Read an Excerpt
Chapter One: A
On Advice, Not All That Helpful
Well, I don't know. I thought I did well -- but then maybe I didn't. So I don't know. I leave it up to the senator here. He's got it figured out. I can't divulge it, though. I feel good about it, I really do.
George Bush when asked what advice he would give Senator Bob Dole on debating Bill Clinton
On the Air Force, Unworried
[The Air Force is pleased with the performance of the C-5A cargo plane, although] having the wings fall off at eight thousand hours is a problem.
Major General Charles F. Kuyk Jr.
On the Alamo, Enemy Soldiers We Never Knew Were There
[Alamo defender William Barret Travis] is the guy that with three thousand Russians threatening to attack...
Senator Strom Thurmond when campaigning for reelection in his hometown of Edgefield, South Carolina, reminding the audience of local heroes including Alamo defender William Barret Travis
On Alaska, Why the Air Is Really Cleaner
[The following is hereby decreed illegal: all] public flatulence, crepitation, gaseous emission, and miasmic effluence.
bill introduced in Alaska legislature; those farting, or in legalese, flatulating in public would receive $100 fines
On Lamar Alexander, Great Ruminations From
Office of the President University of Tennessee I would like for us to use "UTK" less. These initials sound as if we were trying to describe the corner of a card catalog in some basement instead of a university trying to be among the best respected in America.
"The University of Tennessee, Knoxville" or "UT, Knoxville" is best. "Knoxville" will worksometimes. Just "UT" works many times. (The sports press -- which accounts for 90 percent of the UT, Knoxville media coverage -- will always use "UT.") I suppose for some of our documents "UTK" is sometimes inescapable. I try to avoid using "UTK" and I find that I usually can without slighting other campuses.
As for our other campuses, both UT, Memphis and UT, Martin are comfortable with those names. Many people around UT, Chattanooga also use UTC, which in this case is just fine, just as "UVA" and "UCLA" are fine with those circumstances....
This is more important than you might think....
memo written by Lamar Alexander, perennial Republican presidential candidate and then president of UTK or, rather, UT, Knoxville, a.k.a. the University of Tennessee
On Ambassadors, Circular Reasoning Of
...the need to establish a democratic, legal, circular state...
from a press release put out by the Azerbaijan embassy in London (which was amended the next day with this explanation: "The word 'circular' should be read as 'secular.'")
On Ambassadors, Convincing Qualifications for Becoming
This is the man who was not only the president of the National Council of Shopping Centers, but the International Council of Shopping Centers in 1986, and traveled around the world.
Senator Rudy Boschwitz in his recommendation for the appointment of Melvin F. Sembler to the post of ambassador to Australia, as quoted in Spy, May 1990. Sembler was appointed and confirmed shortly thereafter.
On Ambassadors In the Know
You mean there are two Koreas?
U.S. ambassador designate to Singapore Richard Kneip, after being asked his opinion during congressional hearings on the North Korea-South Korea conflict
On Americans, Ersatz
Rural Americans are real Americans. There's no doubt about that. You can't always be sure with other Americans. Not all of them are real.
Dan Quayle in a campaign speech
On Answers, a Bit Circuitous...Not to Mention Fluid
I see the world in very fluid, contradictory, emerging, interconnected terms, and with that kind of circuitry I just don't feel the need to say what is going to happen or will not happen.
Jerry Brown, former governor of California
On Answers about the Public Eye, Not Too Illuminating
You read what Disraeli had to say. I don't remember what he said. He said something. He's no longer with us.
Former senator Bob Dole (and husband of Republican presidential hopeful Elizabeth Dole) when asked about the Clinton sex scandal and trying to explain how he keeps his private life and public life separate
On Answers about Skipping Military Service, Clear
Reporter Helen Thomas:
If you had it to do over again, would you put on the nation's uniform?
President Bill Clinton:
If I had to do it over again, I might answer the questions a little better. You know, I've been in public life a long time, and no one had ever questioned my role.
On Answers to That Vital Question: What Is a "Salad," As Helpfully Supplied by the Canadian Tax Authorities
Food containing ingredients, whether mixed or not, such as chopped, shredded, diced, sliced, or pureed vegetables, meat, fish, eggs, or other food when supplied with a dressing and/or seasoning(s), whether or not the dressing is mixed with the other ingredients, is considered to be a "salad" for purposes of determining its GST/HST status. A combination of one ingredient and a dressing or seasoning(s), which is sold or represented as a salad, is also considered to be a salad.
All supplies of salads, except those that are canned or vacuum-sealed, are taxable at 7 percent (15 percent in the participating provinces). Generally, if there is no dressing or seasoning applied to the ingredients, and no dressing or seasoning is packaged separately with the ingredients, the package is not considered to be a salad and is zero-rated. However, supplies of fruit salads or gelatin salads are taxable at 7 percent (15 percent in the participating provinces), even though they generally do not contain a dressing. Supplies of salads that are sold in cans or containers that are vacuum-sealed are zero-rated. Supplies of mixed, cut vegetables that are packaged and promoted as "stir-fry" or "chop suey mixes" are also zero-rated, since they are not considered to be salads.
from Canada's General Sales Tax News
On Answers Unanswerable
I challenge my opponent to give a frank affirmative answer: yes or no!
New York mayoral candidate Abe Beame (note: he lost this particular election)
They have vilified me, they have crucified me. Yes, they have even criticized me.
Chicago mayor Richard J. Daley
Copyright © 1999 by Ross Petras and Kathryn Petras