Groucho Wickedness


Somewhat along the lines of Sunday Stealing, Wednesday Wickedness offers quiz-things, but with a twist: the questions are inspired by quotes from famous people, such as Groucho Marx:

1. ‘A black cat crossing your path signifies that the animal is going somewhere.”
What is a superstition that many have that you think is crazy?

I suppose that, by definition, most superstitions are crazy. The exceptions among the more popular ones are those about opening an umbrella inside and walking under a ladder, both of which I think are rather logical, I mean, I don’t want that paint bucket on the ladder landing on my head, do I? And saying “Bless you!” when people sneeze is more habit than superstition.

2. “A hospital bed is a parked taxi with the meter running.”
What were you in the hospital for the last time that you were admitted?

As I certainly have mentioned, I was in a car accident in June of 1972 in Endicott, NY, near Binghamton. I was in a stopped car at a red light and was getting out of the vehicle when another car rammed into the car I was halfway out of. This car was pushed forward into the car in front of it, but it being heavier, knocked me back. I was unconscious, and got taken in an ambulance to the local hospital, where I stayed for 36 hours or so. But my recovery took the bulk of the summer.

3. “Alimony is like buying hay for a dead horse.”
What payment do you make that seems ridiculous?

My cellphone, which I don’t use as much as the minutes I pay for; I mean I still HAVE them, but, barring unforeseen circumstances, I’ll never USE them. I should get another one, I suppose, but that would mean actually figuring out what plans/phones are the best for my wife and me, something for which I apparently have no capacity.

4. “Humor is reason gone mad.”
How would you describe your sense of humor?

I wouldn’t, but the meme has forced me to. Dry, I guess. I do like good puns.
But mostly, I like situational comedy; that is to say, comedy that comes from the situation. Those early Bill Cosby albums that told a story, but there was seldom a joke to be found. The great thing about the Parking Garage episode of Seinfeld was the believable, though exaggerated, nature of the situation, getting lost in one of those concrete structures. There was an episode of the Dick van Dyke Show where Rob is convinced his and Laura’s son was switched at birth, until the other couple show up at the door.
I’m not much of an early Python fan, or Anglophile generally – those comedies on PBS on Saturday night usually leave me cold – yet The Meaning of Life, and especially Life of Brian I loved.
I adored the movie Airplane!, but the funniest movie I ever saw was Young Frankenstein. I can watch the last 20 minutes of Animal House, from the Belushi speech on, anytime.
Pearls Before Swine is probably the only newspaper strip I find funny. (There are others I enjoy, but not as humor.)

5. “I have a mind to join a club and beat you over the head with it.”
Who was the last person that you wanted to beat with something or other?

As a pacifist, I tend to avoid actual violence. But metaphorically, it was surely some politician or pundit who said something really stupid. But I don’t remember, because they come at such regular intervals, it’s difficult to keep track.

6. “I never forget a face, but in your case I’ll be glad to make an exception.”
Would you ever like to change something about your face?

As noted before, the vitilago has made me several shades lighter, but in a splotchy way. I’m not pleased, but I’m sort of getting used to it. Or not.

7. “I was married by a judge. I should have asked for a jury.”
I read an article recently that asked if marriage was still relevant. Other than to raise children do you see the point?

Yes. I know it was 43 years ago, but when I think of Chief Justice Earl Warren in the Supreme Court case Loving v. Virginia proclaiming that “marriage is one of the ‘basic civil rights of man'”; I still believe it.

8. “If you’ve heard this story before, don’t stop me, because I’d like to hear it again.”
Do you find that you tend to repeat your stories?

It’s peculiar that sometimes I THINK I’ve told a story, so I don’t. I’ve become particularly self-aware of repeating stories, so I tend not to, mostly out of fear of boring myself, more than boring others.

Though for perhaps two years after I appeared on JEOPARDY!, some third party would mention that I was on, which forced me to tell the tale over and over. Which is why, starting the very first month of blogging, I started writing about the event. The primary reason that I was bored with telling it. Though I will give a very abbreviated version if asked, usually in response to specific questions, “How much did you make?” or the like.

Which reminds me of the Randy Newman song Potholes in which he wrote:
I brought the woman who was to become my second wife-God bless her
To meet my father for the first time
They exchanged pleasantries
I left the room for a moment
It was the first time he had met her you understand
When I came back
He was telling her the [embarrassing] story…

And next time they met, he told it. AGAIN.

9. “There’s one way to find out if a man is honest – ask him. If he says, “Yes,” you know he is a crook.”
Do you find most people that are in your life to be honest?

Yes, but I select well. Actually, I’ve known dishonest people, and sometimes you have no control over this, but sometimes you do. Of course, none of us is perfectly honest, but I’m talking in the main.

10. “Wives are people who feel they don’t dance enough.”
Have you ever felt that your significant other did not go out with enough?

The whole notion of the monthly date with the Wife (movie, or dinner, or something) is, I must say, my idea, based on trying not to fall into a rut, and having the opportunity to communicate sans the Daughter. When it doesn’t happen, it’s usually because she thinks we’re too busy; I contend that we’re NEVER too busy for that. Now maybe we can’t find a sitter or someone’s sick, and that’s legit, but too busy? Nah.

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