Humorous Quotes from
A Fine and Pleasant Misery
By Patrick McManus
- Camping is now aluminum-covered, propane-heated,
foam-padded, air-conditioned, bug-proofed, flip-topped, disposable, and
transistorized. Hardship on a modern camping trip is blowing a fuse on your
electric underwear, or having the battery peter out on your Porta-Shaver.
- Half the fun of camping in those days was looking
forward to getting back home.
- It was against his principle - he only had one - to
ever be caught more than an hour's distance away from a food supply.
- Every so often I read an article on how to survive
when lost in the wilds, and I have to laugh. The experts who write these
pieces know everything about survival but next to nothing about getting
lost. I am an expert on getting lost.
- It is best, if one is a panicker, to get the panic
out of the system as quickly as possible.
- We had learned from war movies that steel helmets
could be used for boiling things in. On hot summer days, we found out what -
- Several times the fantasy prevented my perishing
from a loathsome childhood affliction: school.
- Once in a seventh-grade English class I stumbled
into a nest of dangling participles.
- On occasion, Mr. Rumsdale, our seventh-grade
English teacher, would unexpectedly break through the thick and buttressed
walls of our indifference and start throwing parts of speech in all
directions. Several of my friends were knocked silly by flying objects of
- Fathers are all right and I'm not knocking them,
since I'm one myself, but from a kid's point of view they spend entirely too
much time at a thing called the office or some other equally boring place of
- If a kid accidentally triggers an old man, he is
liable to get his vocabulary peppered with colorful expressions that will
send his mother into shock the first time one tumbles off his tender lips.
- Grit, I've learned over the years, is one of the
best things an old man has to offer a kid. That and fine lying, and maybe
the proper use of the language.
- The seat on the Bike was of the kind usually found
on European racing bikes. The principle behind the design of this seat is
that the rider goes to beat hell the sooner to get off of it.
- The Bike had a couple of little tricks it did with
its chain that the Marquis de Sade would have envied.
- When we went camping on our one-speed bikes, it
looked as if we had a baby elephant on the handlebars and the mother on
- City planners have shown beyond doubt that old
orchards, meadows, and pine woods, which once threatened the outskirts of
many of our towns and cities, can be successfully eradicated by
constructing a housing development on top of them.
- Housing developments are a great boon to camping,
since they make such fine places to get away from.
- The true initiation into manhood consists of
Sleeping Out Alone in your backyard for the very first time. You can almost
always recognize a kid who has just completed this ritual. There will be a
slight swagger to his gait, and a new firmness to his jaw - and he will be
old and wrinkled and have white hair.
- Ol' Miss Goosehart had hooked me on reading. It was
a terrible thing to do to an innocent kid who wanted nothing more out of
like than to fish and hunt and maybe run a trapline in off season.
- Eventually I grew up, a fact that surprised many of
our neighbors, some of whom lost good money betting against that likelihood.
- I was patching up the raft, a task just slightly
more complicated than performing abdominal surgery on a hippopotamus.
- As we grew older - sometimes on the raft we would
age a couple of years in just five seconds...
- Provisioning a kid camping trip was very educational
for a youngster. For one thing, it taught him the rudiments of lying.
- Gram possessed all the qualities Rancid despised in
a person. She was practical, hardworking, neat, clean, methodical, and never
smoked, drank, or told lies.
- I was all for leaving school and getting started in
the fur trade as soon as possible, but my mother wouldn't hear of it. She
said I would have to wait until I was through the third grade or reached the
age of eighteen, whichever came first.
- Most mountain men died off back in the nineteenth
century, once again displaying their uncommon good sense.
- The other morning I was staring vacantly out the
window, a hobby I personally find more entertaining than, say, stamp
collecting or golf.
- I am no more incompetent or susceptible to trouble
than the average person, no matter what my friends might say.
- As a rule, suffering the consequences of one's
predicament is preferable to the risks of being rescued.
- Now I'm not one to swim upstream in the river of
- One of the axioms of hunting is that more time is
spent hunting for hunting companions than for deer.
- The know-it-all is now listed as a threatened
species. I myself have threatened a large number of them and, on occasion,
have even endangered a few.
- On one of the doggier of last summer's dog days, my
family and I simmered grimly in our own juices as we toiled along, a bit of
the flotsam in a sluggish river of traffic.
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