Friday, January 19, 2018

Thought for the Day

Funny Friday

This week’s Funny Friday comes to you in a different format to what you are used to. This week it’s not a collection of jokes but a homage to reality: a continuation of great replies and comebacks.

I issue a caution however that the following items include many that are of a risqué nature, so cross the line only at your own peril . . .  or perhaps enjoyment . . . 

This is the line . . .

Great Comebacks and replies, continued: 


Winston Churchill:

Okay, you all knew these classics had to come so let’s get them out of the way early . . . 

Winston Churchill (1874 – 1965) was a British statesman, army officer, and writer, who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1940 to 1945 and again from 1951 to 1955. As Prime Minister, Churchill led Britain to victory during the Second World War. Translated from Swedish, his citation upon receiving the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1953 reads, "for his mastery of historical and biographical description as well as for brilliant oratory in defending exalted human values". Those who have seen The King’s Speech will be aware that the great orator in fact suffered from a speech impediment that he had to work to overcome. Although some sources cite his impediment as a stutter, it has also been argued that Churchill’s speech problem was a lisp. He could not pronounce the letter “S” and never really learned to do so—so he turned it into a prop, exaggerating words like his famous “Narzzsseess” for “Nazis.” Churchill was also renowned as prodigious drinker, an image which he himself liked to promote. It is conceded by most historians that he was not an alcoholic.

Nancy Astor:

Nancy Astor (1879 – 1964) was an American citizen who moved to England at age 26. She made a second marriage to Waldorf Astor as a young woman in England. After he succeeded to the peerage and entered the House of Lords, she entered politics, in 1919 winning his former seat in Plymouth and becoming the first woman to sit as a Member of Parliament in the House of Commons, serving until 1945. 

The reply:

It has been said that at a 1912 dinner party at Blenheim Palace, the Churchill family estate, Lady Astor become tired of an inebriated Winston Churchill pontificating on a subject. Finally she snapped at him: “Winston, if I were your wife I would put poison in your coffee.” 

Churchill responded "Nancy, if I were your husband I would drink it."

At least one author has argued that the exchange didn’t happen and that it is an older joke recycled:


The following exchange between Winston Churchill and Bessie Braddock has, however, been verified as accurate by Churchill's bodyguard Ron Golding, who heard his boss say it.

Bessie Braddock:

Bessie Braddock (1899 – 1970) was a British Labour Party politician who served as Member of Parliament (MP) for the Liverpool Exchange division from 1945 to 1970. Braddock gained a national reputation for her forthright campaigns in connection with housing, public health and other social issues.

The reply:

Bessie Braddock to an inebriated Winston Churchill:
“Winston, you are drunk.”

Churchill, in reply:
"Madam, you are ugly, but I will be sober in the morning."


John Barrymore:

John Barrymore (1882 – 1942) was an American actor on stage, screen and radio., also the grandfather of Drew Barrymore. Known as the Great Profile, he featured in silent films and in early sound films. He struggled with alcohol abuse from the age of 14, was married and divorced four times, and declared bankruptcy later in life. The Great Profile died in 1942 from cirrhosis of the liver and kidney failure, complicated by pneumonia. Errol Flynn's memoirs claim that the film director Raoul Walsh borrowed Barrymore's body before burial to leave his corpse propped in a chair for a drunken Flynn to discover when he returned home. Gene Fowler, a close friend of Barrymore, denies the claim. MRDA

The reply:

After a long day of shooting a film in Hollywood, John Barrymore and some fellow actors stopped in at Lucy's, a popular watering hole near Paramount Studios. After one-too-many drinks, Barrymore excused himself to go to the bathroom. In his slightly inebriated condition, however, he inadvertently chose the ladies' room. 

As he was relieving himself, a woman entered and was shocked to see a man urinating into one of the toilets. 

"How dare you!" she exclaimed, "This is for ladies!" 

The actor turned toward the woman, organ in hand, and resonantly said in full actor's voice: "And so, madam, is this."


Groucho Marx:

Julius Henry Marx (1890 – 1977), known professionally as Groucho Marx, was an American comedian, writer, stage, film, radio, and television star. He was known as a master of quick wit and is widely considered one of the best comedians of the modern era. He made 13 feature films with his siblings the Marx Brothers, of whom he was the third-born. He also had a successful solo career, most notably as the host of the radio and television game show You Bet Your Life.

Btw: I have been watching full episodes of You Bet Your Life on Youtube. Well worth the watch.  Google the episode "crazy eyes".

The reply:

It has been suggested that this is another of one of the great comebacks never actually said.

A woman with 12 children made a guest appearance as a contestant on Groucho Marx’s quiz show You Bet Your Life.

Woman: “I have 14 children, Groucho”.

Groucho: “You have 14 children? Why do you have so many kids?”

Woman: “Because I love my husband”.

Groucho: “I love my cigar too, but I take it out of my mouth every once in a while.”


Tallulah Bankhead:

Tallulah Bankhead (1902 – 1968) was an American stage and screen actress. Bankhead was known for her husky voice, outrageous personality, and devastating wit. Originating some of the 20th century theater's preeminent roles in comedy and melodrama, she gained acclaim as an actress on both sides of the Atlantic. Bankhead became an icon of the tempestuous, flamboyant actress, and her unique voice and mannerisms are often subject to imitation and parody. Bankhead hailed from a prominent Alabama political family — her grandfather and uncle were U.S. Senators and her father served as Speaker of the House of Representatives. Her support of liberal causes such as civil rights broke with the tendency of the Southern Democrats to support a more typically aligned agenda and she often opposed her own family publicly.

Chico Marx:

Leonard Marx (1887 – 1961), known professionally as Chico Marx, was an American comedian, musician, bandleader, actor and film star. He was a member of the Marx Brothers (Groucho Marx, Harpo Marx, and Zeppo Marx). His persona in the act was that of a charming, dim-witted albeit crafty con artist, seemingly of rural Italian origin, who wore shabby clothes and sported a curly-haired wig and Tyrolean hat. In virtually every film that includes the main trio of the Marx Brothers, Chico is seen working with Harpo Marx, usually as partners in crime.

The reply:

In an interview with Dick Cavett, which appeared in a 1993 television documentary “The Unknown Marx Brothers",  Cavett told of Bankhead meeting Chico Marx at a party. This was before she had become famous, and when she was still prominent for being the daughter of William B Bankhead, Alabama politician, member of the US House of Representatives and Speaker of the House. 

Marx had been cautioned to not display any of his typically crude comments and behaviour. The two met over the punch bowl and exchanged greetings:

Chico: “Miss Bankhead.”

Tallulah: “Mr Marx.”

Everyone breathed a sigh of relief.

Chico: “You know, I really want to fuck you.”

Tallulah: “And so you shall, you old fashioned boy.”


Gough Whitlam:

Edward Gough Whitlam (1916 – 2014) was the 21st Prime Minister of Australia, serving from 1972 to 1975. The Leader of the Labor Party from 1967 to 1977, Whitlam led his party to power for the first time in 23 years at the 1972 election. He won the 1974 election before being controversially dismissed by the Governor-General of Australia, Sir John Kerr, at the climax of the 1975 Australian constitutional crisis. Whitlam remains the only Australian prime minister to have his commission terminated in that manner.

The reply:

On being repeatedly pestered by a heckler on the campaign trail wanting to know Whitlam’s stance on abortion:

“Let me make quite clear that I am for abortion and, in your case Sir, we should make it retrospective.”


And finally, some visual ones:

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Thought for the Day

The Year is 1917

The below item arrived in my emails yesterday, courtesy of Charles Z. His message was “Otto - enjoy and use as you see fit!” Thanks, Charles.

It compares the present day with 1917. A quick search on the internet shows that it has also been posted as being for 1915 and 1902.

I checked some of the “facts” given:

“The American flag had 45 stars ...” 

In fact, the 45th star was added in 1896 for Utah, the 46th star was added in 1908 for Oklahoma where the wind comes sweeping down the plain, and 2 more stars were added in 1912 for Arizona and New Mexico. (Alaska and Hawaii became the 49th and 50th stars in 1959 and 1960).

“There was neither a Mother's Day nor a Father's Day.”

Owing to the efforts of Anna Jarvis, by 1911 all US states observed the Mother’s Day holiday. In 1914, Woodrow Wilson signed a proclamation designating Mother's Day, held on the second Sunday in May, as a national holiday to honor mothers.

So either take it with a grain of salt, look at it as of interest or go with the earlier date, but don’t hold me to the facts as given. Or use it as an illustration not to believe everything you read.

What some of our parents and grandparents experienced in 1917

This will boggle your mind!

The year is 1917, "One hundred years ago."

What a difference a century makes!

Here are some statistics for the Year 1917:

The average life expectancy for men was 47 years.

Fuel for cars was sold in drug stores only.

Only 14 percent of the homes had a bathtub.

Only 8 percent of the homes had a telephone.

The maximum speed limit in most cities was 10 mph.

The tallest structure in the world was the Eiffel Tower.

The average US wage in 1910 was 22 cents per hour.

The average US worker made between 200 and 400 per year.

A competent accountant could expect to earn 2000 per year.

A dentist 2,500 per year.

A veterinarian between 1,500 and 4,000 per year.

And, a mechanical engineer about 5,000 per year.

More than 95 percent of all births took place at home

Ninety percent of all Doctors had NO COLLEGE EDUCATION! Instead, they attended so-called medical schools, many of which were condemned in the press AND the government as "substandard."

Sugar cost four cents a pound.

Eggs were fourteen cents a dozen.

Coffee was fifteen cents a pound.

Most women only washed their hair once a month, and, used Borax or egg yolks for shampoo.

Canada passed a law that prohibited poor people from entering into their country for any reason.

The Five leading causes of death were:
1. Pneumonia and influenza
2. Tuberculosis
3. Diarrhea
4. Heart disease
5. Stroke

The American flag had 45 stars ...

The population of Las Vegas, Nevada was only 30.

Crossword puzzles, canned beer, and iced tea hadn't been invented yet.

There was neither a Mother's Day nor a Father's Day.

Two out of every 10 adults couldn't read or write and, only 6 percent of all Americans had graduated from high school.

Marijuana, heroin, and morphine were all available over the counter at local corner drugstores.

Back then pharmacists said, "Heroin clears the complexion, gives buoyancy to the mind, regulates the stomach, bowels, and is, in fact, a perfect guardian of health!" 

Eighteen percent of households had at least one full-time servant or domestic help...

There were about 230 reported murders in the ENTIRE U.S.A. !

I am now going to forward this to someone else without typing it myself. From there, it will be sent to others all over the WORLD all in a matter of seconds!

It is impossible to imagine what it may be like in another 100 years.

We’ve come a long way, baby!

Thought for the Day

Two Travellers

I have been suffering from the flu for the last few days so am reposting an item first posted on 10 December 2010.  It makes a lot of sense.

A man was walking a very long road from one village to another.

As he approached the village, but still on its outskirts, he encountered a farmer from the village who was labouring in his field, cutting hay. He walked up to the farmer and said, “I have walked a great distance to come to this village of yours. I have left my village looking for a new home, perhaps I will find it in this village. Can you tell me, how are the people in this village? What kind of people are they?”

The man in the field thought a moment before replying, then asked, “What were the people like in the village you came from?”

The traveller replied, “They were uncaring, self-absorbed, cynical and unfriendly. That’s why I left.”

The farmer paused before replying and then said, “I think that’s how you’ll find the people here, too.”

The traveller replied, “In that case, I’ll just move on and look somewhere else.”

A couple of days later, the farmer was again out in his field when a different man approached him and said, “My village was destroyed and the people scattered. I am looking to find myself a new home, perhaps in this village. Can you tell me, how are the people in this village? What kind of people are they?”

The farmer asked, “What were the people like in the village you came from?”

The traveller replied, “They were wonderful people. Loving, close, helpful, and I will miss them terribly.”

The farmer said, “I think that’s how you’ll find the people here, too.”

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Quote for the Day

Beauty and the Past, Part 1

In looking up vintage cards for other posts, I came across photographs from the past, mostly 1920s, and was struck by the beauty of the women photographed and the beauty of the photography. Despite Keats’ poetic statement, beauty is not always truth and truth is not always beauty, but beauty can be timeless, as these pics illustrate . . .

Esther Ralston:

Esther Ralston (1902 – 1994) was an American film actress who was popular in the silent era. Starting in vaudeville as a child in her family act, in the late 1920s she appeared in many films for Paramount, at one point earning as much as $8000 a week. Especially popular in Britain, she appeared mainly in comedies, often portraying spirited society girls. She also received good reviews for her dramatic roles. Despite making a successful transition to sound, she was mainly relegated to supporting roles by the mid-1930s and she retired in 1940. Thereafter she appeared in occasional film and television roles. Ralston died of a heart attack aged 91 in 1994 and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Mary Nolan:

Mary Nolan (1902 – 1948) was an American stage and film actress, singer and dancer. She began her career as a Ziegfeld girl in the 1920s performing under the stage name Imogene "Bubbles" Wilson. She was fired from the Ziegfeld Follies in 1924 for her involvement in a tumultuous and highly publicised affair with comedian Frank Tinney. She left the United States shortly thereafter and began making films in Germany. She appeared in seventeen German films from 1925 to 1927 using a new stage name, "Imogene Robertson".

Upon returning to the United States in 1927, she attempted to break from her previous scandal ridden past and adopted yet another stage name, "Mary Nolan". She was signed to Universal Pictures in 1928 where she found some success in films. By the 1930s, her acting career began to decline due to her drug abuse and reputation for being temperamental. After being bought out of contract with Universal, she was unable to secure film work with any major studios. Nolan spent the remainder of her acting career appearing in roles in low-budget films for independent studios. She made her final film appearance in 1933.

After her film career ended, Nolan appeared in vaudeville and performed in nightclubs and roadhouses around the United States. Her later years were plagued by drug problems and frequent hospitalisations. She returned to Hollywood in 1939 and spent her remaining years living in obscurity before dying of a barbiturate overdose in 1948.

Ginger Rogers:

Ginger Rogers (1911 – 1995) was an American actress, dancer, and singer, widely known for performing in films and RKO's musical films, partnered with Fred Astaire. She appeared on stage, as well as on radio and television, throughout much of the 20th century. Starting in vaudeville, she gained recognition as a Broadway actress for her debut stage role in Girl Crazy. She had her first successful film role as a supporting actress in 42nd Street (1933). Throughout the 1930s, Rogers made 10 films with Astaire, among which were some of her biggest successes, such as Swing Time (1936) and Top Hat (1935). After two commercial failures with Astaire, Rogers began to branch out into dramatic films and comedies. Her acting was well received by critics and audiences, and she became one of the biggest box-office draws of the 1940s. Her performance in Kitty Foyle (1940) won her the Academy Award for Best Actress. Rogers remained successful throughout the 1940s and at one point was Hollywood's highest-paid actress, but her popularity had peaked by the end of the decade. She reunited with Astaire in 1949 in the commercially successful The Barkleys of Broadway. After an unsuccessful period through the 1950s, Rogers made a successful return to Broadway in 1965, playing the lead role in Hello, Dolly!. More lead roles on Broadway followed, along with her stage directorial debut in 1985 on an off-Broadway production of Babes in Arms. Rogers also made television acting appearances until 1987. She died of a heart attack in 1995, at the age of 83. 

She entitled her memoirs “Backwards and in High Heels”, a reference to Bob Thaves' Frank and Ernest cartoon which had the caption "Sure he [Astaire] was great, but don't forget that Ginger Rogers did everything he did... backwards and in high heels".

Maude Fealy:

Maude Fealy (1883 – 1971) was an American stage and silent film actress whose career survived into the talkie era. Apart from her activities as an actress, Fealy was also a playwright and taught acting. There are reports that she invented the wheeled luggage carrier. She died in 1971 aged 88.

Evelyn Laye:

Evelyn Laye, CBE (1900 – 1996) was an English actress who was active on the London light opera stage, and later in New York and Hollywood. Awarded a CBE in 1973, Laye continued acting well into her nineties. It was reported after Laye's death that the Queen Mother had petitioned the then Prime Minister John Major for Laye to be awarded the DBE (damehood). Laye died in a nursing home in Pimlico, Central London from respiratory failure in 1996, aged 95.

Marion Davies:

Marion Davies (1897 – 1961) was an American film actress, producer, screenwriter, and philanthropist.

Davies was already building a solid reputation as a film comedian when newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst, with whom she had begun a romantic relationship, took over management of her career. Hearst financed Davies' pictures, promoted her heavily through his newspapers and Hearst Newsreels, and pressured studios to cast her in historical dramas for which she was ill-suited. For this reason, Davies is better remembered today as Hearst's mistress and the hostess of many lavish events for the Hollywood elite. In particular, her name is linked with the 1924 scandal aboard Hearst's yacht when one of his guests, film producer Thomas Ince, died. In the film Citizen Kane (1941), the title character's second wife—an untalented singer whom he tries to promote—was widely assumed to be based on Davies. But many commentators, including Citizen Kane writer/director Orson Welles himself, have defended Davies' record as a gifted actress, to whom Hearst's patronage did more harm than good. She retired from the screen in 1937, choosing to devote herself to Hearst and charitable work. In Hearst's declining years, Davies provided financial as well as emotional support until his death in 1951. She married for the first time eleven weeks after his death, a marriage which lasted until Davies died of stomach cancer in 1961 at the age of 64.

One word . .