Note: Most of the anecdotes in this collection are funny, although some are thought provoking rather than funny.
• When gay author Michael Thomas Ford was invited to his high school reunion, he thought about how miserable his classmates had made him feel as the class queer, and he wrote back, “Michael Thomas Ford is very proud to announce that he is still queer, despite the best attempts of his schoolmates to convince him that it is an unacceptable lifestyle. He would also like to take this opportunity to tell everyone he went to school with that he is happier, more successful, and a great deal more attractive than they are.”
• Author Dory Previn used to drive around at night and look at houses with brightly lit windows. She always told herself about anyone who lived in one of these houses, “That person has found the secret to happiness.” One day, she got lost and she saw a house with a brightly lit window. Again, she told herself about the resident, “That person has found the secret to happiness.” When she got closer, she recognized the house — she lived in it.
Husbands and Wives
• C.S. Lewis’ wife, Joy, could be very plain spoken. For example, at an Oxford faculty lunch, Joy did not know where the ladies room was, so she asked, “Is there anywhere in this monastic establishment where a lady can relieve herself?” Another example: She died of cancer, and she once said that she had “so many cancers at work that I expect them to start organizing a union.” Her husband knew that he also had not much longer to live, and he asked her to meet him — if it were allowed — when he died. She replied, “Allowed? Heaven would have a job to hold me; and as for Hell, I’d break it into bits.” Before she died, she spoke comfortingly to her husband with her last words: “I am at peace with God. You have made me happy.”
• This anecdote is touching rather than funny. At one time, Brazilian novelist Paulo Coelho and his second wife were kidnapped and tortured. Once, he was in a bathroom at the torture building, and his wife, who was in the cubicle next to his and whom he could hear but not see, said, “If you’re Paulo, speak to me, please.” However, he was too terrified to speak. Today, Mr. Coelho tearfully says, “It was the most cowardly day of my life, which I’ll regret as long as I live.” When they got out of the torture building, his wife requested that he never again say her name. Today, when Mr. Coelho speaks of her, he calls her “my wife who shall be nameless.”
• Being the wife of someone famous can be difficult. Mr. and Mrs. John Steinbeck were at a party when movie actress Zsa Zsa Gabor swept in, recognized the famous author, came over to him, and said, “You are the one man I have wanted to meet for oh, so long!” She then proceeded to talk to Mr. Steinbeck and to ignore Mrs. Steinbeck. Finally, no longer able to stand it, Mrs. Steinbeck inserted herself into the space between Ms. Gabor and her husband, and she said, “I am Mrs. Steinbeck.” Ms. Gabor thereafter focused her attention on someone other than Mrs. Steinbeck’s husband.
• Novelist Walter Tevis (author of The Hustler, The Color of Money, and The Man Who Fell to Earth) occasionally fooled around with oil paints. One night, he created a painting on the kitchen wall of Mount Rushmore — but the faces on the mountain were of himself, his wife, and their two children. His wife told him, “This painting has got to go” — and she made him paint over it.
• H.L. Mencken once told a group of friends at a party, “When I was a youngster in Baltimore, the girls in the sporting houses used to call me Professor.” His host’s wife, Betty Compson, looked at him closely, then joked, “I thought your face was familiar.”
Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved
The Funniest People in Books, Volume 3 — Buy
The Funniest People in Books, Volume 3 — Kindle
The Funniest People in Books, Volume 3 — Apple
The Funniest People in Books, Volume 3 — Barnes and Noble
The Funniest People in Books, Volume 3 — Kobo
The Funniest People in Books, Volume 3— Smashwords: Many Formats, Including PDF