“Julien ordered more wine when the first bottle disappeared and was pleased to see that Charlotte drank what he considered to be the correct amount for a woman: less than half but not less than a third of each bottle.” Sebastian Faulks, Charlotte Gray.

One of the few reasons to play golf is to pretend it is ok to buy and wear one of those white, plastic-looking belts.

The brother of a former colleague made and sold pornographic pictures. This bothered the ex-colleague some, but he still stayed in touch with his sibling. One holiday season he gave his brother a beautiful ceramic pot. A few years later he visited his brother, who had some of his pictures hanging in his study. The ex-colleague spied his brother’s girlfriend and his gifted pottery in a photograph. This bothered the ex-colleague, but when he told me the story, he concluded with, “Well, at least she’s got a pot to piss in.”

“Despite the extraordinary intelligence of dogs, cats, seals, dolphins, elephants and chimpanzees, there exists not one among them that a human could train to keep an appointment to meet at a particular location two weeks hence.” Leonard Shlain, Leonardo’s Brain: Understanding da Vinci’s Creative Genius.

 

You take a picture on your phone. You immediately look at it. You might then send it to someone or post it on Facebook or Instagram. But after that initial concern about the photograph, how often do you ever look at any of the pictures you take?

On the Fourth of July, I asked the Australian couple who are on the path to American citizenship if Australia Day was celebrated in a fashion similar to our Independence Day. She said “Yes,” that it came in mid-February and family picnics were often held. I was confused, but was quiet, about the date because I thought I remembered seeing flyovers during the Australian Open and knew that the tennis tournament was over by then. She continued that Australians often heard their National Anthem on that day. I said that I would not recognize that anthem, and she replied that many Aussies did not learn the words when it was changed from God Save the Queen. I looked over at the husband, and he looked lost or as if he were not paying attention. Then he quietly said, “I am pretty sure that it is on January 26.” I had seldom witnessed a husband more gently correct his wife. My admiration for him increased.

“He would ponder all the various forms of laughter there could be. So far, he had only categorized four: laughter at your own expense, laugher at the expense of others, laughter at the human predicament, and laughter at small animals falling off tables.” Jonathan Goldstein, Ladies and Gentlemen, The Bible!

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