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Archive for the ‘Miscellanea’ Category

Presented as a public service by the management of this blog.

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# 1 – Advice for Men

GIFTS NOT APPROPRIATE FOR THE WOMAN IN YOUR LIFE:

– Cleaning supplies or any item designed to make housework easier.

– Anti-wrinkle cream.

– Sleepwear that depicts a cartoon character or superhero, is made of flannel, or has a trap door in the back.

– Anything from an infomercial.

– Perfume that was such a bargain, you couldn’t pass it up.

– A gift certificate to Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig.

– Cubic zirconia jewelry from the Home Shopping Network.

– Any other product from the Home Shopping Network.

– A gift that, by any stretch of the imagination, would be of the slightest use to you.

– Clothing. Don’t even try.

HSN

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A few years ago, I wrote a post about Theodore Roosevelt, who was President from 1901 to 1909, and his relationship with the poet Edwin Arlington Robinson. Both men were fiercely determined, undeterred by obstacles. They elevated stubborn to an art form.

Teddy got that way by sheer willpower. He overcame a sickly childhood (asthma and other health problems) and grew to be an energetic outdoorsman — a rancher, big-game hunter, and world explorer. He went on to become a war hero and a political leader of great significance.

Roosevelt T

Theodore Roosevelt, Jr. (1858-1919)

Roosevelt’s love of nature and the outdoors made him an early champion of wildlife protection and land conservation. He became President at a time when westward expansion and industrial progress were beginning to take their toll on the environment, and he happily used his powers to protect public lands.

Teddy was a fan of national parks in particular because park status blocks private development on the land. By law, however, national parks are created by Congress. And Congress isn’t always cool with a President’s wishes.

Roosevelt responded by turning to a controversial workaround: the presidential executive order.

Back then, executive orders were a rare thing. One example: Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation by executive order. But Roosevelt applied the concept often and to more mundane matters.

In 1906, concerned about pot-hunters raiding prehistoric sites around the Southwest, Congress passed the Antiquities Act, which charged the executive branch with “the proper care and management of the objects to be protected.” The act gave the President the power to establish protected areas called National Monuments.

Teddy saw the opening and made his move.

Congress had long resisted making Grand Canyon a national park, so in January 1908, Teddy declared 800,000 acres in Northern Arizona to be Grand Canyon National Monument. Congress was furious, and Grand Canyon wasn’t given national park status until 1919.

But, as of early 1908, Grand Canyon was under federal protection. Teddy relished the opportunity this presented. In all, over the course of his presidency, he established 18 national monuments.

Roosevelt’s first visit to Grand Canyon was on May 6, 1903. (Accompanying him was Territorial Governor Alexander Brodie, a veteran of the Indian Wars and the Spanish-American War. Brodie had served with Teddy in the Rough Riders; their friendship led to Brodie’s appointment in 1902 as the 15th Governor of the Arizona Territory.)

Teddy’s speech that day, part prepared text and part impromptu, was memorable. His genuine concern for the Canyon and his passion for conservation are clear.

After the usual acknowledgments, accolades, and blah-blah, Roosevelt said this:

————

In the Grand Canyon, Arizona has a natural wonder which, so far as I know, is in kind absolutely unparalleled throughout the rest of the world.

I want to ask you to do one thing in connection with it, in your own interest and in the interest of the country: to keep this great wonder of nature as it now is.

I hope you will not have a building of any kind, not a summer cottage, a hotel, or anything else, to mar the wonderful grandeur, the sublimity, the great loneliness and beauty of the canyon. Leave it as it is. You cannot improve on it. The ages have been at work on it, and man can only mar it.

What you can do is to keep it for your children, your children’s children, and for all who come after you, as one of the great sights which every American, if he can travel at all, should see.

We have gotten past the stage, my fellow citizens, when we are to be pardoned if we treat any part of our country as something to be skinned for two or three years for the use of the present generation, whether it is the forest, the water, the scenery. Whatever it is, handle it so that your children’s children will get the benefit of it.

If you deal with irrigation, apply it under circumstances that will make it of benefit — not to the speculator who hopes to get profit out of it for two or three years, but handle it so that it will be of use to the home-maker, to the man who comes to live here, and to have his children stay after him.

Keep the forests in the same way. Preserve the forests by use; preserve them for the ranchman and the stockman, for the people of the Territory, for the people of the region round about.

Preserve them for that use, but use them so that they will not be squandered, that they will not be wasted — so that they will be of benefit to the Arizona of 1953 as well as the Arizona of 1903.

————

If Teddy were around today to see Grand Canyon, he probably would be disheartened.

Yes, the Canyon abides. It remains much as it was in 1903 — largely intact, still stunning and majestic.

But the place is too popular for its own good. At certain times and in certain places, it is overwhelmed with visitors.

GC Railroad

GC entrance

GC tourists

As for Roosevelt’s plea not to erect buildings of any kind at Grand Canyon because they would “mar the wonderful grandeur” — well, posterity ignored that part.

Surely Roosevelt knew that was a pipe dream anyway.

D0727

Aerial view of one section of Grand Canyon Village on the South Rim. Shown are three large hotels, a three-story gift shop, and an employee dormitory. Plus that passenger train in the foreground.

 

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Poems That Don’t Suck

More poetry that isn’t pretentious and a waste of time…

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I Dream of Jeanie With The Light Brown Hair

By Stephen Foster

Foster S

Stephen Collins Foster (1826-1864)

I dream of Jeanie with the light brown hair,
Borne, like a vapor, on the summer air;
I see her tripping where the bright streams play,
Happy as the daisies that dance on her way.

Many were the wild notes her merry voice would pour,
Many were the blithe birds that warbled them o’er:
Oh! I dream of Jeanie with the light brown hair,
Floating, like a vapor, on the soft summer air.

I long for Jeanie with the daydawn smile,
Radiant in gladness, warm with winning guile;
I hear her melodies, like joys gone by,
Sighing round my heart o’er the fond hopes that die.

Sighing like the night wind and sobbing like the rain,
Wailing for the lost one that comes not again:
Oh! I long for Jeanie, and my heart bows low,
Never more to find her where the bright waters flow.

I sigh for Jeanie, but her light form strayed
Far from the fond hearts round her native glade;
Her smiles have vanished and her sweet songs flown,
Flitting like the dreams that have cheered us and gone.

Now the nodding wild flowers may wither on the shore
While her gentle fingers will cull them no more:
Oh! I sigh for Jeanie with the light brown hair,
Floating, like a vapor, on the soft summer air.

————

Wisdom

By Sara Teasdale

Teasdale ST

Sarah Trevor Teasdale (1884-1933)

When I have ceased to break my wings
Against the faultiness of things,
And learned that compromises wait
Behind each hardly opened gate,
When I have looked Life in the eyes,
Grown calm and very coldly wise,
Life will have given me the Truth,
And taken in exchange my youth.

————

How Pleasant to Know Mr. Lear

By Edward Lear

Edward Lear

Edward Lear (1812-1888)

How pleasant to know Mr. Lear,
Who has written such volumes of stuff.
Some think him ill-tempered and queer,
But a few find him pleasant enough.

His mind is concrete and fastidious,
His nose is remarkably big;
His visage is more or less hideous,
His beard it resembles a wig.

He has ears, and two eyes, and ten fingers,
(Leastways if you reckon two thumbs);
He used to be one of the singers,
But now he is one of the dumbs.

He sits in a beautiful parlour,
With hundreds of books on the wall;
He drinks a great deal of marsala,
But never gets tipsy at all.

He has many friends, laymen and clerical,
Old Foss is the name of his cat;
His body is perfectly spherical,
He weareth a runcible hat.

When he walks in waterproof white,
The children run after him so!
Calling out, “He’s gone out in his night-
Gown, that crazy old Englishman, oh!”

He weeps by the side of the ocean,
He weeps on the top of the hill;
He purchases pancakes and lotion,
And chocolate shrimps from the mill.

He reads, but he does not speak, Spanish,
He cannot abide ginger beer;
Ere the days of his pilgrimage vanish,
How pleasant to know Mr. Lear!

————

won’t you celebrate with me

By Lucille Clifton

Clifton L

Lucille Clifton (1936-2010)

won’t you celebrate with me
what i have shaped into
a kind of life? i had no model.
born in babylon
both nonwhite and woman
what did i see to be except myself?

i made it up
here on this bridge between
starshine and clay,
my one hand holding tight
my other hand; come celebrate
with me that everyday
something has tried to kill me
and has failed.

————

George, Who Played With a Dangerous Toy, And
Suffered a Catastrophe of Considerable Dimensions

By Hilaire Belloc

Belloc H

Hilaire Belloc (1870-1953)

When George’s Grandmamma was told
That George had been as good as gold,
She Promised in the afternoon
To buy him and Immense BALLOON.
And so she did; but when it came,
It got into the candle flame,
And being of a dangerous sort
Exploded with a loud report!

The lights went out! The windows broke!
The room was filled with reeking smoke.
And in the darkness shrieks and yells
Were mingled with electric bells,
And falling masonry and groans,
And crunching, as of broken bones,
And dreadful shrieks, when, worst of all,
The house itself began to fall!
It tottered, shuddering to and fro,
Then crashed into the street below —
Which happened to be Savile Row.

When Help arrived, among the dead
Were Cousin Mary, Little Fred,
The Footmen (both of them), the Groom,
The man that cleaned the Billiard-Room,
The Chaplain, and the Still-Room Maid.
And I am dreadfully afraid
That Monsieur Champignon, the Chef,
Will now be permanently deaf —
And both his aides are much the same;
While George, who was in part to blame,
Received, you will regret to hear,
A nasty lump behind the ear.

Moral:
The moral is that little boys
Should not be given dangerous toys.

 

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The Affluent Class

miser (my-zer) — A person who hoards money and possessions and spends as little as possible, even to the person’s detriment. A cheapskate, penny-pincher, tightwad.

——————

Jean Paul Getty was born in Minneapolis in 1892, the son of George Getty, owner of a successful oil company. J. Paul studied economics and political science at UC Berkeley and Oxford, and he spent his summers working in his father’s oil fields in Oklahoma.

In 1916, at age 24, J. Paul started his own oil company in Tulsa. He made his first independent million with the first oil well he drilled.

In 1917, Getty walked away from the oil industry and embraced the hedonistic life of a Los Angeles playboy. He rejoined his father’s business in 1919, and throughout the 1920s, Getty Oil continued to grow and amass wealth with new wells and lease investments.

But J. Paul did not measure up in his father’s eyes. When George died in 1930, he left J. Paul just $500,000 of his $10 million fortune. The boy, he told friends, was ill-equipped to lead the company.

J. Paul managed to gain control of Getty Oil anyway. As if to prove his dad wrong, he began expanding the business through mergers, acquisitions, and shrewd investments.

During the Depression, while fortunes were being lost, Getty gained controlling interest in some 200 companies worldwide. He learned to speak Arabic to help solidify his investments in the Middle East. He amassed a personal fortune of $4 billion, making him one of the richest men in the world.

In the 1950s, he moved to Britain and purchased Sutton Place, a 16th century Tudor estate on the outskirts of London. It became his home and business headquarters.

Getty was famous for his business success and notorious for being married and divorced five times. He had five sons.

He also was known to be miserly in the extreme. At Sutton Place, he put dial-locks on the telephones, restricting them to authorized staff, and installed a pay phone for visitors.

If anyone questioned the sincerity of his Scrooge-like tendencies, all doubts were dispelled in 1973, when one of his grandsons was kidnapped and Getty refused to pay the ransom.

In Rome on July 10, Italian gangsters abducted J. Paul Getty III, 16, and demanded $17 million for his return. At first, the boy’s father and grandfather suspected the boy had staged his own disappearance for money, and neither wanted to pay the ransom.

But the boy’s father soon concluded that the kidnapping was real. When he asked his father for the ransom money, the elder Getty refused.

“I have 14 grandchildren,” he said in a statement to reporters. “If I pay one penny ransom, I’ll have 14 kidnapped grandchildren.”

Several months later, a Rome newspaper received a package from the kidnappers containing a human ear, a lock of hair, and a revised demand for $3 million.

A photograph soon followed showing the boy minus an ear. The kidnappers wrote that unless their new demand was met within 10 days, “the other ear will arrive.”

With that, Getty relented, but only to the extent his accountants recommended. He agreed to pay $2.2 million, the maximum that would be tax-deductible.

He loaned the remaining $800,000 to his son at four percent interest.

The ransom thus paid, the kidnappers released Getty’s grandson on December 15, 1973, which was J. Paul’s 81st birthday. The boy immediately called his grandfather to thank him for paying the ransom. Getty refused to come to the phone.

After the kidnapping, J. Paul ended all contact with his son and grandson. Thereafter, he communicated with them only through intermediaries.

In 1976, at age 83, Getty died of heart failure, estranged from much of his family, still rich and no doubt still miserly.

J. Paul Getty II fought depression and drug addiction until the 1980s, when he cleaned himself up. Subsequently, he used his substantial wealth to became a philanthropist and a collector of rare books and art.

He became a British citizen and was knighted in 1986 for his generous donations to the National Gallery in London. He died in 2003 at age 80.

J. Paul Getty III never again spoke to his father or grandfather, or tried to. Nor did he recover from the trauma of the kidnapping.

In 1981, a stroke brought on by a toxic mix of drugs and alcohol left J. Paul III partially paralyzed, nearly blind, and unable to speak. He remained wheelchair-bound until his death in 2011 at age 54.

Being rich and famous does not, of itself, make a person a reprehensible jerk. The wealthy don’t have a lock on being loathsome and dishonorable.

But so many in the affluent class qualify for that description that you have to wonder about cause and effect.

J. Paul.

J. Paul.

J. Paul II.

J. Paul II.

J. Paul III.

J. Paul III.

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A month or so ago, I pulled up behind a large black SUV at a traffic light. The stick figure family, I observed, reached halfway across the back window.

According to the stickers, the family consisted of Mom, Dad, two girls, two boys, a dog, a cat, and a turtle.

The vehicle was seriously dirty. It was covered in a uniform, yellowy-orangish layer that was a mixture of (1) Georgia red clay, which, when dry, is as fine as baby powder and adheres nicely to waxed metal, and (2) pine pollen, which was afflicting us at the time.

Written in the thick coating on the back window, clearly by different fingers, were four names: Kaylan, Shiloh, Holder, and Pruitt.

Fine names all, but more to the point, they reminded me of how American baby names have evolved over the years.

For example, consider the names a few generations ago of my Dad and his siblings. They were Walter Anthony, James Allan, John Daniel, and Martha Elizabeth.

Dad’s kids: Walter Allan, Frank Lee, Thomas Daniel, and Helen Elizabeth.

My kids: Britt David and Dustin Drew.

Their kids: Kathryn Sierra, Kelsey Elizabeth, Madeleine Grace, and Sarah Rose.

All in all, a mixture of the classic and the popular. You can see the evolution of name choices in this one family.

Seeing the names on the back of the SUV got me curious, so I Googled the subject. Below is the official list (from Social Security records) of the most common American baby names over the years.

Baby names-1

1945

James, Robert, John, William, Richard
Mary, Linda, Barbara, Patricia, Carol

1955

Michael, David, James, Robert, John
Mary, Deborah, Linda, Debra, Susan

1965

Michael, John, David, James, Robert
Lisa, Mary, Karen, Kimberly, Susan

1975

Michael, Jason, Christopher, James, David
Jennifer, Amy, Heather, Melissa, Angela

1985

Michael, Christopher, Matthew, Joshua, Daniel
Jessica, Ashley, Jennifer, Amanda, Sarah

1995

Michael, Matthew, Christopher, Jacob, Joshua
Jessica, Ashley, Emily, Samantha, Sarah

2005

Jacob, Michael, Joshua, Matthew, Ethan
Emily, Emma, Madison, Abigail, Olivia

2015

Liam, Noah, Mason, Ethan, Logan
Emma, Olivia, Sophia, Ava, Isabella

—————-

A few last random points about names…

— I always liked the name Brandi, but I didn’t have a daughter.
— My granddaughters have pals named Sophia, Isabella, Olivia, and Madison.
— The boys who live next door to me are Eli and Aiden.
— Among my childhood friends were Claude Lumpkin and Merwyn Lassiter.
— My dad grew up with a kid named Gober Soseby.
— The name Walter is no prize, but at least it isn’t Claude, Merwyn, or Gober.
Baby names-2

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Once again, here is a batch of memorable Hollywood movie scenes, just for the enjoyment. This is a follow-up to two of my earlier posts, Great Movie Scenes and More Great Movie Scenes.

Granted, motion pictures aren’t society’s highest form of art. But sometimes, they assemble the words, images, and emotions to nail the moment pretty well.

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“This Individuality Stuff is a Bunch  of Crap”

From “Patton,” 1970

Patton

(In 1944, General George S. Patton, Jr. steps onto a stage before soldiers of the Third Army. His custom-tailored uniform is resplendent with medals and ivory-handled pistols. A giant American flag is in the background. He salutes, standing ramrod straight as a bugler plays “To the Color.” Then he addresses the men.)

General Patton (George C. Scott): Be seated.

I want you to remember that no bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country.

Men, all this stuff you’ve heard about America not wanting to fight, wanting to stay out of the war, is a lot of horse dung. Americans, traditionally, love to fight. All real Americans love the sting of battle.

When you were kids, you all admired the champion marble shooter, the fastest runner, the big league ball players, the toughest boxers. Americans love a winner and will not tolerate a loser. Americans play to win all the time. I wouldn’t give a hoot in hell for a man who lost and laughed. That’s why Americans have never lost and will never lose a war. Because the very thought of losing is hateful to Americans.

Now, an army is a team. It lives, eats, sleeps, fights as a team. This individuality stuff is a bunch of crap. The bilious bastards who wrote that stuff about individuality for the Saturday Evening Post don’t know anything more about real battle than they do about fornicating.

Now, we have the finest food and equipment, the best spirit, and the best men in the world. You know, by God, I actually pity those poor bastards we’re going up against. By God, I do. We’re not just going to shoot the bastards. We’re going to cut out their living guts and use them to grease the treads of our tanks. We’re going to murder those lousy Hun bastards by the bushel.

Now, some of you boys, I know, are wondering whether or not you’ll chicken out under fire. Don’t worry about it. I can assure you that you will all do your duty. The Nazis are the enemy. Wade into them. Spill their blood. Shoot them in the belly. When you put your hand into a bunch of goo that a moment before was your best friend’s face, you’ll know what to do.

Now, there’s another thing I want you to remember. I don’t want to get any messages saying that we are holding our position. We’re not holding anything. Let the Hun do that. We are advancing constantly, and we’re not interested in holding onto anything — except the enemy.

We’re going to hold onto him by the nose, and we’re gonna kick him in the ass. We’re gonna kick the hell out of him all the time, and we’re gonna go through him like crap through a goose!

Now, there’s one thing that you men will be able to say when you get back home, and you may thank God for it. Thirty years from now when you’re sitting around your fireside with your grandson on your knee, and he asks you, “What did you do in the great World War II?” — you won’t have to say, “Well, I shoveled shit in Louisiana.”

All right, now, you sons-of-bitches, you know how I feel.

Oh, I will be proud to lead you wonderful guys into battle anytime, anywhere.

That’s all.

—————

“There is Justice in our Hearts”

From “The Verdict,” 1982

The Verdict

(Disgraced attorney Frank Galvin is about to lose a medical malpractice case against a prominent surgeon because the revealing testimony of a nurse was disallowed on a technicality. Galvin’s subdued closing argument sways the jury to his side anyway.)

Galvin (Paul Newman): Well, you know, so much of the time, we’re just lost. We say, ‘Please, God, tell us what is right, tell us what is true.’

I mean, there is no justice. The rich win. The poor are powerless. We become tired of hearing people lie. And after a time we become dead. A little dead. We think of ourselves as victims, and we become victims.

We become weak. We doubt ourselves, we doubt our beliefs. We doubt our institutions. And we doubt the law.

But today, YOU are the law. You ARE the law. Not some book, not the lawyers, not a marble statue, or the trappings of the court. Those are just symbols of our desire to be just. They are, in fact, a prayer. I mean a fervent and a frightened prayer.

In my religion, they say, ‘Act as if you have faith, and faith will be given to you.’ If we are to have faith in justice, we need only to believe in ourselves and act with justice.

See, I believe there is justice in our hearts.

(With a slight shrug, he turns and walks away from the jury box.)

—————

“Cyborgs Don’t Feel Pain. I Do. “

From “The Terminator,” 1984

The Terminator

(Sarah Connor lies terrified on the seat of a speeding sedan driven by her rescuer, Kyle Reese. For the moment, they have eluded the Terminator. Kyle speaks in a clipped, authoritative voice.)

Kyle (Michael Biehn): I’m here to help you. I’m Reese. Sergeant, Tech-Com, DN38416. Assigned to protect you. You’ve been targeted for termination.

Sarah (Linda Hamilton): This is a mistake! I didn’t do anything!

Kyle: No, but you will. It’s very important that you live.

Sarah: I can’t believe this is happening! How could that man just get up after you —

Kyle: Not a man. A Terminator. Cyberdyne Systems Model 101.

Sarah: A machine? You mean, like a robot?

Kyle: Not a robot. Cyborg. Cybernetic organism. All right, listen: the Terminator is an infiltration unit. Part man, part machine. Underneath, it’s a hyper-alloy combat chassis. Microprocessor controlled. Fully armored, very tough. But outside, it’s living, human tissue. Flesh, skin, hair, blood. Grown for the cyborgs.

Sarah: Look, Reese, I know you want to help, but —

Kyle: Pay attention! The 600 Series had rubber skin. We spotted them easy. But these are new. They look human. Sweat, bad breath, everything. Very hard to spot. I had to wait till he moved on you before I could zero him.

Sarah: Hey, I’m not stupid, you know! They can’t build anything like that yet!

Kyle: No, not yet. Not for about forty years.

Sarah: So, it’s from the future, is that right?

Kyle: One possible future. From your point of view. I don’t know tech stuff.

Sarah: And you’re from the future, too?

Kyle: Right.

(Reese stops at a red light. Sarah tries to run, but he drags her struggling back into the car. She sinks her teeth into his hand, draws blood. He shows no reaction.)

Kyle: Cyborgs don’t feel pain. I do. Don’t do that again.

Sarah (pleading weakly:) Just let me go.

Kyle: Listen. Understand. That Terminator is out there. It can’t be reasoned with. It can’t be bargained with. It doesn’t feel pity or remorse or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead!

Sarah (quietly): Can you stop it?

Kyle: Maybe. With these weapons… I don’t know.

—————

“I Just Want to Hit Something”

From “Steel Magnolias,” 1989

Steel Magnolias

(In a small Louisiana town, young Shelby Latcherie, diabetic mother of a one-year-old boy, has rejected a liver donated by her mother M’Lynn Eatonton and died. At graveside, after everyone else is gone, M’Lynn is alone with four close friends. One of them, Truvy Jones, has just touched up M’Lynn’s hair.)

M’Lynn (Sally Field): Last night, I went into Shelby’s closet for something, and guess what I found? All our Christmas presents. Stacked up. Wrapped. With her own two hands. I’d better go.

Truvy (Dolly Parton, handing M’Lynn a mirror): Better check the back.

M’Lynn: Perfect, As always. (She continues to gaze into the mirror.) You know, Shelby was right. It — it does kind of look like a blond football helmet. (She breaks down.)

Truvy: Honey, sit right back down. Do you feel alright?

M’Lynn (launching into a tirade): Yes! Yes! I feel fine! I feel great! I could jog to Texas and back, but my daughter can’t! She never could! I am so mad I don’t know what to do!

I want to know why! I want to know why Shelby’s life is over! How is that baby ever going to understand how wonderful his mother was? Will he ever understand what she went through for him?

I don’t understand! Lord, I wish I could. It is NOT supposed to happen this way. I’m supposed to go first. I’ve always been READY to go first.

I can’t stand this! I just want to hit somebody until they feel as bad as I do. I — I just want to hit something! And hit it hard!

(Clairee Belcher steps behind Louisa “Ouiser” Boudreaux and pushes her forward.)

Clairee (Olympia Dukakis): Here! Hit this! Go ahead, M’Lynn, slap her!

Ouiser (Shirley McClain): Are you crazy?

Clairee: Hit her!

Ouiser: Are you high?

Truvy: Clairee, have you lost your mind?

Clairee: We can sell t-shirts saying “I Slapped Ouiser Boudreaux!” Hit her!

Ouiser: Truvy, dial 9-1-1!

Clairee: Don’t let her beauty stand in the way! Hit her!

Annelle Desoto (Daryl Hannah): Miss Clairee, enough!

M’Lynn (regaining her composure): Hush, Clairee.

Ouiser: Let go of me!

Clairee: Well, M’Lynn, you just missed the chance of a lifetime. Most of Chinquapin Parish would give their eye teeth to take a whack at Ouiser.

Ouiser: You are a pig from hell.

Clairee: Okay, all right. Hit ME, then. I deserve it.

—————

“The Fall Will Kill You”

From “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” 1969

Butch and Sundance

(For days, Butch and Sundance have fled on horseback from a relentless, tireless “superposse.” Suddenly, their rocky path through the mountains ends at a sheer cliff. They are trapped. Members of the posse begin climbing to outflank them.)

The Sundance Kid (Robert Redford): They’re going for position, all right. (He takes out his guns and examines them.) We better get ready.

Butch Cassidy (Paul Newman): The next time I say let’s go somewhere like Bolivia, let’s go somewhere like Bolivia.

Sundance: Next time. You ready, Butch?

Butch (suddenly getting an idea): No! We’ll jump!

(The camera pans down to a fast-flowing river 50 feet below.)

Sundance: Like hell we will.

Butch: No, it’s gonna be okay — if the water’s deep enough we don’t get squished to death. They’ll never follow us!

Sundance: How do you know?

Butch: Would you make a jump like that you didn’t have to?

Sundance: I have to, and I’m not gonna.

Butch: Well, we got to, otherwise we’re dead. They’re just gonna have to go back down the same way they came. Come on!

Sundance (looking up the mountain): Just one clear shot, that’s all I want.

Butch: Come on!

Sundance: Nope.

Butch: We got to!

Sundance: No. Get away from me.

Butch: Why?

Sundance: I wanna fight ’em.

Butch: They’ll kill us!

Sundance: Maybe.

Butch: You wanna die?

Sundance (gesturing toward the river below): Do you?

Butch: All right, I’ll jump first.

Sundance: No.

Butch: Then you jump first.

Sundance: NO, I said!

Butch: What’s the matter with you?

Sundance (shouting): I can’t swim!

(Butch stares at Sundance blankly, then roars with laughter.)

Butch: Why, are you crazy? The fall’ll probably kill ya!

(Butch takes off his gun belt, holds one end, and offers the other end to Sundance. Sundance wraps it tight around his hand. They run toward the edge of the cliff and leap off together.)

Sundance (yelling as they fall): Oooohhhhhh shhhiiiiii—!!!!!!

—————

“That is Why You Fail”

From “The Empire Strikes Back,” 1980

Use the Force

(On the planet Degobah, young Luke Skywalker tries to use “the Force” to raise his X-wing fighter from the swamp, but fails. The fighter slips back under the water.)

Luke (Mark Hamill): Oh, no! We’ll never get it out now!

Jedi Master Yoda (Voice of Frank Oz): So certain are you. (He sighs.) Always with you it cannot be done. Hear you nothing that I say?

Luke: Master, moving stones around is one thing. This is totally different.

Yoda: No! No different! Only different in your mind. You must unlearn what you have learned.

Luke: All right, I’ll give it a try.

Yoda: No! Try not! Do or do not. There is no try.

Luke (failing again): I can’t. It’s too big.

Yoda: Size matters not! Look at me. Judge me by my size, do you? Hmm? Hmph! And well you should not, for my ally is the Force. And a powerful ally it is. Life creates it, makes it grow. Its energy surrounds us and binds us.

Luminous beings are we (he pinches Luke’s bare shoulder) — not this crude matter. You must feel the Force around you! Here, between you, me, the tree, the rock, everywhere! Yes, even between the land and the ship.

Luke: You want the impossible. (He walks away.)

(Yoda, concentrating deeply, levitates the ship and sets it on dry land.)

Yoda (Exhaling): Mmm…

Luke: I don’t — I don’t believe it.

Yoda: That is why you fail.

 

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Last year, I posted a story about the popular Dos Equis Beer ad campaign featuring “the most interesting man in the world.”

Well, here it is a year later, and the list of interesting man’s capabilities and accomplishments has grown exponentially. I am compelled to post an addendum.

Stay thirsty, my friends.

—————

His pillow is cool on both sides.

He can cure tone deafness by humming in your ear.

He once won a staring contest with his own reflection.

Batman watches Saturday morning cartoons about him.

He once parallel-parked a train.

His garden maze is responsible for more missing persons than the Bermuda
Triangle.

He is the reason those nine ladies are dancing.

Roses stop to smell him.

His tailgate parties have been known to cause game delays.

Eskimos have seven different words to describe his beard.

He can make orange juice out of apples.

He has never relied on mistletoe.

Chuck Norris is his caddie.

He once threw a 99-yard touchdown pass to himself.

His ten gallon hat holds twenty gallons.

He can line dance in a circle.

He once landed a 747 on an aircraft carrier.

He has taught old dogs a variety of new tricks.

He has never walked into a spider web.

Even his enemies list him as their emergency contact.

25 Mexican folk songs have been written about his beard.

He has inside jokes with complete strangers.

He once ran a marathon because it was on his way.

He can steal thunder’s thunder.

His Cinco de Mayo parties start on March 8.

Freemasons strive to learn his secret handshake.

If he were to pat you on the back, you would list it on your resume.

He held the first water cooler conversation.

He tried to catch a cold, just to see what it felt like, but it didn’t take.

He once turned a vampire into a vegetarian.

When he meets the Pope, the Pope kisses his ring.

He has never filled up on chips.

He won the Tour de France on a unicycle.

He is considered a national treasure in countries he’s never visited.

His small talk has altered foreign policy.

Once, a rattlesnake bit him. After five days of excruciating pain, the snake died.

Bigfoot tries to get pictures of him.

He can make a weeping willow laugh.

If opportunity knocks and he is not at home, opportunity waits.

He can kill two stones with one bird.

His tears can cure cancer. Too bad he never cries.

Bear hugs are what he gives bears.

If you were to see him walking a Chihuahua, it would still look masculine.

He once went to a psychic to warn her.

The last time he flirted with danger, danger got clingy.

Sharks have a week dedicated to him.

Once when he was young, he sent his parents to his room.

He is the life of parties he has never attended.

He won the World Series of Poker using UNO cards.

In Rome, they do as he does.

If he were to visit the dark side of the Moon, it wouldn’t be dark.

He can speak Russian in French.

Werewolves are jealous of his beard.

He once brought a knife to a gunfight, just to even the odds.

He has written piano concertos on the ukulele.

He once played Russian Roulette with a fully loaded magnum, and won.

When buying something, he doesn’t need money. He just winks.

It has never been his bad.

Most interesting man

 

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