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#6614Training is everything. The peach was once a bitter almond; cauliflower is
nothing but cabbage with a college education.
-- Mark Twain, "Pudd'nhead Wilson's Calendar"
#6615Truth is the most valuable thing we have -- so let us economize it.
-- Mark Twain
#6616Unless hours were cups of sack, and minutes capons, and clocks the tongues
of bawds, and dials the signs of leaping houses, and the blessed sun himself
a fair, hot wench in flame-colored taffeta, I see no reason why thou shouldst
be so superfluous to demand the time of the day. I wasted time and now doth
time waste me.
-- William Shakespeare
#6617Wagner's music is better than it sounds.
-- Mark Twain
#6618Water, taken in moderation cannot hurt anybody.
-- Mark Twain
#6619We know all about the habits of the ant, we know all about the habits of the
bee, but we know nothing at all about the habits of the oyster. It seems
almost certain that we have been choosing the wrong time for studying the
-- Mark Twain, "Pudd'nhead Wilson's Calendar"
#6620We should be careful to get out of an experience only the wisdom that is
in it - and stay there, lest we be like the cat that sits down on a hot
stove-lid. She will never sit down on a hot stove-lid again - and that
is well; but also she will never sit down on a cold one any more.
-- Mark Twain
#6621We were young and our happiness dazzled us with its strength. But there was
also a terrible betrayal that lay within me like a Merle Haggard song at a
French restaurant. [...]
I could not tell the girl about the woman of the tollway, of her milk
white BMW and her Jordache smile. There had been a fight. I had punched her
boyfriend, who fought the mechanical bulls. Everyone told him, "You ride the
bull, senor. You do not fight it." But he was lean and tough like a bad
rib-eye and he fought the bull. And then he fought me. And when we finished
there were no winners, just men doing what men must do. [...]
"Stop the car," the girl said.
There was a look of terrible sadness in her eyes. She knew about the
woman of the tollway. I knew not how. I started to speak, but she raised an
arm and spoke with a quiet and peace I will never forget.
"I do not ask for whom's the tollway belle," she said, "the tollway
belle's for thee."
The next morning our youth was a memory, and our happiness was a lie.
Life is like a bad margarita with good tequila, I thought as I poured whiskey
onto my granola and faced a new day.
-- Peter Applebome, International Imitation Hemingway
#6622Well, anyway, I was reading this James Bond book, and right away I realized
that like most books, it had too many words. The plot was the same one that
all James Bond books have: An evil person tries to blow up the world, but
James Bond kills him and his henchmen and makes love to several attractive
women. There, that's it: 24 words. But the guy who wrote the book took
*thousands* of words to say it.
Or consider "The Brothers Karamazov", by the famous Russian alcoholic
Fyodor Dostoyevsky. It's about these two brothers who kill their father.
Or maybe only one of them kills the father. It's impossible to tell because
what they mostly do is talk for nearly a thousand pages. If all Russians talk
as much as the Karamazovs did, I don't see how they found time to become a
major world power.
I'm told that Dostoyevsky wrote "The Brothers Karamazov" to raise
the question of whether there is a God. So why didn't he just come right
out and say: "Is there a God? It sure beats the heck out of me."
Other famous works could easily have been summarized in a few words:

* "Moby Dick" -- Don't mess around with large whales because they symbolize
nature and will kill you.
* "A Tale of Two Cities" -- French people are crazy.
-- Dave Barry
#6623What good is an obscenity trial except to popularize literature?
-- Nero Wolfe, "The League of Frightened Men"
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