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The real trouble with reality is that there's no background music.
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The story you are about to hear is true. Only the names have been
changed to protect the innocent.
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The streets were dark with something more than night.
-- Raymond Chandler
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The sun never sets on those who ride into it.
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The trouble with superheros is what to do between phone booths.
-- Ken Kesey
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The typewriting machine, when played with expression, is no more
annoying than the piano when played by a sister or near relation.
-- Oscar Wilde
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The ultimate game show will be the one where somebody gets killed at the end.
-- Chuck Barris, creator of "The Gong Show"
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The world has many unintentionally cruel mechanisms that are not
designed for people who walk on their hands.
-- John Irving, "The World According to Garp"
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The Worst Musical Trio
There are few bad musicians who have a chance to give a recital at
a famous concert hall while still learning the rudiments of their
instrument. This happened about thirty years ago to the son of a Rumanian
gentleman who was owed a personal favour by Georges Enesco, the celebrated
violinist. Enesco agreed to give lessons to the son who was quite
unhampered by great musical talent.
Three years later the boy's father insisted that he give a public
concert. "His aunt said that nobody plays the violin better than he does.
A cousin heard him the other day and screamed with enthusiasm." Although
Enesco feared the consequences, he arranged a recital at the Salle Gaveau
in Paris. However, nobody bought a ticket since the soloist was unknown.
"Then you must accompany him on the piano," said the boy's father,
"and it will be a sell out."
Reluctantly, Enesco agreed and it was. On the night an excited
audience gathered. Before the concert began Enesco became nervous and
asked for someone to turn his pages.
In the audience was Alfred Cortot, the brilliant pianist, who
volunteered and made his way to the stage.
The soloist was of uniformly low standard and next morning the
music critic of Le Figaro wrote: "There was a strange concert at the Salle
Gaveau last night. The man whom we adore when he plays the violin played
the piano. Another whom we adore when he plays the piano turned the pages.
But the man who should have turned the pages played the violin."
-- Stephen Pile, "The Book of Heroic Failures"
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There are three reasons for becoming a writer: the first is that you need
the money; the second that you have something to say that you think the
world should know; the third is that you can't think what to do with the
long winter evenings.
-- Quentin Crisp