Jim Ingebrigtsen
Is It Just Me...

“Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.”

– Rudyard Kipling

I read, a long time ago, that insults are nothing more than the babbling of a diseased mind and sarcasm is simply the sour cream of wit. Sometimes the two go together. One way or another, when presented properly, they can be humorous.

Here are some of my favourites:

  1. “You look like something I’d draw with my left hand.”
  2. “He’s a modest little man with plenty to be modest about.” Churchill
  3. “He has Van Gogh’s ear for music.” Billy Wilder
  4. “I’ve had a perfectly wonderful evening. But I’m afraid this wasn’t it.” Groucho Marx
  5. “He had delusions of adequacy.” 
  6. “He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire.” Churchill
  7. “I have never killed a man but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure.” 
  8. “He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary.” William Faulkner about Ernest Hemingway.
  9. “Poor Faulkner. Does he really think big emotions come from big words?”
  10. “Thank you for sending me a copy of your book; I’ll waste no time reading it.” Moses Hadas
  11. “I didn’t attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it.” Mark Twain
  12. “He has no enemies but is intensely disliked by his friends.” Oscar Wilde 
  13. “I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my play; bring a friend if you have one.” George Bernard Shaw to Winston Churchill.
  14. “Cannot possibly attend first night, will attend second … if there is one.” Winston Churchill, in response.
  15. “I feel so miserable without you; it’s almost like having you here.”
  16. “He is a self-made man and he worships his creator.”  
  17. “I’ve just learned about his illness. Let’s hope it’s nothing trivial.”
  18. “He is not only dull himself; he is the cause of dullness in others.” Samuel Johnson
  19. “He is simply a shiver looking for a spine to run up.”
  20. “He loves nature in spite of what it did to him.”
  21. “Why do you sit there looking like an envelope without any address on it”? Mark Twain
  22. “His mother should have thrown him away and kept the stork.” Mae West
  23. “Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go.” Oscar Wilde
  24. “He uses statistics as a drunken man uses a lamp-posts … for support rather than illumination.”
  25. “He inherited some good instincts from his Quaker forebears, but by diligent hard work, he overcame them.”  James Reston (about Richard Nixon)
  26. The exchange between Winston Churchill and Lady Astor: She said, “If you were my husband I’d give you poison.” He said, “If you were my wife, I’d drink it.”
  27. “He can compress the most words into the smallest idea of any man I know.” Abraham Lincoln
  28. “There’s nothing wrong with you that reincarnation won’t cure.” Jack E. Leonard
  29. “They never open their mouths without subtracting from the sum of human knowledge.” Thomas Brackett Reed
  30. During one of the many heated debates between writer and political commentator William F. Buckley and writer and public intellectual Gore Vidal, Vidal accused Buckley of spewing out verbal diarrhea. In response Buckley accused Vidal of mental constipation.

As an addendum, William Buckley’s paternal Grandparents were from Hamilton, Ontario. Interestingly, another Canadian connection is his wife Patricia Buckley was born in Vancouver, British Columbia. Her mother Kathleen Elliot was a daughter of one of the early Winnipeg Police Chiefs.

Jim was a writer-broadcaster, producer and presenter on television and radio for 40 years. He is also a host on Lifestyles 55 Digital Radio. Find Radio Redux and Mid-Century Memories at www.whatsupwinnipeg.ca