Monday, February 15, 2010

Funny Mardi Gras Quotes, Who Dat Rocking Saints Songs

*** UPDATED with new videos! New Orleans knows how to celebrate! Join the fun, listen to the rocking great Saints songs from hip hop to country, laugh at the outrageous costumes eagerly anticipated during Mardi Gras in the French Quarter, and, oh yeah, read some funny and serious Mardi Gras quotes to learn how the custom developed over time. Marvel at the resiliency of the people through tough times.

From Denny: Oh, to explain the Louisiana culture to someone who has never visited... :) It can get a bit raucous during the Mardi Gras Carnival season. The most family friendly parades are in Lafayette, the capital city of Baton Rouge and the smaller venues throughout the state if that's your preference.

Though since Hurricane Katrina many neighborhoods in New Orleans have organized their own more family friendly parades to counterbalance the general debauchery that tends to go on more from the tourists than the locals during Carnival season. Yeah, that's what we tell ourselves every year... :)

Day time Mardi Gras parade photo by @ flickr

Fine art Melon Babe by Infrogmation @ flickr

Right now Mardi Gras started early with the Super Bowl win of the Cinderella team the New Orleans Saints. What a celebration it is! The whole state stayed awake the night of the win as none of us could sleep even if we weren't partying in the French Quarter.

The word is over 270 Baton Rouge teachers called in sick Monday morning after the win because they partied just a little too much in New Orleans after the Super Bowl win. That's the beauty of living in Baton Rouge. Within an hour's drive you can party to the east in New Orleans or go west and party in Lafayette where they host some wonderful international music festivals.

Rocking great song captures the spirit of New Orleans: "Who Dat Nation" Saints anthem

Saints Super Bowl anthem by K. Gates, featuring several of the Saints players of the 2009 season and the Martin Luther King Marching Band.....

UPDATE:  For the uninitiated:  the term "Who dat?" means "who is that?!"  A New Orleans slang for a Saints fan was popularized here in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, when half of New Orleans moved in after Hurrican Katrina (29 Aug 2009) - think a sudden influx of a good 400,000 people descending upon your town like locusts, emptying the grocery store shelves and clogging the roads and hotels and you get the idea of the huge impact that went on for many months with the U. S. Army camped just down the road in city parks in Baton Rouge.  It was an eerie atmosphere of military occupation.  

New Orleans folks were seriously stressed, and, are bad drivers in the best of circumstances.  Soon the BR locals were casting sideways glances and impatience, saying, "Who dat?!" like "who the hell do you self-important people think you are?"  Baton Rouge, like many cities (think Houston and Atlanta) opened their hearts, their wallets, their jobs and other resources to displaced New Orleans people only to get slapped in the face by many who were complaining their new homes, "were not New Orleans and they wanted to go back."  Well, that's gratitude.  

Many displaced New Orleans people found a way to adjust and create new lives and new happy memories in their adopted cities.  Adjust and grow - or keep crying in your mud puddle and your soul dies a slow death.  The smart people flexed and thrived.

Here are the lyrics to this Saints anthem:

Check out the fans having fun with this song in the stadium - they rock the house!

The parade thrown last night for the Saints was nothing short of spectacular as Mardi Gras folks threw it together literally on a moment's notice. Trust me; no one in America, not even the Macy's Parade organization could have put together a full blown parade this fast. New Orleans is accustomed to living on the edge and rose to the occasion.

UPDATE:  Now that it's been almost 10 years since the Hurricane Katrina stress, New Orleans is back to normal and so is the "Who Dat?" slang.  It's back to labeling just "a die hard Saints fan" who sticks with their team through thick and thin.

Investigating just who is a "Who dat?":

This video is from right before the Saints won against the Arizona Cardinals in a play-off game for the NFC Championship Title - after that was won another win against the Minnesota Vikings, sending the Saints to the Super Bowl - another unexpected win! Watch it just to learn about why the fans are wearing paper bags over their heads during the games. :)

Enjoy the funny costumes from Mardi Gras this year!

Funny Quotes

* I have 2,000 gospel singers and 35 Mardi Gras Indian tribes. You can't just call an agent and order them up.” - Quint Davis

* Mardi Gras starts tomorrow in New Orleans. Talk about perfect timing. Those truckloads of ice from FEMA just showed up. - Bill Maher

* This Mardi Gras will be a little different. This year when drunks yell up at the balcony, 'Show us your boobs!' Michael Brown and Michael Chertoff walk out. - Bill Maher

* Mardi Gras is going on in New Orleans. Actually it's scaled down quite a bit. Now when you throw a bead, women only flash one boob. - Jay Leno

* Tomorrow is Fat Tuesday, and of course, this being America, it will be followed by Even Fatter Wednesday, Obese Thursday and Fat-A$$ Friday. - Jay Leno

Mardi Gras feathers by Infrogmation @ flickr

* It's Mardi Gras in New Orleans. Everybody has Mardi Gras fever. I was watching the 'Today' show earlier today and Tom Cruise was lecturing Matt Lauer about jambalaya. - David Letterman

* They have the big parade down in New Orleans and this year FEMA has a float, but it's not expected 'til labor day. - David Letterman

* In New Orleans, the Paris Casino reopened and officials are calling it a sign of progress. If you didn't lose your house before, you can now. - Jay Leno

* In his speech President Bush said we need to rebuild Iraq, provide the people with jobs, and give them hope. If it works there maybe we'll try it in New Orleans. - Jay Leno

* The first baby has been born in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Yeah, they named it FEMA because it finally showed up after nine months. - Jay Leno

* Pakistan had one of the worst natural disasters ever, up to 50,000 people dead after an earthquake this week. But of course it's not a resort, no supermodels like the tsunami, so it doesn't really get covered. But other nations are trying to help. They've offered food, medicine, corpse-sniffing dogs. New Orleans sent a volunteer team of cops to beat the crap out of survivors. - Bill Maher

* You know I love New Orleans, they're vowing to hold Mardi Gras this year come hell or -- no pun -- high water. This is interesting, they've always had a Mardi Gras drink called the Hurricane. They're not going to serve that this year, but they've got a new one called the FEMA. It's strong, it hits you about a week later. - Bill Maher

* They say the toxic water and sludge smells so bad in New Orleans that they're thinking of renaming the city Newark. - Jay Leno

* The president said much of the aid is going towards job training. And when they heard that, the people of New Orleans rose as one and said, 'Can we start with you?' - Bill Maher

* Bush called the rebuilding of New Orleans one of the largest reconstruction efforts the world has ever seen, second only to Cher. - Jay Leno

* The rebuilding of New Orleans is already underway. The relief and reconstruction contracts for rebuilding the city have already been awarded, many of them no bid. Among the recipients, major Republican contributors Bechtel and Fluor, the Shaw Group, client of Joe Allbaugh, ex-FEMA head, and, of course, come on, don't be shy, say it with me -- Halliburton. - Jon Stewart

* President Bush toured New Orleans. He saw something that was below sea level: his approval ratings. - Jay Leno

* Taking a page from their tsunami playbook, the White House announced today that former presidents Bush and Bill Clinton will head up the fundraising efforts for the hurricane relief. And you know, Bill Clinton is no stranger to this kind of thing. He was once visiting the French Quarter during a hurricane and got blown behind a dumpster. - Bill Maher

* But hey, it is New Orleans. Watching today, I could tell that this city has not lost its hope. It has not lost its distinctive pluck, because every time rescue teams would toss supplies to people, women flashed their breasts. - Bill Maher

Rebuild Revive New Orleans photo by howieluvzus @ flickr

These are some serious quotes. What Mark Twain, Louis Armstrong, Calvin Trillin and others have had to say about New Orleans's most raucous cultural ritual. These quotes describe the history, the culture, the visceral atmostphere of the New Orleans festival.

Cultural Quotes

* The Roman Carnival and other European Carnivals, all of which begin to be reported with frequency only in the 14th century, have no documentable connection with ancient [Greek and Roman] festivities.

It was easy enough for 15th and 16th century reformers to associate with pagan materialism and sensuality the boisterous games and bodily self-indulgence that developed in Carnival. From the 16th century onwards city and state authorities in both Catholic and Protestant areas sometimes found it useful to support the mistaken notion of pagan origins in their efforts to suppress the festival's disorderliness.

The Bacchanalia, Saturnalia, Lupercalia, and so on, however frequently they may be invoked in the Gulf Coast parades or in Sunday-supplement explanations of the festivity, have nothing to do with the historical origin of Mardi Gras or the origins of its origin in Europe's Carnivals. - Carnival, American Style: Mardi Gras at New Orleans and Mobile (University of Chicago Press, 1990), by Samuel Kinser

* At 9 o'clock, or thereabouts, the flare of torchlights shattered the darkness of Magazine and Julia Streets, bands burst into symphony, and the Mistick Krewe stood revealed — a company of demons, rich and realistic, moving in a procession that seemed to blaze from some secret chamber of the earth.

They came! Led by the festive Comus, high on his royal seat, and Satan, high on a hill, far blazing as a mount, with pyramids and towers from diamond quarries hewn, and rocks of gold; the palace of great Lucifer. The demon actors in Milton's Paradise Lost. The first torchlit scenic procession in New Orleans, a revolution in street pageantry, a revelation in artistic effects. - The Mistick Krewe: Chronicles of Comus and his Kin (Carnival Press, 1931), by Perry Young

* [In 1857,] the Mistick Krewe [Comus] introduced spectacle to the streets of New Orleans, and Carnival was forever changed. Comus would not only reappear every Mardi Gras night, he would do so amid flames and smoking flares of moving theater, and each year he would present new visions to astonish a population long nourished on masquerades, parades, and stagecraft. With the advent of the Mistick Krewe of Comus, the festivities of Mardi Gras were ended with public ceremony of pomp and bombast, with mystery, artistry, and ritual splendor. - Mardi Gras: New Orleans (Flammarion, 1997), by Henri Schindler

* The night cometh in which we take no note of time, and forget that we are living in a practical age which relegates romance to printed pages and merriment to the stage. Yet what is more romantic than the Night of the Masked Ball — the too brief hours of light, music, and fantastic merriment which seem to belong to no age and yet to all?

Somehow or other, in spite of all the noisy frolic of such nights, the spectacle of a Mardi Gras Ball impresses one at moments as a ghastly and unreal scene. The apparitions of figures which belong to other ages; the Venetian mysteries of the domino; the witcheries of beauty half-veiled; the tantalizing salutes from enigmatic figures you cannot recognize; the pretty mockeries whispered into your ear by some ruddy lips whose syllabling seems so strangely familiar and yet defies recognition; the King himself seated above the shifting rout impenetrable as a Sphinx; and the kaleidoscopic changing and flashing of colors as the merry crowd whirls and sways under the musical breath of the orchestra — seem hardly real, hardly possible to belong in any manner to the prosaic life of the century.

Even the few impassioned spectators who remain maskless and motionless form so strange a contrast that they seem like watchers in a haunted palace silently gazing upon a shadowy festival which occurs only once a year in the great hall exactly between the hours of twelve and three. While the most beautiful class of costumes seem ghostly only in that they really belong to past ages, the more grotesque and outlandish sort seem strangely suggestive of a goblin festival.

And above all the charms of the domino! Does it not seem magical that a woman can, by a little bright velvet and shimmering silk, thus make herself into a fairy? And the glorious Night is approaching — this quaint, old-time night, star-jeweled, fantastically robed; and the blue river is bearing us fleets of white boats thronged with strangers who doubtless are dreaming of lights and music, the tepid, perfumed air of Rex's palace, and the motley route of merry ghosts, droll goblins, and sweet fairies, who will dance the dance of Carnival until blue day puts out at once the trembling tapers of the stars and the lights of the great ball. - The Dawn of the Carnival (The New Orleans Item, February 2, 1880), by Lafcadio Hearn

* Carnival is a butterfly of winter whose last real flight of Mardi Gras forever ends his glory. Another season is the season of another butterfly, and the tattered, scattered, fragments of rainbow wings are in turn the record of his day. - The Mistick Krewe: Chronicles of Comus and his Kin, by Perry Young

* The celebration of Mardi Gras is an episode that never becomes stale to the people of the city, however monotonous the description or even the enumeration of its entertainments appears to strangers. At any age it makes a Creole woman young to remember it as she saw it at eighteen; and the description of what it appeared to the eyes of eighteen, would be, perhaps, the only fair description of it, for if Mardi Gras means anything, it means illusion; and unfortunately, when one attains one's majority in the legal world, one ceases to be a citizen of Phantasmagoria.

"There is a tradition that young matrons have recognized their husbands in their masked cavaliers at balls; and that the Romeo incognito of many a debutante has resolved into a brother, or even father; but at least it is not the debutante who makes the discovery. Her cavalier is always beyond her illusion, living in the Elysium of her future, as the cavalier of the matron is always some no less cherished illusion from the Elysium of the past.

As it is the desire of the young girl to be the subject of these illusions, so it is the desire of the young boy to become the object of them. To put on a mask and costume, to change his personality; to figure some day in the complimentary colouring of a prince of India, or of a Grecian god, or even to ape the mincing graces of a dancing girl or woodlawn nymph; to appear to the inamorata, clouded in the unknown, as the ancient gods did to simple shepherdesses; and so to excite her imagination, and perhaps more. A god is only a man when he is in love; and a man, all a god. - New Orleans: The Place and the People (Macmillan, 1913), by Grace King (as quoted in Mardi Gras: New Orleans, by Henri Schindler)

* It [Mardi Gras] is a thing that could hardly exist in the practical North....For the soul of it is the romantic, not the funny and the grotesque. Take away the romantic mysteries, the kings and knights and big-sounding titles, and Mardi Gras would die, down there in the South. - Life on the Mississippi (Harper & Brothers, 1896), by Mark Twain

King Cake by syvwich @ flickr

* Voodoo did not exert a direct musical influence on the Mardi Gras Indians, but it was a cornerstone of the cultural tradition out of which they eventually developed — a living link to the African spirit cults of the Caribbean.

"Large drum-and-dance convocations by slaves surfaced about 1800 on a grassy field behind the French Quarter, now Louis Armstrong Park....The gathering site was called Place Congo—in later years, with English supplanting French as the local language, Congo Square. Drums boomed. Big wooden horns sent out notes. And from the shacks and shanties of the slave quarters came hundreds of men and women to the Sunday gatherings to dance, to make rhythm, to express freedom.

"As a spirit figure, the Indian would never have entered the folk streams of New Orleans music had it not been for Carnival. Congo Square was suppressed about 1835, though some gatherings probably occurred afterward.

"Beginning in the 1880s, the Mardi Gras Indians started the slow rise out of submersion that the mother culture underwent with the disappearance of Congo Square and voodoo. The Indians' chants were not set to drums, but to hand-percussion instruments such as tambourines. They did not worship spirits per se, but through a slow-evolving body of coded lyrics established a tribal hierarchy that praised the Indian nations and celebrated the bravery of rebellion.

The Mardi Gras Indians gave light to the memory of an African past, but in a ritual fashion that embraced the Indian as an adopted spirit figure. It was the highest compliment the African could pay a race of the New World; it stemmed from a common struggle, sociocultural intercourse, a shared vision of freedom — but most of all, from a profoundly African ritual retention. The Indian followed the procession of rebellious slaves, voodoo cultists, and Congo Square dancers in the historical memory. - Up From the Cradle of Jazz: New Orleans Music Since World War II (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1986), by Jason Berry, Jonathan Foose and Tad Jones

* Carnival became ever more necessary for black New Orleans. It filled basic needs increasingly denied the people by allowing new identities to take shape. Creoles and the black bourgeois emulated the white aristocracy with society balls, but a network of social aid and pleasure clubs arose around Carnival.

The costumes were another matter altogether. To whites, they were largely toy disguises, fancy fleetings reflecting one's humor or elan. To the black consciousness, masking often took on a heightened meaning. The mask became a cover, a new identity, a persona eluding the white policeman or soldier; the mask gave ephemeral freedom; the whole organic presence of the costume could scare people, delight them, it could satirize or do any number of things provided the person inside it fulfilled the role to the core of his imagination.

In this way, Carnival became one linear extension of Congo Square. Out of the flickering memory of African spiritualism and percussive ceremony came a procession of spirit figures, an inherited cultural consciousness marching into Carnival. - Up From the Cradle of Jazz: New Orleans Music Since World War II, by Jason Berry, Jonathan Foose and Tad Jones

* The New Orleans 1885 Mardi Gras was extraordinary. On the streets were large numbers of international visitors connected with the [World's Industrial and Cotton Centennial] Exposition, several Central American Indian groups, and some fifty to sixty Plains Indians from the [Buffalo Bill] Wild West Show, including four chiefs, all of whom were likely on the street in native dress. For [locals of African descent, particularly groups who took to masking as Indians,] Mardi Gras translated nicely into a freedom celebration, a day to commemorate their own history and spirit, to be arrogant, to circumvent the hostile authorities, to overturn the established order, and now and then to seek revenge. - Mardi Gras Indians (Pelican Publishing Company, 1994), by Michael P. Smith

* Now everybody in the world has heard about the New Orleans Mardi Gras, but maybe not about the Indians, one of the biggest feats that happened in Mardi Gras. Even at the parades with floats and costumes that cost millions, why, if the folks heard the sign of the Indians:

— that big parade wouldn't have anybody there: the crowd would flock to see the Indians. When I was a child, I thought they really was Indians. They were paint and blankets and, when they danced, one would get in the ring and throw his head back and downward, stooping over and bending his knees, making a rhythm with his heels and singing—T'ouwais, bas q'ouwais—and the tribe would answer — Ou tendais.

"They would dance and sing and go on just like regular Indians, because they had the idea they wanted to act just like the old Indians did in years gone by and so they lived true to the traditions of the Indian style. They went armed with fictitious spears and tommyhawks and so forth and their main object was to make their enemy bow.

They would send their spy-boys two blocks ahead—I happened to be a spy-boy myself once so I know how this went—and when a spy-boy would meet another spy from an enemy tribe he'd point his finger to the ground and say, 'Bow-wow.' And if they wouldn't bow, the spy-boy would use the Indian call, 'Woo-woo-woo-woo-woo,' that was calling the tribes—and, many a time, in these Indian things, there would be a killing and next day would be somebody in the morgue. - Mister Jelly Roll: The Fortunes of Jelly Roll Morton, New Orleans Creole and "Inventor of Jazz" (Duell, Sloan and Pearce, 1950), by Alan Lomax

* Another thing about Mardi Gras when I was a kid was that it was a revenge day. That's why a lot of people didn't come out in the street. If a guy had a misunderstanding with someone in the summer, he'd wait until Carnival day when the street was crowded, and he'd just put on a woman's dress and he'd roll his pants up underneath that. And the only way you can trick him is if you're dressed like a woman too. All you'd hear is people scream and see a man fall with an ice pick in him, and [the assailant would] go into a barroom and leave that dress on the floor. Oh yeah, it used to be real lowdown. - Allison (Tootie) Montana, big chief (now retired) of The Yellow Pocahontas, Offbeat magazine, February 1994

* Whereas revelers used Mardi Gras to satirize prohibitionists and other reformers, early-twentieth-century reformers pointed to New Orleans Carnival as an example of just what needed reforming. In 1908, the Reverend Charles L. Collins of the Kentucky Anti-Saloon League visited New Orleans to see Carnival. Collins proclaimed that 'no city on the continent offers harder problems for the reformer.' Much about the city's easy ways displeased him, including certain aspects of Carnival. 'As to the Mardi Gras festivities proper,' he wrote, 'I am both delighted and shocked beyond measure.' - All on a Mardi Gras Day: Episodes in the History of New Orleans Carnival (Harvard University Press, 1995), by Reid Mitchell

* One of my first memories of the [Mardi Gras Indian] tribes was of a Wild Man from a tribe called the White Eagles coming down the street on horseback, firing double-barrel shotgun loads of colored glass pellets into the air to get everyone's attention and clear the way — which he definitely succeeded in doing. - Under a Hoodoo Moon: The Life of the Night Tripper (St. Martin's Press, 1994), by Dr. John (Mac Rebennack) with Jack Rummel

* One of the gangs was made up of all the whores and pimps from Perdido Street; their parade was called Gangster Molls and Baby Dolls. Everyone in this group dressed as outlandishly as possible: The women wore eye-popping dresses; the ones who looked highest-priced wore ultra-sharp women's suits, but with see-through bras underneath. Others wore slit miniskirts showing lace panties, stiletto heels, and flowery low-cut blouses. The pimps got decked out in acey-deucy Stetsons with cocked brims, jelly-roll-peg zoot suits, one-button roll coats with wide lapels, and zebra-skinned shoes; not infrequently, they'd strut down the street with canes made out of bull dicks.

"They were ridiculous and funny all at the same time. They'd come busting out of their dives during Mardi Gras, their dresses and suits lined in satin and glitter, real sharp-looking and hilarious. They'd march down the greens, that broad strip of grass that separates one side of the street from the other, cutting up, shakin' the bacon and carrying on, and everyone would back off to let them start high-steppin'.

And you had best back off, too, because they took their kicks seriously. They were real rowdy. Cats would brandish switchblades, and whip them out in your face if you got too close. The tribes always drew a big crowd of black and white folks, but this kind of thing seemed normal to me as a kid. Didn't every town have tribes? I thought so. - Under a Hoodoo Moon: The Life of the Night Tripper (St. Martin's Press, 1994), by Dr. John (Mac Rebennack) with Jack Rummel

Coffinmobile three wheeler by Infrogmation @ flickr

* There's a thing I've dreamed of all my life, and I'll be damned if it don't look like it's about to come true — to be King of the Zulu's parade. After that, I'll be ready to die. - Louis Armstrong, Time magazine, February 21, 1949

* It's a funny thing how life can be such a drag one minute and a solid sender the next. The day I got out of jail Mardi Gras was being celebrated. It is a great day for all of New Orleans, and particularly for the Zulu Aid Pleasure and Social Club. Every member of the Club masquerades in a costume burlesquing some famous person. The King of the Zulus, also in masquerade costume, rides with six other Zulus on a float giving away coconuts as souvenirs. The members march to the good jumping music of the brass bands while the King on his throne scrapes and bows to the cheering crowds.

"When I ran into this celebration and the good music I forgot all about Sore Dick [the dreaded prison yard captain] and the Parish Prison. Most of the members of the Zulu Club then lived around Liberty and Perdido Streets, but now Mardi Gras has become so famous—people come from all over America to see its parade—that it includes doctors, lawyers and other important people from all over the city. Later on a Lady Zulu Club was organized. It has been my lifelong dream to be the King of the Zulus, as it was the dream of every kid in my neighborhood. - Satchmo: My Life in New Orleans
(Prentice-Hall, 1954), by Louis Armstrong (King Zulu 1949)

Captain Mardi Gras by Mr. Gunn @ flickr

* On Mardi Gras 1928, a crowd gathered around a woman on Canal Street dancing the Black Bottom. A friend of the dancer's played the ukulele while the crowd 'stamped their feet.' An admiring fat man 'flung her a handful of coins.' If he thought the dancer would appreciate his largess, he was wrong. She gathered the coins together and threw them back at him. 'Anybody can tell you're not used to Carnival!' she cried. 'On Mardi Gras we dance 'cause we want to.' - All on a Mardi Gras Day: Episodes in the History of New Orleans Carnival, by Reid Mitchell

* We was all sittin' around about three o'clock in the morning in my house [trying to decide how to mask for Mardi Gras], when a gal named Althea jumps up and says, 'Let's be ourselves. Let's be Baby Dolls. That's what the pimps always called us.' We decided to call ourselves the Million Dollar Baby Dolls and be red hot....Some of us made our dresses, and some had 'em made. We was all looking sharp. There was thirty of us—the best whores in town. We was all good lookin' and we had money all over us, even in our bloomers, and they didn't have no zippers.....When them Baby Dolls strutted, they strutted. We showed our linen that day, I'm tellin' you. - Baby Doll interview from the late 1930s (as quoted in Mardi Gras: New Orleans, by Henri Schindler)

* As they had for decades, [brass bands] provided the music for the endless cycle of dances and parades in New Orleans, popularizing the startling fusion of influences and celebration that came to be hailed as the only original art form created in America. It would be hyperbole, if not false, to name jazz a child of Carnival; however the joyous license of the music owes more than passing acquaintance to the liberties of Mardi Gras and a population long-accustomed to dancing in the streets. - Mardi Gras: New Orleans, by Henri Schindler

* On Mardi Gras the women of Storyville [New Orleans' red-light district, where prostitution was legal from 1897 to 1917] did not mingle with the maskers but remained in their neighborhood, which now was spreading into the French Quarter, as they took over the houses left by the vanishing Creoles, who once had also possessed Mardi Gras. Now, on that day, Carnival revelers would wander through Storyville in the hours between parades, to gasp at Arlington's 'five-dollar house' with its huge chandeliers and beveled mirrors.

They would drop in at the Countess Willie Piazza's, where the girls were always in lovely Egyptian costumes on Mardi Gras, and at Lulu White's, where there were bedrooms with walls and ceilings composed entirely of mirrors. They could peep through shutters into the cheap cribs, where naked girls sat around awaiting patrons....And they heard the new kind of music being played in Storyville called 'jass,' which was being introduced in other parts of the city but was considered rather indecent. - Mardi Gras (Doubleday, 1948), by Robert Tallent

* I am the oldest, I am the best, and I am the prettiest. - Allison (Tootie) Montana, The New York Times, February 19, 1995

* It is hereby decreed that melancholy be put to route, and joy unconfined seize our subjects, young and old of all genders and degrees...that the spirit of make-believe descend upon the realm and banish from the land the dull and the humdrum and the commonplace of daily existence. - public proclamation, Morgan L. Whitney, King of Carnival (Rex),1967

* The idea of a celebrity leading the Bacchus parade was indeed unique. It went against the grain of 113 years of Carnival tradition. There had never been a celebrity king of a Carnival krewe. Naturally, the idea wasn't met with open arms from the Carnival establishment. The idea was a total departure from the time-honored tradition of selecting a king from the ranks of the krewes.

Leopard drummers by Infrogmation @ flickr

'These guys are crazy!' [float builder Blaine] Kern told his wife when he arrived home from the first meeting. 'They want to bring some hot-shot to town and make him king of their parade. Imagine. It will never work.' - Silver Jubilee (Krewe of Bacchus' 25th-anniversary book,1993), by Bonnie Warren

* I have trouble explaining to out-of-towners why people here spend $1,000 to wear a mask so no one knows who they are, and then give away things to people they've never met. But I guess it's an opportunity for everybody to play Santa Claus. That's at the heart of it. - Arthur Hardy, publisher of Arthur Hardy's Mardi Gras Guide, explaining why members of Carnival krewes dig into their pockets year after year to ride in parades and throw trinkets, New Orleans Times-Picayune, February 28, 1992

* If you write Mr. Mardi Gras, I get the mail. Do you believe that? Like Santa Claus. - Blaine Kern, float builder and captain of Krewe of Alla, Forbes magazine, October 9, 1995

* Mardi Gras may be best known to the outside world as a public festival, but upper-class New Orleans knew that its real significance lay in the annual reaffirmation of social eminence over merit. The most potent symbol of that creed came on the night of Mardi Gras, when Rex and Comus held their balls in different sections of the municipal auditorium. The evening ended when the mock royalty of the two krewes staged the traditional 'meeting of the courts' shortly before midnight. It was not for nothing that the bare-faced Rex, chosen in part for his civic contributions, had to traipse over and pay his respects to the mysterious Comus. - Lords of Misrule: Mardi Gras and the Politics of Race in New Orleans (University Press of Mississippi, 1997), by James Gill

* The current structure of Mardi Gras, which blacks refer to as the 'white parade season,' dates from the latter half of the nineteenth century. After the consolidation of the Anglo-American establishment, the 'official' Mardi Gras became an event that primarily perpetuated the interests of white high society. The common people's carnival—with its subversion of the dominant order, wild dancing, and festive transgressions (iconoclastic celebration of freedom through cross dressing, 'obscenity,' and other behavior offensive to genteel Americans—was relegated to the back streets and ignored by the press. - Mardi Gras Indians, by Michael P. Smith

* A few months before the 1992 Carnival, a black city-council member named Dorothy Mae Taylor introduced an ordinance that would prohibit a parade permit to any group that discriminated on the basis of race or religion or gender.... In New Orleans, it had always been assumed that people would celebrate Carnival in their own way, whether it was by riding in the parade of an all-woman krewe or holding a ball-gown contest for men in drag. There was a widespread feeling that applying human-relations-commission rules to Carnival might not only rob it of its oldest parades but sink it altogether. - "New Orleans Unmasked" (The New Yorker magazine,
February 2, 1998), by Calvin Trillin

* Momus, Son of Night, God of Mockery and Ridicule, regretfully and respectfully informs his friends, supporters and his public that he will not parade the streets of New Orleans on the Thursday evening before Shrove Tuesday, 1992, as he has customarily since 1872. - Momus's parade cancellation announcement,
issued in response to the City Council's anti-discrimination ordinance

* The rise and gradual decline of the old-line krewes pretty well mirrored the fortunes of New Orleans itself. Comus was born as an unparalleled spectacle in a vibrant city that was the commercial queen of the South. When he disappeared from the streets [as a result of the anti-discrimination ordinance], New Orleans had become a faded dowager trying desperately to regain her lost prestige while the taste of Carnival paradegoers had switched to the razzle-dazzle offered by a welter of upstart krewes. - Lords of Misrule: Mardi Gras and the Politics of Race in New Orleans, by James Gill

* Mardi Gras is a controlled riot. It's a million people walking out on the street, drinkin'. Ten days of everybody coming out here gettin' drunk and havin' fun. Ten days of us working 16, 18 hours a day.... Basically everybody's just having a good time, tryin' to enjoy themselves, and they don't mean any harm to anybody else. It's just the world's largest free party, and people like everything free.

"People come out here on Mardi Gras day in $800 suits. Just for a doubloon worth maybe 3 cents, they'll sort of dive on the ground and rip up an $800 suit. Grandmas with walking canes you'll see diving, pushing people out the way to get a pair of beads. People just go totally berserk when they come here—loose all their their inhibitions, they forget everything they ever been taught in their life. - Sgt. Billy Roth, New Orleans Police Department, Cops (March 20, 1996)

* As the celebration in the [French] Quarter has come more and more to resemble spring vacation in a Florida beach town that has no police force, exhibitionism has become part of the Carnival-bead transaction, and the most widely heard cry is no longer 'Throw me something, Mister' but 'Show us your tits.' - "New Orleans Unmasked," by Calvin Trillin

* As cameras for MTV, true-life crime shows and tabloid news programs roll in the French Quarter, the drunken partying has grown so extreme—flashes of nudity have given way to the actual performance of oral sex acts on Bourbon Street—that it is the drunkenness and obscenity itself that threatens to become Carnival's theme....That increasingly dangerous reputation of anything goes is scaring away more middle-class adult visitors, the kind of people who actually spend money, and attracting young people who only want to frolic in a drunken haze, traditionalists say. - "Merrymaking is Clashing with Tradition in Mardi Gras Tableaux" (The New York Times, February 23, 1998), by Rick Bragg

Big Chicken parade by Infrogmation @ flickr

Mardi Gras Cajun Jokes

You Might be a Cajun If... start an angel food cake with a roux.

...watching the "wild kingdom" inspires you to write a cookbook. think the head of the united nations is boudreaux/ boudreax-guillory. think a lobster is a crawfish on steriods. think ground hog day and boucherie day are the same holiday. take a bite of 5-alarm texas chili and reach for the tabasco.

...fred's lounge in mamou means more to you than the grand ole opry. pass up a trip abroad to go to the crawfish festival in breaux bridge.

...your children's favorite bedtime story begins "first you make a roux..."

...your description of a gourmet dinner includes the words "deep fat fried."

...your mama announces each morning, "well, I've got the rice cooking-what will we have for dinner?" greet your long lost friend at the lafayette international airport with "iiiiieeeeeee!" sit down to eat boiled crawfish and your host says "don't eat the dead ones" and you know what he means. don't know the real names of your friends, only their nicknames. gave up tabasco for Lent. know the difference between zatarains, zeringue, and zydeco.

...your dog thinks the bed of your pickup is his kennel.

...any of your dessert recipes call for jalapenos. consider Opelousas the capital of the state, and Lafayette the capital of the nation. think the four seasons are: duck, rabbit, deer, squirrel.

Mardi Gras alien by Infrogmation @ flickr

You Know You Are From Louisiana If...
...When out of town, you stop and ask someone where there is a drive-thru daiquiri place, and they look at you like you have three heads.

...The crawdad mounds in your front yard have overtaken the grass.

...You greet people with "Howyamomma'an'em?" and hear back "Dey fine!"

...Every so often, you have waterfront property. (flooding)

...You learned to drive a boat before you could drive a car.

...You know the meaning of a "Delcambre Reeboks." (That would be a pair of all white fishing boots)

...You offer somebody a "coke" and then ask them what kind: Coca-Cola, Dr. Pepper, Pepsi, 7Up?

...You can name all of your 3rd cousins.

...You can plan your wedding around hunting season & LSU football.

...Your burial plot is six feet over rather than six feet under. (some areas of Louisiana are at sea level so they bury the dead in stone vaults like you see in New Orleans cemeteries)

...When you refer to a geographical location "way up North", you are referring to places like Shreveport, Little Rock or Memphis, "where it gets real cold"! (those cold places: Shreveport, Louisiana - Little Rock, Arkansas - Memphis, Tennessee)

...You're not afraid when someone wants to "ax you something." (ax = ask)

...You don't worry when you see ships riding higher in the river than the top of your house.

....The waitress at your local sandwich shop tells you a fried oyster po-boy "dressed" is healthier than a Caesar salad.

...You know the definition of "dressed." (mayo, pickles, mustard)

...The smell of a crawfish boil turns you on more than HBO.

...You don't realize until high school what a "county" is. (in Louisiana a county is called a parish)

...You can eat Popeye's, Haydel's and Zapp's for lunch and wash it down with Barq's and several Abitas, without losing it all on your stoop. (Popeye's: fried chicken, Haydel's: bakery in New Orleans famous for making Mardi Gras King Cakes, Zapp's: potato chips, Barq's: root beer, Abita: beer.)

...You have a ditch on at least one side of your property. (drainage or sewer ditch for rain water run off to avoid flooding)

...You prefer skiing on the bayou. (water skiing)

...You assume everyone has mosquito swarms in their backyard.

...You like your rice and politics dirty. (dirty rice has ground meat in it)

...You pronounce the largest city in the state as "Newawlins." (New Orleans)

...You know an old person that can "treat" you for warts. (traiteuse: French Native American shaman)

...You know those big roaches can fly, but you're able to sleep at night anyway.

...You can't think of anybody that can cook better than your momma.

...You know when it's appropriate to use "Tony Chachere's." (Cajun seasoning)

...When you're in Baton Rouge you know the difference between the old bridge & the new bridge. (over the Mississippi River)

...Your last name isn't pronounced the way it's spelled.

...You have spent a summer afternoon on the Lake Pontchartrain seawall catching blue crabs.

Rockin' Saints!

Saints Super Bowl Victory parade:

*** For more funny quotes like this, check it out on Wednesdays at The Social Poets!

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2 More Food Blogs: Romancing The Chocolate and Unusual 2 Tasty

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This Week's Fav Cartoon

Moderately Confused


  • A genius is one who can do anything except make a living. - Joey Lauren Adams
  • A genius is one who shoots at something no one else can see - and hits it. - Anonymous
  • A great many people think that polysyllables are a sign of intelligence. - Barbara Walters
  • A harmless hilarity and a buoyant cheerfulness are not infrequent concomitants of genius; and we are never more deceived than when we mistake gravity for greatness, solemnity for science, and pomposity for erudition. - Charles Caleb Colton
  • Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius - and a lot of courage - to move in the opposite direction. - E.F. Schumacker
  • Character is higher than intellect. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • Coffee is good for talent, but genius wants prayer. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • Common sense is instinct. Enough of it is genius. - George Bernard Shaw
  • Common sense is not so common. - Voltaire
  • Every man is a potential genius - until he does something. - Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree
  • Every man of genius is considerably helped by being dead. - Robert S. Lynd
  • Every person of genius is considerably helped by being dead. - Robert S. Lun
  • Every true genius is bound to be naive. - J.C.F. von Schiller
  • Everyone is a genius at least once a year. The real geniuses simply have their bright ideas closer together. - Georg Christoph Lichtenberg
  • Genius ain't anything more than elegant common sense. - Josh Billings
  • Genius is an African who dreams up snow. - Vladimir Nabokov
  • Genius is more often found in a cracked pot than in a whole one. - E.B. White
  • Genius is nothing but a great aptitude for patience. - George-Louis de Buffon
  • Genius lasts longer than Beauty. That accounts for the fact that we all take such pains to over-educate ourselves. - Oscar Wilde
  • Here's to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The trouble-makers. The round heads in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They're not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status-quo. You can quote them. Disagree with them. Glorify, or vilify them. But the only thing you can't do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do. - Apple Computer
  • His genius he was quite content in one brief sentence to define; Of inspiration one percent, of perspiration, ninety nine. - Thomas A. Edison
  • I am convinced all of humanity is born with more gifts than we know. Most are born geniuses and just get de-geniused rapidly. - Buckminster Fuller
  • I can't tell you if genius is hereditary, because heaven has granted me no offspring. - James McNeill Whistler
  • I must have a prodigious quantity of mind; it takes me as much as a week sometimes to make it up. - Mark Twain, "The Innocents Abroad"
  • I think the world is run by C students. - Al McGuire
  • I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent, of human knowledge, that has ever been gathered together at the White House, with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone. - John F. Kennedy, in an address to Nobel Prize winners
  • I'm not offended by all the dumb blonde jokes because I know I'm not dumb... and I also know that I'm not blonde. - Dolly Parton
  • If children grew up according to early indications, we should have nothing but geniuses. - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  • If the Aborigine drafted an I.Q. test, all of Western civilization would presumably flunk it. - Stanley Garn
  • If the human brain were so simple that we could understand it, we would be so simple that we couldn't. - Emerson M. Pugh
  • In every work of genius, we recognize our own rejected thoughts; they come back to us with a certain alienated majesty. - Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Self Reliance," Essays, 1841
  • Mad, adj.: Affected with a high degree of intellectual independence. - Ambrose Bierce
  • Man becomes man only by his intelligence, but he is man only by his heart. - Henri Frederic Amiel
  • Men of genius are meteors destined to burn themselves out in lighting up their age. - Napoleon Bonaparte, Discours de Lyon, 1771
  • Passion holds up the bottom of the universe and genius paints up its roof. - Chao Chang
  • Perhaps imagination is only intelligence having fun. - George Scialabra
  • Primitive does not mean stupid. - Anonymous
  • Since when was genius found respectable? - Elizabeth Barrett Browning
  • Some people take more care to hide their wisdom than their folly. - Jonathan Swift, Thoughts on Various Subjects, 1711
  • Sometimes, indeed, there is such a discrepancy between the genius and his human qualities that one has to ask oneself whether a little less talent might not have been better. - Carl Jung
  • Talent is that which is in a man's power; genius is that in whose power a man is. - James Russell Lowell, Literary Essays
  • The course of every intellectual, if he pursues his journey long and unflinchingly enough, ends in the obvious, from which the non-intellectuals have never stirred. - Aldous Huxley
  • The difference between intelligence and education is this: intelligence will make you a good living. - Charles F. Kettering
  • The invention of IQ does a great disservice to creativity in education. - Joel Hildebrand
  • The public is wonderfully tolerant. It forgives everything except genius. - Oscar Wilde
  • The reluctance to put away childish things may be a requirement of genius. - Rebecca Pepper Sinkler
  • There is nobody so irritating as somebody with less intelligence and more sense than we have. - Don Herold
  • This is the nature of genius, to be able to grasp the knowable even when no one else recognizes that it is present. - Deepak Chopra
  • Thousands of geniuses live and die undiscovered - either by themselves or by others. - Mark Twain
  • We know that the nature of genius is to provide idiots with ideas twenty years later. - Louis Aragon
  • We should not only use the brains we have, but all that we can borrow. - President Woodrow Wilson
  • We should take care not to make the intellect our god; it has, of course, powerful muscles, but no personality. - Albert Einstein
  • What a distressing contrast there is between the radiant intelligence of the child and the feeble mentality of the average adult. - Sigmund Freud
  • When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him. - Jonathan Swift


  • Nobody can give you wiser advice than yourself. - Cicero
  • A good scare is worth more to a man than good advice. - Edgar Watson Howe, Country Town Sayings, 1911
  • I always pass on good advice. It's the only thing to do with it. It is never any use to oneself. - Oscar Wilde, An Ideal Husband, 1895
  • Sometimes I give myself admirable advice, but I am incapable of taking it. - Mary Wortley Montagu
  • I never had a man come to me for advice yet, but what I soon discovered that he thought more of his own opinion than he did of mine. - Josh Billings
  • No one wants advice - only corroboration. - John Steinbeck, The Winter of Our Discontent
  • It is more easy to be wise for others than for ourselves. - François Duc de La Rochefoucauld
  • We hate to have some people give us advice because we know how badly they need it themselves. - Anonymous
  • The best way to succeed in life is to act on the advice we give to others. - Anonymous
  • When we ask advice we are usually looking for an accomplice. - Charles Varlet de La Grange, Pensées, 1872
  • Old men are fond of giving good advice, to console themselves for being no longer in a position to give bad examples. - François La Rochefoucauld
  • The best advice is this: Don't take advice and don't give advice. - Anonymous
  • When a man comes to me for advice, I find out the kind of advice he wants, and I give it to him. - Henry Wheeler Shaw, a.k.a. Josh Billings
  • Some people like my advice so much that they frame it upon the wall instead of using it. - Gordon R. Dickson
  • Advice is what we ask for when we already know the answer but wish we didn't. - Erica Jong, How to Save Your Own Life, 1977


  • There are no seven wonders of the world in the eyes of a child. There are seven million. - Walt Streightiff
  • Children are contemptuous, haughty, irritable, envious, sneaky, selfish, lazy, flighty, timid, liars and hypocrites, quick to laugh and cry, extreme in expressing joy and sorrow, especially about trifles, they'll do anything to avoid pain but they enjoy inflicting it: little men already. - Jean de La Bruyère, Les Caractères, 1688
  • The real menace in dealing with a five-year-old is that in no time at all you begin to sound like a five-year-old. - Joan Kerr, Please Don't Eat the Daisies, 1957
  • If there were no schools to take the children away from home part of the time, the insane asylums would be filled with mothers. - Edgar W. Howe
  • There's nothing that can help you understand your beliefs more than trying to explain them to an inquisitive child. - Frank A. Clark
  • Any kid will run any errand for you if you ask at bedtime. - Red Skelton
  • Anyone who thinks the art of conversation is dead ought to tell a child to go to bed. - Robert Gallagher
  • Cleaning your house while your kids are still growing up is like shoveling the walk before it stops snowing. - Phyllis Diller
  • Children's talent to endure stems from their ignorance of alternatives. - Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, 1969
  • Women gather together to wear silly hats, eat dainty food, and forget how unresponsive their husbands are. Men gather to talk sports, eat heavy food, and forget how demanding their wives are. Only where children gather is there any real chance of fun. - Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1960
  • Children find everything in nothing; men find nothing in everything. - Giacomo Leopardi, Zibaldone Scelto
  • Do your kids a favor - don't have any. - Robert Orben
  • There are only two things a child will share willingly - communicable diseases and his mother's age. - Benjamin Spock, Dr. Spock's Baby and Child Care, 1945
  • A child seldom needs a good talking to as a good listening to. - Robert Brault
  • It is not easy to be crafty and winsome at the same time, and few accomplish it after the age of six. - John W. Gardner and Francesca Gardner Reese
  • What is a home without children? Quiet. - Henny Youngman
  • While we try to teach our children all about life, Our children teach us what life is all about. - Angela Schwindt
  • Little girls are cute and small only to adults. To one another they are not cute. They are life-sized. - Margaret Atwood
  • The prime purpose of being four is to enjoy being four - of secondary importance is to prepare for being five. - Jim Trelease, The Read-Aloud Handbook, 1985
  • In America there are two classes of travel - first class, and with children. - Robert Benchley
  • A child is a curly dimpled lunatic. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • A little girl is sugar and spice and everything nice - especially when she's taking a nap. - Anonymous
  • Children seldom misquote. In fact, they usually repeat word for word what you shouldn't have said. - Anonymous (maybe Art Linkletter?)
  • There was never a child so lovely but his mother was glad to get him to sleep. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • Like fruit, children are sweetest just before they turn bad. - Dena Groquet
  • Youth is a wonderful thing. What a crime to waste it on children. - George Bernard Shaw
  • Boy, n.: a noise with dirt on it. - Not Your Average Dictionary
  • Children are unpredictable. You never know what inconsistency they're going to catch you in next. - Franklin P. Jones
  • In the United States today, there is a pervasive tendency to treat children as adults, and adults as children. The options of children are thus steadily expanded, while those of adults are progressively constricted. The result is unruly children and childish adults. - Thomas Szasz
  • You are worried about seeing him spend his early years in doing nothing. What! Is it nothing to be happy? Nothing to skip, play, and run around all day long? Never in his life will he be so busy again. - Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Emile, 1762
  • Every child comes with the message that God is not yet discouraged of man. - Rabindranath Tagore
  • Even when freshly washed and relieved of all obvious confections, children tend to be sticky. - Fran Lebowitz
  • Children are the living messages we send to a time we will not see. - John W. Whitehead, The Stealing of America, 1983
  • Kids: they dance before they learn there is anything that isn't music. - William Stafford
  • A child can ask questions that a wise man cannot answer. - Anonymous
  • Children need love, especially when they do not deserve it. - Harold Hulbert
  • We've had bad luck with our kids - they've all grown up. - Christopher Morley
  • A characteristic of the normal child is he doesn't act that way very often. - Anonymous
  • You can learn many things from children. How much patience you have, for instance. - Franklin P. Jones
  • We worry about what a child will become tomorrow, yet we forget that he is someone today. - Stacia Tauscher

About Humor

  • The man who smiles when things go wrong has thought of someone to blame it on. - Anonymous
  • I think the next best thing to solving a problem is finding some humor in it. - Frank Howard Clark
  • I have a fine sense of the ridiculous, but no sense of humor. - Edward Albee
  • Humor is the instinct for taking pain playfully. - Max Eastman
  • Humor is the affectionate communication of insight. - Leo Rosten
  • Humor is something that thrives between man's aspirations and his limitations. There is more logic in humor than in anything else. Because, you see, humor is truth. - Citor Borge
  • Humor is richly rewarding to the person who employs it. It has some value in gaining and holding attention, but it has no persuasive value at all. - John Kenneth Galbraith
  • A sense of humor... is needed armor. Joy in one's heart and some laughter on one's lips is a sign that the person down deep has a pretty good grasp of life. - Hugh Sidey
  • A taste for irony has kept more hearts from breaking than a sense of humor, for it takes irony to appreciate the joke which is on oneself. - Jessammyn West
  • A well-developed sense of humor is the pole that adds balance to your steps as you walk the tightrope of life. - William A. Ward
  • Comedy has to be based on truth. You take the truth and you put a little curlicue at the end. - Sid Caesar
  • Common sense and a sense of humor are the same thing, moving at different speeds. A sense of humor is just common sense, dancing. - William James
  • Everything human is pathetic. The secret source of humor itself is not joy but sorrow. There is no humor in heaven. - Mark Twain
  • Humor brings insight and tolerance. Irony brings a deeper and less friendly understanding. - Agnes Repplier
  • Humor is just another defense against the universe. - Mel Brooks
  • Humor is merely tragedy standing on its head with its pants torn. - Irvin S. Cobb
  • Humor is perhaps a sense of intellectual perspective: an awareness that some things are really important, others not; and that the two kinds are most oddly jumbled in everyday affairs. - Christopher Morley
  • Humor is reason gone mad. - Groucho Marx
  • A sense of humor is the ability to understand a joke - and that the joke is oneself. - Clifton Paul Fadiman
  • A sense of humor is a major defense against minor troubles. - Mignon McLaughlin
  • A person without a sense of humor is like a wagon without springs. It's jolted by every pebble on the road. - Henry Ward Beecher
  • A joke is a very serious thing. - Winston Churchill

Birthday Quotes

  • Wisdom doesn't necessarily come with age. Sometimes age just shows up all by itself. - Tom Wilson
  • Inside every older person is a younger person wondering what happened. - Jennifer Yane
  • Birthdays are good for you. Statistics show that the people who have the most live the longest. - Larry Lorenzoni
  • May you live to be a hundred years - With one extra year to repent.
  • The secret of staying young is to live honestly, eat slowly, and lie about your age. - Lucille Ball
  • Our birthdays are feathers in the broad wing of time. - Jean Paul Richter
  • A diplomat is a man who always remembers a woman's birthday but never remembers her age. - Robert Frost
  • I still have a full deck; I just shuffle slower now.
  • You're not 40, you're eighteen with 22 years experience.
  • I'm sixty years of age. That's 16 Celsius. - George Carlin, Brain Droppings, 1997
  • Youth would be an ideal state if it came a little later in life. ~Herbert Asquith
  • Youth is a disease from which we all recover. - Dorothy Fulheim
  • First you forget names; then you forget faces; then you forget to zip up your fly; and then you forget to unzip your fly. - Branch Rickey
  • Middle age is when your age starts to show around your middle. - Bob Hope
  • Life is a moderately good play with a badly written third act. - Truman Capote
  • Middle age is having a choice between two temptations and choosing the one that'll get you home earlier. - Dan Bennett
  • Just remember, once you're over the hill you begin to pick up speed. - Charles Schulz
  • They say that age is all in your mind. The trick is keeping it from creeping down into your body.
  • When I was younger, I could remember anything, whether it had happened or not; but my faculties are decaying now and soon I shall be so I cannot remember any but the things that never happened. It is sad to go to pieces like this but we all have to do it. - Mark Twain
  • The first sign of maturity is the discovery that the volume knob also turns to the left. - Jerry M. Wright
  • Youth is a wonderful thing. What a crime to waste it on children. - George Bernard Shaw
  • Inflation is when you pay fifteen dollars for the ten-dollar haircut you used to get for five dollars when you had hair. - Sam Ewing
  • Thanks to modern medical advances such as antibiotics, nasal spray, and Diet Coke, it has become routine for people in the civilized world to pass the age of 40, sometimes more than once. - Dave Barry, "Your Disintegrating Body," Dave Barry Turns 40, 1990
  • We know we're getting old when the only thing we want for our birthday is not to be reminded of it.
  • A birthday is just the first day of another 365-day journey around the sun. Enjoy the trip.
  • There is still no cure for the common birthday. - John Glenn
  • Birthdays are like girlfriends, they come and go-unless you enjoy them.
  • Growing old is mandatory but growing up is optional. - Chili Davis
  • To me, old age is always 20 years older than I am.
  • You are only young once, but you can be immature for a lifetime.
  • If I’d known I was going to live this long, I’d have taken better care of myself.
  • Old age isn’t so bad when you consider the alternative.
  • Birthdays are nature’s way of telling us to eat more cake.
  • Just remember, once you’re over the hill you begin to pick up speed.
  • The best birthdays of all are those that haven’t arrived yet.
  • Looking fifty is great - if you’re sixty.
  • I’m at an age when my back goes out more than I do.
  • If we could be twice young and twice old we could correct all our mistakes.
  • After 30, a body has a mind of its own.
  • Marriage is the alliance of two people, one of whom never remembers birthdays and the other never forgets them.
  • Men are like wine: some turn to vinegar, but the best improve with age.
  • It is true that I was born in Iowa, but I can’t speak for my twin sister.
  • When I was born I was so surprised I didn’t talk for a year and a half.
  • Live as long as you may. The first twenty years are the longest half of your life.
  • When I turned two I was really anxious, because I’d doubled my age in a year. I thought, if this keeps up, by the time I’m five I’ll be 64.
  • Thirty five is a very attractive age; London society is full of women who have of their own free choice remained thirty-five for years.
  • Age is something that doesn’t matter, unless you are a cheese.
  • About the only thing that comes to us without effort is old age.
  • Time and Tide wait for no man, but time always stands still for a woman of thirty.


  • Great men are rarely isolated mountain peaks; they are the summits of ranges. - Thomas W. Higginson
  • I was nauseous and tingly all over. I was either in love or I had smallpox. - Woody Allen
  • In my house I'm the boss, my wife is just the decision maker. - Woody Allen
  • A politician is a fellow who will lay down your life for his country. - Texas Guinan
  • He knows nothing and thinks he knows everything. That points clearly to a political career. - George Bernard Shaw
  • Never trust a husband too far or a bachelor too near. - Helen Rowland
  • If I were two-faced, would I be wearing this one? - Abraham Lincoln
  • Fishing is boring, unless you catch an actual fish, and then it is disgusting. - Dave Barry
  • The more I see of men, the more I admire dogs. - Jeanne-Marie Roland
  • Women are like Elephants. I like to watch them, but I wouldn't want to own one. - W. C. Fields
  • When women are depressed they either eat or go shopping. Men invade another country. - Elayne Boosler
  • Guys are like dogs. They keep coming back. Ladies are like cats. Yell at a cat one time...they're gone. - Lenny Bruce
  • Between men and women there is no friendship possible. There is passion, enmity, worship, love, but no friendship. - Oscar Wilde
  • Never comment on a woman's rear end. Never use a words 'large' or 'size' with 'rear end.' Never. Avoid that area altogether. Trust me - Tim Allen
  • Cosmetics is a boon to every woman, but a girl's best friend is still a nearsighted man. - Yoko Ono
  • Twitter was invented by men. A woman would have chosen a higher character limit.
  • I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody. - Bill Cosby
  • If you must have motivation, think of your paycheck on Friday. - Noel Coward
  • True love is like a pair of socks: you gotta have two and they've gotta match. – Groucho Marx
  • I don't have a photograph, but you can have my footprints. They're upstairs in my socks. - Groucho Marx
  • Ugly visual: When you're up to your nose in sh*t, keep your mouth shut. - Anonymous
  • If it weren't for women, men would still be wearing last week's socks. - Cynthia Nelms
  • Ambition is a poor excuse for not having enough sense to be lazy. - Steven Wright
  • I am thankful for laughter, except when milk comes out of my nose. - Woody Allen
  • Love lasteth as long as the money endureth. - William Caxton
  • The perfect love affair is one which is conducted entirely by post. - George Bernard Shaw
  • Love is like the measles; we all have to go through it. - Jerome K. Jerome
  • True love comes quietly, without banners or flashing lights. If you hear bells, get your ears checked. - Erich Segal
  • Sometimes I lie awake at night, & I ask, "Where have I gone wrong?" Then a voice says to me, "This is going to take more than 1 night." - Anonymous
  • "I am" is reportedly the shortest sentence in the English language. Could it be that "I do" is the longest sentence? – (understandably) Anonymous
  • I take my wife everywhere, but she keeps finding her way back. - Henny Youngman
  • Marriage is a great institution, but I'm not ready for an institution yet. - Mae West (wink wink)
  • In life; it's not who you know that's important, it's how your wife found out! - Joey Adams

Make You Wanna Wince: Dumbisms

  • If it weren't for the last minute, a lot of things wouldn't get done. - Michael S. Traylor
  • I stand by all the misstatements that I've made. - Dan Quayle
  • The loss of life will be irreplaceable. - Dan Quayle
  • Not only is he ambidextrous, but he can throw with either hand. - Duffy Daugherty, football coach and sports analyst, a word smith he isn't
  • A day without sunshine is like, you know, night. – (understandably) Anonymous, probably from a stoned rocker after a concert
  • If you're killed, you've lost a very important part of your life. - Brooke Shields
  • We are ready for an unforseen event that may or may not occur. - Dan Quayle, VP to Bush 41
  • If we don't succeed, we run the risk of failure. - Dan Quayle
  • We are sorry to announce that Mr. Albert Brown has been quite unwell, owing to his recent death, and is taking a short holiday to recover. - Parish Magazine
  • Please provide the date of your death. - from an IRS letter
  • I have opinions of my own - strong opinions - but I don't always agree with them. – President George W. Bush (Bush 43)

Pet Quotes: Funny & Serious

  • When a man's best friend is his dog, that dog has a problem. - Edward Abbet
  • I always like a dog so long as he isn't spelled backward. - G. K. Chesterton
  • Dogs love their friends and bite their enemies, quite unlike people, who are incapable of pure love and always have to mix love and hate. - Sigmund Freud
  • Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole. - Roger Caras
  • Don't accept your dog's admiration as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful. - Anne Landers
  • If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you; that is the principal difference between a dog and a man. - Mark Twain
  • Heaven goes by favor; if it went by merit, you would stay out and your dog would go in. - Mark Twain
  • A dog is not considered a good dog because he is a good barker. A man is not considered a good man because he is a good talker. - Buddha
  • I've met many thinkers and many cats, but the wisdom of cats is infinitely superior. ~ Hippolyte Taine
  • A dog has lots of friends because he wags his tail and not his tongue. ~ Anonymous
  • The dog represents all that is best in man. ~ Etienne Charlet
  • Love the animals: God has given them the rudiments of thought and joy untroubled. ~ Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  • Every boy should have two things: a dog, and a mother willing to let him have one. ~ Anonymous
  • And God took a handful of Southerly wind, blew His breath over it and created the horse. ~ Bedouin Legend
  • The bird of paradise alights only upon the hand that does not grasp. ~ John Berry
  • A hen is only an egg's way of making another egg. ~ Samuel Butler
  • If I have any beliefs about immortality it is that certain dogs I know will go to heaven, and very – very - few people. ~ James Thurber
  • The Cat. He walked by himself, and all places were alike to him. ~ Rudyard Kipling
  • The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated. ~ Mahatma Gandhi
  • The dog was created especially for children. He is the God of frolic. ~ Henry Ward Beecher
  • There is nothing in which the birds differ more from man than the way in which they can build and yet leave a landscape as it was before. ~ Robert Lynd
  • You can say any foolish thing to a dog, and the dog will give you a look that says, 'My God, you're right! I never would've thought of that! ~ Dave Barry
  • All of the animals except for man know that the principle business of life is to enjoy it. ~ Samuel Butler
  • A Horse! A Horse! My kingdom for a horse! ~ Shakespeare
  • A horse gallops with his lungs, perseveres with his heart and wins with his character. ~ Tesio
  • To err is human, to purr, feline. ~ Robert Byrne
  • To err is human, to forgive, canine. ~ Anonymous
  • Did you ever walk into a room and forget why you walked in? I think that is how dogs spend their lives. ~ Sue Murphy
  • No heaven will not ever Heaven be; Unless my cats are there to welcome me. ~ Anonymous
  • A dog maybe a man's best friend but a horse made history... ~ Anonymous
  • There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face. ~ Ben Williams
  • I think I could turn and live with animals, they are so placid and self-contained. I stand and look at them long and long. ~ Walt Whitman
  • If having a soul means being able to feel love and loyalty and gratitude, then animals are better off than a lot of humans. ~ James Herriot
  • I love cats because I enjoy my home; and, little by little, they become its visible soul. ~ Jean Cocteau
  • A house is not a home without a pet. ~ Anonymous
  • In the beginning, God created man, but seeing him so feeble, He gave him the cat. ~ Warren Eckstein
  • Don't accept your dog's admiration as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful. ~ Ann Landers
  • Dogs have owners; cats have staff. ~ Anonymous
  • A canter is the cure for all evil. ~ Benjamin Disraeli on horses
  • Old age means realizing you will never own all the dogs you wanted to. ~ Joe Gores
  • Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened. ~ Anatole France
  • A dog is the only thing on earth that will love you more than you love yourself. ~ Josh Billings
  • You think dogs will not be in heaven? I tell you, they will be there long before any of us. ~ Robert Louis Stevenson
  • Who can believe that there is no soul behind those luminous eyes! ~ Theophile Gautier
  • The purity of a person's heart can be quickly measured by how they regard animals. ~ Anonymous
  • We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals. ~ Immanual Kant
  • An animal's eyes have the power to speak a great language. ~ Martin Buber
  • If all the beasts were gone, men would die from a great loneliness of spirit, for whatever happens to the beasts also happens to the man. All things are connected. Whatever befalls the Earth befalls the sons of the Earth. ~ Chief Seattle of the Suquamish Tribe, letter to President Franklin Pierce
  • There is in all animals a sense of duty that man condescends to call instinct. ~ Robert Brault, ~ Robert Brault
  • To insult someone we call him "bestial." For deliberate cruelty and nature, "human" might be the greater insult. ~ Isaac Asimov, Isaac Asimov's Book of Science and Nature Quotations, 1988
  • I like pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals. ~ Winston Churchill
  • I have been studying the traits and dispositions of the "lower animals" (so called) and contrasting them with the traits and dispositions of man. I find the result humiliating to me. ~ Mark Twain, Letters from the Earth, 1907
  • Be it human or animal, touch is a life-giving thing. Has anyone ever had a stroke or a heart attack while cozied up with a pet? I doubt it. ~ Robert Brault
  • I believe in animal rights, and high among them is the right to the gentle stroke of a human hand. ~ Robert Brault
  • Most pets display so many humanlike traits and emotions it's easy to forget they're not gifted with the English language and then get snubbed when we talk to them and they don't say anything back. ~ Stephenie Geist
  • Our perfect companions never have fewer than four feet. ~ Colette
  • It often happens that a man is more humanely related to a cat or dog than to any human being. ~ Henry David Thoreau
  • Animals have these advantages over man: they never hear the clock strike, they die without any idea of death, they have no theologians to instruct them, their last moments are not disturbed by unwelcome and unpleasant ceremonies, their funerals cost them nothing, and no one starts lawsuits over their wills. ~ Voltaire, letter to Count Schomberg, 31 August 1769
  • The kind man feeds his beast before sitting down to dinner. ~ Hebrew Proverb
  • Lots of people talk to animals.... Not very many listen, though.... That's the problem. ~ Benjamin Hoff, The Tao of Pooh
  • Man is rated the highest animal, at least among all animals who returned the questionnaire. ~ Robert Brault
  • It is an important and popular fact that things are not always what they seem. For instance, on the planet Earth, man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much - the wheel, New York, wars and so on - whilst all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man - for precisely the same reasons. ~ Douglas Adams, The Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy
  • An animal's eyes have the power to speak a great language. ~ Martin Buber
  • You enter into a certain amount of madness when you marry a person with pets. ~ Nora Ephron
  • Animals are such agreeable friends. They ask no questions; they pass no criticisms. ~ George Eliot
  • Ever consider what pets must think of us? I mean, here we come back from a grocery store with the most amazing haul - chicken, pork, half a cow. They must think we're the greatest hunters on earth! ~ Anne Tyler, The Accidental Tourist
  • No animal should ever jump up on the dining room furniture unless absolutely certain that he can hold his own in the conversation. - Fran Lebowitz
  • Cat Law of Selective Hearing "A cat can hear a mouse yawning a mile away, while filtering out the sound of a pleading human just six feet away. - Anonymous
  • Thousands of years ago, cats were worshipped as gods. Cats have never forgotten this. ~ Anonymous
  • There's no need for a piece of sculpture in a home that has a cat. ~ Wesley Bates
  • Cats seem to go on the principle that it never does any harm to ask for what you want. - Joseph Wood Krutch
  • A cat is a puzzle for which there is no solution. ~ Hazel Nicholson
  • There is no snooze button on a cat who wants breakfast. - Anonymous
  • You know your cat is getting old when she quits hunting in the back yard. Now she hunts at your dinner table.- Denny Lyon
  • Fishing is boring, unless you catch an actual fish, and then it is disgusting. - Dave Barry
  • My little dog - a heartbeat at my feet. ~ Edith Wharton
  • He doesn’t reckon his dog has human feelings, but he sure lets you know when you hurt his instincts. ~ Robert Brault
  • The most affectionate creature in the world is a wet dog. - Ambrose Bierce
  • Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole. ~ Roger Caras
  • No one appreciates the very special genius of your conversation as a dog does. - Christopher Morley
  • If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog. Harry S. Truman
  • A dog is not intelligent. Never trust an animal that's surprised by its own farts. - Frank Skinner
  • The more I see of men, the more I admire dogs. Jeanne-Marie Roland
  • Guys are like dogs. They keep coming back. Ladies are like cats. Yell at a cat one time...they're gone. Lenny Bruce
  • Women are like Elephants. I like to watch them, but I wouldn't want to own one. - W. C. Fields

Political Humor

  • A politician is a fellow who will lay down your life for his country. - Texas Guinan
  • He knows nothing and thinks he knows everything. That points clearly to a political career. - George Bernard Shaw
  • "If we were a dog food, they would take us off the shelf." - Rep. Thomas M. Davis III (R-Va.), in a memo to colleagues about the problem with the Republican brand
  • "Now he tells us that he's the one who's gonna take on the old boys network. The old boys network? In the McCain campaign that's called a staff meeting. Come on!" - Barack Obama, about John McCain
  • "If he's the answer, then the question must be ridiculous." - New York Gov. David Patterson, on John McCain at his speech at the Democratic National Convention 2008
  • "I've been sleeping like a baby. Sleep two hours, wake up and cry, sleep two hours, wake up and cry.'' - John McCain, talking to Jay Leno about his election loss
  • "So?" —Vice President Dick Cheney, responding to an ABC News correspondent who cited a poll showing that most Americans do not believe the Iraq War was worth fighting, March 19, 2008
  • "So what?" –President Bush, responding to a an ABC News correspondent who pointed out that Al Qaeda wasn't a threat in Iraq until after the U.S. invaded, Dec. 14, 2008
  • "Goodbye from the world's biggest polluter." –President George W. Bush, in parting words to British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and French President Nicolas Sarkozy at his final G-8 Summit, punching the air and grinning widely as the two leaders looked on in shock, Rusutsu, Japan, July 10, 2008 (Oh, this is funny on so many levels...)
  • "I don't want to be invited to the family hunting party." - Barack Obama, on revelations that he and Dick Cheney are eighth cousins (2007)
  • "You can always tell when the Republicans are getting restless, because the Vice President's motorcade pulls into the Capitol, and Darth Vader emerges." – Hillary Clinton about VP Cheney in 2007
  • "Thanks for the question, you little jerk." -- John McCain, after being asked by a high school student if he was too old to be president. For good measure, McCain then threatened to draft him. (2007)
  • "I've been asked if that nickname bothers me, and the answer is, no. After all, Darth Vader is one of the nicer things I've been called recently." - Dick Cheney (2007 – this guy thrives on negative attention)
  • "A year ago, my approval rating was in the 30s, my nominee for the Supreme Court had just withdrawn, and my Vice President had shot someone. Ahhh, those were the good old days." – George W. Bush, at the 2007 Radio-TV Correspondents' dinner

Holiday: Mother's Day

  • Don't forget Mother's Day. Or as they call it in Beverly Hills: Dad's Third Wife Day. - Jay Leno, comedian, TV host
  • Don't stay in bed, unless you can make money in bed. - George Burns, American vaudeville and TV comedian