Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Considerable wisdom in this utterance

"I hate theorizing. It's always silly." This is a quote from Death of a Ghost, by Margery Allingham. If you will think about it, this short utterance contains a great deal of wisdom. Until we have sufficient data to draw a conclusion, what point is there in the endless theorizing that we are so prone to do. How many human relationships have been strained by this practice? It is much safer (and much more efficient) just to wait until we know. Endless guessing serves only to torment and exhaust the mind.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

We just assume doctor's know

During his seven or eight years of general practice he had not quite grown used to the amazing complacency with which the relations of his patients put their responsibilities gratefully onto his shoulders, as if his medical degrees carried with them a species of omnipotence together with a thorough knowledge of the world.

(from Death of a Ghost, by Margery Allingham)

Monday, October 29, 2018

The natural path of an artist's popularity

Johnnie believed in his work, and he guessed that it would boom just after his death and then go completely out of favour - as of course it did. But he realized that as it was really good it would be bound to be recognized again eventually, and he guessed that ten years was about the time public opinion would take.

(from Death of a Ghost, by Margery Allingham)

Sunday, October 28, 2018

The Countess de Jongh

Her name was Andree Eugenie Adrienne de Jongh. Her nickname was Deedee. She was one of the more famous of the members of the European Resistance during World War II. She organized the famous Comet Line to get escaped Allied soldiers and airmen to places of safety. In the course of her work she became a World War II legend. After the war she was made a Countess in the Belgian nobility by King Baudouin.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Self-assurance overcomes lack of fashion

"She wore it with the assurance that it was unfashionable, unconventional, and devastatingly becoming." (from Death of a Ghost, by Margery Allingham)

Sometimes women can wear something that ought not to work, but they make it work because it just fits them.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Leaving a trail

Whatever a man does leaves a trail behind, and in his passing he leaves indications of the manner of man he is, of his character, and even something of his plans. It requires only the observant and understanding eye to read what the trail can show. Nor does any person stand completely alone in this world, for when he passes he brushes, perhaps ever so slightly upon other, and each is never quite the same thereafter.

(from High Lonesome, by Louis L'Amour)

Thursday, October 25, 2018

The need to protect

"Folks talk a lot about the maternal feeling in women, but they say nothing about man's need to protect and care for someone; yet the one feeling is as basic as the other."

(from High Lonesome, by Louis L'Amour)

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Frank Puglia - he looked the part

Frank Puglia made a good living playing heavies in the movies and later on television. If you needed someone who looked like he was a mafioso, Puglia was your man.

And, in fact Puglia was born in Sicily, the origin of the mafia. So if he looked the part, there was good reason for it.

Image result for frank puglia

Monday, October 22, 2018

What the days take away

Folks said time was a healer, but time was also a thief. It robbed a man of years, and robbed him of memories.

(from High Lonesome, by Louis L'Amour)

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Yes, he is talking about the Sacketts

"I had never seen that man before, but once I knew somebody who looked very much like him, and if they are related let me suggest you find the killer and find him fast."

"What's that mean?"

"It means that if that man should be part of the family I am talking about, you have the killer in jail before they come looking. If you don't they'll take the town apart, plank by plank, brick by brick."

(from Borden Chantry, by Louis L'Amour)

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Just a small-fry crook

Probably if I'd been one of the topnotchers, about to do a ten years stretch for burglary or arson or what not, it would have been different, but I was only one of the small fry who get twenty-eight days in the second division, and I couldn't help thinking the officer was looking down on me. Not actually sneering, perhaps, but aloof in his manner, as if feeling I wasn't much for a cop to get his teeth into.

(from Stiff Upper Lip, Jeeves, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

Friday, October 19, 2018

Cass Daley - a rough way to die

Wikipedia gives this account of the death of goofy comedienne Cass Daley: "On March 22, 1975, alone in her apartment, the 59-year-old comedian apparently fell and landed on her glass-top coffee table. A shard of glass jammed into her throat and she bled out before her husband came home and discovered her."

Ouch! That is a rough way to go.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

You have to be tough with these guys

"Never does to let these fellows off lightly," said Plank. "I had a servant chap in Mozambique who used to help himself to my cigars, and I foolishly overlooked it because he assured me he had got religion and everything would be quite all right from now on. And it wasn't a week later that he skipped out, taking with him a box of Havanas and my false teeth, which he sold to one of the native chiefs in the neighbourhood. Cost me a case of trade gin and two strings of beads to get them back."

(from Stiff Upper Lip, Jeeves, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Lethargy among the savages?

My disapproval extended to the personnel of the various native tribes he had encountered in the course of his explorations. On his own showing, he had for years been horning in uninvited on the aborigines of Brazil, the Congo and elsewhere, and not one of them apparently had had the enterprise to get after him with a spear or to say it with poisoned darts from the family blowpipe. And these were fellows who called themselves savages. Savages, forsooth! The savages in the books I used to read in my childhood would have had him in the Obituary column before he could say, "What ho," but with the ones you get nowadays it's all slackness and laissez-faire. Can't be bothered. Leave it to somebody else. Let George do it. One sometimes wonders what the world's coming to.

(from Stiff Upper Lip, Jeeves, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Give me meat!

"I don't believe it. Thousands of people are vegetarians and enjoy perfect health."

"Bodily health, yes," I said, cleverly seizing on the debating point. "But what of the soul? If you suddenly steer a fellow off the steaks and chops, it does something to his soul. My Aunt Agatha once made my Uncle Percy be a vegetarian, and his whole nature became soured. Not," I was forced to admit, "that it wasn't fairly soured already, as anyone's would be who was in constant contact with my Aunt Agatha."

(from Stiff Upper Lip, Jeeves, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

Monday, October 15, 2018

A canine survivor

My uncle Ishmael and his family lived right on Arkansas Highway 10 - I mean right on it. The highway began where the yard left off. They went through a long list of dogs during their stay there. The fatality rate was high. Except for one. Penny was a survivor. They called her a mole dog. I don't know if that was because of her activities or if that was supposed to be a specific breed. Whatever the case, she knew how to look both ways before she got out on the highway, and lived to a ripe old age.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Ripe aroma

"Stop that, Bartholomew, you blighted dog!" bellowed Stiffy, abruptly changing the subject, and she hastened off on winged feet to confer with the hound, who had found something in, I presumed, the last stages of decay and was rolling on it. I could follow her train of thought. Scotties at their best are niffy. Add to their natural bouquet the aroma of a dead rat or whatever it was, and you have a mixture too rich for the human nostril. There was a momentary altercation, and Bartholomew, cursing a good deal as was natural, was hauled off tubwards.

(from Stiff Upper Lip, Jeeves, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Crime on the distaff side

The gentler sex love blackmail. not once but on several occasions has my Aunt Dahlia bent me to her will by threatening that if I didn't play ball she would bar me from her table, thus dashing Anatole's lunches and dinners from my lips. Show me a delicately nurtured female, and I will show you a ruthless Napoleon of crime, prepared without turning a hair to put the screws on some unfortunate male whose services she happens to be in need of. There ought to be a law.

(from Stiff Upper Lip, Jeeves, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

Friday, October 12, 2018

Repent, you sinner!

Looking about me, I found myself gazing into the eyes of the dog Bartholomew, which were fixed on me with the sinister intentness which is characteristic of this breed of animal. Aberdeen terriers, possibly owing to their heavy eyebrows, always seem to look at you as if they were in the pulpit of the church of some particularly strict Scottish sect and you were a parishioner of dubious reputation sitting in the front row of the stalls.

(from Stiff Upper Lip, Jeeves, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Want to be a specialist?

Tired of the drab, every-day world of being an airline pilot? Then why not become a Super Guppy pilot? It is a unique aircraft specially made to transport outsize loads. Five of them were built, all of which still exist, but four of which currently are on display.

Image result for super guppy plane

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Definitely fishy

Seeing him steadily, if not whole, I could detect in his aspect no trace of the lamb, but he was looking so like a halibut that if he hadn't been wearing horn-rimmed spectacles, a think halibuts seldom do, I might have supposed myself to be gazing on something a.w.o.l. from a fishmonger's slab.

(from Stiff Upper Lip, Jeeves, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

Glad to get rid of me

Myself, I've never found a host and hostess who could stick my presence for more than about a week. Indeed, long before that as a general rule the conversation at the dinner table is apt to turn on the subject of how good the train service to London is, those present obviously hoping wistfully that Bertram will avail himself of it. Not to mention the time-tables left in your room with a large cross against the 2:35 and the legend, "Excellent train. Highly recommended."

(from Stiff Upper Lip, Jeeves, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

Monday, October 08, 2018

Some guys are just weird

"You've never kept newts, have you?"

"No, sir."

"Nor have I. Nor, to the best of my knowledge, have Einstein, Jack Dempsey and the Archbishop of Canterbury, to name but three others. Yet Gussie revels in their society and is never happier than when curled up with them. It takes all sorts to make a world, Jeeves."

(from Stiff Upper Lip, Jeeves, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

Sunday, October 07, 2018

Gun control would not be enough

"I wish we had a gun) for you, too, Matty."

"It would be better mum, but there's never a home without its weapons. There's the butcher knife yonder and sticks of stove wood, lids from the stove, and there's pepper in the shaker. As for that, we could keep some water hot. Boilin' water has a way of changin' men's minds. We will have to do with what we have, mum."

(from The Cherokee Trail, by Louis L'amour)

Saturday, October 06, 2018

Concerning mad colonels

The beating of the gong in a country house is so exclusively the prerogative of the butler, and so rigidly confined to the half hour before dinner and the moment when that dinner is ready to be served, that when its note rings out after dinner has been concluded, the natural inference on the part of those who hear it is that the butler must have gone mad. And as a mad butler is a sight which only the most blasé would ignore, it is not surprising that within a few moments of the commencement of Colonel Tanner's performance the hall had become full of interested spectators.

Mr. Chinnery and Mr. Waugh-Bonner came from the billiard room. The drawing room gave of its plenty in the shape of Mrs. Folsom, Mrs. Shepley, Mr. Profitt and Mr. Billing, who had been sitting down to a rubber of bridge.

The discovery of the gonster's identity caused the excitement of the company to turn to bewilderment, tinged a little with disappointment. A mad colonel is always well worth looking at, of course, but he can never have quite the same box office appeal as a mad butler.

(from Summer Moonshine, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

Friday, October 05, 2018

George Murphy - a good all-round actor

He was a "hoofer," a song and dance man, and so was fairly athletic in his stage presence. And even in films where he did not dance, he had a very good feel for comedy and came off as a nice leading man type. Of course, he went on to a bigger career as a U S Senator from California.

Image result for george murphy

Thursday, October 04, 2018

The rousing of the stomach

A sudden quiver ran through Tubby. The words had started a train of thought. It was as if his stomach had been a Sleeping Beauty and that crack about cold beef the kiss that had wakened it to life. For there was no mistake about it having been wakened to life. It was up and shouting. Until this this moment, having been practically pure spirit, he had been able to ignore the frequent complaints which it had been endeavouring to communicate with G.H.Q., but now connexion was established. He continued to fold her in his arms, but it was with a growing feeling that he wished she had been a steak smothered in onions.

(from Summer Moonshine, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

Wednesday, October 03, 2018


"And let me mention that if you persist in refusing to come clean, I'll poke you in the snoot." It was a policy which had suggested itself to him once or twice since this interview had begun, and he had found himself more and more drawn to it. It had worked wonders, he reminded himself, in the case of Mr. Bulpitt, and who could say that it would not prove equally effective now? Snoot-poking, moreover, is a thing which grows on a man. Once let him acquire the appetite, and he becomes like the tiger that ha tasted blood. Just as such a tiger goes about calling for more blood and refusing to be put off with just-as-good substitutes, so does he yearn for more snoots to poke. He gets the feeling that he wants to do it to everyone he meets, sparing neither age nor sex.

(from Summer Moonshine, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

Tuesday, October 02, 2018

Not fond of his step-mother

"You've never met the Princess Dwornitzchek, of course. . . . Yes, you have, though. What am I thinking of? If that boy's your brother, she's your stepmother."

"No getting away from that."

"Then you know what a perfectly ghastly woman - I beg your pardon. Shouldn't have said that."

"On the contrary," Joe assured him warmly, "your words are music to my ears."

"You don't like the Princess?"

"I regard her as the sand in Civilization's spinach."

(from Summer Moonshine, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

Monday, October 01, 2018

"Slip the plaster on him"

In P. G. Wodehouse's novel, Summer Moonshine, one of the characters is a process server. He comes to the main residence saying, "Miss Prudence Whittaker is suing this T .P. Vanringham for breach of promise and heart balm, and I've come to slip the plaster on him." Plaster, then, refers to the official summons.