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Esar’s Quotes

Evan Esar was a humorist who wrote Esar’s Comic Dictionary in 1943. I know nothing about him personally and what his religious or political beliefs were and I’m not googling that because … I don’t care. I just think that he coined some truthful, funny quotes which I’d like to comment on.

Esar’s Quote: “The best time to give advice to your children is while they’re still young enough to believe you know what you’re talking about.”

My comment: Unfortunately, that window of opportunity is much too short but it did happen in the years before my children hit their teens. I remember them as such nice human beings right then but I knew the party was over when a certain child of mine, in a desperate attempt to end an argument, threw this at me...

“Oh mom! I’m not listening to you! You only say what you think is right!”

Many rebuttals raced through my mind but I settled on, “Well … why would I tell you what I think is wrong?” With one confused, youthful expression the argument was over but many more were yet to come.

Esar’s Quote: “Conscience is what makes a boy tell his mother before his sister does.”

My comment: Proof that our son had no conscience (but that he could read) was the day he threw a note away that his teacher had written for his parent’s eyes but which he didn’t think necessary to burden us with. Unfortunately, his sister found the note he’d thrown on-the-ground-right-in-front-of-her (like—he wanted to get caught?) and she dutifully handed it to me as soon as they entered our home. Even with the evidence in my hand he shrugged and denied it came from his teacher. Yes … we worried about him a lot.

Esar’s Quote: “If you want to be different nowadays, just act normal.”

My comment: Really—the hugest understatement ever! Normal?! What’s normal? Is there any normal left in the world or is it just a setting on our dryers?

Esar’s Quote: “Public speaking is the art of diluting a two-minute idea with a two-hour vocabulary.”

My comment: This certainly does not only pertain to public speaking and politics. I can’t even count how many times I’ve said, “They could’ve easily wrapped up that agonizingly long Hallmark movie in thirty minutes and I’d have had just as much dissatisfaction with the final kiss.”

Esar’s Quote: “Don’t judge the ability of a doctor by the amount of praise the undertakers give him.”

My comment: Hilarious! I suddenly feel compelled to call the people who work at our local funeral homes and ask them who they think are our city’s "best" doctors!

Esar’s Quote: “Life is a battle of wits, and many people have to fight it unarmed.”

My comment: I’d like to say this pertains to others I’ve known but then I look in the mirror and yep! There I stand—totally unarmed!

Esar’s Quote: “Laugh and the world laughs with you; cry and the world laughs harder.”

My comment: this is one for every young parent who takes a picture of their child in a precarious or even potentially dangerous situation and posts it on social media before (hopefully) saving them. Remember—although you may find this funny now—that same child may have to care for you in your old age. If they have documented proof of your poor parenting skills, it may not go well for you. Remember—he who laughs last laughs loudest (and longest).

Esar’s Quote: “The best way to make a long story short is to stop listening” (or in this case …stop reading).

My comment: Enough said ...

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