Archive for November, 2012

Humorous Quotes from Others

“Writers are exorcists of their own demons.”
(This is my favorite quote—it’s what I am doing when I write,
and when I share it on this blog.)
—Mario Vargas Llosa

“A thing derided is a thing dead; a laughing man is stronger than a suffering man.”
(I wish this was true in my own life!)
—Gustave Flaubert

The quotes above from my collection of humorous (and not so humorous) quotations explain precisely why I write humorously about the painful events in my life.

As I have noted several times in this blog, and particularly in the preceding post on some of my collected self-quotes, it is through my writings over the past thirty-five years of my Oklahomian Exile (and indeed the entire forty years of what I call the “Peacock Curse”) that I deal with the issues of my life.

In this post I continue that practice by sharing some of my collected humorous (and not so humorous) quotes from others (including humorous newspaper comic strips), some of which may have appeared in earlier posts. As always, my comments are set in parentheses.

Humorous Quotes from Others

“Humor plays close to the big hot fire that is truth.”

—E. B. White

“Humor is laughing at what you haven’t got when you ought to have it.”

—Langston Hughes (1902-1967), quoted in
History magazine, September/October 2009

“Humor is to life what shock absorbers are to automobiles.”

—Juanita Taylor, “Author adds a laugh track to tough time,”
Arkansas Democrat Gazette, nd, quoting Rev. Stan Toler,
God Has Never Failed Me,
But He’s Sure Scared Me to Death a Few Times!

“It’s been said that humor is our shield against insanity.” (If that’s so then maybe I ain’t so crazy after all!)

—Jaime O’Neill, “Grapes of Wrath redux?” Tulsa World, 09/18/11

“You can turn painful situations around through laughter. If you can find humor in anything, even poverty, you can survive it.” (I have found humor in most of my painful situations, but I have never turned any of them around through laughter.)

—Bill Cosby, quoted in the Sapulpa Daily Herald

“I have a new philosophy. I’m only going to dread one day at a time.” (But as Charlie Brown once said elsewhere, I’m already down to half-days!)

—Charlie Brown in Charles Shultz’ Peanuts cartoon,
Today’s Cryptoquote, Tulsa World, 01-12-11

“Charlie Brown . . . is such a loser. He wasn’t even the star of his own Halloween special.” (I know the feeling, Charlie Brown! At my memorial service everybody will probably be talking about my beautiful widow–including me, wherever I am!)

–Chris Rock, Celebrity Quote,
Tulsa World, 11-01-12

“In my belief, you cannot deal with the most serious things in life unless you also understand the most amusing.”

—Winston Churchill

“Laugh at yourself first, before anyone else can.”

—Elsa Maxwell, American socialite (1863-1963),
Thought for the Day, Sapulpa Daily Herald, nd

“It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others.” (So that’s my purpose in life!)

—Quote from anonymous forwarded email

“Nobody ever died of laughter.”

—Max Beerbohm, English critic and essayist (1872-1958),
Thought for the Day, Sapulpa Daily Herald, nd

“The sound of laughter has always seemed to me the most civilized music in the universe.”

—Peter Ustinov

“What this country needs is a good humorist. There’s been no one since Will Rogers.” (That’s what I would like to be—the Will Rogers of Arkansas.)

—Herbert Hoover

“If that’s art, then I’m a Hottentot!” (My feelings exactly about most “modern art”!)

—Harry S. Truman

“If a man wants his dreams to come true, he must wake up.”


“I did not attend the funeral, but I wrote a nice letter saying I approved of it.”

—Mark Twain (1835-1910), quoted on desk calendar
for March 17, St. Patrick’s Day

“Should I go home, or should I just go crazy?” (You can guess which one I have done!)

—Lyrics of country song heard on the radio in August 2001

“Might as well . . . can’t dance.” (In the case of Mari and me, that is still literally true!)

—1950s Ouachita Baptist College student saying

“Welcome to the South!—now go home!”
“Save the South—teach a Yankee to drive!”
“I miss my ex-wife—but my aim is getting better!”
“You don’t deserve to dream!” (I laughed out loud when I saw this one years ago.)

—Southern bumper stickers

“Discourage inbreeding, ban country music.”

—Bumper sticker seen on car in Wal-Mart parking lot

“When did my wild oats become all bran?”

—Bumper sticker seen in McGehee, Arkansas

“You might be a redneck if . . . your wife has a Jell-O mold that looks like Elvis.”

—Jeff Foxworthy, quoted on desk calendar

“Yeah, but not enough to git in th’ way of my pickin’.”

—Arkansan Glen Campbell in response to question:
“Can you read music?”

“Satan thought he had us, but now he’s on the run.
The devil’s in the phone booth dialing 911!”

—Southern Gospel song

“After a man passes sixty, his mischief is mainly in his head.” (And I’m seventy-four! When I asked Mari why all the pretty young girls smile at me now but didn’t when I was young, she said, “It’s because they know you’re harmless—and because you’re so homely!”)

—Ed Howe, Today’s Cryptoquote, Tulsa World, 01-31-01

“Grandkids are fine—ask me about my medical problems.” (I have a lot more of those than I do grandkids—and that’s no joke!)

—Bumper sticker on back of old man’s car
in Bizarro cartoon, Tulsa World, nd

Humorous Newspaper Cartoons

If you know me personally, or if you have read my personal blog posts at all, you will probably understand why I chose these particular newspaper cartoons. Hint: They all relate in some way or another to my own life and situation either now or in the past.

“I don’t get it . . . After all the budget cuts to streamline the work force, why aren’t we making any progress?”

—Four CEO-types around staff table
on quarterdeck of huge Roman galley
with only one poor oarsman,
Non Sequitur cartoon, Tulsa World, 11-29-06

“Well, the budget cuts appear to have worked on expenses, Hoskins, but do you have any idea why production is down?”

—CEO to overworked accountant at empty staff table,
Non Sequitur cartoon, Tulsa World, 03-21-07

“I lost my job.”
“Your last job was 100 years ago.”
“It’s really lost.”

—Conversation between the witch Broom Hilda
and another cartoon character,
Broom Hilda cartoon, Tulsa World, 2001

Lieutenant Fuzz, saluting General Halftrack: “Have a superfragilisticexpialidocious day, sir!”
General Halftrack to Captain beside him: “Brevity is not his strong point.” (Nor mine.)

—Beatle Bailey cartoon, Tulsa World, 07-08-ny

Ralph on phone: “Thank you for calling. Goodbye.”
Ralph’s wife: “Ralph, what’s wrong?”
Ralph: “My friend Marv died!”
Ralph’s wife: “Marv?? Good heavens!”
Ralph: “I’m stunned! Marv was only my age! He was just a young man!”
Ralph’s teenage son: “I thought you said he was your age.” (I know the feeling!)

—Drabble cartoon, Tulsa World, 07-01-96

Peppermint Patti: “I’m trying, Marcie, but I’m still doing lousy in school.”
Marcy: “Maybe you need to eat a better breakfast, sir, or have your eyes checked or start going to bed earlier.”
Peppermint Patti: “You’ve never understood, have you, Marcie, that when a person complains, he doesn’t want a solution, he wants sympathy!” (I would have said “understanding.”)
Marcy: “No, I admit I’ve never understood that, sir.”
Peppermint Patti: “Stop calling me ‘sir’!”

—Peanuts cartoon, Tulsa World, nd

Frank to businessman reading the newspaper on a park bench: “I tried being my own boss for a while, and you wouldn’t believe the absenteeism!” (As I say, “When you work for someone else, everybody is your boss; when you work for yourself, everybody is your critic!” And that is also no joke!)

—Frank and Ernest cartoon, Tulsa World, nd

“It’s the holiday season. I just love this time of year. It makes me feel greedy all over.” (I used to love it, but now I hate it—because so many in our society seem to share Garfield’s feelings. Yet I am not nearly as concerned about the commercialization of Christmas as I am about the commercialization of Christianity! See my later post of quotes about religion and politics.)

—Garfield cartoon, Tulsa World, 12-09-ny


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Prayers for Thanksgiving Day and My Birthday 

Almighty and gracious Father, we give thee thanks for the fruits of the earth in their season and for the labors of those who harvest them. Make us, we beseech thee, faithful stewards of thy great bounty, for the provision of our necessities and the relief of all who are in need, to the glory of thy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
—Prayer for Thanksgiving Day,
Episcopal Book of Common Prayer, 1979 Version, p. 194

“O God, our times are in your hand: Look with favor, we pray, on your servant [Jimmy], as he begins another year. Grant that [we all] may grow in wisdom and grace, and strengthen [our] trust in your goodness all the days of [our] life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”
—Prayer for a Birthday, Episcopal Book of Common Prayer,
1979 version, p. 830

As indicated by the title of this post and the opening prayers above, this blog entry is in recognition of two annual events that usually occur either on or near the same day of the year: Thanksgiving Day and my birthday.

This year Thanksgiving falls on November 22 and my seventy-fourth birthday falls the next day on November 23. (See my earlier posts on the seventy-fourth birthday of my cousin Donald Peacock on October 12 and the post on the birthdays of my late brothers Adrian and Joe on October 20.)

When I was born on November 23 in 1938, my birth occurred on Wednesday evening before Thanksgiving Day on Thursday. I often quip that “I was born on the night before Thanksgiving, so that year Thanksgiving was canceled!” That, of course, is not true, only a bit of humorous “poetic nonsense.”

In the same vein, I also say of my devoutly religious mother, the daughter of a country Southern Baptist preacher, “I was born on Wednesday night, and I’m sure Mama took me to church the next Sunday morning!” That is probably not an exaggeration.

Finally, I also say that since we Baptists in rural Selma, Arkansas, did not have a church building of our own at the time, we alternated Sunday services with the Methodists in their building which was located right across the “branch” from my farmhouse birthplace. So I also say that although I was taken to church on the first Sunday morning after my Wednesday night birth, I don’t know who was in charge of that service—the Baptists or the Methodists. (I also say that I am sure that, as far as God is concerned, it really doesn’t matter.)

I have featured all those quotes and several photos of the historic Selma Methodist Church and my birthplace several times in earlier posts on this blog. I have also featured several photos of the Selma Baptist Church, which was constructed later when I was about nine years old and among whose founders were my mother and her father, Rev. Willis Barrett, pastor of that church.

Thus, as I have explained in several earlier posts about my spiritual background, although my Peacock ancestors were Middle Georgia Methodist minister-planters who immigrated to Southeast Arkansas just before the Civil War looking for new fields to sow (in cotton) and reap (in souls), my immediate Selma family were Southern “Baptists of the Baptists.”

As such, I not only attended Baptist churches, graduated from Ouachita Baptist College, and taught in Baptist junior colleges, in 1986 Mari (who was also a staunch Southern Baptist) and I were led to join the Episcopal Church; specifically, Trinity Episcopal Church in Tulsa. (The reasons for this change of denomination and church affiliation were explained in an earlier post titled “A Summary of My Personal Spirituality and Pilgrimage,” which also explained the reasons for our eventual return to the Methodist Church of my ancestors.)

During the almost twenty years that Mari and I were active members of the Episcopal Church we were drawn to and impressed by the beauty, formality, dignity, and solemnity of the Episcopal liturgy and prayers.

As examples, besides the opening prayers above, in this Thanksgiving post I would like to share two daily prayers that appear in the opening and closing pages of each issue of Forward Day by Day, the Episcopal daily devotional booklet. These prayers are quoted here by permission of the publisher in hopes that they may speak to and be of service to other Christians (like us “Baptiscopalian Methodists”) who may find them as beautiful, moving, and meaningful as we do, especially on this day of national thanksgiving.

A Morning Resolve

I will try this day to live a simple, sincere, and serene life, repelling promptly every thought of discontent, anxiety, discouragement, impurity, and self-seeking; cultivating cheerfulness, magnanimity, charity, and the habit of holy silence, exercising economy in expenditure, generosity in giving, carefulness in conversation, diligence in appointed service, fidelity to every trust, and a childlike faith in God.

     In particular I will try to be faithful in those habits of prayer, work, study, physical exercise, eating, and sleep which I believe the Holy Spirit has shown me to be right.

     And as I cannot in my own strength do this, nor even with a hope of success attempt it, I look to thee, O Lord God my Father, in Jesus my Savior, and ask for the gift of the Holy Spirit.

For Today

O God:

Give me strength to live another day;

Let me not turn coward before its difficulties

or prove recreant to its duties;

Let me not lose faith in other people;

Keep me sweet and sound of heart, in spite of

ingratitude, treachery, or meanness;

Preserve me from minding little stings or giving them;

Help me to keep my heart clean, and to live so

honestly and fearlessly that no outward
failure can dishearten me or take away the
joy of conscious integrity;

Open wide the eyes of my soul that I may see

good in all things;

Grant me this day some new vision of thy truth;

Inspire me with the spirit of joy and gladness;

and make me the cup of strength to suffering
souls; in the name of the strong Deliverer, our
only Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Copyright Forward Movement. All rights reserved.

Southern Gospel Addendum

“Consider the lilies of the field . . . .”

—Matthew 6:28 KJV

As noted in a previous post, some of the quotations and other copy in my blog were part of a Sunday school class I once taught at Trinity Episcopal Church titled “The Spirituality of Home.” Each of the Sunday school sessions was opened with a piece of music that related to the theme of that day’s class discussion. One of those musical introductions was Willie Nelson’s version of the classic Gospel song “An Uncloudy Day.”

Coincidentally, in the September 30 post of his blog “Weekly Grist for the Eyes and Mind,” my Ouachita Baptist College classmate and longtime friend, and the designer of this blog, Joe Dempsey, featured some close-up photos of lovely “lilies of the field” growing in his neighborhood.

As part of that post he also featured two musical pieces: folksinger Burl Ives singing “Brighten the Corner Where You Are” and country singer Willie Nelson singing “An Uncloudy Day.” To visit this site and to listen to these classic Gospel songs that were so much a part of our Southern evangelical upbringing, click here and then click on the video link illustrated with church buildings. I hope these words, images, and songs will “strum some chords (and heartstrings)” of your own spiritual heritage.

For an interesting contrast between white and black Gospel versions of “An Uncloudy Day,” click here to hear that same song by The Staple Singers, which was recorded in 1956, the year I graduated from high school and entered Ouachita.

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“Return to the Arkansas Delta”

Article written by Charles Bowden
with photographs and captions by Eugene Richards
National Geographic, November 2012, pp. 124-139

“The delta west of the Mississippi River was once a place where sharecroppers lived in segregation and poverty yet forged a vibrant community. Industrial farming has erased their culture, leaving behind endless sky and few people. Eugene Richards documented their world four decades ago. Now he returns to where his pictures began.”
—Introduction to “Return to the Arkansas Delta”
by Charles Bowden

As indicated by the title and the opening quotation above, this post is a sort of a review of an article on the Arkansas Delta that appeared in the November 2012 issue of National Geographic.

I learned about this article through a phone call from my friend Ed Roling, the Christian Education Director at Trinity Episcopal Church in Tulsa where Mari and I were members for twenty years back in the past. Through the years Ed and I have remained close friends though he is from Iowa and I am from Arkansas, specifically the Arkansas Delta.

Ed called to tell me about the article on the Arkansas Delta because I have talked and written on my blog about the Delta so much over the years that he has become intrigued by that faraway and almost foreign land that Mari and I love so much even though we have been “exiled” from it for thirty-five years.

On the phone Ed was excited to have discovered the article with its numerous photos and captions from the present and from forty years ago. Together the copy and the photos and captions recall the return of Eugene Richards, a New England Yankee, who left his native Boston to work in the Arkansas Delta during the civil rights era of the 1960s and ’70s.

In fact, Ed was so excited about the article that he offered to bring it to us in Sapulpa, about a thirty-minute drive from his home in West Tulsa. Since our church, the First United Methodist of Sapulpa, was having its annual fish fry that evening, we agreed to meet Ed at the church at six o’clock. After standing in line for an hour to get our fried catfish and potatoes, cole slaw, cornbread, beans, and iced tea, we sat and ate together. Afterward we returned to our house where we continued to talk about the article and the Arkansas Delta—a subject about which none of us ever seems to tire.

That shared interest in our disappearing homeland is one reason that I have already asked Ed (a former Roman Catholic priest) to preach my funeral in Sapulpa and, if possible, to accompany Mari and my family “down home” to the Delta to preside over my burial in “consecrated soil.”

Meanwhile before that final return to the land of my ancestors, Ed is eager for us to make one more “sentimental journey” together to the Delta so Mari and I can serve as personal guides in his introductory tour of the “Holy Land,” though we tell him the Delta he will see is not the same Delta we grew up with in the 1940s to ’60s or even the same Delta we were forced to leave in 1977.

Mari and I feel flattered by Ed’s request to serve as his guides to the Delta.  Despite the intervening years, we still feel somewhat competent to do so since at one time or another in our past we lived in each of the three sections of the Arkansas Delta, what I term: (1) the Lower Delta (that section below the Arkansas River and above the Louisiana line, the lower boundary of the Arkansas Delta); (2) the Middle Delta (the section immediately above the Arkansas River up to Interstate 40 that runs from Little Rock to Memphis, the western and eastern limits of the Arkansas Delta); and (3) the Upper Delta (that section from Interstate 40 northward to the Missouri line, the northern boundary of the Arkansas Delta). Each of these sections is somewhat different from the other two as we learned while growing up in our hometown of McGehee in the Lower Delta, beginning our married life teaching high school and elementary school in Holly Grove in the Middle Delta, and finally teaching at Arkansas State University at Jonesboro in the Upper Delta in our young adulthood.

The one disappointment we experienced in reading and discussing the National Geographic article with Ed was that the only map of the Arkansas Delta in the article is basically of the Middle Delta, which does not show or label any of the towns and cities in the Lower Delta (such as Pine Bluff, Dumas, McGehee, Arkansas City, Dermott, Lake Village, Eudora, etc. that we knew so well) or the northernmost parts of the Upper Delta (like Blytheville, Walnut Ridge, Trumann, and particularly Jonesboro where Southern writer John Grisham was born and the locale of Grisham’s popular novel and movie titled A Painted House).

However, the article and map do show and label the major rivers (the St. Francis, the White, the Arkansas, the Mississippi) and many of the towns and cities in and near the Middle Delta (Augusta, Cotton Plant, Marvell, Marianna, Elaine, Helena-West Helena, etc.) with interesting observations about them and what transpired in them in the past and the changes in them in the present. The dozen or more photos and captions (old and new) and the copy also describe what Richards and his fellow civil rights workers encountered and experienced in their first visit in the 1960s and ’70s contrasted with what he encountered and experienced in his recent return visit.

Naturally, after reading the article that Ed brought us, I wanted to share it with those on my blog list and began to wonder how I could do so. Although I had planned to publish a follow-up to last week’s post about humorous self-quotes with a post about humorous quotes from others, I began to see that the best way to share the theme of the article with all those on my blog list was to make up a new post, a sort of review of the article, in hopes that it will pique the interest of those who have not yet heard of it or read it.

As such, I have lifted out some of the more descriptive quotations from that article to share with you. I hope this peek into the world that Mari and I knew so well from our youth and young adulthood will strike a similar cord with you whether you have ever lived or even visited this fascinating land that we still call home.

I do so by offering some of the more insightful quotations from that article that reflect the message about our beloved but blighted and benighted homeland and what has happened to it over the years of our fifty-year marriage and particularly our thirty-five year “Oklahomian Exile.” Much of what is expressed in these select quotations expresses the underlying theme of my entire blog: what has happened to the Arkansas Delta in our prolonged involuntary absence so that now, as much as we love it and miss it, we “can’t go home again.”

I sincerely hope these quotations will inspire you to purchase that issue of the National Geographic and read the entire article and view the photos and captions for yourself. Perhaps it will speak to you as it did to us. And perhaps if you too are from the Arkansas Delta you will do as we did and purchase extra copies to pass down to our children and grandchildren so they will know something of where we are from and thus who we are.

Note that the italics in the select quotations were added by me for emphasis. My comments are set in brackets.

Select Quotes from “Return to the Arkansas Delta”

“Beyond the plowed ground are the remains of a sharecropper’s shack that has been made irrelevant by the mechanical revolution of the past 70 years.” [See later quote on the disappearance of sharecropper shacks from the Delta.]

“The photographer is a white man who had come from Boston to the small town of Augusta during the civil rights era of the late sixties, and he now believes it was the most important time of his life.” [So do I!]

“Memory comes and goes here in the delta, mainly goes.” [I disagree. In the Arkansas Delta as in the South as a whole, memory, like the fertile Mississippi River silt on which it rests, runs deep and lasts forever! See the following quotes.]

The place still beckons, captures the heart, and persists like the blues songs that grew out of the pain and the rough-edged Saturday nights.”

The delta is the soul of the South, a place . . . always . . . shrowded in its past . . . “

Now it is a vast agricultural machine that has swept clean the land, [a land] that seems to hardly need people or towns.” [I used to say that the Delta was a huge rural ghetto that needed to be “urban-renewalized” with a bulldozer! Now that is precisely what is happening, and I am filled with regret and remorse because there is nothing anyone can do to stop it or reverse it!]

“[But] the lands remains, the place of the great river and the phantom chords of American memory.” [See the earlier quote on memory and the Delta.]

“[In the Delta] the past can be forgotten but not erased.” [So true!]

By 1970 the sharecropping world was already disappearing, and the landscape of today—huge fields, giant machines, battered towns, few people—beginning to emerge.”  [After being away from the Delta for years, Mari and I were living in our hometown of McGehee in the mid-70s and saw already the changing Delta and the disappearance of its former way of life.]

“But for Richards . . . his time in Arkansas is still the burning core of his life. . . . [And of my life!] Now, 40 years later, the sharecropper life that he documented has slipped away.” [And so have I, and so has my beloved homeland!]

“There used to be hundreds of them [sharecropper shacks], painted white and raised up on concrete blocks. Now there’s not so much as a floorboard or a nail to mark where they were. It’s as if the Mississippi had overflowed and swept them all away.” [I know the feeling! During my thirty-five years of “Oklahomian Exile” on each of my “semi-annual pilgrimages to the Holy Land,” I watched as my beloved and sorely missed homeland washed away and disappeared!]

It’s hard to document the disappearance of a way of life, to capture the delta that once was and isn’t today. . . . [which is what I am trying to do in my blog!] ”

“Whatever the South is, it stays with you, and whatever the delta is, it beats as the heart inside the South.” [This final quote is reminiscent of a similar one from Southern writer Pat Conroy in his book Beach Music: “Mark my words. You’ll be back soon. The South’s got a lot of wrong with it. But it’s permanent press and it doesn’t wear out.” Neither does the Arkansas Delta! It stays with me and within me night and day! As I say, “Muddy Mississippi River water leaves a stain on the soul that is virtually impossible to get out—assuming any fool would try!”]

Note:  Additional information, remembrances, and quotes about the Arkansas Delta can be viewed by visiting the following posts on my blog:

“My Bucket List Trip II: The Arkansas Delta”
“Yo Recuerdo (I Remember)”
“Bayou Bartholomew: Two Book Reviews”
“A Gathering at the River”
“Wish I Was in the Land of Cotton: Part I”
“Wish I Was in the Land of Cotton: Part II”
“Additional Quotes about the Delta”
“Days Gone By “ (A trip through the Arkansas Delta in the year 2000)
“Born in the Delta” (A review of a book by a Delta author from our county)
“During Wind and Rain” (A review of another Delta book by the same author)

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“But whose fault is it? I need somebody to blame!”
—David Letterman on recent Late Show

“I am not a stand-up comedian; I’m more of a sit-down humorist.”
—Jimmy Peacock

In this post I would like to share some humorous items drawn from my own writings and sayings collected over the years.

First is a poem I wrote years ago as a means of expressing my displeasure and frustration at the practice of blaming others, which seems to have become the prevailing pastime in our society—especially in politics.

I know it is not great poetry, but as I say in one of my endless self-quotes, “I’m not a poet; I’m just a guy who, in order to express himself, sometimes ‘takes a turn for the verse.’”

Afterward I will share some select humorous self-quotes, and in my next post I will share some humorous quotes from others.

Who’s to Blame?

We have met the enemy, and he is us.”
—Pogo Possum

We can blame it on the whites,
We can blame it on the blacks,
We can blame it on those folks
who live across the tracks.

We can blame it on the red,
Or blame it on the yellow,
We can always lay the blame
on some other fellow.

We can blame it on the right,
We can blame it on the left,
We can blame it on the devil
or on some evil elf.

But the truth of the matter,
If it’s examined clearer:
The one who’s most to blame is—
that guy in the mirror!

—Jimmy Peacock April 24, 1996

(Based on Isaiah 53:6, Matthew 7:1-5, Luke 14:11; Luke 18:9-14, Romans 3:23, 1 Tim. 1:15; James 5:16, 1 John 1:8-10, etc.)

Humorous Self-Quotes

“I am convinced that in the battle against sin and evil, humor is every bit as important as faith and truth.”
—Jimmy Peacock

Following are some select humorous self-quotes, which I have set flush left and in regular type with my comments in parentheses and emphasis in italics.

If many of these self-quotes seem negative and self-depreciating, remember that writing is the way I deal with the failures of my life (and they are legion) and my feelings about them and about myself, whom I know to be “the one to blame.”

“Oh, I’m a changed man.” (My reply to surgeon’s post-triple-bypass question, “How are you?” but which turned out to be totally untrue.)

“I hope nothin’ ever happens to affect my brain ’cause I haven’t had a mind for years—and I ain’t never had no sense!”

“Because of my frequent failure in romance in my younger days, I say that I am like that French painter who had the same problem. Like him I too was ‘born Toulouse.’” (It’s a pun! If you don’t know who Toulouse-Lautrec was, click here.)


Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec

“The reason I am such a nervous wreck is because for the past thirty-five years I have been operating on a shoestring while hanging by a thread!” (At seventy-four years of age I don’t know which bothers me most—what I have to live with or what I have to live without!)

“About the only regular exercise I get is an endless exercise in futility!” (I say that the title of my life’s course (race) should be The Peacock Futility.)

“If you have been told a piece of gossip by someone who claims he/she got it ‘straight from the horse’s mouth,’ you can be sure that you have heard from both ends of the horse!”

“You might be a redneck if . . . your favorite piece of art work was carved with a chainsaw.”

“PEACOCK’S LAW: The odds are ten to one that a fifty-fifty chance will go against you a hundred percent of the time!” (Mari and I still draw monthly checks, but the problem is that “de-ducks” always eat up “de Peacocks!”)

“The traditional question of the old country comedians was: Which is better, a good ole big ’un or a big ole good ’un’? My stock answer was always: It depends on whether you prefer quantity or amount.” (Also see my next parenthetical comment.)

“The most effective form of male enhancement is a close encounter with female enhancement.” (As I told Dolly Parton at the church picnic: “I see you have an ice chest.” If you don’t get it, it’s a pun!)

“Someone has said that all comedy is a plea for love. If that is true, then I am funnier than Cyrano de Bergerac.” (If you don’t know who Cyrano de Bergerac was, click here.)

Cyrano de Bergerac

Cyrano de Bergerac

“Most of us spend the first half of our life living it up and the second half trying to live it down!” (I certainly have!)

“I’m so old I can remember when Wonder Bread built strong bodies only three ways.”

“One reason I can’t stand to look at mirrors or photos of myself is not only because of how old I look now, but also because I know this is the youngest I will ever look again!”

“Due to our financial situation I have had to give up all hope of retiring, but as the son of a cattleman I must admit that I do still harbor the fantasy of being put out to stud.” (And given my age and condition, that is, indeed, a fantasy!)

“Mari had surgery on her feet; I need to have surgery on my head.” (It seems the only way to get to the bottom of me is by lobotomy.)

“God may or may not be on my side, but He is sure as heck on my case.” (If you want to set me straight, you will have to take a number and wait—God’s not through yet!)

“If I am ever exalted as long as I have been abased, I’m gonna be walkin’ in high cotton.” (What’s time to a hawg [Razorback] or a God?)

“One of my problems is that I have an encyclopedic mind (thought process) in a sound-bite mentality (society).” (Another problem is that I am a lazy perfectionist. See my later post titled “About Copyeditors.”)

“I’m not a genius or even an intellectual, I’m just a guy who’s smart enough to figure out when he’s being played for a fool—a role that I play very well. After all, I’m a natural!” (They say that every dog has his day; mine is All Fool’s [April Fool] Day.)

“I know what, I just don’t know how—my only hope of success is drastically lowered expectations.”

“One thing about being a total failure is that you never have to worry about becoming a ‘has-been.’” (One time when I was in the hospital Mari’s elementary school pupils sent me get-well messages, one of which was addressed to “Mrs. Peacock’s has-been.” “Out of the mouths of babes and children . . .” Actually, based on this quotation that message was a compliment.)

“It’s funny that (supposedly) everybody loves Jimmy—but everybody wants to change Jimmy.” (To paraphrase what a preacher once said, if somebody says he loves you with the love of the Lord, you can be sure he means that he loves you too much to leave you alone.)

“I am amazed at people’s capacity to correct me about something that they know absolutely nothing about except what I just told them.”(You start out telling people your business, and they will end up telling you your business! And it won’t take very long!)

“Although I don’t have a seminary degree, I have spent the past thirty-five years working on my MDD—My Daily Dread.” (The problem now is that my daily dread has dried up and died. As I say, the only thing worse than having to do it is not having it to do.)

“Judging by my life’s experiences, even God has no solution for terminal stupidity.” (I was pulling into a parking lot at a medical clinic recently praying that the specialist would find a cure for my problems, when I noticed the license plate on the car in front of me which read: “There is no cure for stupid!” I laughed out loud.)

“I have had my fifteen minutes of fame. It’s just that it was spread out over the past seventy-four years—which comes out to less than fifteen seconds of fame per year.”

“I have two ways of knowing that catastrophe is about to befall me—when things are going wrong and when they are going right.”

“From bitter experience, I have learned never to congratulate myself—and to take it with a huge block of (cattle) salt when anyone else congratulates me.”

“The most dangerous weapon in the world is not the Saturday night special, it’s the everyday silverware.” (We’re forkin’ ourselves to death.)

“It’s easy to spot a Peacock whenever you’re in a crowd; he’s showing his tail with one end, and with the other crying fowl.” (The trouble with the Peacock is that he has driven himself as crazy as a goose trying to get his ducks in a row and has ended up having to eat crow. I also say that a Peacock is just a turkey with an attitude.)

“In my lifetime I have gone from Tex Ritter to Text-Twitter. Of the two I prefer the former!” (William Faulkner said, “Life is motion,” but I like roots – which don’t move! If you don’t know who Tex Ritter was, click here!)

Tex Ritter

Tex Ritter

“I don’t have any trouble with chores like car and yard and clothes. I have a ‘couple of hands’ to do all that.” (I am Mari’s house boy, yard boy, car boy, clothes boy, and toy boy. But I must admit that in this case the last is least!)

“Among many others, there are two things that absolutely run and ruin my life: the clock and the calendar.” (As a result I do everything I do two ways: fast and half-fast.)

“My head’s too white to have a choice!”—Answer I gave in a dream. (As an obsessive-compulsive, if my eye falls, my gut crawls, my nerves bawl, and my behind hauls! Oops, just saw something that needs to be done . . . bye, y’all, gotta go!)

Update on Personal Idol Worship

Lix Taylor in November

Here is a copy of the larger-than-life size photo of Elizabeth Taylor that appears on the wall calendar for my birth month of November. For more about my obsession with the lovely Liz see my earlier post titled “My Lifelong Attraction to Black Beauty.” This photo is taken from a 2012 calendar published by Calendar Ink 866-611-2248, Austin, TX 78744, www.calendars.com and may be purchased from them. The photo itself is from The Passion for Men photography session February 10, 1989, Culver City, California © 2011 Gary Bernstein, http://www.garybernsteinstudio.com/.

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