Age Anecdotes (Post No. 3549)

Image of Cicero, Roman emperor

Compiled by London swaminathan


Date: 16 January 2017


Time uploaded in London:- 20–17


Post No.3549



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Fabia Dollabella saying she was thirty years of age.
Cicero answered:”it must be true, for I have heard it these twenty years.



92 year old man after a young girl!

When Oliver Wendel Holmes was still on the Supreme Court bench, he and Justice Brandeis took walk every afternoon. On one of the occasion s, Holmes, then 92, paused to gaze in Frank admiration at a beautiful young girl who passed them. He even turned to look at her as she continued down the street. Then, turning to Brandeis, he sighed, “Oh! what I wouldn’t give to be 70 again!


A farmer called out to Colonel Thomas Hart Benton and inquired to know his age. The Colonel replied, “According to the calendar my age is seventy four, but when anything is to be done I am thirty five years old, sir”.



Bernard Shaw on Youth!

Youth, said Bernard Shaw , ” is a wonderful thing. What a crime to waste it on children “.


I do not approve of shadows in painting “, said Queen Elizabeth to Daniel Meyers. ” You must strike off my likeness without shadows.

The queen was near sixty when she said this and the shadows, as she charitably called them were wrinkles big enough to have had a straw in them.


I am 38, only my Mum is 41!

Stirred by the patriotic fervour that swept over the country, an Irish man of 41 tried to enlist in
the army. Although the recruiting sergeant saw that this man would make a good soldier, he could not accept any man over 38.

“Listen, fella”, said the sergeant, ” are you sure of your age? Suppose y ou go home and think it over, and then come back tomorrow.”

Next day the Irish man returned.
“Well,how old are you now? Asked the sergeant.
“I was wrong yesterday “,said the hopeful recruit. ” Sure , I am 38. It’s e old mother who is 41″.


Ex President of USA

In his e extreme old age John Quincy Adams was slowly and feebly walking down a street in Boston. An old friend accosted him and shaking his trembling hand asked, ” and how is john Quincy Adams today?

“Thank you “, said the ex-president, ” John Quincy Adams is well, quite well, I thank you. But the house in which he lives at present is becoming quite dilapidated. It is tottering upon its foundations. Time and the season s have nearly destroyed it. Its roof is pretty well worn out . Its walls are much shattered, and it tremble s with every wind. The old tenement is almost uninhabitable, and I think John Quincy Adams will have to move out of. It soon. But he himself is quite well, quite well “.



SNOBBISHNESS Anecdotes (Post No.3460)

Compiled by London swaminathan


Date: 18 December 2016


Time uploaded in London:- 6-21 AM


Post No.3460



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Greek Noble

The Athenian general Iphicrates was the son of a shoemaker. One of his opponents in a suit at law, a descendent of pariot Harmodius, referred insultingly to Iphicrates’ humble birth. With the spirit of a true democrat, the general answered calmly,

“Yes, the nobility of my family begins with me; just as that of yours ends with you”.


Snobbish English


Mount Vernon, the estate of General George Washington, is visited by many people. One day a somewhat snobbish and patronizing young English man remarked to Shep Wright, an old gardener employed on the estate,

“I say, old man, this hedge. Ah ……. I see that dear old George got this hedge from England”.


The old gardener was more than a match for him. Looking at the young man quizzically for about a minute, he said:

“Yes reckon he did. And that ain’t all. He got this whole blooming country from England”.



Asking for Dinner


Displaying considerable snobbishness a Englishman remarked to an American friend, “How unpleasant it must be for you Americans to be governed by people whom one would never think of asking for dinner”.


With scarcely a moment’s thought, the American replied coldly, “No more unpleasant than being governed by people who wouldn’t ask you to dinner.”



Sir William Wallace rebuffed


There came to the National Art Gallery in London, one day, a gentleman rather shabbily dressed, carrying a picture under his arm, who asked to see William Boxall, the governor. He was peremptorily refused an audience, and only repeated rebuffs was he granted a moment’s interview.


The stranger intimated that he had a picture in his possession which he wished to give to the National gallery, and began to unbuckle the straps to show the painting within. Sir William, however brusquely ordered him either to leave it or take it away altogether, saying that he was too busy to look at it.

“But you had better have one glance – I ask for no more”., said the stranger.


Again Sir William refused, and was just on the point of turning away when the covering fell off the picture and there was revealed one of Terborch’s masterpieces which the governor himself, sometime previously, had failed to gain though he had offered for it 6000 pounds.

“My name is Wallace, said the stranger quietly, Sir William Wallace, and I came to offer this picture to the National Gallery.”

“I almost fainted, related Boxall later.




Patriotic Americans: Soldiers and Sailors Anecdotes (Post No.3294)


Compiled by London Swaminathan


Date: 27 October 2016


Time uploaded in London: 17-22


Post No.3294


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Vice President Henry A Wallace, in his famous speech on “The Century of the Common Man “, told the following story of heroism and courage


The American people always had guts and always will have. You know the story of the bomber pilot Dixon and radio man Gene Aldrich and ordnance man Tony Pastula -the story which Ameicans will be telling their children for generations to illustrate man’s ability to master any fate. These men lived for 34 days on the open sea in a rubber life raft, 8 feet by 4 feet, with no food but that which they took from the sea and the air with one pocket knife and a pistol. And yet they lived it through and came at last to the beach of an island they did not know. Despite their suffering and weakness, they stood like men, with no weapon to protect themselves and no shoes on their feet or clothes on their backs and walked in military file because, they said, “if there were Japs, we didn’t want to be crawling.”



Any Volunteer Please!

During the heroic defence of the Bataan Peninsula, one of the commanding officers lined up a company of his men and asked for a volunteer for a mission of the utmost peril. Anyone willing to serve was instructed to step forward two paces from the line.


He glanced for a moment at a memorandum in his hand and, looking up, was shocked and disappointed to see the ranks unbroken.

“What, he said unbelievingly, ” not a single man!”

” You do not understand, sir, said an aide at his elbow , the whole line stepped forward Roy two paces “.

(It reminds the story of Great Sikh Guru — Guru Gobind Singh who asked for five volunteers)



Philosophy of Life!

A profound philosophy of life is reflected in the reply of the sailor who, when he was asked what he done with his pay , said, Part went for liquor and part went for women. The rest I spent foolishly.




Shortly after the Revolutionary War, Benedict Arnold was presented at Court in London. While the King was conversing with him , Lord Balcarass, a stately old noble, who had fought under General Burgoyne in the campaigns of America, was presented. The King introduced them with Lord Barcarass and General Arnold


What sir, said the haughty old earl drawing up his lofty form, the traitor Arnold!” and refused to give him his hand.


The consequence was a challenge from Arnold . They met and it was arranged that the parties should fire together. At the signal Arnold fired. Lord Balcarass, however, throwing down his pistol, turned on his heel, and was walking away, when Arnold called after him,

Why don’t you fire my Lord?

Sire, said the earl, ” I will leave that to the executioner “.









Compiled by London Swaminathan


Date: 21 October 2016


Time uploaded in London: 9-24 AM


Post No.3274


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President Jackson

During nullification in South Carolina, after President Jackson’s proclamation, the Governor of Virginia sent a request to the President, in case it became necessary to send United States troops down South, not to send them through the State. If he did, they would have to pass over the Governor’s dead body.


The President received the message and replied: “If it becomes necessary for the United States troops to go to South Carolina, I, as commander-in-chief of the army, will be at their head. I will march them by the shortest route. They may pass through Virginia; but if the governor makes it necessary to pass over his dead body, it will be found that I will have previously taken off both ears.


Lincoln’s Victorious Walk!

Richmond fell. Lincoln himself entered the city on foot, accompanied only by a few officers and a squad of sailors who had rowed him ashore from the flotilla in the James River, a Negro picked up on the way serving as a guide. Never had the world seen a more modest conqueror and a less characteristic triumphal procession no army with banners and drums, only a throng of those who had been slaves hastily run together, escorting the victorious chief into the capital of the vanquished foe. We are told that they pressed around him, kissed his hands and his garments and shouted and danced with joy, while tears ran down the President’s care-furrowed cheeks.



Advancing Backwards!

Near the end of the Civil War, when the Confederate forces were falling back on Richmond, an old Negro asked by his mistress for encouraging news, replied.

“Well, missy, due to de lie of de land where dey’s fightin’, dem Yankees is retreatin’ forward, while we is advancin’ backwards.”


The prayer of a Unitarian preacher in Massachusetts during the Civil War

“Oh, God, we pray thee to bless the rebels. Bless their hearts with sincere repentance. Bless their armies with defeat. Bless their social condition by emancipation.






Louis Fischer, editor and correspondent, tells the story that at a dinner-party in England the guests were discussing the fact that the cigarettes were worse since the war started and the transportation, food, and indeed everything was worse.

“Only the people are better,” someone observed.



Lincoln’s Story

During a public “reception”, a farmer from one of the counties of Virginia told President Lincoln, that the Union soldiers, in passing his farm, had helped themselves not only to hay, but to his horse, and he hoped the President would urge the proper officer to consider his claim immediately.

Mr. Lincoln said that this reminded him of an old acquaintance of his, “Jack” Chase, a lumberman on the Illinois, a steady, sober man and the best raftsman on the river. It was quite a trick to take the logs over the rapids; but he was skilful with a raft and always kept her straight in the channel. Finally, a steamer was put on, and Jack was made captain of her. He always used to take the wheel, going through the rapids. One day, when the boat was plunging and wallowing along the boiling current, and Jack’s utmost vigilance was being exercised to keep the narrow channel, a boy pulled his coat-tail and hailed him with:

“Say, Mr. Captain! I wish you would just stop your boat a minute. I’ve lost my apple overboard.



Lip Sympathy only!

President Lincoln was bothered to death by those persons who boisterously demanded that the War be pushed vigorously also, those who shouted their advice and opinions into his weary ears, but who never suggested anything practical. These fellows were not in the army nor did they ever take any interest, in a personal way, in military affairs, except when engaged in dodging drafts.


“That reminds me remarked Mr. Lincoln one day, “of a farmer who lost his way on the Western frontier. Night came on, and the embarrassments of his position were increased by a furious tempest which suddenly burst upon him. To add to his discomfort, his horse had given out, leaving him exposed to all the dangers of the pitiless storm.


“The peals of thunder were terrific, the frequent flashes of lightning affording the only guide on the road as he resolutely trudged onward, leading his jaded steed. The earth seemed fairly to tremble beneath in the elements. One bolt threw him suddenly upon his knees.


“Our traveller was not a prayerful man, but finding himself involuntarily brought to an attitude of devotion, addressed himself to the Throne of Grace in the following prayer for his deliverance.


“O God! hear my prayer this time, for Thou knowest it is not often that I call upon Thee. And O,Lord! If it is not all the same to Thee, give us a little more light and a little noise.


“I wish,” the President said, sadly, “there was a stronger disposition manifested on the part of our civilian warriors to unite in suppressing the rebellion and a little less noise as to how and by whom the chief executive office shall be administered.”




Compiled by London Swaminathan


Date: 20 October 2016


Time uploaded in London: 8-58


Post No.3271


Pictures are taken from Wikipedia and other sources; thanks. (Picture is used only for representational purpose; no connection with the current article.)






Bronislaw Malinowski says, “I once talked to an old cannibal who, hearing of the Great War raging then in Europe, was most curious to know how we Europeans managed to eat such enormous quantities of human flesh. when I told him that Europeans do not eat their slain foes, he looked at me in shocked horror and asked what sort of barbarians we were, to kill without any real object.




In Italy it is whispered that a new technique for the fairy tale has come into existence. The old formula began, “Once upon a time.” Now it begins, “The General Headquarters of the Armed Forces communicates.”




According to one story, Marshal Foch’s chauffeur was constantly besieged by journalists and plain information- seekers with the question, “When is the war going to end? What do you hear?”


The chauffeur put off his questioners, saying, “As soon as I hear the Marshall say anything, I will tell you.”


At last he said, “The Marshal spoke today.”

“Well,” they demanded, “what did he say?

“He said, “Well, Pierre, what do you think? When is the war going to end?




Jean Gabin, the film actor, upon his arrival in New York recently, was asked what was the French attitude toward the British, “We are both pro- and anti-British,” he said.


“Those who are pro-British say each night in their prayers, “Please, God, let the gallant British win quickly.”

Those who are anti-British say each night in their prayers, ‘Please, God, let the dirty British win right away.”




Mr. Pitt, speaking in the House of Commons of the glorious war preceding that in which England lost the colonies called it “The last war.” Several members cried out: “The last war but one!

He took no notice, and soon, after repeating the mistake, was interrupted by a general cry of “The last war but one!”


“I mean, sir,” said Pitt, turning to the speaker, and raising his voice, “I mean, the last war that Britons would wish to remember.”



In 1918 Premier Georges Clemenceau of France made the observation, “War is too important to leave to the Generals.”


The Italians say among themselves, “In the First World war we prepared, fought, and made the Armistice. This time (II W.W.) we made the Armistice (with France), fought, and now we are preparing.




Lillah McCarthy went to stay with H. G. Wells in Essex. England also was now at war (1914). “His face, generally so mobile, had become rigid and the playful look stern. I tried to distract him “No, Lillah,’ he said, ‘no, I can’t get away from the war. The world is falling to pieces. I can do nothing but think, think.’




Rabelais and Shrewdness Anecdotes (Post No.3088)

rabelais 1

Compiled by London Swaminathan


Date: 24  August 2016


Time uploaded in London: 18-33


Post No.3088


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A sidewalk pitchman was disgusted by his failure to elicit any profitable response from the large crowd assembled around him.

“You pikers, he said in disgust, are too tight to offer me 50 cent for a dollar”.

“I will”, someone spoke up.

“All right, said the pitch man, handover the fifty cents.”

“I am not taking any chances. Take it out of the buck and hand me the change”.




(Francois Rabelais (1494-1553) was a French writer. He wrote Gargantuan and Pantagruel, a hilarious classic of French literature and one of the greatest books ever written.  He was a Greek scholar and joined a monastery.)


Rabelais once found himself stranded in a village in southern France without a sou (a former French coin of low value) to get him back to Paris.  He took this means to obtain quick and easy passage to the French capital.


He engaged a room in the only tavern in the town and asked for a secretary to assist him in some writing. The mistress of the inn sent him her son, a sharp lad about twelve years old.


Rabelais said to his ‘secretary’, “My boy, we are about to undertake a very serious business here. I want you to sit down here and print these labels for me. Poison for the King, Poison for the queen, Poison for the Duke of Orleans etc While you are doing this I shall be preparing the poison.


While the terrified youngster was busy at his task of printing, RABELAIS Scrapped up the ashes from the grate, mixed them with the contents of his snuff box  and wrapped up the contents in several neat packages, on which he pasted his labels.


He then dismissed his ‘secretary’ with a solemn warning and the boy at once rushed downstairs and breathlessly told his mother of the whole business. The woman summoned the gendarmes (French Police) who came to the inn and caught the dangerous guest with his damning evidence.  As the suspect could not give an account of himself he was bundled off to Paris. Hence he was brought to court and recognised by the King who heard his case and of course set him free.





Servants Anecdotes (Post No 2928)

KWS Mona Lake dead fish 6.JPG

Compiled by london swaminathan

Date: 29 June 2016

Post No. 2928

Time uploaded in London :–  17-47

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Dead Fish Smell

William K.Vanderbilt was fond of telling the following story on himself.

He once observed to his valet that a towel he was using did not seem clean. The man replied that the towels had been done by the regular laundry.

But, Vanderbilt said, “this one smells like dead fish”.

“Well sir”, replied his man, “perhaps you have used it previously”.



three dollars

Kind Servant!

Mrs.Dean William Howells, wife of the noted novelist, had hired a girl to do the house work. Several weeks passed and from seeing her master constantly about the house, the girl received an erroneous impression.

“Excuse me, Mrs Howells”, she said to her mistress one day, “but I would like to say something”.

“Well, Mary?”

The girl flushed and fumbled with her apron,

“Well, you pay me four dollars a week….”

“I can’t really pay you anymore”, interrupted Mrs. Howells apologetically.

“It is not that”, hastily answered the girl , “but I am willing to take three till Mr.Howells lands a job”.



reindeer milking

I don’t know! I don’t know!!

A married couple, returning from Europe, became interested in attractive red cheeked Finnish girl in the steerage. They found that she was coming to America to look for work and decided to offer employment.

“Can you cook?”, they asked.

“No, said the girl, my mother always did the cooking”.

“Well, they said, then you can do the house work?”

“No,said she, I don’t know how. My oldest sister always did the housework”.

“Well, then we could let you take care of the children.”

“No, I couldn’t do that. My youngest sister always took care of the children”.

“Well, can you do the sewing?”

“No, said the girl, my aunt always did the sewing”.

“What can you do?, cried the despairing couple.”

The girl was quite bright and cheerful as she volunteered, “I can milk reindeer”.



Empty Fruit Shell

Entering the kitchen one evening the lady of the house was amazed to see her cook, who was going home for the night, packing some empty grapefruit hulls into her black bag. Completely mystified at this procedure and curious to find out the reason for it, she asked,

Mandy, why in the world do you take the trouble to carry home those empty grapefruits?

“Well, madam, I admit that they ain’t any use to me. But they sure make my garbage look stylish”.



Drunk Everyday!

The Count de Mirabeau, brother of the celebrated orator, one morning called his valet to him,

You are faithful, said he, you are jealous, in short, I am satisfied with your services, but I give you your dismissal.

On what account? naturally inquired the valet.

Notwithstanding our agreement, you get drunk on the same days as I do ,said Mirabeau.

It is not my fault, replied the valet, you get drunk every day.



Brevity Anecdotes (Post No.2895)


Compiled  by London swaminathan


Date: 14 June 2016


Post No. 2895


Time uploaded in London :– 16-38


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veni vidi vici

The editor of a small Missouri paper sent a notice to one Bill Jenkins that his subscription had expired. The note came back with the laconic scrawl ‘so is Bill ‘.



During his administration, President Coolidge was one time taken on a tour of inspection through the fabulously magnificent and variegated horticultural conservatories on the estate of Pierre S DuPont at Longwood, Pennsylvania


The marvellous beauties of the spring flowers, the exotically cultivate d special fruits, the weird and unreal form of cacti, the beautiful ferns, the orchids. All these things elicited from the President no word of comment. Stepping into the close and humid atmosphere of the room devoted to tropical trees, the president looked about for a moment and remarked with interest, ‘Bananas’.



Press Conference

At one of the White House press conference s various reporters were vainly firing their questions at Calvin Coolidge


Have you anything to say about prohibition ?


Have you anything to say about the world court?


About the farm situation?


About the forthcoming senatorial campaign?


The meeting broke up and the reporters began to file out of the room

And called the president, don’t quote me


to be  or

Gift of Gab

Bob Burns, the local boy who made good food from Arkansas, is well known for his stories about his large and amusing family. One day when chided for his loquaciousness, he explained that not all members of his family were as given to the gift of gab as himself.


Now take my cousin Wilfred. He was eleven years old before he so much as said one word. One day he was sitting on a fence, watching his father plot a field.


A bull broke through into the pasture and made straight for Wilfred’s pa.  all of a sudden Wilfred s mouth opened and he yelled

Hey, Pa! Hey! Look out for the bull.


Soon as his Pa got out of the field he went straight for Wilfred and said, Wilfred you shore done me a right smart favour that time. But how come you are speaking all of a sudden? You ain’t never said nothing afore


“Well, Pa”, was Wilfred’s reply “I just ain’t never had nothing to say before”.







Long-windedness Anecdotes (Post No.2889)


Compiled by London swaminathan


Date: 12 June 2016


Post No. 2889


Time uploaded in London :– 23-14


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One of the executives of RKO Pictures, Leon J Bamberger, once spoke at a conference, “I am having such a good time that I would just go on speaking all afternoon, but I remember another Monday on which I was addressing a conference. I had hardly begun when I heard someone in the first row lean over and ask his friend “Say, what follows Bamberger?”

“And the answer was, Wednesday .”



Sir Josiah Stamp, in a speech at the Chicago club, expressed a hope that he wasn’t talking too long.

I wouldn’t like to be in the position of the parson, he explained, who in the midst of an interminable sermon, suddenly stopped to chide, “You know I don’t mind a bit having you look at your watches to see what time it is, but it really annoys me when you put them up to your ears to see if they are still running.”




The following remarks of Mark Twain may well be taken to heart by the various after dinner speakers who inflict their long drawn out speeches upon suffering diners.

“Some years ago in Hartford, we all went to church one hot sweltering night to hear the annual report of Mr Harley a city missionary who went around finding people who needed help and didn’t want to ask for it. He told of the life in cellars, where poverty resided. He gave instance s of the heroism and devotion of the poor. When a man with millions gives, he said, we make a great deal of noise. It is noise in the wrong place, for it is the widow’s mite that counts. Well Harley worked me up to a great pitch. I could hardly wait for him to get through. I had 400 dollars in my pocket. I wanted to give that and borrow more to give. You could see greenbacks in every eye. But instead of passing the plate then, he kept on talking and talking, and as he talked it grew hotter and hotter, and we grew sleepier and sleepier.  My enthusiasm went down, down, down, down…… 100 dollars….. at a clip…….until finally, when the plate did come around , I stole ten cents out of it . It all goes to show how a little thing like this can lead to crime.



Quick Thinking Anecdotes! (Post No.2805)

Go to hell

Compiled by london swaminathan


Date: 12 May 2016


Post No. 2804


Time uploaded in London :–  19-06


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As Mark Hanna was walking through his office one day he overheard one of his employee’s remark that he wished that he had Hanna’s money and Hanna was in the poor house.


Immediately upon his reaching office Hanna sent for the young man.

He told him he overheard his statement, and then added, “Supposing you had your wish. And you had my money and I was in the poor house, then what would you do?”

Quickly he boy replied, “Well, I guess the first thing I would do would be to get you out of that poor house.”

The boy got a raise in salary.


Jackass or Animal?

When Champ Clark was Speaker of the House, Congressman Johnson of Indiana interrupted the speech of an Ohio representative, calling him a jackass. The expression was ruled to be un parliamentary and Johnson apologised.

“I withdraw the unfortunate word, Mr.Speaker, but I insist that the gentleman from Ohio is out of order.”

“How am I out of order?”, angrily shouted the other.

“Probably a veterinary could tell you”, answered Johnson. And this was allowed to enter the record.



You don’t need to ‘Go to Hell’!

Two Massachusetts State Senators got into an angry debate and one told the other he could “go to hell.” The man thus consigned called on Governor Coolidge and asked him to do something about it.


Mr Coolidge replied

“I have looked up the law, Senator, and you don’t have to go there.”