Tuesday, June 26, 2007

People I Would Like to buy a Beer

Mark Twain. Who wouldn't want to sit down to a few cold suds with America's premier Humorist?

I mean really, you have to respect a guy who owns two dozen white suits, and refers to them as his "Go To Hell" suits, because whatever the occasion, he is going to wear the same thing he wears everyday.

I was thinking of Mark Twain the other day after I read a post by Big Orange. B.O. was talking about "bearclawing", or "badgering the witness", or whatever you kids are calling it today. In the article he mentioned a website that had a speech of his that he delivered in Paris, 1879, to a group of American artists and writers.

You might call it "badgering the witness", but good ol' Mark called it Onanism, after the Bible story of Onan. Onan was forced by law to marry his brother's widow, and when he fooled around with his new wife, he "spilled his seed on the ground", so God killed him.

In the speech, Mark Twain cites several sources, all of which your dedicated editor failed to check, but are presented as I found them.

After citing Homer, he moves on to Caesar in his "Commentaries" and says ""To the lonely it is company; to the forsaken it is a friend; to the aged and to the impotent it is a benefactor; they that are penniless are yet rich, in that they still have this majestic diversion." In another place this excellent observer has said, "there are times when I prefer it to sodomy."

After that he goes on to say:

Robinson Crusoe says, "I cannot describe what I owe to this gentle art."
Queen Elizabeth said, "It is the bulwark of virginity."

Brigham Young, an expert of incontestable authority, said, "As compared with the other thing, it is the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning."

Solomon said, "There is nothing to recommend it but its cheapness."

The signs of excessive indulgence in this destructive pastime are easily detectable. They are these: A disposition to eat, to drink, to smoke, to meet together convivially, to laugh, to joke, and tell indelicate stories — and mainly, a yearning to paint pictures. The results of the habit are: Loss of memory, loss of virility, loss of cheerfulness, loss of hopefulness, loss of character, and loss of progeny.

He also referered to a fart as the "fundamental sigh"

Anyone who can crack Dick and Fart jokes in 1879 is someone I want to have a beer with.



  1. In the original "Rock Book of Lists" by Dave Marsh, there was a list called "Odes to Onanism"-- songs about whacking off. Off the top of my head-- "Pictures of Lily" by the Who, "Rosie" by Jackson Browne and "In My Room" by the Beach Boys.

    Mark Twain has more good quotes than Yogi Berra and Oscar Wilde combined.

  2. there goes God, killing people again. BUT REMEMBER, HE LOVES YOU!!

    Frankly, if Heaven is so damned nice n'all, I'm looking for a good street gang to pop a cap in my ass and take me OUTTA this ballgame so I CAN sit down with these gents and have a brewski.

    Excellent thinking, Doc, as usual. Totally forgots 'bout the original Mr. T.

  3. B.O.- Try throwing this at the bear the next time you get to itchin' to poke it:

    "Nor do I seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe that I may understand. For this too I believe, that unless I first believe, I shall not understand."
    Anselm, (c.1033-1109)


  4. Johnny Yen: I'd like to add Ozzy Osbourne's "No Bone Movies".



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