Humorous Quotes from
Everything but Money
By Sam Levenson
- Our watchword was a variant of the adage "Better to light a candle than curse the darkness." We did curse the darkness quite a bit, but we also lit candles, fires, lamps - and we studied by all of them.
- It is also possible - and this is not unusual among poor children - that I
went on my merry way being merry simply because I did not know any better.
- I didn't know that beds were supposed to be soft. To me "bed and board" meant one and the same thing.
- I didn't know that meatballs were supposed to contain meat. To this day I don't like the taste of meatballs made of meat. They just don't taste like Mama's.
- Ours was a life of plenty: plenty of relatives, neighbors, boarders,
janitors, landlords, holidays, cockroaches, cats, dogs, music, books,
romance, fights, parties, weddings, medals, illnesses, politicians,
superstitions and junk.
- Mama's ashamed to leave dirty dishes in the sink overnight. If a burglar
broke in she would be embarrassed.
- At our house "The line is busy" meant that Mama was hanging out the wash.
- Our family and the landlord had only one thing in common - we were both trying to raise the rent.
- I never heard Mama pray for anything but food and good health for herself and the family. She may have wanted roses, too, but she was afraid of offending God by asking for more of life than any of the other mothers on our block were getting.
- Mama believed in the survival of the fattest.
- We kids organized ourselves into clubs. I belonged to an exclusive one. We had been excluded so often we decided to exclude back.
- Admission requirements for the club were very simple. Any kid who owned a bat and ball was unanimously elected president. If we (or he) lost the ball we could always impeach him.
- Today's cowboys are capable not only of signing their names, but of
- They were called silent pictures. Maybe the pictures were silent, but the
audience certainly wasn't. When "talkies" came in, it was two years before we noticed the change.
- Mama felt that if Heaven saw fit to give her eight kids to look after, she
could impose upon Heaven to baby-sit for her once in a while.
- Our block, like the world, was a stage on which we saw enacted all the
tragedy a human being can bear as well as all the comedy one needed in order to survive all the tragedy.
- Although there were eight of us children, we were outnumbered by two
- Baby's bedtime is the twilight zone of sanity in the child-centered home.
- The fear of "depriving" our children has produced the most "gifted"
generation of children in our history. We shower them with gifts to prove our love, with the inevitable result that the gift of love has degenerated into a love of gifts.
- Celebration comes after victory, not before. There are too many youngsters celebrating without cause.
- I've seen ten-year-old kids tending bar, rigged up in a bartender's apron, much to the delight of their sophisticated parents. These kids were swallowing in their father's footsteps.
- In tribal cultures, when a youth successfully survives the rites de passage, he is granted the status of manhood and a wife of his own. In middle-class America he gets a car.
- "Spare the rod" today means simply that the young man has a date, as in 'Can you spare the rod tonight, Dad?"
- More girls have been converted convertibles in the last hundred years than in bedrooms during the previous hundred years. But, say you, "I trust my daughter." And I say there are conditions under which even Grandma, driven to the right drive-in, just might be driven to it.
- One at a time is love. Two is promiscuous. With three it's sexual
independence, and beyond that, research.
- All this sexual activity is known as playing it cool, a passionate commitment to no commitment.
- One of the popular college-entrance clichés is "well-roundedness." Like the meatball, which is also well-rounded, the applicant must contain a little bit of everything. One young man got so involved in debating, fencing, swimming, stamps and cheering that he forgot how to read.
- "The whole world is watching America, and America is watching TV." - Folk Saying, U.S.A.
- It was Emerson who said, "A weed is a plant whose virtues have not been discovered."
- Patriotism has as much to do with living for freedom as with dying for it.
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