QUOTES are an integral part of any story a reporter does.
It’s an eternal challenge to mine out the little nuggets of gold that can make a report more interesting or entertaining for our readers.
Members of the public, I find, are much more susceptible to providing that gold dust. I love their brutal honesty. Politicians’ quotes can sometimes be funny, interesting or entertaining, but in the main, they have to be more guarded with what they say.
Quotes can be inspirational too, like those of historical figures like JFK and Martin Luther King Jr.
But the reason I’m talking about quotes is that while I was doing a bit of clearing out I came across a couple of dusty old books, ‘The Oxford Dictionary of Humorous Quotes’ and Dictionary of Insulting Quotations’, which are full of shiny examples that amused me.
This one could be applied to a few of my mates. Oscar Wilde said of British author and journalist Frank Harris: “Frank Harris is invited to all the great houses in England - once.”
He must have been a hoot at a party. Wilde is also attributed with this one: “Work is the curse of the drinking classes.”
Staying on that theme, “A woman drove me to drink and I never even had the courtesy to thank her,” said WC Fields. He also wrote: “I always keep a supply of stimulant handy in case I see a snake – which I also keep handy.”
Other ones you could use on your friends or family whenever the need arises include: “If only he’d wash his neck, I’d wring it.”; “A man of many talents - all of them minor.”; “She has only one fault. She is insufferable.” Or, if really want a giggle, search for ‘Bushisms’ on the web. You’ll be laughing for weeks.