Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Why Are Happy Bunnies Less Common Than Unhappy Bunnies? Popcorn by The Colonel #60

Epigraph: “A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of.” --Jane Austen

Didn’t Jane Austen know that (a) a preposition isn’t something to end a sentence with, and (b) you should place the emphatic part of a sentence at the end?
Didn’t she have an editor to make that sentence read, “The best recipe for happiness of which I ever heard is a large income”? And shouldn’t it be “of which I have ever heard”? At the cost of degrading the superlative to a mere tie for first, wouldn’t the whole galumphing camel of a sentence be better recast as a gazelle this way: “I know of no better recipe for happiness than a large income”? Is it time to reevaluate Austen as a greedy, semi-literate freak? Probably not, at least by comparison to the author of “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.”

Deep within most investigative reporters lies an unwritten novel, and that’s the best place for it.

Samuel Johnson said, “Read over your compositions, and whenever you meet with a passage that you think is particularly fine, strike it out.” This is often shortened to “Kill your darlings,” but we think the abbreviated version is too dangerous, too liable to misunderstanding, to be wisely disseminated. Note to self: find out how many murders of loved ones aspiring writers commit. Call Hawaii Five-0 and ask for the Literature-Related Homicide Team.

The title question is even more puzzling when you think about what bunnies proverbially do. The version of the saying "she's not a happy camper" is perhaps commoner in the U.S. than in the U.K. -- Americans are likelier than Brits to think that all the world's a summer camp.

There’s a saying, “A neck tattoo tells the world you never want a real job.” Here’s a companion: “Twerking on TV tells the world you never want to be thought of as a child star again.” The world may over-oblige and never think of you again at all. Oops.

Watched paint never dries, and a painted watch never tells good time. --an old Chiasmus Club saying.

Someone compared something like Popcorn by The Colonel to “the contents of a huge wicker backpack of a guy dressed from the waist up like Abraham Lincoln and from the waist down like an angry clown.” Not bad, but how do you tell a clown’s mood from the waist down? Angry pants?

Popcorn isn’t much covering mutated feral shape-shifting boars anymore  because they’ve won. They’re all over the world, and they take a bewildering variety of forms, human and animal, such as bears in Syria.

Cleopatra, last queen of Egypt, was a Greek. And a polyglot, like Catherine the Great of Russia.

Failure is nature’s way of teaching us what we refuse to learn any other way.

“Political progress in America, when it happens at all, comes not from the sloshing hogwash of the lunatic center, but from the cut and slash of the vital extremes.” --Roy Marshrigger

If gun control worked, Chicago would be Mayberry.” --Cam Edwards

“I agree with what you say, but I would deny to the death your right to say it.” --Sir Harry O. Triggerman

“When your only tool is a hammer, you see every problem as a nail.” --Chinese fortune cookie

Forgive me this long letter; I lacked the time to make it shorter. --Unknown

“When I am asked to speak for an hour, I prepare for five minutes. When I am asked to speak for five minutes, I prepare for an hour.” --Franklin Delano Roosevelt

The late Julie Harris lamented that she didn’t get more juicy movie roles. She said, “I couldn’t compete with the great beauties.” How becomingly modest. R.I.P.

“It is a common delusion that you make things better by talking about them.” --Dame Rose Macaulay

“It’s hard to trouble yourself to tell the truth to people who never believe you anyway.” --Mark Twain

“A powerful motivator to do your best is the desire to keep the good opinion of people who think you are wonderful.” --Margery Gorrish

“Tree huggers wear jeans and tee shirts, but their lobbyists wear suits and ties. They are called Collared Greens.” --Garry Grimhorse

“Don’t leer at the abbess too long or you may find the abbess leering back at you.” --Unknown, after Winston Churchill

As a former British colony, the United States is eligible to join the Commonwealth of Nations. Should it?

Canada has already abolished the penny and the one-dollar bill. What the U.S. does with its currency is moving around the deck chairs on the Titanic, since the end is near (2015).

A contrary view: “We are at the very beginning of time for the human race. It is not unreasonable that we grapple with problems. But there are tens of thousands of years in the future. Our responsibility is to do what we can, learn what we can, improve the solutions, and pass them on.” --Richard Feynman

“We learn something every day, usually that what we learned yesterday was wrong.” --Harry “Egg” Morris

Edmund Wilson may have been a vampire.

This number of Popcorn by The Colonel is dedicated to the memory of a myriad-minded woman of action, Kätchen Coley. "A friend is someone who likes you the way you are, but never stops nudging you to be your best self." R.I.P.


Anonymous said...

Maybe unhappy bunnies outnumber happy bunnies because only 1% have large incomes.

Tree Fanatic said...

My bunnies are very much into "lettuce" but the only deposits they make can't be mentioned in a respectable family blog.

Anonymous said...

Dear Colonel,

What is the source of the "friends" quote at the end? Thank you.

-A curious reader

Anonymous said...

Almost certainly, the "quote" about friends is a mashup of things said by Elbert Hubbard and Gautama Buddha. Hubbard talked about friends who know your faults and love you anyway, and the Buddha spoke of the incalculable value of good friends who tell you your imperfections.