A “Real” Top Ten List of One-Liners

top10Apparently, Gyles Brandreth has, after years of research, come up with the 10 Best One-Liners from the Oxford Book of Humourous Quotes.  I beg to differ.  Stick to Scrabble, my friend.  Your quotes are the Tiny Tim of 10 Best Lists.  If your selections were a horse, a good vet would have to shoot it.  Not only didn’t you include Dorothy Parker and Wilson Mizner, but you haven’t even brought the best Mae West, Groucho Marx or Oscar Wilde! However, rather than just carp about it, I’ve decided to produce a Ten Best of my own.  First, Mr. Brandreth’s list.  Then mine.  You be the judge.

10 – “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.”  (Jane Austen)

9 – (Nancy Astor to Winston Churchill) “If I were your wife, I would put poison in your coffee!”

Churchill: “And if I were your husband, I would drink it.”

8 – “I never forget a face, but in your case I’ll be glad to make an exception.” (Groucho Marx)

7 – “Between two evils, I always pick the one I never tried before”  (Mae West)

6 – “To lose one parent, Mr. Worthing, may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness.”  (Oscar Wilde)

5 – “If not actually disgruntled, he was far from being gruntled.” (P.G. Wodehouse)

4 – “If God had wanted us to bend over, He would have put diamonds on the floor.”  (Joan Rivers)

3 – “Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.”  (Miles Kington)

2 – “If you lived in Sheffield and were called Sebastian, you had to learn to run fast at a very early stage.”  (Sebastian Coe)

1 – “The email of the species is deadlier than the mail.”  (Stephen Fry)

Now, in no particular order, I give you, W.D. Fyfe’s Ten Best One-Liners.

I’d agree with you if you were right.

Oh, please!  That man has junior college written all over him.

Gay is not a place; you don’t get an accent.

Every woman wants a sensitive man until the son of a bitch shows up.

Copernicus called: you’re not the centre of the universe.

I don’t have enough money to get rich quick.

The news media interviewing the family after a murder is nothing more than Grief Porn.

Facts are not just a litany of stupidity agreed upon by you and your friends.

You’re so fake even Barbie is jealous.

Swiss cheese is only cheese, now and then.

And honourable mention:

Instead of complaining that you have no shoes, you should look at the man with no feet and steal his.

Comic Relief By Remote Control

remoteA certain acceptance comes with age.  As you get older, you realize that the world is not going to change that radically between now and the time The Grim Reaper takes your pulse.  Walmart is going to remain the mighty retail monolith it’s always been.   McDonald’s will sell more burgers than Africa has cows — despite the interesting fact that no one you know has ever eaten there.  And Microsoft, Google and Apple are going to continue to rule the world in an unholy triumvirate worthy of Octavian, Mark Antony and Lepidus.  However, just because you’ve accepted the inevitable doesn’t mean certain things don’t continue to drive you nuts.  Our world is loaded with stuff that simply doesn’t make any sense beyond material for a stand-up comedy routine.  For example, go to any store in the country and you’ll find the two-fisted gigantic bottle of Coke™ sells for 99 cents, the smaller (smaller!) bottle costs $1.50 and the bottle of water (that beverage you can get free out of any garden hose.) is $1.89.  Just let that sink in for a moment.  It makes you wonder what Dasani actually means — you just got robbed?

However, the single most ridiculous thing in our world that sends me loopy every time I think about it is the remote control.  This is the point and click device that revolutionized our society.  It changed us from a vigorous, dynamic people into lazy swine with the attention span of a hummingbird without its Ritalin.  It does everything but deliver the potato chips and chew them for us.  I swear, if you knew the correct sequence and pointed it at NASA, you could launch the Mars Rover.  I (the original techno-moron) have recorded Games of Thrones in my living room while lounging through Spaghetti alla Vongolese and a bottle of Amalfi Red (I had to fight to get that combination) on a rooftop in Rome.  It is the most important item, aside from the coffee pot, in any household.  So why, by all that’s holy, is every single one of those little bastards different?

We live in a homogenized world.  If, while you were sleeping, you were magically transported to a shopping mall in darkest Bavaria, when you opened your eyes, aside from The Gotterdammerung music playing in The Food Court, you would have no idea where you were.  You could be anywhere from Indonesia to Eau Claire, Wisconsin.  The utter sameness of most of our planet is worthy of Groundhog Day.  Yet, when your Blu-Ray player finally hits the wall of planned obsolescence and you have to buy a new one, you’re about to enter the undiscovered country.  You’re reduced to re-inventing the 21st century wheel becauseremote1 the brains of the operation, the remote, has changed its shape, its size, its colour and rearranged all of its buttons.  The first time you use it, you think you’ve paused Breaking Bad: the Teenage Years to go for the Orville Redenbacher’s and suddenly you’re recording a 24 hour marathon of Everybody Loves Friends, in HD, on a channel you haven’t even paid for – yet.  So, you start pushing buttons like a Rhesus monkey finding the food pellet in a primate behavioural study.  Six clicks later, you’ve selected the adult classic, Boob Chaser III, which Channel 531 casually informs you, has been “shared” with your Facebook friends.  “Thank you for choosing Pay Per View!”

And it’s no use trying to beat the system with one of those Universal control-everything-but-the-toaster jobbers.  That’s just madness.  First of all, you need an advanced understanding of the Da Vinci Code just to turn one of those babies on, and, more importantly, nothing less than a degree in binary engineering from M.I.T. is going to make them work.  By the end of the first hour, you’ve screwed up the set-up so badly the instructions are now in Hebrew and the one channel available for your viewing pleasure is The Weather Network from McMurdo Station, Antarctica.  Finally — $19.95 plus tax, poorer — you give up and go back to fighting with the original villain that came in the box.

I know that, in fifteen minutes any twelve-year-old can reconfigure my system so she can run it off the microwave, for God’s sake.  It’s not that technology is all that smart; it’s just that it’s smarter than me.  However, I don’t understand why, when all technology is basically the same, every piece of equipment is so utterly different from the last one that you need to channel Thomas Edison to figure it out.  I can’t be the only guy on this planet old enough to remember Ronald Reagan.  What’s wrong with one size fits all?

We have cars that can parallel park themselves, murderous drones that search and destroy across the wilds of Pakistan from a Wii™ system in Wiesbaden; we’re on the verge of creating electronic nanobots that literally eat disease.  Yet, when I want to watch an old episode of Arrested Development on Netflix, I still need six (different) little boxes to do it.  If this isn’t Comedy Central, I don’t know what is!remotes1

Letter to the Passport Office

juneAlthough I just got this letter it’s been running around the Internet for some time now.  Normally, I don’t pass on e-mails but this one is too hilarious to miss.  It styles itself as real — it’s not (since I received it I’ve seen a couple of different versions.)  I’ve updated it a bit and cleaned up some of the language but aside from that it’s exactly as it came to me.  If you’ve ever filled out a government form you’ll love it.  Enjoy!

Dear Mr. Minister,
I’m in the process of renewing my passport, and still cannot believe this.
How is it that Radio Shack has my address and telephone number and knows that I bought a TV cable from them back in 1997, and yet, the Federal Government is still asking me where I was born and on what date.
For Christ sakes, do you guys do this by hand?
You have my birth date on my social insurance card, and it is on all the income tax forms I’ve filed for the past 30 years. It is on my health insurance card, my driver’s license, on the last eight goddamn passports I’ve had, on all those stupid customs declaration forms I’ve had to fill out before being allowed off the planes over the last 30 years, and all those insufferable census forms.
Would somebody please take note, once and for all, that my mother’s name is Maryanne, my father’s name is Robert and I’d be absolutely astounded if that ever changed between now and when I die!
I apologize, Mr. Minister. I’m really pissed off this morning. Between you an’ me, I’ve had enough of this bull! You send the application to my house, then you ask me for my freakin’ address. What is going on?  Do you have a gang of Neanderthals workin’ there?
Look at my damn picture. Do I look like Edward Snowden? I don’t want to destroy Western Civilization for God sakes. I just want to go and park my ass on a sandy beach in the sun.
And would someone please tell me, why would you care whether I plan on visiting a farm in the next 15 days? If I ever got the urge to do something weird to a chicken or a goat, believe you me, I’d sure as hell not want to tell anyone!
Well, I have to go now, ’cause I have to go to the other end of the city and get another copy of my birth certificate, to the tune of $60 !!!
Would it be so complicated to have all the services in the same spot to assist in the issuance of a new passport the same day??
Nooooo, that’d be too damn easy and maybe make sense. You’d rather have us running all over the place like chickens with our heads cut off, then find somebody to confirm that it’s really me on the goddamn picture – you know, the one where we’re not allowed to smile?!
Hey, you know why we can’t smile? We’re totally pissed off!
Signed – An Irate Canadian Citizen.
P.S. Remember what I said above about the picture and getting someone to confirm that it’s me? Well, my family has been in this country since 1776 when one of my forefathers took up arms against the Americans. I have served in the military for something over 30 years and have had security clearances up the yingyang.
I was aide de camp to the lieutenant governor of our province for ten years and I have been doing volunteer work for the RCMP for about five years.
However, I have to get someone to verify who I am – you know, someone like my next door neighbour, Mr. Park, who was born and raised in the South Korea.