WASHINGTON, January 9, 2013 — A well receivied Thanksgiving column listing “stuffing” items for sharing around the turkey table leds to this: A New Year’s tray of factoids, stats, maxims, quotes, anecdotes, yarns, and yawns.
We’re calling this selection of hors d’oeuvre, New Year Nuggets.
* The fortune cookie read: “Disregard previous fortune cookie.”
* Do I believe that “Genius” is the ability to hold two opposing opinions at the same time? Yes and No.
* Hard to believe that in the English language only two words have the five vowels in order: facetious and abstemious.
* Why is nothing simply “FREE” anymore? It’s always “absolutely free”?
* When the hosts of talent shows and beauty pageants say, “Good luck to all of you” (as they invariably do), aren’t they nullifying their “good luck” wish?
* One of the two most misused words in the English language: enormity. It’s too often used by television personalities as if it means “really big,” which is a really big mistake. It means “wicked” or “evil.” One politico said on TV, “We’re impressed with the enormity of our campaign.”
* Nursery Rhymes for Adults: “Policeman Peter Pepper pinched a pack of pickled party people.” Say that three times and you’ll be released into your own recognizance.
* I couldn’t resist saying to the young woman seated beside me on the Metro, when I saw she reading “Catch 22,” “There’s one thing wrong with that book.” When she asked what, I gleefully told her: “If you’ve never read this classic, you feel stupid, and if you do read it, you can’t look forward to reading it. It’s a “catch 22.”
* Hard to believe that in the English language there are only two words, which end in “gry”: angry and hungry.
* “Generally speaking,” said Groucho Marx, “women are generally speaking.”
* When I told my pal Tunis that I always wear a hat in winter because 90 percent of body heat escapes through the top of the head, he squinted at my bald pate and said, “In your case it don’t have to escape — it’s wide open up there.”
* Nora Joyce asked her husband James, “Why don’t you write books people can read?”
* The numbers are: 8 - 5 - 4 - 9 - 1 -7 - 6 - 10 - 3 - 2 — what do these numbers represent? A lottery winner? What? (See bottom of page for answer.)
* Babe Ruth said, “It’s time to retire when the first-base line starts looking up hill.”
* I’m waiting for somebody to write a melody for my Country-Western song idea: “Just Like Your Little Tattoo, I’ve Got Designs On You.”
* Poet e e cummings wrote, “Nobody, not even the rain, has such small hands.” Huh?
* A famous saying made up entirely of four-letter words: “Into each life some rain must fall.”
* “Hasten slowly” sounds like good advice, if you can pull it off. (This quote has been blamed on, or credited to, a lot of different people.)
* The late Andy Williams’ most famous song, “Moon River,” was never released as a single.
* A smile is contagious — so let’s all be carriers.
* How hypocritical! The mime shot himself and didn’t use a silencer.
* In this day of high-tech computers, the longest word one can spell using only the top row of letter keys is…”typewriter.”
* Does the name Pavlov ring a bell?
(Answer to numbers question: these are numbers one through ten in alphabetical order.)
Vance Garnett’s writings have appeared in major newspapers and magazines. They have won the praise of such luminaries as the legendary Paul Harvey, White House speechwriter/Columnist William Safire, and Shirley Povich. dean of American sportswriters.
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