David Bruce: Be a Work of Art — Profanity, Public Speaking, Religion, Royalty

Profanity

• Umpire Eric Gregg was bilingual, and sometimes he tried to help Spanish-speaking baseball players with their English. Once, catcher Tony Peña asked him, “Where the h*ll was that pitch at?” Mr. Gregg replied, “Tony, you can’t end a sentence with a preposition. You can’t end a sentence with ‘at.’” Mr. Peña was a quick learner. He said, “OK, where the h*ll was that pitch at, *ssh*le?”

• As a young man, Jerome K. Jerome (1859-1927) acted in England. He and the other actors tended to swear, and in an attempt to break the habit, they decided to fine themselves a penny for each swear word they uttered. Unfortunately, they were forced to stop the attempt against swearing — within two hours, Mr. Jerome and the other actors were broke.

• Babe Ruth got into trouble when he was a boy, and so he had to go to St. Mary’s Industrial School for Boys. When he grew up, he wanted other kids to avoid the mistakes he had made, so if he ever heard any children using profanity, he would yell at them, “Godd*mn it, stop that godd*mn swearing over there.”

Public Speaking

• In 1951, Robert F. Kennedy invited Ralph Bunche, the first African-American to win the Nobel Peace Prize, to speak at a legal forum at the University of Virginia. Mr. Bunche wrote back that he was willing to speak, but only before an integrated audience. At that time, many University of Virginia students objected to black people and white people being seated together. Mr. Kennedy made a great effort and persuaded the students to allow integration, and Mr. Bunche spoke before an audience in which black people and white people were seated together.

• The Maggid of Slutzk, R’ Zvi Dainov was known for giving the same speech over and over again, though in different locations. When he was asked why he did this, he replied, “The doctor does the same thing. He writes a prescription for one patient, and writes the exact same prescription for another suffering from the same disease.”

Religion

• In my opinion, even people who believe in the one true God should be allowed to poke fun at Him. (I hope that God has a sense of humor.) Once a man went to a tailor and ordered a pair of pants. Week after week, the man came back, but the tailor said the pants weren’t ready. After a month had gone by, the tailor finally said the pants were ready. The man put on the pants and was very pleased because they fit perfectly. However, as he paid for the pants, he said, “God made the World in only six days, yet you took an entire month to make these pants.” “That’s true,” replied the tailor. “But look at the quality of those pants, and compare them to the shape the World’s in.”

• An angel showed a new arrival around Heaven. Coming to a high wall, the angel put a finger to his lips and said, “Shh! Behind this wall are the fundamentalists. They think they are the only ones in Heaven.”

Royalty

• In 1960, Senator John Sparkman, a Democrat from Alabama, was introduced to the Queen of Greece. He introduced himself as “Senator John Sparkman,” but a colleague told him he should have added the rest — “Senator John Sparkman of Alabama.” The Queen overheard and asked, “Oh, are you from Alabama?” After the Senator admitted that he was, the Queen said that she had met a young lieutenant recently, who had told her, “I’m from Alabama, honey.” Senator Sparkman said that the lieutenant should have added the rest — “I’m from Alabama, honey child.” For the rest of evening, everybody called the Queen of Greece “Honey Child.”

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Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved

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