03 September 2007

Labour Day Levity

I was sorting through some clippings recently and rediscovered one from the Austin American-Statesman. It's a column by Mike Kelley (I think from 1989) about some misquotes Richard Lederer had collected from students. Below are some of the better ones. My two favourites are at the end.

  • The pyramids are a range of mountains between France and Spain. The Egyptians built the pyramids in the shape of a huge triangular cube.
  • David was a Hebrew king skilled at playing the liar. He fought with the Finkelsteins, a race of people who lived in Biblical times. Solomon, one of David's sons, had 300 wives and 700 porcupines.
  • Socrates was a famous Greek teacher who went around giving people advice. They killed him. Socrates died from an overdose of wedlock. After his death, his career suffered a dramatic decline.
  • In the Olympic Games, Greeks ran races, jumped, hurled the biscuits, and threw the java.
  • There were no wars in Greece, as the mountains were so high that they couldn't climb over to see what their neighbours were doing.
  • Julius Caesar extinguished himself on the battlefields of Gaul. The Ides of March murdered him. Dying, he gasped out the words, "Tee hee, Brutus."
  • King Alfred conquered the Dames. Joan of Arc was cannonized by Bernard Shaw. And victims of the bluebonnet plague grew boobs on their necks. Finally, Magna Carta provided that no free man should be hanged twice for the same offense.
  • The government of England was a limited mockery. From the womb of Henry VIII Protestantism was born. He found walking difficult because he had an abbess on his knee.
  • Queen Elizabeth was the "Virgin Queen." When Elizabeth exposed herself before her troops, they all shouted "Hurrah!"
  • The greatest writer of the futile ages was Chaucer. During this time, people put on morality plays about ghosts, goblins, virgins, and other mythical creatures. Another story was about William Tell, who shot an arrow through an apple while standing on his son's head.
  • Johann Bach wrote a great many musical compositions and had a large number of children. In between, he practiced on an old spinster which he kept up in the attic. Bach died from 1750 to the present.
Have your students shared any insightful comments like these with you? In biology, I often hear about the testicles of an octopus (instead of "tentacles") and how all orgasms have cells (er, organisms).


Anonymous said...

That reminded me that I need to start keeping a record of some of the things I hear or I will never be able to remember gems like this one.

"The government of England was a limited mockery."

The Science Goddess said...

It's the "...virgins and other mythical creatures" that gets me every time.

I keep the article above my desk. It's always good for a smile.

graycie said...

A young lady in my class once identified a piece of propaganda as "glittering genitals." Clearly, she was paying attention in health class.

Since our freshman curriculum is changing to parallel World History, your list will be invaluable. I'll distribute it to the English and History teachers so they can get their facts straight.

Hugh O'Donnell said...

That's fun stuff. Now you've got me thinking about Little Johnny jokes. :-)

The Science Goddess said...

One must always keep their sense of humor close at hand if you're going to succeed in this profession.

Glittering genitals? I'm speechless.