“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.”
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.”
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.)
“I am convinced that in the battle against sin and evil, humor is every bit as important as faith and truth.”
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.)
“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.)
“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!)
“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
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/.