a wand about his person that I could have lend of, I would prove it. He said that was the right answer and promptly yanked me inside where he located and presented me with his wand, breathily ordering the sorcerer's apprentice to perform magic with it. Judging by the look on his face afterwards, I knew I'd impressed him with my oral sorcery and I was more than happy with the short-lifting sorcery Shane performed on me as the same time.
Gillibran Brown (Fun With Dick and Shane (Memoirs of a Houseboy, #1))
I’d like political candidates to present their prep plans for the zombie apocalypse, or for the robot revolution, or for when the Internet becomes self-aware, because at least then the debates would be more interesting.
Jenny Lawson (Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things)
As thou hast said unto thy servant, that thou, which gives life to all, hast given life at once to the creature that thou hast created, and the creature bare it: even so it might now also bear them that now be present at once.
Chato visualised strangling her thin neck with the same underwear; tying it around her collar like a luscious red bow on a birthday present. Pesto gasped for air, her reptile like tongue sticking out, her face turning to a beautiful shade of onion pink as she choked on Chato’s kachcha. What a lovely contrast of that delicate pink against that gaudy red and green underwear. Poetry in motion, Chato thought, smiling. What an exquisite and intense way to die.
Nishta Kochar (Cinnamon Bizarre : Collection of Short Stories)
LIZZ WINSTEAD Instead of Jon playing a character—the news anchor, one of the derelicts in a derelict world of media—Jon made a creative decision to take the show in the direction of the correspondents presenting the idiocy, and then Jon is the person who calls out the idiocy with the eloquence that the viewer wishes they had. And he did it in a way that’s not condescending, it’s not smug. It’s funny, it’s emotional, it’s calling out bullshit. So Jon became the voice of the audience.
Chris Smith (The Daily Show (The Audiobook): An Oral History as Told by Jon Stewart, the Correspondents, Staff and Guests)
This time, the group included an Auror who had been too young to belong to the Order during its first incarnation. Clever, brave and funny, pink-haired Nymphadora Tonks was a protégée of Alastor ‘Mad-Eye’ Moody, the toughest and most grizzled Auror of them all. Remus,
J.K. Rowling (Short Stories from Hogwarts of Heroism, Hardship and Dangerous Hobbies (Pottermore Presents, #1))
Tate gave me your birthday present when you were here before,” she confessed. “I put it on top of the cabinet in the dining room and forgot to give it to you. Here, I’ll fetch it!” Cecily felt as if she’d had the wind knocked out of her just at the sound of his name. She could almost taste him on her mouth, feel the fierce hunger of his body as he pressed her into the wall… “He remembered my birthday,” she said faintly, touched. “He always remembers it, but he said you weren’t speaking then.” She handed the small box to Cecily. “Go on,” she said when the younger woman hesitated. “Open it.” Cecily’s hands went cold and trembled as she tore off the wrappings. It was a jewelry box. I wasn’t a ring, of course, she told herself as she forced up the hinged lid. He certainly wouldn’t buy her a… “The beast!” she exclaimed. “Oh, how could he?” Leta looked over her shoulder at what was in the box and dissolved into gales of laughter. Cecily glared at her. “It isn’t funny.” “Oh, yes it is!” Cecily looked back down at the silver crab with its ruby eyes and pearl claws, and one corner of her mouth tugged up. “He is pretty, isn’t he?” She took the pin out of the box and studied it. It wasn’t silver. It was white gold. Those were real rubies and pearls, too. This hadn’t been an impulse purchase. He’d had this custom-made for her. Tears stung her eyes. It was the sort of present you gave to someone who meant something to you. She remembered his passionate kisses, and wished with all her heart that he’d meant those, too. She pinned the small crab onto the collar of her blouse and knew that she’d treasure it as long as she lived.
Diana Palmer (Paper Rose (Hutton & Co. #2))
sayings, folk tales, family history, and funny and important incidents told by previous generations and the extended family. A self-made, treasured family book can be jointly produced. The past is celebrated in the present; the contemporary is engraved in the history of the child.
Colin Baker (A Parents' and Teachers' Guide to Bilingualism)
Pigs were funny creatures. You could almost think they were human the way they looked at you sometimes. Or was the pig remembering something? Yes, she realized, that was it. The pig looked exactly as if she were recollecting some happiness now lost, so that joy remembered was overlaid with present sorrow.
Diane Setterfield (Once Upon a River)
Ordinary humans will find it very difficult to resist this process. At present, people are happy to give away their most valuable asset—their personal data—in exchange for free email services and funny cat videos. It’s a bit like African and Native American tribes who unwittingly sold entire countries to European imperialists in exchange for colorful beads and cheap trinkets. If, later on, ordinary people decide to try to block the flow of data, they might find it increasingly difficult, especially as they might come to rely on the network for all their decisions, and even for their healthcare and physical survival.
Yuval Noah Harari (21 Lessons for the 21st Century)
That pew became a confessional. There, with a fully clothed, fully present Kyle, he left his plans for lifelong commitment to only the Church in a smoldering pile. This woman, this broken, brave, perfect woman was what he needed. They talked again—about funny parishioners and childhood stories. Anything they thought, they said.
Debra Anastasia (Poughkeepsie (Poughkeepsie Brotherhood, #1))
Find Mundungus Fletcher?” he croaked. “And bring him here, to Grimmauld Place,” said Harry. “Do you think you could do that for us?” As Kreacher nodded and got to his feet, Harry had a sudden inspiration. He pulled out Hagrid’s purse and took out the fake Horcrux, the substitute locket in which Regulus had placed the note to Voldemort. “Kreacher, I’d, er, like you to have this,” he said, pressing the locket into the elf’s hand. “This belonged to Regulus and I’m sure he’d want you to have it as a token of gratitude for what you--” “Overkill, mate,” said Ron as the elf took one look at the locket, let out a howl of shock and misery, and threw himself back onto the ground. It took them nearly half an hour to calm down Kreacher, who was so overcome to be presented with a Black family heirloom for his very own that he was too weak at the knees to stand properly. When finally he was able to totter a few steps they all accompanied him to his cupboard, watched him tuck up the locket safely in his dirty blankets, and assured him that they would make its protection their first priority while he was away. He then made two low bows to Harry and Ron, and even gave a funny little spasm in Hermione’s direction that might have been an attempt at a respectful salute, before Disapparating with the usual loud crack.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7))
It’s no one’s fault really,” he continued. “A big city cannot afford to have its attention distracted from the important job of being a big city by such a tiny, unimportant item as your happiness or mine.” This came out of him easily, assuredly, and I was suddenly interested. On closer inspection there was something aesthetic and scholarly about him, something faintly professorial. He knew I was with him, listening, and his grey eyes were kind with offered friendliness. He continued: “Those tall buildings there are more than monuments to the industry, thought and effort which have made this a great city; they also occasionally serve as springboards to eternity for misfits who cannot cope with the city and their own loneliness in it.” He paused and said something about one of the ducks which was quite unintelligible to me. “A great city is a battlefield,” he continued. “You need to be a fighter to live in it, not exist, mark you, live. Anybody can exist, dragging his soul around behind him like a worn-out coat; but living is different. It can be hard, but it can also be fun; there’s so much going on all the time that’s new and exciting.” I could not, nor wished to, ignore his pleasant voice, but I was in no mood for his philosophising. “If you were a negro you’d find that even existing would provide more excitement than you’d care for.” He looked at me and suddenly laughed; a laugh abandoned and gay, a laugh rich and young and indescribably infectious. I laughed with him, although I failed to see anything funny in my remark. “I wondered how long it would be before you broke down and talked to me,” he said, when his amusement had quietened down. “Talking helps, you know; if you can talk with someone you’re not lonely any more, don’t you think?” As simple as that. Soon we were chatting away unreservedly, like old friends, and I had told him everything. “Teaching,” he said presently. “That’s the thing. Why not get a job as a teacher?” “That’s rather unlikely,” I replied. “I have had no training as a teacher.” “Oh, that’s not absolutely necessary. Your degrees would be considered in lieu of training, and I feel sure that with your experience and obvious ability you could do well.” “Look here, Sir, if these people would not let me near ordinary inanimate equipment about which I understand quite a bit, is it reasonable to expect them to entrust the education of their children to me?” “Why not? They need teachers desperately.” “It is said that they also need technicians desperately.” “Ah, but that’s different. I don’t suppose educational authorities can be bothered about the colour of people’s skins, and I do believe that in that respect the London County Council is rather outstanding. Anyway, there would be no need to mention it; let it wait until they see you at the interview.” “I’ve tried that method before. It didn’t work.” “Try it again, you’ve nothing to lose. I know for a fact that there are many vacancies for teachers in the East End of London.” “Why especially the East End of London?” “From all accounts it is rather a tough area, and most teachers prefer to seek jobs elsewhere.” “And you think it would be just right for a negro, I suppose.” The vicious bitterness was creeping back; the suspicion was not so easily forgotten. “Now, just a moment, young man.” He was wonderfully patient with me, much more so than I deserved. “Don’t ever underrate the people of the East End; from those very slums and alleyways are emerging many of the new breed of professional and scientific men and quite a few of our politicians. Be careful lest you be a worse snob than the rest of us. Was this the kind of spirit in which you sought the other jobs?
E.R. Braithwaite (To Sir, With Love)
My name is Draco Malfoy. I'm here to turn myself in. I'm a hardened criminal and I'm sure Ronald Weasley would be only too happy to take my statement." He presented his wand and the woman took it before handing him a badge that read: Draco Malfoy, Hardened Criminal "If you'll wait over there, dear, I'll summon Mr. Weasley for you." Draco shrugged, not much caring one way or another. He could keep breathing and cataloguing his regrets as easily in Azkaban as anywhere else. Weasley seemed to waffle between being pleased as punch and calculatingly suspicious. "Why are you turning yourself in?" "My close proximity to the Savior of the Wizarding World infected me with sunshine and happy thoughts. I found my inner Gryffindor and it told me to repent." "Fuck you, Malfoy. Why are you really here?
The British were unhinged by the colonists' unorthodox fighting style and shocking failure to abide by gentlemanly rules of engagement. One scandalized British soldier complained that the American riflemen 'conceal themselves behind trees etc. till an opportunity presents itself of taking a shot at our advance sentries, which done, they immediately retreat. What an unfair method of carrying on a war!
Ron Chernow (Alexander Hamilton)
I’ve found that there’s no real comfort in success. There’s never time to slow down, sit back, and relax. But there did come a moment later in my career when I knew that I had truly made it as a comedian. After I presented Richard Pryor with the lifetime achievement award at the American Comedy Awards, we were backstage posing for pictures. He looked up at me and said, “I stole your album.” For a split second, I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. The great Richard Pryor stealing my material? I was honored and stunned at the same time. “In Peoria, I went into the record store and I put it under my jacket and I walked out,” he continued. “Richard, I get a quarter royalty on every album.” With that, Richard Pryor pulled out a quarter and handed it to me. To have your album stolen by Richard Pryor is quite an achievement.
Bob Newhart (I Shouldn't Even Be Doing This!: And Other Things That Strike Me as Funny)
One splendid summer afternoon Kaspar realized he had never been happier in his life or both of his lives, past and present. Not fireworks-orgasms-and-champagne happy, but on waking in the morning he was glad almost every single day to be exactly where he was. He had never before experienced the feeling of genuine, constant well-being and it was a true revelation. The longer the satisfaction continued, the less he thought about his previous life as a mechanic and the extraordinary things he’d once seen and been able to do. Misery may love company but happiness is content to be alone. The funny irony of his existence now was, as long as he was this happy and content with his lot, Kaspar didn’t need to make much of an effort to “walk away” from his mechanic’s life because now he was sated with this one both in mind and heart.
Jonathan Carroll (Bathing the Lion)
It was astonishing how loudly one laughed at tales of gruesome things, of war’s brutality-I with the rest of them. I think at the bottom of it was a sense of the ironical contrast between the normal ways of civilian life and this hark-back to the caveman code. It made all our old philosophy of life monstrously ridiculous. It played the “hat trick” with the gentility of modern manners. Men who had been brought up to Christian virtues, who had prattled their little prayers at mothers’ knees, who had grown up to a love of poetry, painting, music, the gentle arts, over-sensitized to the subtleties of half-tones, delicate scales of emotion, fastidious in their choice of words, in their sense of beauty, found themselves compelled to live and act like ape-men; and it was abominably funny. They laughed at the most frightful episodes, which revealed this contrast between civilized ethics and the old beast law. The more revolting it was the more, sometimes, they shouted with laughter, especially in reminiscence, when the tale was told in the gilded salon of a French chateau, or at a mess-table. It was, I think, the laughter of mortals at the trick which had been played on them by an ironical fate. They had been taught to believe that the whole object of life was to reach out to beauty and love, and that mankind, in its progress to perfection, had killed the beast instinct, cruelty, blood-lust, the primitive, savage law of survival by tooth and claw and club and ax. All poetry, all art, all religion had preached this gospel and this promise. Now that ideal had broken like a china vase dashed to hard ground. The contrast between That and This was devastating. It was, in an enormous world-shaking way, like a highly dignified man in a silk hat, morning coat, creased trousers, spats, and patent boots suddenly slipping on a piece of orange-peel and sitting, all of a heap, with silk hat flying, in a filthy gutter. The war-time humor of the soul roared with mirth at the sight of all that dignity and elegance despoiled. So we laughed merrily, I remember, when a military chaplain (Eton, Christ Church, and Christian service) described how an English sergeant stood round the traverse of a German trench, in a night raid, and as the Germans came his way, thinking to escape, he cleft one skull after another with a steel-studded bludgeon a weapon which he had made with loving craftsmanship on the model of Blunderbore’s club in the pictures of a fairy-tale. So we laughed at the adventures of a young barrister (a brilliant fellow in the Oxford “Union”) whose pleasure it was to creep out o’ nights into No Man’s Land and lie doggo in a shell-hole close to the enemy’s barbed wire, until presently, after an hour’s waiting or two, a German soldier would crawl out to fetch in a corpse. The English barrister lay with his rifle ready. Where there had been one corpse there were two. Each night he made a notch on his rifle three notches one night to check the number of his victims. Then he came back to breakfast in his dugout with a hearty appetite.
Phillip Gibbs
The most important thing you can do to avoid misjudging the importance of something is to avoid isolated figures. Never, ever, leave a figure alone. Never believe that a figure can be significant on its own. If you are presented with a figure, always ask At least one more. Something to compare it to. Be especially careful with large figures. Funny, but figures that exceed a certain size, if not compared to something, always seem large. And how can you not be important something big?
Hans Rosling (Factfulness: Ten Reasons We're Wrong About the World – and Why Things Are Better Than You Think)
One might also say that history is not about the past. If you think about it, no one ever lived in the past. Washington, Jefferson, John Adams, and their contemporaries didn't walk about saying, "Isn't this fascinating living in the past! Aren't we picturesque in our funny clothes!" They lived in the present. The difference is it was their present, not ours. They were caught up in the living moment exactly as we are, and with no more certainty of how things would turn out than we have.
David McCullough
Awkward. \ˈȯ-kwərd\. Adjective. A feeling of embarrassment, discomfort, or abnormality. If music is the universal language, then awkward is the universal feeling. Awkward works in mysterious ways. Sometimes it’s a handshake that was meant to be a high-five. Other times it’s telling the guy who works at the movie theater to enjoy the movie, too. Awkward comes in so many forms: meeting your girlfriend’s parents, getting socks as a birthday present, a friend request that turned out to be a computer virus, on and on and on.
Michael McCreary (Funny, You Don't Look Autistic: A Comedian's Guide to Life on the Spectrum)
In logic class, I opened my textbook—the last place I was expecting to find comic inspiration—and was startled to find that Lewis Carroll, the supremely witty author of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, was also a logician. He wrote logic textbooks and included argument forms based on the syllogism, normally presented in logic books this way: All men are mortal. Socrates is a man. _________________________________ Therefore, Socrates is mortal. But Carroll’s were more convoluted, and they struck me as funny in a new way: 1) Babies are illogical. 2) Nobody is despised who can manage a crocodile. 3) Illogical persons are despised. __________________________________________ Therefore, babies cannot manage crocodiles. And: 1) No interesting poems are unpopular among people of real taste. 2) No modern poetry is free from affectation. 3) All your poems are on the subject of soap bubbles. 4) No affected poetry is popular among people of taste. 5) Only a modern poem would be on the subject of soap bubbles. __________________________________________ Therefore, all your poems are uninteresting.
Steve Martin (Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life)
The actual sound of Central European art music, especially the chamber music, was a solid part of me from an early age but maybe not audible in my music until almost five decades later, when I began to compose sonatas and unaccompanied string pieces as well as quite a lot of piano music. Though I did write a few string quartets for the Kronos Quartet, and some symphonies besides, these works from my forties, fifties, and sixties didn’t owe that much to the past. Now that I’m in my seventies, my present music does. It’s funny how it happened this way, but there it is.
Philip Glass (Words Without Music: A Memoir)
I remember the only time I ever saw my mother cry. I was eating apricot pie. I remember how much I used to stutter. I remember the first time I saw television. Lucille Ball was taking ballet lessons. I remember Aunt Cleora who lived in Hollywood. Every year for Christmas she sent my brother and me a joint present of one book. I remember a very poor boy who had to wear his sister's blouse to school. I remember shower curtains with angel fish on them. I remember very old people when I was very young. Their houses smelled funny. I remember daydreams of being a singer all alone on a big stage with no scenery, just one spotlight on me, singing my heart out, and moving my audience to total tears of love and affection. I remember waking up somewhere once and there was a horse staring me in the face. I remember saying "thank you" in reply to "thank you" and then the other person doesn't know what to say. I remember how embarrassed I was when other children cried. I remember one very hot summer day I put ice cubes in my aquarium and all the fish died. I remember not understanding why people on the other side of the world didn't fall off.
Joe Brainard (I Remember)
The . . . the one about Colin Eversea! I learned a new verse from a young lady at school. It’s very funny and . . . and . . . bawdy.” That last word was a reckless inspiration. She presented it almost defiantly. Lisbeth blinked as though she’d flicked water into her eyes. Lisbeth and Waterburn eyed her for a silent nonplussed instant. A finch peeped somewhere in the hedgerows. Apparently it wasn’t a word anyone associated with her, or particularly wanted to associate with her, judging from the carefully bland expression on Waterburn’s face. Next I’ll try the word whore in a sentence, she thought wildly.
Julie Anne Long (How the Marquess Was Won (Pennyroyal Green, #6))
I wonder if I talk like a dead man. My daughter once came home from school very excited about some lecture -this was years ago, before I died, though just right before- and she said her English teacher had talked about what the dead sound like in Dante. This funny thing about Dante's dead, which is that they know the past, and even the future, but they don't know the present. About the present they have all these questions for Dante. And that somehow is what being alive is, to be suspended in the time. She seemed to feel that really meant something. That and also that the dead know themselves better than the living do.
Rivka Galchen (Atmospheric Disturbances)
I came into the room, which was half dark, and presently spotted Lord Kelvin in the audience and realised that I was in for trouble at the last part of my speech dealing with the age of the earth, where my views conflicted with his. To my relief, Kelvin fell fast asleep, but as I came to the important point, I saw the old bird sit up, open an eye and cock a baleful glance at me! Then a sudden inspiration came, and I said Lord Kelvin had limited the age of the earth, provided no new source (of energy) was discovered. That prophetic utterance refers to what we are now considering tonight, radium! Behold! the old boy beamed upon me.
Ernest Rutherford
...what goes on inside believers is mysterious. So far as it can be guessed at - if for some reason you wanted to guess at it - it appears to be a kind of anxious pretending, a kind of continual, nervous resistance to reality. It looks as if, to a believer, things can never be allowed just to be what they are. They always have to be translated, moralised - given an unnecessary and rather sentimental extra meaning. A sunset can't just be part of the mixed magnificence and cruelty and indifference of the world; it has to be a blessing. A meal has to be a present you're grateful for, even if it came from Tesco and the ingredients cost you £7.38. Sex can't be the spectrum of experiences you get used to as an adult, from occasional earthquake through to mild companionable buzz; it has to be, oh dear oh dear, a special thing that happens when mummies and daddies love each other very much... Our fingers must be in our ears all the time - lalala, I can't hear you - just to keep out the plain sound of the real world. The funny thing is that to me it's exactly the other way around. In my experience, it's belief that involves the most uncompromising attention to the nature of things of which you are capable. It's belief which demands that you dispense with illusion after illusion, while contemporary common sense requires continual, fluffy pretending. Pretending that might as well be systematic, it's so thoroughly incentivised by our culture.
Francis Spufford
Mom?” Then again, louder. “Mom?” She turned around so quickly, she knocked the pan off the stove and nearly dropped the gray paper into the open flame there. I saw her reach back and slap her hand against the knobs, twisting a dial until the smell of gas disappeared. “I don’t feel good. Can I stay home today?” No response, not even a blink. Her jaw was working, grinding, but it took me walking over to the table and sitting down for her to find her voice. “How—how did you get in here?” “I have a bad headache and my stomach hurts,” I told her, putting my elbows up on the table. I knew she hated when I whined, but I didn’t think she hated it enough to come over and grab me by the arm again. “I asked you how you got in here, young lady. What’s your name?” Her voice sounded strange. “Where do you live?” Her grip on my skin only tightened the longer I waited to answer. It had to have been a joke, right? Was she sick, too? Sometimes cold medicine did funny things to her. Funny things, though. Not scary things. “Can you tell me your name?” she repeated. “Ouch!” I yelped, trying to pull my arm away. “Mom, what’s wrong?” She yanked me up from the table, forcing me onto my feet. “Where are your parents? How did you get in this house?” Something tightened in my chest to the point of snapping. “Mom, Mommy, why—” “Stop it,” she hissed, “stop calling me that!” “What are you—?” I think I must have tried to say something else, but she dragged me over to the door that led out into the garage. My feet slid against the wood, skin burning. “Wh-what’s wrong with you?” I cried. I tried twisting out of her grasp, but she wouldn’t even look at me. Not until we were at the door to the garage and she pushed my back up against it. “We can do this the easy way or the hard way. I know you’re confused, but I promise that I’m not your mother. I don’t know how you got into this house, and, frankly, I’m not sure I want to know—” “I live here!” I told her. “I live here! I’m Ruby!” When she looked at me again, I saw none of the things that made Mom my mother. The lines that formed around her eyes when she smiled were smoothed out, and her jaw was clenched around whatever she wanted to say next. When she looked at me, she didn’t see me. I wasn’t invisible, but I wasn’t Ruby. “Mom.” I started to cry. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to be bad. I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry! Please, I promise I’ll be good—I’ll go to school today and won’t be sick, and I’ll pick up my room. I’m sorry. Please remember. Please!” She put one hand on my shoulder and the other on the door handle. “My husband is a police officer. He’ll be able to help you get home. Wait in here—and don’t touch anything.” The door opened and I was pushed into a wall of freezing January air. I stumbled down onto the dirty, oil-stained concrete, just managing to catch myself before I slammed into the side of her car. I heard the door shut behind me, and the lock click into place; heard her call Dad’s name as clearly as I heard the birds in the bushes outside the dark garage. She hadn’t even turned on the light for me. I pushed myself up onto my hands and knees, ignoring the bite of the frosty air on my bare skin. I launched myself in the direction of the door, fumbling around until I found it. I tried shaking the handle, jiggling it, still thinking, hoping, praying that this was some big birthday surprise, and that by the time I got back inside, there would be a plate of pancakes at the table and Dad would bring in the presents, and we could—we could—we could pretend like the night before had never happened, even with the evidence in the next room over. The door was locked. “I’m sorry!” I was screaming. Pounding my fists against it. “Mommy, I’m sorry! Please!” Dad appeared a moment later, his stocky shape outlined by the light from inside of the house. I saw Mom’s bright-red face over his shoulder; he turned to wave her off and then reached over to flip on the overhead lights.
Alexandra Bracken (The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds, #1))
1. If from people, it is directed at you: resentment, envy, sarcasm, sarcasm, anger, aggression, hatred, revenge, rage - know that all this is people's sympathy, this does not mean that you are a bad person, just very attractive personality. 2. A love couple who is able to constantly forgive each other is doomed to become the happiest couple in the world. 3. Sleep is a unique museum of our past, present, and future. In which there is a library that holds a unique knowledge. 4. Man does not want people to like him, he wants to tease them. 5. For many people, love with late ignition. 6. The enemy control you with the help of your own anger. 7. We die exactly as much as we cease to be needed by the world. 8. Even in the worst, there is something funny. 9. Laziness as if slows down time and space. 10. Your loved one is your best thought in all your mind, throughout your whole life.
Musin Almat Zhumabekovich
HYSTERICAL HISTORY Bumping into Vincent O’Neil makes me think about what Uncle Frankie said. I need new material for Boston, not Vincent’s stale and stinky fart jokes from The Big Book of Butt Bugles and Blampfs. So I keep my eyes open for new concepts to work out as I go to history class that afternoon. We’re supposed to give a presentation on our favorite president. I chose Millard Fillmore. Why? Because nobody else will. Plus, his name is funny. Who knows? Maybe I’ll get a whole bit out of him for Boston. I roll to the front of the class and prop a portrait of President Fillmore on the flip-chart easel. “Millard Fillmore was the thirteenth president of the United States. Born in January 1800, he was named after a duck. No, I’m sorry. That was his brother Mallard Fillmore. Millard Fillmore was the last member of the Whig Party to ever hold the office of president. Probably because they all wore wigs.
James Patterson (I Even Funnier - FREE PREVIEW EDITION (The First 13 Chapters): A Middle School Story (I Funny))
Professor Severus Snape, master of this school, commands you to yield the information you conceal!" Snape said, hitting the map with his wand. As though an invisible hand were writing upon it, words appeared on the surface of the map. "Mr. Moony presents his compliments to Professor Snape, and begs him to keep his abnormally large nose out of other people's business." Snape froze. Harry stared, dumbstruck, at the message. But the map didn't stop there. More writing was appearing beneath the first. "Mr. Prongs agrees with Mr. Moony, and would like to add that Professor Snape is an ugly git." It would have been very funny if the situation hadn't been so serious. And there was more... "Mr. Padfoot would like to register his astonishment that an idiot like that ever became a professor." Harry closed his eyes in horror. When he'd opened them, the map had had its last word. "Mr. Wormtail bids Professor Snape good day, and advises him to wash his hair, the slimeball.
J.K. Rowling
Professor Severus Snape, master of this school, commands you to yield the information you conceal!" Snape said, hitting the map with his wand. As though an invisible hand were writing upon it, words appeared on the surface of the map. "Mr. Moony presents his compliments to Professor Snape, and begs him to keep his abnormally large nose out of other people's business." Snape froze. Harry stared, dumbstruck, at the message. But the map didn't stop there. More writing was appearing beneath the first. "Mr. Prongs agrees with Mr. Moony, and would like to add that Professor Snape is an ugly git." It would have been very funny if the situation hadn't been so serious. And there was more... "Mr. Padfoot would like to register his astonishment that an idiot like that ever became a professor." Harry closed his eyes in horror. When he'd opened them, the map had had its last word. "Mr. Wormtail bids Professor Snape good day, and advises him to wash his hair, the slimeball." (286 & 287)
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter, #3))
We think of memory as if it were a hard drive, he said, and in some ways that’s what it’s like, but it’s like something altogether different, too. It’s a stage and a director, and over time the play changes, the characters are changed, but it’s a funny play because we lose sight of what those characters once were to us. Memory is not static but a thing in motion, and because we are passengers without a frame of reference, the motion is imperceptible, so that at any given point in time, all we have is a set of memories, a thing of the instantaneous present and not of the past. I read somewhere, some researcher explaining that every time we recall something, our future memory of it changes, as if we rewrite or overwrite the memory with a new memory after each use in an ongoing palimpsest. Which, it strikes me, must make it hard to lose the memory of something whose memory you dearly wish to lose, which is to say that if memory serves us well, sometimes some things are blessedly forgotten.
Zia Haider Rahman (In the Light of What We Know)
Suddenly, lots of things of my own life occurred to me for the first time as stories: my great-granddaddy's 'other family' in West Virginia; Hardware Breeding, who married his wife Beulah, four times; how my Uncle Vern taught my daddy to drink good liquor in a Richmond hotel; how I got saved at the tent revival; John Hardin's hanging in the courthouse square; how Petey Chaney rode the flood; the time Mike Holland and I went to the serpent handling-church in Jolo; the murder Daddy saw when he was a boy, out riding his little pony - and never told... I started to write these stories down. Many years later, I'm still at it. And it's a funny thing: Though I have spent my most of my working life in universities, though I live in piedmont North Carolina now and eat pasta and drive a Subaru, the stories that present themselves to me as worth the telling are often those somehow connected to that place and those people. The mountains that used to imprison me have become my chosen stalking ground.
Lee Smith (Dimestore: A Writer's Life)
I'll lean over your crib, lift your squalling form out, and sit in the rocking chair to nurse you. The word 'infant' is derived from the Latin word for 'unable to speak,' but you'll be perfectly capable of saying one thing: 'I suffer.,' and you'll do it tirelessly and without hesitation. I have to admire your utter commitment to that statement; when you cry, you'll become outrage incarnate, every fiber of your being employed in expressing that emotion. It's funny: when you're tranquil, you will seem to radiate light, and if someone were to paint a portrait of you like that, I'd insist they include the halo. But when you're unhappy, you will become a klaxon, built for radiating sound; a portrait of you then could simply be a fire alarm bell. At that stage of your life, there'll be no past or future for you; until I give you my breast, you'll have no memory of contentment in the past nor expectation of relief in the future. Once you begin nursing, everything will reverse, and all will be right with the world. NOW is the only moment you'll perceive; you'll live in the present tense. In many ways, it's an enviable state.
Ted Chiang (Stories of Your Life and Others)
Mr. Haverstrom closes the door, leaving Patrick and me alone in the hallway. Pat smiles slickly, leaning in toward me. I step back until I press against the wall. It’s uncomfortable—but not threatening. Mostly because in addition to racquetball I’ve practiced aikido for years. So if Patrick tries anything funny, he’s in for a very painful surprise. “Let’s be honest, Sarah: you know and I know the last thing you want to do is give a presentation in front of hundreds of people—your colleagues.” My heart tries to crawl into my throat. “So, how about this? You do the research portion, slides and such that I don’t really have time for, and I’ll take care of the presentation, giving you half the credit of course.” Of course. I’ve heard this song before—in school “group projects” where I, the quiet girl, did all the work, but the smoothest, loudest talker took all the glory. “I’ll get Haverstrom to agree on Saturday—I’m like a son to him,” Pat explains before leaning close enough that I can smell the garlic on his breath. “Let Big Pat take care of it. What do you say?” I say there’s a special place in hell for people who refer to themselves in the third person. But before I can respond, Willard’s firm, sure voice travels down the hall. “I think you should back off, Nolan. Sarah’s not just ‘up for it,’ she’ll be fantastic at it.” Pat waves his hand. “Quiet, midge—the adults are talking.” And the adrenaline comes rushing back, but this time it’s not anxiety-induced—it’s anger. Indignation. I push off the wall. “Don’t call him that.” “He doesn’t mind.” “I mind.” He stares at me with something akin to surprise. Then scoffs and turns to Willard. “You always let a woman fight your battles?” I take another step forward, forcing him to move back. “You think I can’t fight a battle because I’m a woman?” “No, I think you can’t fight a battle because you’re a woman who can barely string three words together if more than two people are in the room.” I’m not hurt by the observation. For the most part, it’s true. But not this time. I smile slowly, devilishly. Suddenly, I’m Cathy Linton come to life—headstrong and proud. “There are more than two people standing here right now. And I’ve got more than three words for you: fuck off, you arrogant, self-righteous swamp donkey.” His expression is almost funny. Like he can’t decide if he’s more shocked that I know the word fuck or that I said it out loud to him—and not in the good way. Then his face hardens and he points at me. “That’s what I get for trying to help your mute arse? Have fun making a fool of yourself.” I don’t blink until he’s down the stairs and gone. Willard slow-claps as he walks down the hall to me. “Swamp donkey?” I shrug. “It just came to me.” “Impressive.” Then he bows and kisses the back of my hand. “You were magnificent.” “Not half bad, right? It felt good.” “And you didn’t blush once.” I push my dark hair out of my face, laughing self-consciously. “Seems like I forget all about being nervous when I’m defending someone else.” Willard nods. “Good. And though I hate to be the twat who points it out, there’s something else you should probably start thinking about straight away.” “What’s that?” “The presentation in front of hundreds of people.” And just like that, the tight, sickly feeling washes back over me. So this is what doomed feels like. I lean against the wall. “Oh, broccoli balls.
Emma Chase (Royally Matched (Royally, #2))
We're in her bedroom,and she's helping me write an essay about my guniea pig for French class. She's wearing soccer shorts with a cashmere sweater, and even though it's silly-looking, it's endearingly Meredith-appropriate. She's also doing crunches. For fun. "Good,but that's present tense," she says. "You aren't feeding Captain Jack carrot sticks right now." "Oh. Right." I jot something down, but I'm not thinking about verbs. I'm trying to figure out how to casually bring up Etienne. "Read it to me again. Ooo,and do your funny voice! That faux-French one your ordered cafe creme in the other day, at that new place with St. Clair." My bad French accent wasn't on purpose, but I jump on the opening. "You know, there's something,um,I've been wondering." I'm conscious of the illuminated sign above my head, flashing the obvious-I! LOVE! ETIENNE!-but push ahead anyway. "Why are he and Ellie still together? I mean they hardly see each other anymore. Right?" Mer pauses, mid-crunch,and...I'm caught. She knows I'm in love with him, too. But then I see her struggling to reply, and I realize she's as trapped in the drama as I am. She didn't even notice my odd tone of voice. "Yeah." She lowers herself slwoly back to the floor. "But it's not that simple. They've been together forever. They're practically an old married couple. And besides,they're both really...cautious." "Cautious?" "Yeah.You know.St. Clair doesn't rock the boat. And Ellie's the same way. It took her ages to choose a university, and then she still picked one that's only a few neighborhoods away. I mean, Parsons is a prestigious school and everything,but she chose it because it was familiar.And now with St. Clair's mom,I think he's afraid to lose anyone else.Meanwhile,she's not gonna break up with him,not while his mom has cancer. Even if it isn't a healthy relationship anymore." I click the clicky-button on top of my pen. Clickclickclickclick. "So you think they're unhappy?" She sighs. "Not unhappy,but...not happy either. Happy enough,I guess. Does that make sense?" And it does.Which I hate. Clickclickclickclick. It means I can't say anything to him, because I'd be risking our friendship. I have to keep acting like nothing has changed,that I don't feel anything ore for him than I feel for Josh.
Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1))
So I see you got to know Trish on a pretty intimate level tonight,” Max said, focusing her attention back on the present as they made their way down the deserted roads back to her house. “She was definitely…friendly.” What Landon casually defined as friendly was what Max more accurately described as molestation. Her hands had disappeared under the table, rubbing his leg or whatever she was doing, more times than she spent holding her damn cards. Landon’s indifference to the whole thing was entirely impossible to read. Was he enjoying the attention? Wouldn’t any man? Not that it was any of her business. Landon was just some guy that she’d let stay with her for a few days. The fact that he was good-looking was irrelevant. Trish could have him for all she cared as long as they kept the indecencies out of her house. “Well, don’t you worry about her. She’s a bit of a flirt when she’s drunk. I’m pretty sure she’d hit on a monkey.” “You just compared me to a monkey and you don’t want me to worry?” “You know what I mean.” “I’m sorry, I don’t.” “Don’t tell me that girls like that actually appeal to you.” “Jealous?” “Hardly,” Max shot back defensively. “I just pegged you for a man with higher standards that’s all.” She couldn’t really say why she’d chosen to share her opinion. No harm in giving the guy a little warning, right? “You’ve pegged me for a lot of things.
Shawn Maravel (The Wanderer (Rider, #1))
It was George the Mailman’s last day on the job after 35 years of carrying the mail through all kinds of weather to the same neighborhood. When he arrived at the first house on his route, he was greeted by the whole family who congratulated him and sent him on his way with a tidy gift envelope. At the second house, they presented him with a box of fine cigars. The folks at the third house handed him a selection of terrific fishing lures. At the fourth house, he was met at the door by a strikingly beautiful blonde woman in a revealing negligee. She took him by the hand, gently led him through the door, which she closed behind him, and took him up the stairs to the bedroom where she blew his mind with the most passionate love he had ever experienced. When he had enough, they went downstairs and she fixed him a giant breakfast: eggs, potatoes, ham, sausage, blueberry waffles, and fresh-squeezed orange juice. When he was truly satisfied, she poured him a cup of steaming coffee. As she was pouring, he noticed a dollar bill sticking out from under the cup’s bottom edge. "All this was just too wonderful for words," he said, "But what’s the dollar for?" "Well," she said, "Last night, I told my husband that today would be your last day, and that we should do something special for you. I asked him what to give you. He said, “Screw him. Give him a dollar.” The breakfast was my idea.
Adam Smith (Funny Jokes: Ultimate LoL Edition (Jokes, Dirty Jokes, Funny Anecdotes, Best jokes, Jokes for Adults))
In the longer term, by bringing together enough data and enough computing power, the data giants could hack the deepest secrets of life, and then use this knowledge not just to make choices for us or manipulate us but also to reengineer organic life and create inorganic life-forms. Selling advertisements may be necessary to sustain the giants in the short term, but tech companies often evaluate apps, products, and other companies according to the data they harvest rather than according to the money they generate. A popular app may lack a business model and may even lose money in the short term, but as long as it sucks data, it could be worth billions.4 Even if you don’t know how to cash in on the data today, it is worth having it because it might hold the key to controlling and shaping life in the future. I don’t know for certain that the data giants explicitly think about this in such terms, but their actions indicate that they value the accumulation of data in terms beyond those of mere dollars and cents. Ordinary humans will find it very difficult to resist this process. At present, people are happy to give away their most valuable asset—their personal data—in exchange for free email services and funny cat videos. It’s a bit like African and Native American tribes who unwittingly sold entire countries to European imperialists in exchange for colorful beads and cheap trinkets. If, later on, ordinary people decide to try to block the flow of data, they might find it increasingly difficult, especially as they might come to rely on the network for all their decisions, and even for their healthcare and physical survival.
Yuval Noah Harari (21 Lessons for the 21st Century)
Knuth: They were very weak, actually. It wasn't presented systematically and everything, but I thought they were pretty obvious. It was a different culture entirely. But the guy who said he was going to fire people, he wants programming to be something where everything is done in an inefficient way because it's supposed to fit into his idea of orderliness. He doesn't care if the program is good or not—as far as its speed and performance—he cares about that it satisfies other criteria, like any bloke can be able to maintain it. Well, people have lots of other funny ideas. People have this strange idea that we want to write our programs as worlds unto themselves so that everybody else can just set up a few parameters and our program will do it for them. So there'll be a few programmers in the world who write the libraries, and then there are people who write the user manuals for these libraries, and then there are people who apply these libraries and that's it. The problem is that coding isn't fun if all you can do is call things out of a library, if you can't write the library yourself. If the job of coding is just to be finding the right combination of parameters, that does fairly obvious things, then who'd want to go into that as a career? There's this overemphasis on reusable software where you never get to open up the box and see what's inside the box. It's nice to have these black boxes but, almost always, if you can look inside the box you can improve it and make it work better once you know what's inside the box. Instead people make these closed wrappers around everything and present the closure to the programmers of the world, and the programmers of the world aren't allowed to diddle with that. All they're able to do is assemble the parts. And so you remember that when you call this subroutine you put x0, y0, x1, y1 but when you call this subroutine it's x0, x1, y0, y1. You get that right, and that's your job.
Peter Seibel (Coders at Work: Reflections on the Craft of Programming)
I dreamed not long ago of that market with all its vivid textures. I walked through the stalls with a basket over my arms as always and went right to Edita for a bunch of fresh cilantro. We chatted and laughed and when I held out my coins she waved them off, patting my arm and sending me away. A gift, she said. Muchas gracias, señora, I replied. There was my favorite panadera, with clean cloths laid over the round loaves. I chose a few rolls, opened my purse, and this vendor too gestured away my money as if I were impolite to suggest paying. I looked around in bewilderment; this was my familiar market and yet everything had changed. It wasn't just for me—no shopper was paying. I floated through the market with a sense of euphoria. Gratitude was the only currency accepted here. It was all a gift. It was like picking strawberries in my field: the merchants were just the intermediaries passing on gifts from the earth. I looked in my basket: two zucchinis, an onion, tomatoes, bread, and a bunch of cilantro. It was still half empty, but it felt full. I had everything I needed. I glanced over at the cheese stall, thinking to get some, but knowing it would be given, not sold, I decided I could do without. It's funny: Had all the things in the market merely been a very low price, I probably would have scooped up as much as I could. But when everything became a gift, I felt self-restraint. I didn't want to take too much. And I began thinking of what small presents I might bring to the vendors tomorrow. The dream faded, of course, but the feelings of euphoria and then of self-restraint remain. I've thought of it often and recognize now that I was witness there to the conversion of a market economy to a gift economy, from private goods to common wealth. And in that transformation the relationships became as nourishing as the food I was getting. Across the market stalls and blankets, warmth and compassion were changing hands. There was a shared celebration of abundance for all we'd been given. And since every market basket contained a meal, there was justice.
Robin Wall Kimmerer (Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants)
At any rate,’ he continued, ‘we hoped that once the war was over the Oracle might start working again. When it did not … Rachel became concerned.’ ‘Who’s Rachel?’ Meg asked. ‘Rachel Dare,’ I said. ‘The Oracle.’ ‘Thought the Oracle was a place.’ ‘It is.’ ‘Then Rachel is a place, and she stopped working?’ Had I still been a god, I would have turned her into a blue-belly lizard and released her into the wilderness never to be seen again. The thought soothed me. ‘The original Delphi was a place in Greece,’ I told her. ‘A cavern filled with volcanic fumes, where people would come to receive guidance from my priestess, the Pythia.’ ‘Pythia.’ Meg giggled. ‘That’s a funny word.’ ‘Yes. Ha-ha. So the Oracle is both a place and a person. When the Greek gods relocated to America back in … what was it, Chiron, 1860?’ Chiron see-sawed his hand. ‘More or less.’ ‘I brought the Oracle here to continue speaking prophecies on my behalf. The power has passed down from priestess to priestess over the years. Rachel Dare is the present Oracle.’ From the cookie platter, Meg plucked the only Oreo, which I had been hoping to have myself. ‘Mm-kay. Is it too late to watch that movie?’ ‘Yes,’ I snapped. ‘Now, the way I gained possession of the Oracle of Delphi in the first place was by killing this monster called Python who lived in the depths of the cavern.’ ‘A python like the snake,’ Meg said. ‘Yes and no. The snake species is named after Python the monster, who is also rather snaky, but who is much bigger and scarier and devours small girls who talk too much. At any rate, last August, while I was … indisposed, my ancient foe Python was released from Tartarus. He reclaimed the cave of Delphi. That’s why the Oracle stopped working.’ ‘But, if the Oracle is in America now, why does it matter if some snake monster takes over its old cave?’ That was about the longest sentence I had yet heard her speak. She’d probably done it just to spite me. ‘It’s too much to explain,’ I said. ‘You’ll just have to –’ ‘Meg.’ Chiron gave her one of his heroically tolerant smiles. ‘The original site of the Oracle is like the deepest taproot of a tree. The branches and leaves of prophecy may extend across the world, and Rachel Dare may be our loftiest branch, but if the taproot is strangled the whole tree is endangered. With Python back in residence at his old lair, the spirit of the Oracle has been completely blocked.
Rick Riordan (The Hidden Oracle (The Trials of Apollo, #1))
I’m the living dead. I feel no connection to any other human. I have no friends and I don’t really care much about my family any longer. I feel no love for them. I can feel no joy. I’m incapable of feeling physical pleasure. There’s nothing to ever look forward to as a result. I don’t miss anyone or anything. I eat because I feel hunger pangs, but no food tastes like anything I like. I wear a mask when I’m with other people but it’s been slipping lately. I can’t find the energy to hide the heavy weight of survival and its effect on me. I’m exhausted all the time from the effort of just making it through the day. This depression has made a mockery of my memory. It’s in tatters. I have no good memories to sustain me. My past is gone. My present is horrid. My future looks like more of the same. In a way, I’m a man without time. Certainly, there’s no meaning in my life. What meaning can there be without even a millisecond of joy? Ah, scratch that. Let’s even put aside joy and shoot for lower. How about a moment of being content? Nope. Not a chance. I see other people, normal people, who can enjoy themselves. I hear people laughing at something on TV. It makes me cock my head and wonder what that’s like. I’m sure at sometime in my past, I had to have had a wonderful belly laugh. I must have laughed so hard once or twice that my face hurt. Those memories are gone though. Now, the whole concept of “funny” is dead. I stopped going to movies a long time ago. Sitting in a theater crowded with people, every one of them having a better time than you, is incredibly damaging. I wasn’t able to focus for that long anyway. Probably for the best. Sometimes I fear the thought of being normal again. I think I wouldn’t know how to act. How would I handle being able to feel? Gosh it would be nice to feel again. Anything but this terrible, suffocating pain. The sorrow and the misery is so visceral, I find myself clenching my jaw. It physically hurts me. Then I realize that it’s silly to worry about that. You see, in spite of all the meds, the ketamine infusions and other treatments, I’m not getting better. I’m getting worse. I was diagnosed 7 years ago but I’m sure I was suffering for longer. Of course, I can’t remember that, but depression is something that crept up on me. It’s silent and oppressive. I don’t even remember what made me think about going to see someone. But I did and it was a pretty clear diagnosis. So, now what? I keep waking up every morning unfortunately. I don’t fear death any more. That’s for sure. I’ve made some money for the couple of decades I’ve been working and put it away in retirement accounts. I think about how if I was dead that others I once cared for would get that money. Maybe it could at least help them. I don’t know that I’ll ever need it. Even if I don’t end it myself, depression takes a toll on the body. My life expectancy is estimated to be 14 years lower as a result according to the NIH. It won’t be fast enough though. I’m just an empty biological machine that doesn’t know that my soul is gone. My humanity is no more
Ahmed Abdelazeem
It's be suddenly presented with the possibility of making new friends. One begins to accept, at a certain age, that one has already made all the friends to which one is entitled. One becomes used to them as a static set--with some attrition, of course.
Helen Simonson (Major Pettigrew's Last Stand)
Now, Grandma's sixtieth birthday! Long life to her, with three times three!" That was given with a will, as you may well believe, and the cheering once begun, it was hard to stop it. Everybody's health was proposed, from Mr. Laurence, who was considered their special patron, to the astonished guinea pig, who had strayed from its proper sphere in search of its young master. Demi, as the oldest grandchild, then presented the queen of the day with various gifts, so numerous that they were transported to the festive scene in a wheelbarrow. Funny presents, some of them, but what would have been defects to other eyes
Louisa May Alcott (Little Women (Illustrated))
1. Cupid is a squint sniper 2. Imagination is diving into the bottomless depths of madness. 3. A person is not a person, but only another figure. Look at your prison number. These are not numbers on the shirt, but your name. 4. Sleep is a unique museum of our past, present, and future. In which there is a library that stores unique knowledge. 5. Civilization is when a wild wolf becomes an obedient dog of the system. 6. A person does not want to please people, he wants to tease them. 7. Laziness is an adverse reaction to the artificial system of society. 8. Many people have a love with late ignition. 9. Conclusions - these are human tests, that is, blood, urine and feces. They give out a piece of paper that shows which psychological diseases you are sick with. 10. The corpse of truth, is located somewhere at the bottom of the ocean. 11. Because of slang, jargon and swear words. Words will turn into sounds and letters. 12. No matter how much you read, it is important how much you understand. 13. The enemy rules you with your anger. 14. The gloom of loneliness will give either holiness or madness. 15. Love is the blues of sincere feelings. Awakening in reality something paranormal, something supernatural. 16. Madness is when garbage recycling in the head breaks down. 17. Never confuse truth with opinion. 18. Everyone is drunk by his own madness. 19. If people are directed at you: resentment, envy, causticity, sarcasm, anger, aggression, hatred, revenge, rage - know that all this is the sympathy of people, this does not mean that you are a bad person, just very attractive personality. 20. A love couple who is able to constantly forgive each other is doomed to become the happiest couple in the world. 21. Never listen, and never react to someone who does not know and does not understand you. 22. 1. Dear ladies, if your friend advises you to walk, enjoy life, pursue a career, and not think about the feelings of the male? So, she wishes you happy loneliness in middle and old age. 2. Even in the worst, there is something funny. 3. We die exactly as much as the world ceases to be needed. 4. Humanity is drowning in its own shit.
Musin Almat Zhumabekovich
Funny thing," he said sitting in Zeke's kitchen with his wife, "things dat happened long time uhgo used to seem way off, but now it all seems lak it wuz yistiddy. You think it's dead but de past ain't stopped breathin' yet.
Zora Neale Hurston (Jonah's Gourd Vine)
It’s easy to forget that people from the past weren’t the two-dimensional black-and-white photos or line drawings you might encounter in some dry textbooks. They weren’t just gray-faced guys in top hats. They were living, breathing, joking, burping people, who could be happy or sad, funny or boring, cool or the lamest people you ever met in your life. They had no idea they were living in the past. They all thought they were living in the present.
Jennifer Wright (Get Well Soon: History's Worst Plagues and the Heroes Who Fought Them)
Even the most basic CEO building blocks will feel unnatural at first. If your buddy tells you a funny story, it would feel quite weird to evaluate her performance. It would be totally unnatural to say, “Gee, I thought that story really sucked. It had potential, but you were underwhelming on the buildup and then you totally flubbed the punch line. I suggest that you go back, rework it, and present it to me again tomorrow.” Doing so would be quite bizarre, but evaluating people’s performances and constantly giving feedback is precisely what a CEO must do. If she doesn’t, the more complex motions such as writing reviews, taking away territory, handling politics, setting compensation, and firing people will be either impossible or handled rather poorly.
Ben Horowitz (The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers)
At present, the ottoman was occupied by a pair of cats who eyed Alex with blasé effeteness. He stuck his hands in his pockets and eyed them back. "Romeo and Juliet," she told him. "They used to be lovers, but since that visit to the vet they're just friends." "Are they friendly?" he asked, stretching out a hand at Romeo's funny pushed-in face. "They're cats," she said, grinning as Romeo turned up his nose at the outstretched hand. Juliet wasn't interested, either. They poured themselves off the furniture, then minced away. "I think they've been talking to your friends at the restaurant," Alex said. "They don't talk to anyone." She saw him glance at the terrarium on the windowsill. "The turtles are Tristan and Isolde, and their offspring are Heloise and Abelard." "So where are Cleopatra and Mark Antony?" he asked. "In a tomb in Egypt, I imagine. But you can look in the fish tank and see Bonnie and Clyde, Napoleon and Josephine, and Jane and Guildford." He bent and peered into the lighted tank. "Fun couples. Is it a coincidence that they all ended tragically?" "Not a coincidence, just poor judgment." "Isn't it bad karma, naming your pets after doomed lovers?" "I don't think they care.
Susan Wiggs (Summer by the Sea)
I wonder how many miles I've fallen by this time?' she said aloud. 'I must be getting somewhere near the centre of the earth. Let me see: that would be four thousand miles down, I think--' (for, you see, Alice had learnt several things of this sort in her lessons in the schoolroom, and though this was not a VERY good opportunity for showing off her knowledge, as there was no one to listen to her, still it was good practice to say it over) '--yes, that's about the right distance--but then I wonder what Latitude or Longitude I've got to?' (Alice had no idea what Latitude was, or Longitude either, but thought they were nice grand words to say.) Presently she began again. 'I wonder if I shall fall right through the earth! How funny it'll seem to come out among the people that walk with their heads downward! The Antipathies, I think--' (she was rather glad there
Lewis Carroll (Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, #1))
When I was a young and aspiring speaker, I sought mentorship from a man who had been a Dale Carnegie trainer for decades. Eagerly wanting to know how to improve my stage presence and build my career, I contacted Dr. Joe Carnley in Destin, Florida and invited him out to lunch. After we placed our order at the Harbor Docks Restaurant, he dove right in and gave me some of the best advice of my life. He said, “Susan, you have to make them laugh! When they leave your presentations, you want them to feel better and leave happier than when they came in. Help them enjoy your time together.” He continued to describe the magical power that humor has over the human spirit. When we craft humor into our speeches, we can take our audiences on a journey they will never forget. Immediately after our delightful lunch ended, I drove straight to a Books-a-Million store and headed for the humor section. Since I was not a particularly funny person, I needed all the help I could get. For over an hour I stood there reading titles, flipping through funny books, and enjoying outrageous belly laughs, giggles, and snorts. People were staring, and probably thinking, “I want what she is having!” The humor section was one of the smallest in the entire bookstore, but it may well have been the most important. When I turned around, I noticed the opposite aisle was the “Self-Improvement” section. It ran half the length of the store and displayed hundreds of books. At that cathartic moment, I had a huge "Ah-Ha" moment.
Susan C. Young (The Art of Connection: 8 Ways to Enrich Rapport & Kinship for Positive Impact (The Art of First Impressions for Positive Impact, #6))
Follow your heart, but take your brain with you!" After buying an armload of funny books filled with clean jokes, one-liners, and speech openers, I discovered how truly "spot-on" Joe had been. Inserting humorous zingers throughout my programs has worked like a charm and improved my presentation skills.
Susan C. Young (The Art of Connection: 8 Ways to Enrich Rapport & Kinship for Positive Impact (The Art of First Impressions for Positive Impact, #6))
Expand Your Repertoire . . . Professional humorists and comedians, like Jeanie Robertson, maintain joke files filled with assorted topics, anecdotes, and titles. When something outrageously funny happens, she makes a note of it, puts it away, and saves it for the day she can integrate it into her hilarious presentations.
Susan C. Young (The Art of Connection: 8 Ways to Enrich Rapport & Kinship for Positive Impact (The Art of First Impressions for Positive Impact, #6))
Okey." Charming leaned back and rocked the chair on two legs. "Let's asses the situation. We've got a fourteen-fot green-spiked dragon, male, possible in molt, chipped upper-left fang missing one claw on the right hind foot, three claws each on the other foots, chested head, dorsal ridge, apparently healthy, containintly vicios. Presently aspleep in a confined space." "um," said Ann, "That's about the way I see it too.
John Moore (Slay and Rescue)
Create New Pictures We can create new mental movies whenever we choose to do so. And when we develop (and concentrate on) new images that evoke powerful feelings and sensations, we’ll act in ways that support those new pictures! So, the first step is to create an image of your desired outcome. You are limited only by your imagination. As you know, most people are terrified about public speaking. In survey after survey, it is listed as the #1 fear that people have—ranked ahead of the fear of death! So, when most people are asked to even consider making a speech, what kinds of pictures do they run through their minds? They see themselves standing nervously in front of the audience. Perhaps they’re having trouble remembering what they want to say. Run these images over and over on your mental screen and you can be sure that you won’t have much success as a speaker! Instead, form a picture in your mind in which you’re confidently giving your presentation. The audience members are listening to your every word. You look sharp. Your delivery is smooth. You tell a funny story and the audience is laughing. At the end, you get a warm round of applause. People come up afterward to congratulate you. Do you see how these kinds of mental images can help you to become a better speaker? Recognize, however, that the pictures in your mind are not fulfilled overnight. But, by being patient and by persistently focusing on these mental images, you’ll automatically start acting in ways that support your vision.
Jeff Keller (Attitude Is Everything: Change Your Attitude ... Change Your Life!)
What’s Santa called when he takes a rest while delivering presents? A: Santa pause!
Jimmy Giggles (Christmas Jokes for Kids: Funny and Hilarious Christmas Jokes (Best Jokes for Kids))
Funny how things work out that way, how we inadvertently become that which we will ourselves not to be simply by wishing not to be that particular thing. Isn’t that adulthood? Doing that which you do not enjoy so that you might have the time and means to do the things you do enjoy? So many people working to live and living to work and forgetting to simply live. Childhood was existing for the moment, without care or worry, and the ever-present possibility of magic. Can’t forget the magic.
Edward Lorn (The Bedding of Boys)
It’s funny, how fast life changes. One minute you are present, and the next, you might find yourself futilely trying to get back to the world you were once part of. You might find yourself looking for people who can no longer hear you. You are in the world, but not of it.
Jodi Picoult (Where There's Smoke)
It is against the law to use polar bear meat to make burgers.
Jeffrey Fisher (Stupid Laws of Canada: Funny Canadian Laws from the Past and Present)
You’re really going to kick me out?” “Yes, I really am.” Mrs. Wattlesbrook folded her arms. Jane bit her lip and bent her head back to look at the sky. Funny that it looked so far away. It felt as if it were pressing down on her head, shoving her into the dirt. What a mean bully of a sky. Much of the household was present now. Miss Heartwright was huddled with the main actors, whispering, like rubberneckers shocked at a roadside accident but unable to look away. A couple of gardeners strolled up as well, tools in hand. Martin wiped his brow, confusion (sadness?) heavy on his face. Jane was embarrassed to see him, remembering how she’d ended things, and feeling less than appealing at the moment. The whole scene was rather Hester Prynne, and Jane imagined herself on a scaffold with a scarlet C for “cell phone” on her chest. She realized she was still holding her croquet mallet and wondered that no one felt threatened by her. She hefted it. Would it be fun to bash in a window? Nah. She handed it to Miss Charming. “Go get ‘em, Charming.” “Okay,” Miss Charming said uncertainly. “If you would be so kind as to step into the carriage,” said Mrs. Wattlesbrook. Curse the woman. Jane had just started to have such fun, too. Why didn’t one of the gentlemen come forward to defend her? Wasn’t that, like, their whole purpose of existence? She supposed they’d be fired if they did. The cowards. She stood on the carriage’s little step and turned to face the others. She’d never left a relationship with the last word, something poetic and timeless, triumphant amid her downfall. Oh, for a perfect line! She opened her mouth, hoping something just right would come to her, but Miss Heartwright spoke first. “Mrs. Wattlesbrook! Oh dear, I have only now realized what transpired.” She lifted the hem of her skirts and minced her way to the carriage. “Please wait, this is all my fault. Poor Miss Erstwhile was only doing me a favor. You see, the modern contraption was mine. I did not realize I had it until I arrived, and I was so distressed, Miss Erstwhile kindly offered to keep it for me among her own things where I would not have to look upon it.” Jane stood very still. She thought to wonder what instinct made her body rigid when shocked. Was she prey by nature? A rabbit afraid to move when a hawk wheels overhead? Mrs. Wattlesbrook had not moved either, not even to blink. A silent minute limped forward as everyone waited. “I see,” the proprietress said at last. She looked at Jane, at Miss Heartwright, then fumbled with the keys at her side. “Well, now, ahem, since it was an accident, I think we should forget it ever happened. I do hope, Miss Heartwright, that you will continue to honor us with your presence.” Ah, you old witch, Jane thought. “Yes, of course, thank you.” Miss Heartwright was in her best form, all proper feminine concern, artless and pleasant. Her eyes twinkled. They really did. Everyone began to move off, nothing disturbing left to view. Jane caught a glimpse of Martin smiling, pleased, before he turned away. “I’m so sorry, Jane. I do hope you will forgive me.” “Please don’t mention it, Miss Heartwright.” “Amelia.” She held Jane’s hand to help her descend from the carriage. “You must call me Amelia now.” “Thank you, Amelia.” It was such a sisterly moment, Jane thought they might actually embrace. They didn’t.
Shannon Hale (Austenland (Austenland, #1))
Ohio is a scale model of the entire country, jammed into 43,000 square miles. Cleveland views itself as the intellectual East (its citizens believe they have a rivalry with Boston and unironically classify the banks of Lake Erie as the North Coast). Cincinnati is the actual South (they fly Confederate flags and eat weird food). Dayton is the Midwest. Toledo is Pittsburgh, before Pittsburgh was nice. Columbus is a low-altitude Denver, minus the New World Order airport. Ohio experiences all possible US weather, sometimes simultaneously.
Chuck Klosterman (But What If We're Wrong? Thinking About the Present As If It Were the Past)
Lord Charles?" "Amy."  He smiled sleepily and rose up on one elbow, the blanket sliding down one shoulder.  "Good morning." Temporary silence.  Charles was unaware that Amy had a friend with her, and he was totally oblivious to the sight he presented to the two girls, his hair tousled by sleep, his pale blue eyes clear as aquamarine as a shaft of sunlight drove through the window and caught him full in the face.  A sighted man would, of course, have squinted; Charles did not, and instead, Mira and Amy were treated to a brilliant, wide-open view of clear, intelligent eyes, romantically down turned at the outer corners and fringed by long straight lashes tinged with gold. "Hell and tarnation above, Amy, ye sure weren't jokin'!  He's bleedin' gorgeous!" "Mira!" cried Amy, horrified. Charles was hard-pressed to hide his amusement.  He knew, of course, or had at least suspected, that Amy had a girlish infatuation for him, and he'd tried his best not to embarrass her by calling attention to it.  He determined not to do so now. "And whom do I have the pleasure of addressing?" he asked, still supporting himself on one elbow and blinking the sleep from his eyes. Mira, standing there with her mouth open, was transfixed by that slow, deliberate blink.  In a heartbeat, she saw what Amy had described:  studied thoughtfulness, kindness, compassion.  The way the man lowered those long eyelashes over those translucently clear eyes, then slowly brought them back up again, did something funny to her insides.  Cripes, no wonder Amy was smitten! "Mira Ashton, patriot," she announced.  "I'm Amy's friend.  She tells me ye're a blasted Brit who took it upon himself to be merciful to Will, so I guess I'll take it upon myself to be merciful to you.  Besides, I hear ye're being nice to Amy, and since everyone else in this house treats her like donkey dung, I figger the least I can do is be civil to ye — redcoat or not." "Mira!" Amy gasped. "Well, it's true.  Where are those two bleedin' leeches, anyhow?" Despite himself, and his irritation with both the girl's language and her rather vexing use of the word "Brit," Charles got to his feet and bowed, his spirits suddenly quite buoyed.  If Amy had friends like this, maybe he shouldn't be worrying about her, after all. "Still in bed, I daresay," he said.
Danelle Harmon (The Beloved One (The De Montforte Brothers, #2))
I flew back to the States in December of 1992 with conflicting emotions. I was excited to see my family and friends. But I was sad to be away from Steve. Part of the problem was that the process didn’t seem to make any sense. First I had to show up in the States and prove I was actually present, or I would never be allowed to immigrate back to Australia. And, oh yeah, the person to whom I had to prove my presence was not, at the moment, present herself. Checks for processing fees went missing, as did passport photos, certain signed documents. I had to obtain another set of medical exams, blood work, tuberculosis tests, and police record checks--and in response, I got lots of “maybe’s” and “come back tomorrow’s.” It would have been funny, in a surreal sort of way, if I had not been missing Steve so much. This was when we should have still been in our honeymoon days, not torn apart. A month stretched into six weeks. Steve and I tried keeping our love alive through long-distance calls, but I realized that Steve informing me over the phone that “our largest reticulated python died” or “the lace monitors are laying eggs” was no substitute for being with him. It was frustrating. There was no point in sitting still and waiting, so I went back to work with the flagging business. When my visa finally came, it had been nearly two months, and it felt like Christmas morning. That night we had a good-bye party at the restaurant my sister owned, and my whole family came. Some brought homemade cookies, others brought presents, and we had a celebration. Although I knew I would miss everyone, I was ready to go home. Home didn’t mean Oregon to me anymore. It meant, simply, by Steve’s side. When I arrived back at the zoo, we fell in love all over again. Steve and I were inseparable. Our nights were filled with celebrating our reunion. The days were filled with running the zoo together, full speed ahead. Crowds were coming in bigger than ever before. We enjoyed yet another record-breaking day for attendance. Rehab animals poured in too: joey kangaroos, a lizard with two broken legs, an eagle knocked out by poison. My heart was full. It felt good to be back at work. I had missed my animal friends--the kangaroos, cassowaries, and crocodiles.
Terri Irwin (Steve & Me)
So they went out for a walk. They went through narrow, lightless lanes, where houses that were silent but gave out smells of fish and boiled rice stood on either side of the road. There was not a single tree in sight; no breeze and no sound but the vaguely musical humming of mosquitoes. Once, an ancient taxi wheezed past, taking a short-cut through the lane into the main road, like a comic vintage car passing through a film-set showing the Twenties into the film-set of the present, passing from black and white into colour. But why did these houses – for instance, that one with the tall, ornate iron gates and a watchman dozing on a stool, which gave the impression that the family had valuables locked away inside, or that other one with the small porch and the painted door, which gave the impression that whenever there was a feast or a wedding all the relatives would be invited, and there would be so many relatives that some of them, probably the young men and women, would be sitting bunched together on the cramped porch because there would be no more space inside, talking eloquently about something that didn’t really require eloquence, laughing uproariously at a joke that wasn’t really very funny, or this next house with an old man relaxing in his easy-chair on the verandah, fanning himself with a local Sunday newspaper, or this small, shabby house with the girl Sandeep glimpsed through a window, sitting in a bare, ill-furnished room, memorising a text by candlelight, repeating suffixes and prefixes from a Bengali grammar over and over to herself – why did these houses seem to suggest that an infinitely interesting story might be woven around them? And yet the story would never be a satisfying one, because the writer, like Sandeep, would be too caught up in jotting down the irrelevances and digressions that make up lives, and the life of a city, rather than a good story – till the reader would shout "Come to the point!" – and there would be no point, except the girl memorising the rules of grammar, the old man in the easy-chair fanning himself, and the house with the small, empty porch which was crowded, paradoxically, with many memories and possibilities. The "real" story, with its beginning, middle and conclusion, would never be told, because it did not exist.
Amit Chaudhuri (A Strange and Sublime Address)
When Aaron got sick twelve years ago and our whole world began to fall apart, I promised myself I would never forget the person he had been, but it was a promise I found hard to keep. He had a rare neurodegenerative disease that turned him into someone who, except for rare and treasured moments, was barely recognizable as the man I had been married to for almost my entire adult life. The illness first presented with personality and mood changes. Cognitive loss followed. Aaron had symptoms of almost every psychiatric problem I had ever heard of, including depression, paranoia, and obsessive compulsive disorder. He could be irrational and belligerent. He rarely slept and often insisted on leaving the house in the middle of the night to wander the streets. The circumspect and dignified man I married now acted out in public, sometimes attracting a crowd of curious observers or menacing passersby with his strange behavior. Aaron's illness was prolonged, and we lurched from crisis to crisis. My husband grew frail, developing medical complications and eventually life-threatening problems that resulted in frequent hospitalizations. I was exhausted, depressed, and overwhelmed. Through all of this, I sometimes got a glimpse of the old Aaron – loving, caring, and funny – and promised myself I would remember those moments. But, like my memories of him before he became ill, they kept slipping and sliding away as I scrambled to deal with each new crisis that arose. I suppose you might say I became a widow in stages.
Joan Zlotnick (Griefwriting)
What I'm saying is that this kind of film has two very important things for me: it really deals with the kind of relationship I wish to have with filming: editing, meeting people, giving the film shape, a specific shape, in which both the objective and subjective are present. The objective is the facts, society's facts, and the subjective is how I feel about that, or how I can make it funny or sad or poignant. Making a film like this is a way of living. It's not just a product.
Agnès Varda (Agnes Varda: Interviews)
People did not choose between things. They chose between descriptions of things. Economists, and anyone else who wanted to believe that human beings were rational, could rationalize, or try to rationalize, loss aversion. But how did you rationalize this? Economists assumed that you could simply measure what people wanted from what they chose. But what if what you want changes with the context in which the options are offered to you? “It was a funny point to make because the point within psychology would have been banal,” the psychologist Richard Nisbett later said. “Of course we are affected by how the decision is presented!
Michael Lewis (The Undoing Project: A Friendship That Changed Our Minds)
Why did you take it out of the window and hang up some old socks instead?” Peter asked. Uncle Jim laughed. “The stockings are for Christmas presents.” “Who’d want socks for Christmas?” Peter asked. “Not as a present! They hold presents. You know, lemon drops for your sisters…chocolates for your mother…” Jim said. Peter gave Jim a funny smile. “I don’t know if I’d want lemon drops after they’d been in one of my socks.
Rick Osborne (The Legend of the Christmas Stocking)
The preponderance of canned laughter on the American boob tube presents the viewer with a conundrum of three choices without the possibility of answering incorrectly. 1. The material is not that funny. 2. The audience is really that stupid. 3. Both 1 and 2.
David Gustafson
It is funny to think our perceptions of the world change second to second as we continue to experience more of it. And that everyone is creating their own meaning and purpose with every second that they experience. It seems impossible not to get caught up, or lost, in those moments of constantly change and we as imperfect beings surely interpret our reality in false ways because no one can know the actual truth of the world only their perception of it. The actual truth of what is best for them is always an idea. The people that say that they live in the moment, as most people do, are often forgetting that the moment in the present should be used to progress. Successes and failures are only understood in moments in the future, based on the present, during moments of clarity in retrospect. For this reason, I think its important to forgive people in order to give ourselves freedom.
Apollo Figueiredo (A Laugh in the Spoke)
An Outside Context Problem was the sort of thing most civilisations encountered just once, and which they tended to encounter rather in the same way a sentence encountered a full stop. The usual example given to illustrate an Outside Context Problem was imagining you were a tribe on a largish, fertile island; you’d tamed the land, invented the wheel or writing or whatever, the neighbours were cooperative or enslaved but at any rate peaceful and you were busy raising temples to yourself with all the excess productive capacity you had, you were in a position of near-absolute power and control which your hallowed ancestors could hardly have dreamed of and the whole situation was just running along nicely like a canoe on wet grass . . . when suddenly this bristling lump of iron appears sailless and trailing steam in the bay and these guys carrying long funny-looking sticks come ashore and announce you’ve just been discovered, you’re all subjects of the Emperor now, he’s keen on presents called tax and these bright-eyed holy men would like a word with your priests. That was an Outside Context Problem; so was the suitably up-teched version that happened to whole planetary civilisations when somebody like the Affront chanced upon them first rather than, say, the Culture.
Iain M. Banks (Excession (Culture, #5))
When hit in the stomach by a line drive, he wrote his parents that it was "to the great annoyance of that intricate organ, and to the great delight of all present.
Jean Edward Smith (FDR)
What a funny thing to do,” said the grandmother. “I don’t think much of books for a wedding-present. Nobody ever gave me any books when I was married. I should never have read them if they had.
Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)
when Arnold Schoenberg replied to a student who had dreamed of composing a “soaring melody,” that the proper word, surely, was “snoring.” Such puns could be funny, cruel, and tone-deaf (in seven nations and twelve tones), comments of exasperation as often as they were attempts at endearment.
Anthony Heilbut (Exiled in Paradise: German Refugee Artists and Intellectuals in America from the 1930s to the Present)
Her speeches were about the sanctity of the home, about how women should stay home. Serena Joy didn't do this herself, she made speeches instead, but she presented this failure of hers as a sacrifice she was making for the good of all. Around that time, someone tried to shoot her and missed; her secretary, who was standing right behind her, was killed instead. Someone else planted a bomb in her car but it went off too early. Though some people said she'd put the bomb in her own car, for sympathy. That's how hot things were getting. Luke and I would watch her sometimes on the late-night news. Bathrobes, nightcaps. We'd watch her sprayed hair and her hysteria, and the tears she could still produce at will, and the mascara blackening her cheeks. By that time she was wearing more makeup. We thought she was funny. Or Luke thought she was funny. I only pretended to think so. Really she was a little frightening. She was in earnest.
Margaret Atwood (The Handmaid's Tale)
10 Ideas For Transforming Advertising 1. No cranberry bagels at meetings. No exceptions. 2. While on duty, copywriters required to wear those Peruvian knit hats with the funny earflaps. 3. Reinstatement of the three martini lunch. After a 6-month trial period, optional upgrade to four. 4. Confiscate all computers and baseball caps from art directors. 5. Use of the following terms will be considered justifiable cause for termination: ecosystem, conversation, engagement, landscape, seared ahi tuna, and quirky. 6. When making presentations, account planners must dress up as pirates and hop around on one foot. 7. Breakthrough idea for tv spots: Animals that talk! 8. Criminalize all products containing pomegranates or acai berries. 9.  Increase touch points from 360 degrees to 380 degrees. 10. Require Sir Martin Sorrell to walk around with his weenie out.
Bob Hoffman (101 Contrarian Ideas About Advertising)
It’s funny, how fast life changes. One minute you are present, and the next, you might find yourself futilely trying to get back to the world you were once part of. You might find yourself looking for people who can no longer hear you. You are in the world, but not of
Jodi Picoult (Where There's Smoke)
suddenly this bristling lump of iron appears sailless and trailing steam in the bay and these guys carrying long funny-looking sticks come ashore and announce you've just been discovered, you're all subjects of the Emperor now, he's keen on presents called tax and these bright-eyed holy men would like a word with your priests. That was an Outside Context Problem;
So back over the sledding hill, across the iced-up pond, past the snowman with the funny hat, under the giant shimmering icicles and up the snowy back lane back to you; yes YOU,are you missing out on anything right NOW while thinking about tomorrow?
Sarah Lawrence (Christmas Eve, Eve!: How Katie found the best present of all, The Present Moment (Motivational Stories for Children Collection Book 2))
One of the reasons Kay laughs so much now is because in the beginning, when Phil was drinking and they didn’t have much money, there wasn’t a lot of laughing going on. But now we laugh at almost everything together. On our birthdays, Kay likes to send us very random cards, like Earth Day or graduation cards. Her favorite thing to do at Christmas is to give us gag gifts. After we’ve exchanged gifts as a family, she’ll give everybody a joke gift. Kay will often forget why she thought it was funny when she bought it. She’ll give someone salt and pepper shakers and won’t even remember why she gave them! Of course, Kay’s gift always say they’re from her dogs. If you get a present from her rat terriers-or some random famous person whose name is on the tag-you know it’s actually one of Kay’s gag gifts. Every one of Kay’s rat terriers has been named Jesse James or some version of his name, because if one dies she’ll still have another one with her. Somehow, that helps her cope with the trauma of losing one of her pets. She’s had like twenty of those dogs and they’ve all been named Jesse, JJ, or Jesse James II. She calls one of her dogs Bo-Bo, but his real name is Jesse James.
Willie Robertson (The Duck Commander Family)
me in bed—with a honeymoon present. Some of them were small, some were funny jokes, and some were extravagant, but every present came straight
James Patterson (Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas)
Graham went to the gym to work out, as he does almost every day. There's a pile of unfolded clothes on the couch beside me and a bag of cheese puffs in my lap. I love it when he goes to the gym, if only because I can be the massive sloth I naturally am in peace. If he were here, he'd be eyeing up my laundry and staring at the edible garbage in my lap and on my fingers, internally freaking out over the possibility of powdery cheese getting on the furniture. One hand in the bag, one hand wrapped around the stem of my wine glass—this is my idea of perfection. 'Girls Chase Boys' by Ingrid Michaelson is presently keeping me company from the stereo system. When my phone rings from where it resides on the back of the couch, I jump and send the bag flying. Orange confetti falls to the floor and I swallow, knowing I am so dead if Graham walks in the door right now. “What?” is my less than friendly greeting. “What'd you do?” How does he know me so well? I guess because he made me. “I just let off a bomb of cheese puffs. Although, technically, I'm blaming it on you since it was your phone call that scared me into dumping the bag over.” “Your mother is knitting again.” Eyes glued to the orange blobs on the pale carpet, I reply, “Oh? I'm sure it's marvelous, whatever it is.” Are they seeping into the carpet as I watch, even now becoming an irremovable part of it? Graham is going to majorly freak out over this. “Looks like a yellow condom.” I choke on nothing. “I have to go, Dad.” He grunts a goodbye. I fling the phone away and dive to my knees, hurriedly scooping up the abused deliciousness into my hands. Of course this is when Graham decides to come home—when my ass is in the air facing the door and I look like I'm eating processed food off the floor. I groan and let my head fall forward, smashing a cheese puff with my forehead. He doesn't say anything for a really, really long time, and I refuse to move or look at him, so it gets sort of awkward. “Never thought I'd come home to this scene. Ever.” Just to rile him up, I shove a cheese puff in my mouth and chomp away. “I can't believe you just ate that!” I get to my feet as I pop another into my mouth. “Mmm.” Graham's face is twisted with horror, his backpack dropping to the floor. Sweat clings to him in a delicious way, his hair damp with it. “Do you know how dirty the carpet is?” “You clean it almost every day. It can't be that dirty.” “I don't get everything out of it!” he exclaims, slapping the remaining puffs from my hands. “Go brush your teeth. No. Wait. Induce vomiting. Immediately.” I look at him and laugh. “You're crazy.” “Just...go drink water or something. I'll clean this up.” “I am perfectly capable of cleaning up my own messes.” He just looks at me. “Okay, so not as well as you, but still.” He remains mute. “Fine.” I toss my hands in the air and carefully walk over the splotches of orange beneath me. As I leave the living room, I pause by a framed photograph of a lemon tree, sliding it off-center on the wall. “I saw that,” he calls after me. “Just giving you something to do!” I smirk as I saunter into the bathroom. “I'll give you something to do.” I cock my head at that, wondering if that was meant to be sexual or not. I'm thinking not. I flip the light switch up in the bathroom and scream. Even with the distance between us, I can hear him laughing. The mirror is covered in what looks like blood, spelling out R – E – D. I put my face close to it and sniff. Ketchup. What a waste of a good condiment. “Not funny!” “So funny!
Lindy Zart (Roomies)
About 41 percent of mothers are primary breadwinners and earn the majority of their family’s income. Another 23 percent of mothers are co-breadwinners, contributing at least a quarter of the family’s earnings.30 The number of women supporting families on their own is increasing quickly; between 1973 and 2006, the proportion of families headed by a single mother grew from one in ten to one in five.31 These numbers are dramatically higher in Hispanic and African-American families. Twenty-seven percent of Latino children and 51 percent of African-American children are being raised by a single mother.32 Our country lags considerably behind others in efforts to help parents take care of their children and stay in the workforce. Of all the industrialized nations in the world, the United States is the only one without a paid maternity leave policy.33 As Ellen Bravo, director of the Family Values @ Work consortium, observed, most “women are not thinking about ‘having it all,’ they’re worried about losing it all—their jobs, their children’s health, their families’ financial stability—because of the regular conflicts that arise between being a good employee and a responsible parent.”34 For many men, the fundamental assumption is that they can have both a successful professional life and a fulfilling personal life. For many women, the assumption is that trying to do both is difficult at best and impossible at worst. Women are surrounded by headlines and stories warning them that they cannot be committed to both their families and careers. They are told over and over again that they have to choose, because if they try to do too much, they’ll be harried and unhappy. Framing the issue as “work-life balance”—as if the two were diametrically opposed—practically ensures work will lose out. Who would ever choose work over life? The good news is that not only can women have both families and careers, they can thrive while doing so. In 2009, Sharon Meers and Joanna Strober published Getting to 50/50, a comprehensive review of governmental, social science, and original research that led them to conclude that children, parents, and marriages can all flourish when both parents have full careers. The data plainly reveal that sharing financial and child-care responsibilities leads to less guilty moms, more involved dads, and thriving children.35 Professor Rosalind Chait Barnett of Brandeis University did a comprehensive review of studies on work-life balance and found that women who participate in multiple roles actually have lower levels of anxiety and higher levels of mental well-being.36 Employed women reap rewards including greater financial security, more stable marriages, better health, and, in general, increased life satisfaction.37 It may not be as dramatic or funny to make a movie about a woman who loves both her job and her family, but that would be a better reflection of reality. We need more portrayals of women as competent professionals and happy mothers—or even happy professionals and competent mothers. The current negative images may make us laugh, but they also make women unnecessarily fearful by presenting life’s challenges as insurmountable. Our culture remains baffled: I don’t know how she does it. Fear is at the root of so many of the barriers that women face. Fear of not being liked. Fear of making the wrong choice. Fear of drawing negative attention. Fear of overreaching. Fear of being judged. Fear of failure. And the holy trinity of fear: the fear of being a bad mother/wife/daughter.
Sheryl Sandberg (Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead)
Gothic is the genre of fear. Our fascination with it is almost always revived during times of instability and panic. In the wake of the French Revolution, the Marquis de Sade described the rise of the genre as 'the inevitable product of the revolutionary shock with which the whole of Europe resounded,' and literary critics in the late eighteenth century mocked the work of early gothic writers Anne Radcliffe and Matthew Lewis by referring to it as 'the terrorist school' of writing. As Fred Botting writes in Gothic, his lucid introduction to the genre, it expresses our unresolved feelings about 'the nature of power, law, society, family and sexuality' and yet is extremely concerned with issues of social disintegration and collapse. It's preoccupied with all that is immoral, fantastic, suspenseful, and sensational and yet prone to promoting middle-class values. It's interested in transgression, but it's ultimately more interested in restitution; it alludes to the past yet is carefully attuned to the present; it's designed to evoke excessive emotion, yet it's thoroughly ambivalent; it's the product of revolution and upheaval, yet it endeavors to contain their forces; it's terrifying, but pretty funny. And, importantly, the gothic always reflects the anxieties of its age in an appropriate package, so that by the nineteenth century, familiar tropes representing external threats like crumbling castles, aristocratic villains, and pesky ghosts had been swallowed and interiorized. In the nineteenth century, gothic horrors were more concerned with madness, disease, moral depravity, and decay than with evil aristocrats and depraved monks. Darwin's theories, the changing roles of women in society, and ethical issues raised by advances in science and technology haunted the Victorian gothic, and the repression of these fears returned again and again in the form of guilt, anxiety, and despair. 'Doubles, alter egos, mirrors, and animated representations of the disturbing parts of human identity became the stock devices,' Botting writes, 'signifying the alienation of the human subject from the culture and language in which s/he is located.' In the transition from modernity to post-modernity, the very idea of culture as something stable and real is challenged, and so postmodern gothic freaks itself out by dismantling modernist grand narratives and playing games. In the twentieth century, 'Gothic [was] everywhere and nowhere,' and 'narrative forms and devices spill[ed] over from worlds of fantasy and fiction into real and social spheres.
Carina Chocano (You Play the Girl: On Playboy Bunnies, Stepford Wives, Train Wrecks, & Other Mixed Messages)
I apologize. I feel I’ve let you down somehow with my tales of reasonable and efficient travel. I’m sure if I’d been Bill Bryson my taxi driver would have told me a funny story, or something. I’m afraid mine simply listened to the BBC London and was outraged by everything the presenter was saying. He did spit when he talked, though, if that’s any use to you.
Danny Wallace (Join Me!)
Don’t worry,” she said, wriggling an impossibly tiny toe. “Your daddy will protect you with his forty-five.” “Very funny,” said a weary voice at her side, as Steven sat on the edge of the bed, his face ghastly pale in the first light of a rainy dawn. “What’s her name?” he asked presently, looking down at his daughter. “Lily or Caroline?” “Both,” Emma answered, and five days later Lily Caroline Fairfax was formally christened and a party was held in her honor. As
Linda Lael Miller (Emma And The Outlaw (Orphan Train, #2))
She thinks about that now. Is grief the price? Why does love have to be so costly? The benefits she has reaped from this love, have they been enough? When she had just Daisy toddling around, an older woman had said to her, “I think by the time they’re two, kids have repaid their parents for everything. They give us so much joy in just those first two years of their life. All the worrying and misery that might come after is just paying the piper.” Margaret, then a frizzled first-time mom, wondered what the woman was talking about. But now she thinks she knows. She’s had these moments, a nestling child in her arms, a kiss and a deep inhale of the heady sent of a sleeping baby, a laugh of pure joy shared with her husband at something funny that has been said by an unknowing innocent – she has had so, so many of these moments. Her life has been rich with those moments. She is grateful for them. She wants to remember and honor them. This is such a moment, she realizes. Sitting here, on the beach, with the warm sand beneath and the bright sun above, with Clarke and two of her children present, she feels something like a brief moment of contentment. You don’t win anything for being the saddest the longest, Dr. Stein has said. There’s no prize for being the most miserable. You are not betraying anyone by trying to live a better life. You are not giving up on anyone. I’m not telling you to be happy. I’m telling you that it’s okay to have moments when you’re not sad. You can laugh, maybe once a month, maybe twice. It’s okay. Here’s the thing. You think only one specific event, one miracle, will make things better, but actually life will get better if you only let it. You have to let life get better. You have to for your family’s sake, and for your sake. You don’t think your happiness matters, but it does. It matters for your family. They can’t be happy unless you see that you have the ability to be. Time will help. It can be agonizingly slow, but it always does. Forward. Onward. Those are the directions she has to follow. Remember this moment, she thinks fiercely. Hold onto it. - The Expatriates
Janet Y.K. Lee
To create your comedic MAPP, you start with the purpose. Why are you writing humor? Is it to motivate or to entertain? Is the humor for a speech, a presentation, a comedy gig, or the classroom? The purpose gives direction and meaning to the material.
Mark Shatz (Comedy Writing Secrets: The Best-Selling Guide to Writing Funny and Getting Paid for It)
Wedding presents Charles and I went around the General Trading Company [a fashionable gift store frequented by the Establishment]. Looking back on it was quite a funny thing to do--so Sloane!
Andrew Morton (Diana: Her True Story in Her Own Words)
Suddenly, there’s a movement down by my belly. I look down. Pete’s lap is moving? “Seriously, Pete,” I say. “This is not the place.” He chuckles and drops onto a sofa. The hand warmer of his hoodie is wiggling, moving up and down. “Why don’t you come and see what I got for you?” he says, waggling his eyebrows. A laugh escapes my throat, even though I say, “That is so not funny.” “Come on, little girl,” he taunts. “Come and see what’s in my pocket.” His hoodie is definitely wiggling, and there’s something in there. I go sit beside him, and he arches his hips toward me when I reach out and press gently on the lump. “Keep going,” he says. His voice is suddenly hoarse. I reach into the side of the pocket and feel a cold nose sniff my hand. I lift the edge and look down. “What’s that?” I ask, but I’m already smiling. “That’s your present,” he says. He’s still smirking. “I just got back from the vet with her. She got deflead and dewormed and had her ears cleaned and got tested for kitty diseases. She’s healthy.” He pulls her out, and she’s so tiny she fits in the palm of his hand. “I got a litter box and some food and stuff, too,” he says. He’s watching me, almost like he’s waiting for me to shove it at him and start screaming. She’s teeny weenie, and she has orange hair. “What’s her name?” I ask. He shrugs. “That’s up to you.” “Ginger,” I say. “She’s a Ginger.” I lift her to my cheek, and she nuzzles me. “Is she really mine?” “Well,” he says, grinning, “If I wanted some pussy of my own, I would just ask for some.” I startle. But then I realize what he said is so freaking ludicrous that I start to laugh. It’s a deep belly laugh, and I can barely catch my breath. I lean over and kiss him. “You want some, all you have to do is ask,” I say. He growls low in his throat and pulls me in so he can kiss me.
Tammy Falkner (Calmly, Carefully, Completely (The Reed Brothers, #3))
paces. ‘She can’t do that.’ ‘She can and she is. She’s renting a cottage. I don’t know how long for.’ She takes hold of my wrist and grips it so tightly that her nails pierce my skin. ‘I have to stop her.’ ‘Monica! You need to keep this in perspective!’ I extract my wrist from her fingers and shake her gently. ‘I know she brings back memories of your parents and I know that hurts, but now, in the present, you have nothing to fear from Orla.’ Her eyes say otherwise and as she looks into mine I see that she is close to telling me something. ‘What is it, Monica? What is it?’ My scalp tingles. ‘Is it about Rose?’ Her eyes glaze over. ‘I was warned about this. I was warned—’ ‘What are you talking about? Warned by whom?’ ‘Grace!’ she hisses. ‘Do you have any idea how much damage she could do?’ I give a short laugh, not because it’s funny but because I have to let some emotion out. ‘The status quo should never be underestimated. Life, ticking along. It might seem boring at times but . . .’ She looks up to the right and seems to pluck her words from the air. ‘Orla is dangerous. She will cause havoc and then she will leave. We have to stop her.’ ‘Believe me, I don’t want her around either.’ I take her hand. ‘Tell me what’s troubling you.’ ‘I can’t.’ She pulls free. ‘I can’t break a confidence.’ She takes a few steps backward. ‘Can you find out what Orla wants? Can you do that?’ I already have. ‘I’ll do my best.’ I try to look optimistic. ‘I’ll let you know.’ ‘Good.’ She recovers her composure and gives me an awkward hug. ‘I may not have been popular at school, my home life was in meltdown, but hey!’ She looks around her, takes
Julie Corbin (Tell Me No Secrets)
In 1969 the Swedish folklorist Bengt Olsson and his partner, Peter Mahlin, spent a summer loitering around Beale Street in Memphis, interviewing and recording blues musicians. I'm certain it was hot, thankless work. In 1970, Olsson compiled some of those interviews into a short, now long-out-of-print book called Memphis Blues. In it, Olsson recounts a conversation with the guitarist Furry Lewis, who was born in Greenwood, Mississippi, in 1893 and come up playing blues with the Memphis legend W.C. Handy. Olsson never did much editorializing on the page - he just presented the material he'd collected - but there's a quote toward the end of the Lewis chapter that's become lodged permanently in my cortex, repeating endlessly like a koan: 'The people I used to play around with, they all done died out,' Lewis tells Olsson. 'And sometimes I get scared myself, 'cause it look like to me it gonna be mine next. You know, it's a funny thing, but you can do a thing for a-many years, and all of them die out and you still here,' he continued. 'And you know, that's more than a notion if you come up and just think about it.' I had thought about it. And I knew they were all still here, together, etched into shellac, tucked into sleeves. I could hear them.
Amanda Petrusich (Do Not Sell at Any Price: The Wild, Obsessive Hunt for the World's Rarest 78rpm Records)
there are three very general fat person tropes that I personally find to be very present and harmful: the Stupid Fat Person, the Funny Fat Person, and the Evil Fat Person.
Jes Baker (Things No One Will Tell Fat Girls: A Handbook for Unapologetic Living)
I’m annoyed by the lack of smoking on TV as well. It’s terrible. It’s funny seeing old interviewers lighting up, the likes of Russell Harty pulling on a Three Castles or a State Express or a Churchman Full Strength or a Passing Cloud. I think it’s a shame that we don’t get to see this any more. We should have more ashtrays on morning TV and presenters wheezing.
Mark E. Smith (Renegade: The Lives and Tales of Mark E. Smith)
Sometimes we don’t want to be tethered to yesterday. It’s nicer to forget. Maybe the gaps in our memory are there for a reason, evolutionary perhaps, to give us the space to grow, to get away from childishness or childish things. Or maybe it’s so we have the chance to invent, or at least include, some magic in our yesterdays. Surely the consolation of getting older, of moving away from youth, is that we can shape our past to our fantasies. So, even if the present isn’t going the way we want it, we can stand back and remember our earlier selves as exciting and funny and daring.
Sue Perkins (Spectacles)
no idea what Latitude was, or Longitude either, but thought they were nice grand words to say.) Presently she began again. ‘I wonder if I shall fall right through the earth! How funny it’ll seem to come out among the people that walk with their heads downward
I also explained that I’d like political candidates to present their prep plans for the zombie apocalypse, or for the robot revolution, or for when the Internet becomes self-aware, because at least then the debates would be more interesting.
Jenny Lawson (Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things)
Also present, unfortunately for all, was the Painted Ghoul. The clown at midnight himself, dressed in a bloodstained clown’s costume composed of deliberately clashing colours. The Painted Ghoul’s face was daubed with distressing patterns, and when he smiled his big red smile, you could see he’d filed his teeth into sharp points. His over-bright eyes were full of a malevolent glee. There’s nothing funny about a clown with an erection.
Simon R. Green (Property of a Lady Faire (Secret Histories, #8))
The funny thing about almost-dying is that afterward everyone expects you to jump on the happy train and take time to chase butterflies through grassy fields or see rainbows in puddles of oil on the highway. It’s a miracle, they’ll say with an expectant look, as if you’ve been given a big old gift and you better not disappoint Grandma by pulling a face when you unwrap the box and find a lumpy, misshapen sweater. That’s what life is, pretty much: full of holes and tangles and ways to get stuck. Uncomfortable and itchy. A present you never asked for, never wanted, never chose. A present you’re supposed to be excited to wear, day after day, even when you’d rather stay in bed and do nothing. The truth is this: it doesn’t take any skill to almost-die, or to almost-live, either.
Lauren Oliver (Vanishing Girls)
were distracted by something and lost train of your thought because you weren’t in the present moment. Maybe you just couldn’t think of anything interesting, funny, or entertaining to say.
Matt Morris (Do Talk To Strangers: A Creative, Sexy, and Fun Way To Have Emotionally Stimulating Conversations With Anyone)
Dear Padfoot, Thank you, thank you, for Harry's birthday present! It was his favorite by far. One year old and already zooming along on a toy broomstick, he looked so pleased with himself. I'm enclosing a picture so you can see. You know it only rises about two feet off the ground, but he nearly killed the cat and he smashed a horrible vase Petunia sent me for Christmas (no complaints there). Of course, James thought it was so funny, says he's going to be a great Quidditch player, but we've had to pack away all the ornaments and make sure we don't take our eyes off him when he gets going. We had a very quiet birthday tea, just us and old Bathilda, who has always been sweet to us and who dotes on Harry. We were so sorry you couldn't come, but the Order's got to come first and Harry's not old enough to know it's his birthday anyway! James is getting a bit frustrated shut up here, he tries not to show it but I can tell — also, Dumbledore's still got his Invisibility Cloak, so no chance of little excursions. If you could visit, it would cheer him up so much. Wormy was here last weekend, I thought he seemed down, but that was probably the news about the McKinnons; I cried all evening when I heard. Bathilda drops in most days, she's a fascinating old thing with the most amazing stories about Dumbledore, I'm not sure he'd be pleased if he knew! I don't know how much to believe, actually, because it seems incredible that Dumbledore could ever have been friends with Gellert Grindelwald. I think her mind's going, personally! Lots of love, Lily
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7))
The funny thing about work itself, it was so bearable. The dreariest task was perfectly bearable. It presented challenges to overcome, the distraction provided by a sense of urgency, and the things made work utterly, even harmoniously bearable.
Joshua Ferris (Then We Came to the End)
16. Your past does not define you but what does is who you are now and what your AIMING to BECOME – Yes. Surely. I can’t change the past but I wish that my present should be healthy as before by neglecting the in between awkward span. I can’t change my past but I want that present should be healthy & normal. That’s what the purpose of the last call which was started by sorry & guilt. 17. At a stage in my life where I am slowly learning to enjoy my own company. Keeping my circle small and stop entertaining unnecessary things that can't grow my mind – Even I also want the same. I’ll make sure that my disturbance shall not be there. 18. Look into yourself, Think about what you will need in the long run and not what you think you want now. #wisdom – I’m in myself only. I don’t have any other option. 19. What is not yours, will never be yours! What is yours, no one can hinder it – Yes, right, Taken. 20. Life is all about progress and movements, keep it moving – I’ll be moving on but at steady state now. Tired up to moving now. 21. “Not everyone deserves you, Some cant handle the rareness of your intoxicating presence.” – OK. Taken. I’ll take care. 22. “Remember to turn: Sadness into Joy Hard times into good times Struggles into accomplishments Obstacles into opportunity – I know it. 23. Always put a "yet" after the things you have not accomplished – OK but that doesn’t mean that I’m not over confident 24. When u finally let the past go and think positively towards the future, you would be surprised how happier you are each day – OK. 25. Everyone has flaws that will be accepted by the people who love them the most.” – OK 26. You can overcome your obstacles, just use them as your magic carpet and ride to success – I think you have cleared that magic carpet by these questions. 27. Knowledge is power, without it we become ignorant towards the truth – I was ignorant by only one person & you know him. 28. “Everyone's life is different. Its only a competition if you feel less about yourself an try to live like someone else.” – It’s funny. I have never tried to live like someone else. Please come with proof. Who is that person to whom I’m copying? You? I never thought so. 29. If they weren't there during the STRUGGLES, be mindful of how you let them into the END RESULTS – You have totally scratched me now, because I was talking about the my output & you are talking about their contribution. I must take higher responsibilities for free. THANK YOU SIR! For your suggestion. I have still respect for your view. You tell me, was my salary was worth? 30. Mistakes were meant to be made but what is important is the RECOVERY PROCESS, turning them from MISTAKES into OPPORTUNITIES to do better – OK. Taken. 31. Self check: If you realize that everytime someone gets close to you they get the "wrong idea" of who you are. Life will become easier when you are aware that it's time to do a self check. Nothing is wrong with owning up to your flaws and growing from those flaws, because real growth requires you to do self checks. – Your thoughts has destroyed that “wrong ideas”. I wish I would get this communication before. 32. A little bit of sacrifice is needed in order to succeed, if you don’t then your success might become short of what it could have been – Respected Sir! I have mostly sacrified so many things. I know the value of success very well. Sacrifice word mean to me a lot. 33. Determination and endurance is essential in achieve high yielding success – Taken 34. Don't focus on the competition, focus on ways to make yourself better – I never. Just I saw my financial growth too. Because it is also necessary along with knowledge. As per I remember I had taken each & every responsibility with purity & I think well completed it. I am sorry if you got any loss because of my irresponsible behavior. Thank you SIR!
Growing up, things like love and trust and healthy, functional relationships were foreign concepts to me. My parents never once told me they loved me. I didn’t have friends because, let’s face it, no kids wanted to hang out with the girl with greasy hair and smelly clothes that fit funny. We weren’t close with extended family. So I mostly kept to myself. Being alone was all I knew. I was all I had, really. That and books. Losing myself for hours in worlds that only existed in the confines of a paper jacket was my only escape from a life I wouldn’t wish upon my worst enemy. Shunning contemporary stories in favor of classics, I always felt like I was the only one, but I wasn’t interested in reading books that felt like a present-day reality when I wanted nothing to do with my own. Anyway, my point is, I never knew what true happiness and fulfillment felt like until you. We had a connection that I know in my heart I’m never going to have with anyone else. You made me laugh. You made me smile. You made me cry (much as I hate to admit). You showed me I was still capable of giving love despite the fact that I’d never learned what it meant to accept it.Our time together may have been brief and tragically fleeting, but it left a lasting mark on my heart. I’m the woman I am today because of you, Kerouac. And for that reason alone, I’ll always hold you dear, and I’ll forever regret that it never worked out for us. Thank you for everything. I wish you all good things. Love, Absinthe PS – I think you should know that I never stopped loving you, not once. For whatever it’s worth, I just wanted you to know that you were loved
Winter Renshaw (Absinthe)
Was it funny or sad that she was making a friend out of a jacket or a pair of shoes? When I mentioned it to someone else, who had also made a life-changing move some years earlier, she understood at once. For she felt that the clothes she brought with her were her only constants: the clothes were what she could depend on when everything else was in a state of flux. They were familiar objects from the past, reliably transported into the present, across time and space. And the new clothes she bought were her companions.
Linda Grant (The Thoughtful Dresser)
Yes. I'm ready to die.
J.C. Cervantes (The Fire Keeper (The Storm Runner, #2))
The drinking became a little more of a problem when I went to university. My parents had never been particularly present while I was growing up, so one might presume if I was going to go off the rails, why not do it at home, but I saved it for when I went away. I was enough of a disappointment to my father. I didn’t need to give him yet another excuse to help me understand I was not the daughter he wanted. My mother had left her native America when she fell in love with my dad while working for a year as an au pair in Gerrards Cross. She seemed happy when I was very young, then spent most of my teenage years in what I have always thought must have been, albeit undiagnosed a deep, and possibly clinical, depression. I can understand why. What I couldn’t understand is how she ever ended up with my father in the first place. He was handsome, and I suppose he must have been charming when they were young, but he was so damned difficult, I used to think, even when I was young, that we’d all be much happier if they got a divorce. I would sit with friends who would be in floods of tears because their mother had just found out their father had been having an affair, or their parents had decided they hated each other, or whatever the myriad of reasons are that drive people apart, and these friends would be crying at the terrible fear of their families breaking up, and all I could think was: I wish my parents would get divorced. It seemed to me that if ever there were two people on the planet who should not have been together, it was my parents. My mother is laid-back, funny, kind. She’s comfortable in her skin and has the easy laugh you expect from all Americans. She was brought up in New York, but her parents died very young, after which she went to live with her Aunt Judith. I never knew Aunt Judith, but everything about those days sounds idyllic, especially her summers in Nantucket. You look at pictures of my mum from those days and she was in flowing, hippie-ish clothes, always smiling. She had long, silky hair, and she looked happy and free. In sharp contrast to the pictures of her with my dad, even in those early days, when they were newlyweds, supposedly the happiest time of a relationship. He insisted she wear buttoned-up suits, or twinsets and pearls. Her hair was elaborately coiffed. I remember the heated rollers she kept in the bathroom, twisting her hair up every morning, spraying it into tight submission, slicking lipstick on her lips, her feet sliding into Roger Vivier pumps. If my father was away, she left her hair long and loose, wrapping a scarf around her head. She’d wear long gypsy skirts with espadrilles or sandals. I loved her like that most of all. I used to think it was her clothing that changed her personality,
Jane Green (Cat and Jemima J)
Helen obligingly presented us with a copy of the new form of marriage service, with all the vulgar bits left out--which was asking for trouble. Peter very funny about it--said he knew all about the "procreation of children," in theory though not in practice, but that the "increase of mankind" by any other method sounded too advanced for him, and that, if he ever did indulge in such dangerous amusements, he would, with his wife's permission, stick to the old-fashioned procedure. He also said that, as for the "gift of continence," he wouldn't have it as a gift, and had no objection to admitting as much. At this point, Helen got up and left the house, leaving P. and Harriet to wrangle over the word "obey." P. said he would consider it a breach of manners to give orders to his wife, but H. said, Oh, no--he'd give orders fast enough if the place was on fire or a tree falling down and he wanted her to stand clear. P. said, in that case they ought both to say "obey," but it would be too much jam for the reporters. Left them to fight it out. When I came back, found Peter had consented to be obeyed on condition he might "endow" and not "share" his worldly goods. Shocking victory of sentiment over principle.
Dorothy L. Sayers (Busman's Honeymoon)
Public libraries are for all citizens in their communities. It's written in the American Library Association's Bill of Rights: 'Libraries should provide materials and information presenting to all points of view on current and historical issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.
William Ottens (Librarian Tales: Funny, Strange, and Inspiring Dispatches from the Stacks)
The word “infant” is derived from the Latin word for “unable to speak,” but you’ll be perfectly capable of saying one thing: “I suffer,” and you’ll do it tirelessly and without hesitation. I have to admire your utter commitment to that statement; when you cry, you’ll become outrage incarnate, every fiber of your body employed in expressing that emotion. It’s funny: when you’re tranquil, you will seem to radiate light, and if someone were to paint a portrait of you like that, I’d insist that they include the halo. But when you’re unhappy, you will become a klaxon, built for radiating sound; a portrait of you then could simply be a fire alarm bell. At that stage of your life, there’ll be no past or future for you; until I give you my breast, you’ll have no memory of contentment in the past nor expectation of relief in the future. Once you begin nursing, everything will reverse, and all will be right with the world. NOW is the only moment you’ll perceive; you’ll live in the present tense. In many ways, it’s an enviable state.
Ted Chiang (Stories of Your Life and Others)
It was soft, tickling. The liquid was cold going on, like dipping her pinky into a winter river's icy slurry. A thrill shot through her neck. Then, everything on her finger closed up., tightened, stopped breathing. She felt it being suffocated. She almost yelped, leapt up to run away. She hated it. "Okay", Celeste said, "go like this." Agnes opened her eyes, saw Celeste blowing on her own hands, and looked down. The pink was catching light she hadn't even know was present in the dark forest. It looked as thought it moved on her nail, breathed more and more color into itself. She saw the speckles of glitter, not too much, just enough. It was alive, and perfect.
Diane Cook (The New Wilderness)
In time, when we became adults, we might look back on this pain and loneliness as a funny thing, perfectly ordinary, but—but how were we expected to get by, to get through this interminable period of time until that point when we were adults? There was no one to teach us how. Was there nothing to do but leave us alone, like we had the measles? But people died from the measles, or went blind. You couldn't just leave them alone. Some of us, in our daily depressions and rages, were apt to stray, to become corrupted, irreparably so, and then our lives would be forever in disorder. There were even some who would resolve to kill themselves. And when that happened, everyone would say, Oh, if only she had lived a little longer she would have known, if she were a little more grown up she would have figured it out. How saddened they would all be. But if those people were to think about it from our perspective, and see how we had tried to endure despite how terribly painful it all was, and how we had even tried to listen carefully, as hard as we could, to what the world might have to say, they would see that, in the end, the same bland lessons were always being repeated over and over, you know, well, merely to appease us. And they would see how we always experienced the same embarrassment of being ignored. It's not as though we only care about the present. If you were to point to a faraway mountain and say, If you can make it there, it's a pretty good view, I'd see that there's not an ounce of untruth to what you tell us. But when you say, Well, bear with it just a little longer, if you can make it to the top of that mountain, you'll have done it, you are ignoring the fact that we are suffering from a terrible stomachache—right now. Surely one of you is mistaken to let us go on this way. You're the one who is to blame.
Osamu Dazai (Schoolgirl)