• Some people are more fanatical soccer fans than others. In 1982, Trevor George of Penarth, Wales, showed his love for the game by naming his infant daughter after 20 world-class soccer players. The baby’s full name was Jennifer Edson Arentes do Nascimento Jairzinho Rivelino Carolos-Alberto Paulo Cesar Bretner Cruyff Greaves Charlton Best Moore Ball Keegan Banks Gray Francis Brooking Curtis Toshack Law George. His wife responded by promptly leaving home and having their daughter’s name legally changed to Jennifer Anne George.
• Joseph Epstein’s father, Maurice, a successful businessman, donated money to charities, many of which gave him certificates and plaques and other forms of recognition. However, Joseph noticed on one plaque that his father’s name was misspelled as “Moreese.” This mistake did not bother his father, who replied, “For less than a $50,000 donation, you mustn’t expect them to spell your name right.”
• When Penn Jillette (of Penn and Teller fame) and his wife, Emily, had their first child, they named her Moxie CrimeFighter Jillette. According to the proud father, “We chose her middle name because when she’s pulled over for speeding she can say, ‘But, officer, we’re on the same side. My middle name is CrimeFighter.’” Penn’s silent partner, Teller, had no official comment.
• Edna St. Vincent Millay was often called “Vincent.” The younger brother of her mother was a sailor who was seriously injured in a sea storm, then recovered his health in St. Vincent Hospital in New York City. To show her great gratitude, Edna’s mother gave her the middle name of “St. Vincent.”
• When comedian Fred Allen was introduced to his future wife, Portland, he told her, “That is a ridiculous name.” Unperturbed, she replied, “You should meet my sisters: Lebanon, Period, and Lastone.”
• Frances Hutt was the wife of Thomas Dewey, who ran for President against Harry S. Truman in 1948. The day of the election, it appeared that Mr. Dewey would win, so he asked his wife, “How do you like the idea of sleeping with the President of the United States?” She replied, “Of course it would be an honor, and one I can hardly wait to enjoy.” However, once the votes were counted, Mr. Truman had been elected, so Ms. Hutt asked her husband, “Well, darling, will Harry be coming here or do I have to go to Washington?”
• Feminist comedian Kate Clinton sometimes criticized President George W. Bush during her stand-up comedy. Of course, some people will get up and leave when she does that, so she likes to pretend that they have tiny bladders. As you would expect, she has been known to speak harshly of President Bush when she is among her friends. One day, as Ms. Clinton was talking about President Bush, her friend’s three-year-old daughter gently touched her arm and said, “Please use your inside voice.”
• Shortly after getting married — and losing an election for a school committee — Calvin Coolidge ran into a man who said that he had voted for his opponent because anyone on the school board should have children in the public schools. Mr. Coolidge replied, “Might give me time.”
• Sarah Winchester was a very rich woman, as she inherited money made from sales of the gun that won the West. However, she worried about all the people who had been killed by Winchester rifles; in fact, she thought that the spirits of these people were haunting her. What to do? She consulted a medium who recommended that she provide a home for the spirits. In 1884, in San Jose, California, she bought an eight-room house for the spirits — but the house soon grew much bigger than eight rooms. The house eventually towered seven stories and contained 160 rooms — servants needed maps to find their way through the house. Interestingly, the spirits themselves designed the house. Each midnight, the spirits were consulted, and their wishes were followed. Apparently, spirits like chimneys, and so 47 were built. Also, apparently, spirits like practical jokes, so one door opened onto a blank wall, and another — not on the ground floor — opened onto thin air. One closet was only one inch deep, and a skylight was installed in a floor. After Sarah died, her heirs did not continue her design sessions with the spirits, but they did turn several of the rooms into the Winchester Rifle Museum.
Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved
The Funniest People in Neighborhoods — Buy