Senator Robert Dole, upon seeing a picture of former presidents Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, and Richard Nixon lined up at an official event, pointed them out and identified them, in turn, as “See no Evil. Hear no Evil. And Evil.”
Pope John XXIII (1881-1963) had an impatience for bureaucracy and a wonderful sense of humor. Sometimes these two qualities came together with memorable results.
When asked how many people work at the Vatican, the pontiff famously replied, “About half of them.”
President Ronald Reagan devoted his presidency to combating an ever-growing and intrusive federal government. He recounted his days in the Army Air Force during World War II when he first faced the bureaucratic mindset:
“I remember one of my first experiences with government was as an adjutant for an Army Air Corps base in World War II. There was a warehouse filled with files, and the files containing documents and records and so forth — but which upon going at them you recognized that they were of no historical value. And they were totally useless, their time had passed them by. So, we started a message in the usual military style of sending a message, endorsing it up to the next in command, asking permission to destroy those papers so we could make use of the files for current documents. And then the next echelon — they endorsed it up and up and up, and finally to the top command. And then back down through the channel it came, and the answer was yes. We could destroy those papers, providing we made copies of each and every one.”
“Our nation’s capital is really getting into the holiday spirit. Yesterday I saw Tip O’Neil with a beard and red suit, shimmying down the Washington Monument.” — Bob Hope
* Tip O’Neil, a Democratic Congressman from Massachusetts, was Speaker of the U. S. House of Representarives from 1977 to 1987.
President Abraham Lincoln liked to joke about the well-to-do background of his wife’s family. “The Todds spell their name with two d’s, which is pretty impressive, considering one d is good enough for God.”
They say laughter is the best medicine, but that did not prove to be true for Alex Mitchell.
On March 24, 1975, Mitchell was enjoying the BBC comedy program The Goodies. While watching a skit entitled “The Battle of Eckythump”, Mitchell burst out laughing and continued to laugh, non-stop for the next 25 minutes. He then succumbed to cardiac arrest.
Rather than be resentful of the program, Mitchell’s widow sent a letter of gratitude to the show’s producers, thanking them for making her husband’s final moments so enjoyable.
To watch the infamous Eckythump skit, click here — IF YOU DARE AND ONLY IF YOU ARE NOT UNDER A PHYSICIAN’S CARE FOR CARDIAC DISEASE.
“The trouble ain’t that there is too many fools, but that the lightning ain’t distributed right.” — Mark Twain