(In) Famous Quotes
Author, lecturer and satirist Bob Mills submits here the results of extensive research to collect the more obscure quotes of the famous and infamous that don’t, for various reasons, appear in “Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations.”
A restaurant owner in Damascus is reported to have said to Lawrence of Arabia, "Nice hat, but I'm gonna have to charge you extra for the tablecloth."
Frustrated with the sorry state of their household finances, Mrs. Hippocrates once said to her husband "Who's gonna buy an oath? Why don't you try writing a screenplay?"
Cyclops reportedly once said to a friend, "Yes, it's a monocle, why do you ask?"
Greeting a tired and bedraggled Gen. George Custer returning home from combat, Mrs. Custer reportedly said "You're late again -- and take that arrow out of your neck when I'm talking to you!"
P.T. Barnum reportedly remarked while deciding on a name for a new business venture with his his newly-acquired partner, Alphonse Bailey, "Bailey & Barnum almost says it, but let's keep thinking."
Francis Scott Key's music publisher was overheard telling him "Frank, we like 'Oh Say Can You Wiggle Your Ears?,' but we really think you can do better."
John Philip Souza's mother who, following a particularly lengthy spell of parental neglect, is said to have yelled at her son, "Souza, phone!"
Sitting at his desk one evening, quill pen in hand, Abraham Lincoln is supposed to have asked his wife Mary Todd "Which sounds better 'fourscore and seven' or 'threescore and twenty-seven'?"
One spring day, while Hewey, Louie and Dewey watched their Uncle Scrooge hiding Easter eggs, Scrooge cautioned them "Now, no peeking, Ducks!"
In 1912, as the ill-fated Cunard liner Titanic was about to slip into the briny deep, the vessel's First Officer reportedly announced "The Captain's 'Arrival in Port Party' has been downgraded from black-tie to casual, people!"
Several onlookers in the crowd lining the boulevard, reported that they thought they overheard Lady Godiva angrily ask a sponsor, "Isn't there a warmer way to sell your damn chocolates?"
Upon signing his first long-term contract with Jello, for whom he would broadcast his radio show for a decade, Jack Benny is said to have solemnly announced: "Gentlemen, you've just witnessed custard's last stand."
Barely decernable over the noise of a frenzied crowd of peasants thursting for blood, Joan of Arc leaned down from the stake to which she had been lashed and was heard to whisper to her executioner, "Nice lighter. A gift?"
As his new creation studied himself in the mirror for the first time, Dr. Frankenstein is reported to have said "Oh, those? No problem. You can wear a turtleneck."
Professional cathedral bell-ringer Quasimoto was once overheard asking a tradesman, "You think a Sleep Number mattress will help THIS?"
Upon being asked by a reporter how many years he thought his new "blue jeans" would remain popular among the fashion-conscious, Levi Strauss reportedly replied "Five hundred and one?"
And finally, we leave you with the immortal words of the infamous serial killer Hannibal Lecter who once reportedly said to a neighbor, "Last night, I had my best friend for dinner. Delicious!"
(c) 1992-2010 by Robert L. Mills (All Rights Reserved)
These quotes originally appeared in the online newsletter "Funny Side Up."