Saturday, January 10, 2009


[From the STMcC archive: 2006, February]


~ Mark Twain

What follows is based on a guide I constructed for a couple of years ago. These are some of my favorite jokes ‘n’ quotes ‘n’ stuffs, and I may decide to update this periodically as I’m reminded of overlooked gems.

There are only two kinds of people in this world, and I’m the third. I’m equally comfortable plucking a quote from The Hallowed Halls of Knowledge or stealing a line from some drunken bum who’s lying face down in the gutter trying to lap up some spilt buck-a-bottle wine. (I myself was always more of a Night Train Express man than a Thunderbird man.) I mean, a good line is a good line regardless of its origin or pedigree. A case in point: In the early ‘80s, my friend Pooh witnessed a homeless wino woman on Venice beach arguing with her homeless wino beau. At one point, she shouted at him, “You non-money-havin’ motherf#cker!” Well, when you hear a line THAT funny, you’re never gonna forget it. Or shouldn’t, anyway.

Oh, yeah, I’m as likely to quote Cheech and Chong as I am to quote Webster and Thoreau. In fact, I’ve quoted Cheech y Chong at least weekly, and often daily, for decades: My brother Napoleon and I might spend three hours trying to install new guts in an old toilet, and upon finally completing what should have been a thirty minute project, one of us will say, “Hey, we did it, man!” To which the other will immediately reply, “We were so slick, man!”

Someone might congratulate me on utterly annihilating a Liberal in a debate about Senator Joseph McCarthy, and I’ll respond by stealing from Cheech: “You just gotta know how to lay it on them dudes, man.”

Below are some of my favorite and most often borrowed bits. No person can know me long without hearing me relate Frank Zappa’s observation about colleges and libraries, or without hearing me refer to Douglas Hyde’s sage advice to explain why I regularly and deliberately utilize only a portion of the vocabulary available to me.

If I had a dime for every time over the last quarter of a century that I’ve said in a melancholic moment, “There’s a sadness in the heart of things” or reassured myself or someone else that “It’s life, and life only” when things turned sour, I would be permanently retired right now and passed out in a fully-owned Napa Valley mansion. And if I had an additional nickel for every time I’ve said “They changed it. Somehow they changed it” or “Cut the bullsh#t; play the game!” (paraphrasing Max Taber’s line in ‘Cuckoo’s Nest’) then you, my friend, would be permanently retired, too, and occupying the East wing of my Napa Valley mansion. (Say, be a pal and go to the wine cellar and fetch me another bottle of that 1947 Cab, will ya? If we’re out of it, then just make it the December 2008 Night Train Express fresh from Modesto. Like I said, Webster and Thoreau or Cheech and Chong: it’s all good!) And if I had a penny for every time I’ve told someone “I don’t explain if you don’t understand” then we’d be having some cheese with this wine in our mansion.

There is no real rhyme or reason to the order of the following quotes... however, I’ve used some of them so frequently over the years that some folks probably think they’re Stephen T. McCarthy originals. Well, actually, a few of them ARE:


A guy walks in with a frog on his head, and the bartender says, "Where'd you get that?" And the frog says, "It started out as a little bump on my butt."

A seven-year-old kid says to his dad, "When I grow up, I want to be a musician." And his dad says, "I'm sorry son, but you can't have it both ways."

What do you call a musician without a girlfriend?

How do you get a Rock guitarist to turn down the volume on his amplifier?
Put sheet music in front of him.

What do you call a dog with no legs?
It doesn't matter, he ain't gonna come anyway.

In the middle of a show, a man stands up and yells at the ventriloquist, "Hey! You've made enough jokes about us Polish people! Cut it out!" The ventriloqust says, "Take it easy, pal. They're only jokes." And the man says, "I'm not talking to you. I'm talking to that little guy sitting on your knee!"

This guy goes into a bar and orders three separate shot glasses of Irish whiskey, and drinks all three.
He does this day after day until the bartender finally says, "You know, I can put all three shots into one glass for you."
The guy says, "No, I prefer it like this. I have two brothers still in Ireland, and this way I can feel like we're all here together having a drink."
So this continues for several more weeks, and then one day the guy orders just two shots.
Concerned, the bartender asks him, "What's wrong? Did something happen to one of your brothers?"
And the guy says, "No, they're both fine,
but my doctor said I had to quit drinking."

Why did Abraham's son, Isaac, have to be under the age of 13 when God called Abraham to sacrifice him? Because if Isaac had been a teenager, it wouldn't have been a sacrifice.

99 percent of lawyers give the rest a bad name.


A lady once offered me a mat, but...I declined it, preferring to wipe my feet on the sod before my door. It is best to avoid the beginnings of evil.
~ Henry David Thoreau
(from his book "Walden")

There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root.
~ Henry D. Thoreau

If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.
~ Henry D. Thoreau

We are conscious of an animal in us, which awakens in proportion as our higher nature slumbers.
~ Henry D. Thoreau

Man flows at once to God when the channel of purity is open...He is blessed who is assured that the animal is dying out in him day by day, and the Divine being established.
~ Henry D. Thoreau

In proportion as our inward life fails, we go more constantly and desperately to the post office. You may depend on it, that the poor fellow who walks away with the greatest number of letters, proud of his extensive correspondence, has not heard from himself this long while.
~ Henry D. Thoreau
(from his essay "Life Without Principle")

I heartily accept the motto, "That government is best which governs least".
How does it become a man to behave toward this American government to-day? I answer, that he cannot without disgrace be associated with it. I cannot for an instant recognize that political organization as my government which is the slave's government also.
~ Henry David Thoreau
(from his essay "Civil Disobedience")

Be sincere in your prayers.
Do you pray your prayers?
~ Mother Teresa

Preach the gospel, and if necessary, use words.
~ attributed to Saint Francis of Assisi

Government is the only human enterprise that profits from failure. Once that principle is understood, many otherwise inexplicable choices made by ruling elites and their servants can be made intelligible.
~ William Norman Grigg
[Actually, Hollywood actors can also profit from failure.
Some actors have failed their way to the top. ~STMcC]

The artist's mistakes are half of his art.
~ Horacio The Pig

Life is what happens to us while we are making other plans.
~ Allen Saunders

A mighty oak was once a little nut that stood its ground.
~ Anonymous
(On a wooden wall plaque given to me by my Ma on my birthday in 2002.)

Argue for your limitations, and sure enough, they're yours.
~ Richard Bach
(from his book "Illusions")

You’ve got to know you’re good before you’re good. You either know you’re good or bad, and you’re right either way.
~ Kirk Gibson

I speak for all mediocrities in the world. I am their champion. I am their patron saint.
~ Salieri
(from the movie “Amadeus”)

Don’t be DOWN on what you're not UP on.
~ Anonymous

Mankind should be our business, but we seldom attend to it.
~ Jacob Marley
(from the movie "Scrooge")

There is never enough time to do or say all the things that we would wish; the thing is to try to do as much as you can in the time that you have. Remember, time is short, and suddenly you're not there anymore.
~ The Ghost Of Christmas Present

Me, I'm fine; got what I want. I always get everything I want, but I know what to want.
~ Agatha Burgess

Whenever you find that you are on the side of the majority, it is time to reform.
~ Mark Twain

Is it not apropos that asses can be found in the word "masses"?
~ Louie Banana

For aspiring writers, Mark Twain offered this advice: “Write without pay until somebody offers pay. If nobody offers within three years, the candidate may look upon this circumstance with the most implicit confidence as the sign that sawing wood is what he was intended for.”

Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please.
~ Mark Twain
[*Note: This is one piece of advice that I have truly taken to heart. Why, sometimes as much as a grain of truth can be found in some of the things I’ve written. ~STMcC]

A lie is:“An abomination before the Lord and an ever present help in time of trouble.”
~ Mark Twain

According to Mark Twain, the strongest anti-polygamy verse in The Bible is: "No man can serve two masters."

When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years.
~ Mark Twain

I never write "metropolis" for seven cents because I can get the same price for "city." I never write "policeman" because I can get the same money for "cop."
~ Mark Twain

Some of what has still to be learned by the West may appear to be almost absurdly simple and elementary, but it is important nonetheless. For example, never to use a long word where a short one will serve equally well, never to write with the idea of proving one's own erudition but rather in order to ensure that one's ideas shall be made as understandable to the reader as possible.
~ Douglas Hyde
(from his book "Dedication And Leadership")

The partitions were so thin that one could hear a lady in the next room changing her mind.
~ Mark Twain

College is for people not born with the talent of a Mark Twain.
~ Anonymous

If you want to get la!d, go to college; if you want an education, go to the library.
~ Frank Zappa

I would permit no man, no matter what his color might be, to narrow and degrade my soul by making me hate him.
~ Booker T. Washington

For how many years must the planet cool before we begin to understand that the planet is not warming? For how many years must cooling go on?
~ Geologist Dr. David Gee
(Chairman of the Science Committee of the 2008 International Geological Congress, who has authored 130 plus peer-reviewed papers, and is currently at Uppsala University in Sweden.)

I've always been different with one foot over the line;
Winding up somewhere one step ahead or behind.
It ain't been so easy, but I guess I shouldn't complain;
I've always been crazy, but it's kept me from going insane.
~ Waylon Jennings
(from his song “I’ve Always Been Crazy”)

There's one in every crowd, but for crying-out-loud, why was it always turning out to be me?
~ Waylon Jennings
(from the song “Honky Tonk Heroes” written by Billy Joe Shaver)

Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be cowboys,
'Cause they'll never stay home, and they're always alone,
Even with someone they love.
~ Ol' Waylon
(from the song “Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys” written by Waylon and Willie)

I hope you all get the idea that you really don’t have to go to music school to learn how to play. Wes Montgomery didn’t read. I mean, it’s nice if you can, if you know music theory, but it seems like the best players – my heroes – most of them didn’t read. They played from the heart, and that’s what it really takes.
~ Danny Gatton

My relationship to music is a very personal one. I mean, pretty much everything that I do, I’m doing between me and it. I think as soon as you cross that line where you’re worrying about what other people say about you, you’re in big trouble, because then you’re always guessing. For me, I’ve never really cared that much what people thought. Of course, a lot of people like it; there have been other situations people haven’t liked it. In a way, both are irrelevant to me because, believe me, every night when I go home, I know how well I played compared to how well I want to play.
~ Pat Metheny

We share very few sentiments with our government.
~ Pike Bishop
(from the movie "The Wild Bunch")

You egg-suckin', chicken-stealing gutter trash!
~ Deke Thornton

There's something - ah say, there's something kind of "Y-Eeew" about a kid that's never played baseball.
. . .
No, I'd better not look. I just might be in there.
~ Foghorn Leghorn
(in the cartoon "Little Boy Boo")

A laugh can be a very powerful thing. Why, sometimes in life, it's the only weapon we have.
~ Roger Rabbit
(from the movie "Who Framed Roger Rabbit")

I'm not bad, I'm just drawn that way.
~ Jessica Rabbit

I love the smell of Grey Poupon in the morning.
~ Harold Sherwood

I brake for pink elephants.
~ Al K. Holic

Fu#k everything east of Lincoln Boulevard!
~ Eric
(a regular at ‘The Cinema’ cocktail lounge
on Sepulveda Blvd. in Culver City, California)

Greetings, my friend. We are all interested in the future, for that is where you and I are going to spend the rest of our lives. And remember, my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future.
~ Criswell
(from the movie “Plan 9 From Outer Space”)

You see? You see? Your stupid minds! Stupid! Stupid!
~ Eros
(from the movie “Plan 9 From Outer Space”)

Don't look like no Boogaloo to me.
~ Don King
(from the 'Moonlighting' episode "Symphony In Knocked Flat")

An incompetent lawyer can delay a trial for months or years. A competent lawyer can delay one even longer.
~ Evelle Younger

Play the game and knock off the bullsh#t.
~ Max Taber
(from the movie "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest")

The mental defective league in formation.
~ R. P. McMurphy

Irishmen have a keen sense of tragedy to sustain them in times of joy.
~ Anonymous

My biggest dream:
To become so wealthy
that I can afford to get drunk
in an airport bar!
~ Trummy Tewksbury

Love your work - gotta lose ya.
~ every Director in Hollywood

Flying in!
~ said often by many folks on movie sets
[This is insider Hollywood lingo meaning "I hear you calling for me and I'm coming quickly!"]

You just gotta know how to lay it on them dudes, man.
~ Cheech Marin
(from "Pedro And Man At The Drive-In")

What's the hassle, man? Are you giving us a hassle, man?
~ Tommy Chong

Chong: Hey, we did it, man!
Cheech: Man, we were so slick, man!

Oh, wow, man, you drive just like Steve McQueen!
~ Tommy Chong

No, no, it wasn’t a snowmobile. It was a sled – you know, one of those big sleds, you know? And he used to have it pulled by some reindeers – you know, like reindeers? … And then when they flyed across the sky, they used to come down to places like, oh, Chicago, L.A., Nueva York, and Pacoima and all those places, you know? And then land on top of people’s roofs. And then ol’ Santa Claus would make himself real small - you know, like a real small guy? And he’d come down the chimney and then he would give you all of the stuff that he made, man. And dig this, man, he did it all in one night, man.
~ Cheech Marin
(from “Santa Claus And His Old Lady”)

Tell them you heard it here first on Roller Derby.
~ Cheech Y Chong

If you don't eat your meat, you can't have any pudding.
How can you have any pudding if you don't eat your meat?

~ Roger Waters
(from the Pink Floyd song “Another Brick In The Wall – Part 2”)

I never drank to forget nor forgot to drink.
~ Trummy Tewksbury

The devil's best trick is to persuade you that he doesn't exist!
~ Charles Pierre Baudelaire

For me, “Home” is where I hang my . . . enemies.
~ Mr. Intense

I always feel wealthy when I possess one dollar more than I can drink.
~ Trummy Tewksbury

"Compromise" is always just a slippery slope to where you don't wanna go.
~ Louie Banana

We’ll wait for ya, baby!
~ Slimy, Used Car Salesman-like Guy
(from the movie “It’s A Wonderful Life”)

Behind every ugly man there's an inflatable woman.
~ Louie Banana

Ninety percent of the game is half mental.

Nobody goes there anymore. It’s too crowded.

A nickel ain’t worth a dime anymore.

We were overwhelming underdogs.

It’s déjà vu all over again.

If people don’t want to come to the ballpark, how are you going to stop them?

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

We’re lost, but we’re making good time!

I usually take a two-hour nap from 1 to 4.

It gets late early out there.

Pair up in threes.

Never answer an anonymous letter.

You can observe a lot by watching.

You’ve got to be careful if you don’t know where you’re going ‘cause you might not get there!

The future ain’t what it used to be.

It ain’t over ‘til it’s over!

~ Yogi Berra

When asked if he wanted his pizza cut into four or eight slices, Yogi Berra replied:
“Four. I don’t think I can eat eight.”

Yogi Berra’s son, Larry, called out, “Dad, the guy is here for the venetian blinds.” Yogi replied, “Look in my pants pocket and give him five bucks.”

I would say I wouldn’t know, but I would say the reason why they’d want it passed is to keep baseball going as the highest paid ball sport that has gone into baseball and from the baseball angle. I’m not gonna speak of any other sport. I’m not here to argue about other sports - I’m in the baseball business. It’s been run cleaner than any paid ball business that was ever put out in the hundred years at the present time.
~ Casey Stengel
(July 8, 1958 Senate Anti-Trust and Monopoly Subcommittee Hearing, taken from a Prudential Insurance radio advertisement)

Uhp! Yer an idiot.
Uhp! I’m an idiot.
~ The League Of Soul Crusaders (the entire bunch of us)

Well, you got it all wrong: Muddy Waters invented 'lectricity!
~ Willie Brown
(from the movie "Crossroads")

I got thirteen channels of sh#t on the T.V. to choose from.
~ Roger Waters
(from the Pink Floyd song “Nobody Home”)
[*Note: Of course, nowadays, we've got about 500 channels of that stuff to choose from. ~STMcC]

They want the federal government controlling Social Security like it's some kind of federal program.
~ George W. Bush
[*Note: The non-brain-havin’ motherf#cker! ]

They have miscalculated me as a leader.
~ G. W. Bush

They misunderestimated me.
~ G. W. Bush

Rarely is the question asked: Is our children learning?
~ G. W. Bush

These terrorist acts and, you know, the responses have got to end in order for us to get the framework - the groundwork - not framework, the groundwork to discuss a framework for peace, to lay the - all right.
~ G. W. Bush

For every fatal shooting, there were roughly three nonfatal shootings. And folks, this is unacceptable in America. It's just unacceptable. And we're going to do something about it.
~ G. W. Bush

There's an old saying in Tennessee - I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee - that says, fool me once, shame on - shame on you. Fool me - you can't get fooled again.
~ G. W. Bush

It depends on what the meaning of the word “is” is.
~ Bill Clinton

Sometimes it doesn’t matter that you have the better product, if your competitors have better salesmen.
~ Thomas Sowell

This is not it. They changed it. Somehow they changed it.
~ Stanley
(from the movie "The Deer Hunter")

This is this! This ain't something else. This is this! From now on, you're on your own.
~ Michael

Watch that your karma doesn't run over your dogma!
~ Anonymous (The ancient Greek philosopher)

I thought we were losing to international Communism because of incompetence and stupidity on the part of our planners. I mentioned that to [Secretary of Defense, James] Forrestal. I shall forever remember his answer. He said, "McCarthy, consistency has never been a mark of stupidity. If they were merely stupid they would occasionally make a mistake in our favor."
~ Wisconsin Senator, Joseph McCarthy

I do not think we need fear too much about the Communists dropping atomic bombs on Washington. They would kill too many of their friends that way.
~ Wisconsin Senator, Joseph McCarthy

Lawyer Joseph Welch: The oath included a promise, a solemn promise by you to tell the truth, comma, the whole truth, comma, and nothing but the truth. Is that correct, sir?
Senator Joe McCarthy: Mr. Welch, you are not the first individual that tried to get me to betray the confidence and give out the names of my informants. You will be no more successful than those who have tried in the past, period.

Undoutedly the most common challenge made in any critique of Joe McCarthy is: Name one Communist (or Soviet agent) ever identified by him in his sensational speeches and investigations. That challenge has been posed for fifty years and more – always on the premise that nobody could come up with even one such person. … Can we in fact name one certifiable Communist McCarthy ever came up with in all his speeches and contentious hearings? The answer is that it’s indeed hard to cite one such person – just as it’s hard to eat one potato chip or salted peanut. Once the process starts, the temptation is to keep going…
~ M. Stanton Evans

(from his book "Blacklisted By History")

Changing political parties obviously won't change anything. Only changing political direction will change anything! When will people understand they’re the same party? Socialist extreme and Socialist light. Do you want filtered or non-filtered cigarettes, sir? Either way they’re both going to kill you...
~ Marc “Anti-Microchip” White

What America has most to fear is not the Communists either at home or abroad, but our own good-hearted, well-meaning fellow citizens of the liberal persuasion, whose unintended effect has been to sap the survival powers of free societies everywhere.
~ William Rusher

Darwinism still hasn't developed a leg to stand on.
~ Louie Banana

You lie like a bad toupee!
~ Trummy Tewksbury

And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.
~ The 56 Founding Fathers who signed the Declaration of Independence

Good intention will always be pleaded for every assumption of power. ... It is hardly too strong to say that the Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions.
~ Daniel Webster

Human beings will generally exercise power when they can get it, and they will exercise it most undoubtedly in popular governments under pretense of public safety.
~ Daniel Webster

They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.
~ Benjamin Franklin

What country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. ... The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.
~ Thomas Jefferson

On every question of construction [of the Constitution], let us carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or invented against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed.
~ Thomas Jefferson
(letter to Judge William Johnson, June 12, 1823)

Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.
~ Thomas Jefferson
(from 'The Declaration Of Independence')

The Supreme Court has made its decision, now let it enforce it.
~ attributed to President Andrew “Old Hickory” Jackson

I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!
~ Patrick Henry

In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem, government IS the problem. . . . The most exciting revolution ever known to humankind began with three simple words: ‘We the People’, the revolutionary notion that the people grant government its rights, and not the other way around.
~ Ronald Reagan

As nations cannot be rewarded or punished in the next world, so they must be in this. By an inevitable chain of causes and effects, Providence punishes national sins by national calamities.
~ George “Father of the Bill Of Rights” Mason

If God doesn’t judge America, He will have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah.
~ Billy Graham

Don’t feel sorry for us. At least we are constantly reminded that we are in a spiritual war. We know for whom we are fighting. We know who the enemy is. And we are fighting. Perhaps we should pray for you Christians outside of China. In your leisure, in your affluence, in your freedom, sometimes you no longer realize that you are in spiritual warfare.
~ Zhao Xia
(from the book "Jesus Freaks; Vol. 2")

In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.
~ George Orwell

I know you’re working for the C.I.A.
They wouldn’t have you in the MAF-I-A

~ from the song “Why Can’t We Be Friends?” by WAR

Liberals viewed Gorbachev as a 'reformer' because he was the first Soviet leader whose wife weighed less than he did.
~ Ann Coulter
(from her book "Treason")

Liberals think they can defeat the truth with loudness.
~ Ann Coulter

They're terrible people, liberals...This can really summarize it all - these are people who believe you can deliver a baby entirely except for the head, puncture the skull, suck the brains out and PRONOUNCE THAT A CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT HAS JUST BEEN EXERCISED. That really says it all. You don't want such people to like you!
~ Ann Coulter; Time magazine (2005, April 25.)

The greatest thing you'll ever learn
Is just to love and be loved in return.

~ Eden Ahbez
(from the song “Nature Boy”)

There is no way to peace. Peace is the way.
~ Religious Society Of Friends
(slogan for the 2005 Philadelphia Yearly Meeting)

Originality is the key to success.
~ Tiny Tim (Herbert Khaury)

Don't be discouraged. Tiny Tim made it.
~ Tiny Tim

Most of all, I'd love to see Christ come back to crush the spirit of hate and make men put down their guns. I'd also like just one more hit single.
~ Tiny Tim
(Playboy magazine interview; June, 1970)

Time you enjoyed wasting . . . was not wasted.
~ Anonymous

You know the gig.
~ Kelly (“Andy”) Anderson

I’ve been a wild-catter and a go-go getter
Been an S.O.B. right down to the letter
I’ve had misadventures, I’ve even got pictures
Of even more than I can stand.
I've got a woman who's good enough to give me
A second chance again.

~ Waylon Jennings
(from the song “Her Man” written by Kent Robbins)

Sometimes I feel very sad;
I guess I just wasn't made for these times.

~ Brian Wilson

Nonconformists are easy to spot because they all look alike.
~ Anonymous

May our tolerance of diversity empower our nonjudgmental, nonmeanspirited multiculturalism. Can't we all just get along, give peace a change, and vote for "Chance"?
~ Stephen T. McCarthy (Hey, that's ME!)

Continued HERE...

1 comment:

Dixie@dcrelief said...

Good things here! I was going through, making little noted on the ones I liked best. When I finished, I realized I had the whole list! Ha!

So I figured to leave one of mine.
"What is, is; what ain;t, ain't; the rest is bullsh*t." (ldc ~na~ 1989)