Paperback edition. This book contains 250 anecdotes about families, including this one: Opera singer Leo Slezak was forced to diet for most of each year because, being a huge man (he was 6-foot-7),... More > he had a large appetite and gained weight easily. (One of the few days of the year that he didn’t diet was his birthday.) When he was dieting, his wife carefully measured out portions of food on a scale and those portions were all he had to eat. Of course, Mr. Slezak ate the food quickly and then muttered that the food scale had to be wrong. Once, for a few meals in a row, Mr. Slezak didn’t complain about the portions of food he was doled out. His wife praised his will power and suspected nothing until she walked into her husband’s den and discovered that the family dog was very interested in the middle drawer of her husband’s desk. Opening the drawer, she found a large salami.< Less
This is an easy-to-read retelling of William Shakespeare's history play "Richard III." People who read this retelling first will find the original play much easier to read and... More > understand.
Suppose you were born with physical disabilities but wanted to become King. Suppose you were brave in battle. Suppose you were able to convince the widow of a man you killed to marry you. Suppose you married her only so that your claim to the throne would be enhanced. Suppose you wanted your older brother, who is King, to die so that you can take his place. Suppose that you are willing to murder your other older brother so that you can become King. Suppose that you are willing to murder your nephews so that you can become King. Suppose that you are willing to murder your wife so that you can marry another woman who will enhance your claim to the throne. Suppose that you are willing to murder any supporters who have ceased to be of use to you in achieving your political ambitions.< Less
This is an easy-to-read retelling of William Shakespeare's "Macbeth."
CHAPTER 1: The Temptation of Macbeth
— 1.1 —
In a deserted place above which thunder sounded and... More > lightning flashed, Three Witches were ending their meeting. Nearby, a battle raged, and soldiers and horses screamed and died.
“When shall we three meet again? Shall we meet in thunder and lightning, or in rain?” asked the First Witch.
“We shall meet again after the battle is over. The battle shall have its conquerors, and it shall have its conquered,” answered the Second Witch.
“The battle will end before the Sun sets,” said the Third Witch.
“In which place shall we meet?” asked the First Witch.
“We shall meet upon the heath,” answered the Second Witch.
“There we shall meet Macbeth,” said the Third Witch.
With the Witches were their familiars. Graymalkin was a malevolent spirit in the form of a gray cat, and Paddock was a malevolent spirit in the form of a toad. The familiars were growing restless.< Less
Paperback edition. This book is one-half of my previous book "The Funniest People in Religion and Families: 500 Anecdotes." It contains 250 anecdotes about families, including this one: ... More > Just after the end of World War II, while country comedian Archie Campbell was still an enlisted man in the United States Navy, he hadn’t seen his wife for a long time, so he asked Lieutenant Sam Bailey if a way could be arranged for him to see her. Therefore, Lieutenant Bailey asked Mr. Campbell to take an apparatus to Florida to have it repaired—of course, Mr. Campbell had his wife meet him in Florida. At the repair shop, Mr. Campbell asked how long it would take to have the apparatus repaired, and the technician assured him that it would be repaired by the very next day. This was bad news for Mr. Campbell and his wife, so he explained the situation to the technician, saying, “I haven’t seen my wife in over a year. Take longer than that.” The technician replied, “In that case, it will take at least a week.”< Less
Print edition. This book contains 250 anecdotes and stories, including this one: Andrew Tobias and Charles Nolan were a happy gay couple for years until Mr. Nolan died. Soon after Mr. Nolan died,... More > Mr. Tobias’ mother, who was Jewish, also died. At the memorial service for Mr. Tobias’ mother, Mr. Nolan’s brother spoke. Mr. Tobias writes about “Charles’ brother, a Catholic priest, who, when he got up from the audience to speak to the largely Jewish crowd, said he imagined my mom and dad and stepfather (also Jewish) and Charles (Catholic, but lapsed, and gay)—were now all likely in paradise having a fine and stylish old time together.” Mr. Tobias noted to the Catholic priest (with a smile) that according to the Pope, perhaps none of them would gain admission to Heaven. Mr. Tobias writes, “To which he shot back—with a quiet conviction I get a little choked up recalling—‘It’s not his call.’”< Less
Posthumus Leonatus, an orphan, has some problems. He married Imogen, a Princess, without the permission of her father, King Cymbeline of Britain. Because Posthumus is a commoner and King Cymbeline... More > does not want him to inherit the crown, Cymbeline banishes Posthumus, who goes to Italy. There he meets an Italian named Iachimo, who hears him boast about the faithfulness of his wife and who makes a bet with him. If Iachimo can seduce Imogen, then he will win a valuable diamond ring that she gave Posthumus, but if Iachimo cannot seduce Imogen, then he will give Posthumus many gold coins. The two men make the bet, and Iachimo goes to Britain to try to seduce Imogen.< Less
This book contains 250 anecdotes, including this one: Harry “Steamboat” Johnson was a flamboyant minor-league umpire who wrote and published an autobiography, "Standing the... More > Gaff."
Before games, boys would sell copies of the book to fans in the grandstand. Often, the fans would become angry at Steamboat and throw copies of his book at him. No problem. He simply gathered up the copies of his book and sold them again at the next game.< Less
Print edition. This book contains 250 anecdotes and stories about people in dance, literature, movies, music, and theater, including this anecdote: Actress Drew Barrymore comes from two fine,... More > well-loved theatrical families: the Drews and the Barrymores. John Drew’s sister, Georgie, married Maurice Barrymore, and they produced three children: Ethel, Lionel, and John Barrymore. All of them became famous actors. In his autobiography, “My Years on the Stage,” John Drew tells of his niece, Ethel Barrymore, appearing in an important role on the stage for the first time. She was nervous, and because she was nervous, she was inaudible. A member of the audience called out to her, “Speak up, Ethel. You’re all right. The Drews is all good actors.”< Less
Print edition. In Bikini Kill’s early songs, vocalist Kathleen Hanna tends to repeat lines many times. She had a reason for doing this. The sound equipment they played live with was very bad,... More > and she worried that no one would understand the words, and so she repeated them over and over so that the audience would hear them. Some of the lyrics deserve to be heard over and over—for example, she repeated these lines from the song “Resist Psychic Death” over and over: “I resist with every inch and every breath / I resist this psychic death.”< Less
Print edition. This book contains 250 anecdotes about living and loving life, including this one: When Sam Kinison died, lots of comedians showed up at his funeral and talked about him. Richard... More > Belzer emceed, and Pauly Shore talked about how Sam used to be his baby-sitter. Comedian (and Sam’s best friend) Carl Labove had been with Sam when he died, and he spoke—but briefly, as he started to cry. Mr. Belzer helped him from the podium and led him to a chair, but suddenly Mr. Labove broke away from Mr. Belzer, ran back to the podium, and announced, “By the way, I’ll be at Iggy’s all week! Two shows Friday, three Saturday!” I’m sure that Sam would have loved it.< Less