‘Dear Harry, I think you’re boring and obnoxious and have a high opinion of yourself.’ Course some of you are probably thinking I sent this one to myself. ‘I think school is okay if you just look at it right. I mean I like your music, but I really don’t see why you can’t be cheerful for one second.’ I’ll tell you since you asked. I just arrived in this stupid suburb. I have no friends, no money, no car, no license. And even if I did have a license all I can do is drive out to some stupid mall. Maybe if I’m lucky play some fucking video games, smoke a joint and get stupid. You see, there’s nothing to do anymore. Everything decent’s been done. All the great themes have been used up. Turned into theme parks. So I don’t really find it exactly cheerful to be living in the middle of a totally, like, exhausted decade where there’s nothing to look forward to and no one to look up to.
Peter Joshua: How would I know?
Reggie Lampert: Because I already know an awful lot of people, so until one of them dies I couldn’t possibly meet anyone else.
Peter Joshua: Well, if anyone goes on the critical list, let me know.
— “Charade” (1963)
A kiss is a lovely trick, designed by nature, to stop speech when words become superfluous.
It’s all right up until the eyebrows. Then it goes haywire. Look at the eyebrows! These are attack eyebrows. You could take bottle tops off with these. They’re cross! They’re crosser than the rest of my face. They’re independently cross! They probably want to cede from the rest of my face and set up their own state of eyebrows! … That’s Scot! I’m Scottish. I’ve gone Scottish. Oh, no, that’s good. Oh. It’s good I’m Scottish. I’m Scottish. I can complain about things. I can really complain about things now.
They tell me I’m riddled with cancer
So I’m planning to croak with élan
If you’ll pass the cigars and decanter
I’ll be dying as fast as I can.
— Felix Dennis, magazine publisher, 1947 to 2014
Source: Mad Magazine.
We haven’t wanted fruit for hundreds of years. That’s why there are so many paintings in museums of just bowls of fruit. Because you could start painting a bowl of fruit, leave for couple of days, come back and no one would have touched the bowl of fruit. But if you’re painting a doughnut, you’d bet finish it on the first sitting.
The great Warren Zevon was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2002. He appeared a final time on “The Late Show with David Letterman,” in which the host dedicated the entire hour to his guest and friend. The following exchange was broadcast Oct. 30, 2002.
DAVID LETTERMAN: From your perspective now, do you know something about life and death that maybe I don’t know?
WARREN ZEVON: Not unless I know how much … how much you’re supposed to enjoy every sandwich.