Don Herold was a humorist who wrote in the first half of the last century and, in 1935, he wrote a piece called “I’d Pick More Daisies” for ‘College Humor’ magazine that folded during World War II. In the years that would follow, his story was changed to the whim of others and the most famous version was that it was the thoughts of an 85-year-old woman in Louisville, Ky., named Nadine Stair.
In my quest to dedicate my Saturday column to humor – with a dash of inspiration -- that I come across during the week, let’s start with Nadine’s version of what she would do if she had her life to live over:
“I'd make more mistakes next time," she said. "I'd relax. I would limber up. I would be sillier than I have been on this trip. I would take fewer things seriously. I would take more chances. I would climb more mountains and swim more rivers. I would eat more ice cream and less beans. I would perhaps have more actual troubles, but I'd have fewer imaginary ones.
"You see, I'm one of those people who live sensibly and sanely hour after hour, day after day. Oh, I've had my moments, and if I had to do it over again, I'd have more of them. In fact, I'd try to have nothing else. Just moments, one after another, instead of living so many years ahead of each day. I've been one of those persons who never goes anywhere without a thermometer, a hot water bottle, and a raincoat. If I had to do it over again, I would travel lighter than I have.
"If I had my life to live over, I would start barefoot earlier in the spring and stay that way later in the fall. I would go to more dances. I would ride more merry-go-rounds and I would pick more daisies."
* * *
THIS WEEK’S TEN QUOTES FOR SUCCESS
* -- “Would you like me to give you a formula for... success? It's quite simple, really. Double your rate of failure. You're thinking of failure as the enemy of success. But it isn't at all... you can be discouraged by failure -- or you can learn from it. So go ahead and make mistakes. Make all you can. Because, remember that's where you'll find success. On the far side.” -- Thomas J. Watson, Founder of IBM
* --- “I've missed over 9,000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times I've been trusted to take the game-winning shot... and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” --Michael Jordan
* -- “My great concern is not whether you have failed, but whether you are content with your failure.” -- Abraham Lincoln
* -- “Pay no attention to what the critics say; there has never been set up a statue in honor of a critic.” -- Jean Sibelius
* -- “The Church is the only fellowship in the world where the one requirement for membership is the unworthiness of the candidate.” -- Robert B. Munger
* -- “If you were going to die in only minutes and had only one phone call you could make, who would you call and what would you say? And why are you waiting?” -- Stephen Levine
* -- “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” -- Nelson Mandela
* -- “Circumstances do not make the man, they reveal him.” -- James Allen
* -- “Don't let someone else's opinion of you become your reality.” -- Les Brown
* -- “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
* * *
MAY GOD CONTNUE TO BLESS THE UNITED STATES MARINES
Department of the Navy is now assigning females to quarters in a separate, private "OFF LIMITS" area on all aircraft carriers.
Addressing all boat personnel at Pearl Harbor, CINCPAC advised, "Female sleeping quarters will be ‘out-of-bounds’ for all males. Anyone caught breaking this rule will be fined $50 the first time."
He continued, "Anyone caught breaking this rule the second time will be fined $150.
“Being caught a third time will cost you a fine of $500. Are there any questions?"
At this point, a crusty Marine gunny sergeant from the security detail assigned to the ship stood up in the back of the crowd and hollered, "How much for a season pass?"
* * *
STUMBLING JOHNNY AND THE MEAN, GROUCHY TEACHER
Johnny was having trouble in school. His grouchy teacher was always yelling at him, "You're driving me crazy, Johnny; can't you learn anything?”
One day Johnny's mother came to school to see how he was doing. The mean teacher told her honestly that her son was simply a disaster, getting very low marks, and that she had never had such an unmotivated and ignorant boy in her entire teaching career. Johnny's mom, shocked at the feedback, withdrew her son from school and moved out of Chattanooga, relocating to Dalton for a fresh start.
About 25 years later, the teacher was diagnosed with irreversible cardiac disease. Her doctors all strongly advised her to have open heart surgery, which only one surgeon a famous hospital could perform.
Left with no other options, the teacher – still a grouch -- decided to have the operation, which was remarkably successful.
When she opened her eyes after the surgery she saw the handsome young doctor who headed her surgical team smiling down at her. She wanted to thank him, but could not talk. Her face started to turn blue, she raised her hand, trying to tell him something, but quickly died.
The doctor was shocked, wondering what went wrong so suddenly. When the doctor turned around to leave the room, he saw Johnny, now a janitor at the clinic, had unplugged the life-support equipment in order to plug in his vacuum cleaner.
* * *
COMMENTS OVERHEARD AT YOUR TATTOO PARLOR
"Eagle? I thought you said BEAGLE."
"We're all out of red, so I used pink."
"There are two Os in Bob, right?"
"I hate it when I get the hiccups."
"Anything else you want to say? You've got plenty of room back here."
"I'll bet you can't tell I've never done this before."
"The flag's all done and, you know, the folds of fat make a nice waving effect."
* * *
THE KID IN THE BACK SEAT
A 4-year-old son was eating an apple in the back seat of the car, when he asked, "Daddy, why is my apple turning brown?"
"Because," his dad explained, "after you ate the skin off, the meat of the apple came into contact with the air, which caused it to oxidize, thus changing the molecular structure and turning it into a different color."
There was a long silence. Then the son asked softly, "Daddy … are you talking to me?”
* * *
SOME DOCTORS SCRIBBLE FUNNY
Overheard at Walgreen’s:
An elderly woman was waiting for her prescriptions when the clerk said, “Here you go … we were only able to fill two of the prescriptions.
"Why can't you fill the other one?" she asked, only to be told, “I'm sorry, we don't carry that one.”
"Well, can you order it?" she became indignant. After being told “no” her face grew red, “Well, where would you suggest I get it filled!”
“I'm afraid you will have to go back to the hospital …”
That’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard … what’s it for?”
"A chest X-ray."
* * *
A CONVERSATION IN BED AT 3:40 A.M.
A couple who have been married for 20 years were in the bed with she elbowed her husband awake.
She: "Honey, if I die before you, would you remarry?"
He: "That's a morbid question! My goodness, its 3:40 in the morning! This is a conversation we can have tomorrow … or today when we’re up …"
She: "No, I really want to know."
He: “Goodness grief … well, yeah, I suppose after a decent amount of time I might remarry."
She: "Would she live in our house?"
He: "Well, the mortgage is almost paid off – I don’t reckon I’d move … but if this keeps up I am moving to the guest bedroom …”
She: "Would you let her wear my clothes … like my mink coat?"
He: "You know I paid $3,500 for that coat - would you really want me to sell it for a loss?"
She: "Well, would she drive my BMW?"
He: "No. Absolutely not. She doesn't know how to drive a stick shift! Now go back to sleep…”
* * *
“A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.” – Proverbs 17:22