Timeless Truths

Things we find funny change as we get older.

Small children laugh at clowns.

Richard Hearne OBE 1908-1979:

As a tweenager, I recall reading a library book my mother had just finished ― one of Leslie Charteris’s “Saint” stories. I was moved to hysteria over a comment made by Simon Templar to his sidekick, Hoppy. (Hoppy’s words are paraphrased as I don’t recall them exactly.)

    Hoppy: I got an idea, boss.
    Templar: Be kind to it, Hoppy. It’s in a strange place.

For some reason, this tickled my funny bone to an extent that reduced me to incoherence, to the amusement of my mother.

As a full-blown teenager, I would dash home on Sunday evenings to watch the Rowan and Martin Laugh-in. (Enough said.)

But over time my laughter response has become harder to trigger. Does that happen to everyone?

A fellow Wordsmith recently shared some quotes from his favourite author, Raymond Chandler, which prompted me to post some of my favourite Terry Pratchett quotes.

I may have got carried away. . .

I did edit out loads ― honest! Treasure these for their insight as much as their gentle humour.

“Stories of imagination tend to upset those without one.” ― Terry Pratchett

“Knowing things is magical, if other people don’t know them.” ― Terry Pratchett, A Hat Full of Sky

“It’s still magic even if you know how it’s done.” ― Terry Pratchett, A Hat Full of Sky

“In ancient times cats were worshipped as gods; they have not forgotten this.” ― Terry Pratchett

“What kind of man would put a known criminal in charge of a major branch of government? Apart from, say, the average voter.” ― Terry Pratchett, Going Postal

“A lie can run round the world before the truth has got its boots on.” ― Terry Pratchett, The Truth

“The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.” ― Terry Pratchett, Diggers

“The presence of those seeking the truth is infinitely to be preferred to the presence of those who think they’ve found it.” ― Terry Pratchett, Monstrous Regiment

“And what would humans be without love?”
“RARE,” said Death. ― Terry Pratchett, Sourcery

“Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time.” ― Terry Pratchett, Hogfather

Always be wary of any helpful item that weighs less than its operating manual.” ― Terry Pratchett, Jingo

“The intelligence of that creature known as a crowd is the square root of the number of people in it.” ― Terry Pratchett, Jingo

“Wisdom comes from experience. Experience is often a result of lack of wisdom.” ― Terry Pratchett

“I’ll be more enthusiastic about encouraging thinking outside the box when there’s evidence of any thinking going on inside it.” ― Terry Pratchett

“No, actually it isn’t,” said Tiffany. “Patronizing is a big word. Zoology is really quite short.” ― Terry Pratchett, The Wee Free Men

A vital ingredient of success is not knowing that what you’re attempting can’t be done. – Terry Pratchett, Equal Rites

A person ignorant of the possibility of failure can be a half-brick in the path of the bicycle of history. – Terry Pratchett, Equal Rites

“It’s not worth doing something unless someone, somewhere would much rather you weren’t doing it”. ― Terry Pratchett

“She was already learning that if you ignore the rules people will, half the time, quietly rewrite them so that they don’t apply to you.” ― Terry Pratchett, Equal Rites

“A good plan isn’t one where someone wins, it’s where nobody thinks they’ve lost.” ― Terry Pratchett, The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents

“If you trust in yourself. . .and believe in your dreams. . .and follow your star. . . you’ll still get beaten by people who spent their time working hard and learning things and weren’t so lazy.” ― Terry Pratchett, The Wee Free Men

“Time is a drug. Too much of it kills you.” ― Terry Pratchett, Small Gods

“…inside every old person is a young person wondering what happened.” ― Terry Pratchett, Moving Pictures

That last one is a leeetle bit close to home.

I’d be interested to hear quotes from your favourite heros.

Which comedies stand the test of time for you? ( Only Fools and Horses comes to mind in the UK.)

13 thoughts on “Timeless Truths

    1. I rarely laugh out loud these days, but there are a couple of passages in Pratchett books that had me in fits when I first read them. Sadly they were too long to quote here as they involved a bit of a build-up.


  1. Note to self I will have to start reading Terry Pratchett. The quote about “a lie being halfway around the world before the truth has got its boots on,” was I thought down to Jim Callaghan, perhaps it wasn’t all his own work. A lot of politicians quote other people but fail to attribute the quotes to the originator. Neil Kinnocks Jibe at Margaret Thatcher about her knowing the price of everything but the value of nothing was originally Oscar Wilde’s. Although on one occasion Wilde remarked to a friend, “I wish I had said that.” His friend replied, “Don’t worry Oscar you will.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes – the quote about life being what happens when you’re making other plans is often attibuted to John Lennon, although it predates his use of it. Butt I suppose it’s difficult to attribute a quote in a song.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Isn’t he! If only I could think up lines like that… I often look back at old programmes like Rowan and Martin and Morcambe and Wise (UK) and wonder why they seemed so funny at the time. Some survive the decades though ( Only fools and Horses comes to mind in the UK.)

      Liked by 1 person

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