Friday, October 10, 2008

My theory is that haggling may elicit pity, on occasion (Quotes of and about Abraham Lincoln with sex, hats and disease)

My theory is that haggling may elicit pity, on occasion (Quotes of and about Abraham Lincoln with sex, hats and disease)

JD's quotes:

The other day, I tuned in to The History Channel's three-hour documentary, simply entitled 'Lincoln'. If you're a history buff, three hours of Abraham Lincoln's life and times is just a drop in the bucket but it was a good program. Of course it was full of American history's documentary staples. Old historians, young historians, a gentle country fiddle in the background, people who posed for pictures looking like their pet puppy just died while choking on their pet kitten, a narrator with a deep voice and authors up the wazoo. It's the only right way to do it, really.

''We're making a documentary and we've got some authors.''
''Oh, yeah? Enough authors to be up the wazoo?''
''One or two more and we'll be comfortably in the wazoo territory.''
''Oh... Sounds like it's going to be a good documentary, then.''
''Damn Skippy.''

...I'm sure that conversation happened in one form or another over at The History Channel's head office. At any rate, I've got humorous quotes about Lincoln. He may've been a melancholy fellow, married to a crazy person but his life was not without humor...rumor has it, anyway. My chosen quotes as follows:

Jennifer Fleischner, author of 'Mrs. Lincoln and Mrs. Keckly', joined the conversation about how Mr. and Mrs. Lincoln were thought to be overly lenient with their children as they tore through the White house with wagons and goats, crashing cabinet meetings and taking full advantage of their permissive parents. She attempts to quote one of Lincoln's friends by saying:

''...And they were doting and I think it's Herndon who says, you know, ''If the boys shat in his hat, he would think 'Oh, isn't that wonderful?' '' You know? He would go ''Wow!' You know, ''That's great!''. Um, they could do anything.''

~Now, I've been trying to tell people for years that 'shat' is a real word and is the appropriate past tense of another word which I know and love. I have been met with looks of incredulity. Well. . . I feel vindicated by one of those brainy historian types saying it. So, ...there. To all you doubters: I bet you just shat yourself.

Gore Vidal, who wrote his own Lincoln book called 'Lincoln: A Novel' which was historical fiction, was featured throughout the show and if you could get past the annoying (to some) exaggeratedly ''academic'' tone of voice, he was an illuminating guest on the show with a good sense of humor. Speaking of William Herndon's stories of Lincoln, Vidal says:

''Herndon, his law partner for seventeen years- I think it was-; he knew more about Lincoln than anybody. He had some great stories to tell. How Lincoln was in a horny mood. He was in his twenties and... he asked a friend. He said, uh, ''Do you know where there is any?''. And, they said ''Well there's this girl that's down on Front street. You know, near the river. She's just in town.'' So, Lincoln goes to see her. Said ''Now, before we start anything, you know, I'm a poor man. I mean, how much is this going to be?'' and she said ''Three dollars'' and he says, ''Well, what-what about two?'' and she said, ''I don't want to haggle.'' She was a very nice woman.

So, finally, uh, they commit the horrible deed, and then when it's over, he starts to give her two dollars and twenty five cents or whatever it was they'd agreed on and she says ''Oh, don't bother,'' and everybody says, ''You know, how the-how like Lincoln. He goes there. He can't pay the three dollars and he ends up getting it for nothing. Now, how does he do that?'' Now you see how he held the Union together.''

~I wonder what miracles Bill Clinton could've worked during a Civil War if that's the kind of people skills you need. I would also add that I really like Vidal's phrase ''Do you know where there is any?''

Lastly, during a part of the documentary where Lincoln's severe strain as a wartime president is taking a great toll on him mentally and physically, they say Lincoln is basically being badgered by everyone constantly for his words on the war. Everyone wanted Lincoln to give them something. Lincoln had a milder form of the small pox infection also referred to as varioloid, then. Unfortunately, his ill condition did not receive any sympathetic cessation of badgering.

Harold Holzer, Author of 'The Lincoln Image', gives us a gem of anecdotal Lincoln humor from a sick and tired Honest Abe:

''On his way home from giving the greatest speech of his career, he was sidelined by uh, a case of ''varioloid'', as it was called. And, uh, he was thrilled because he-when he got back to Washington, uh, uh- told that there were office-seekers still lining up outside to pester him- he said ''Have them come in. Now I have something I can give everybody.'' ''

Now, they left me hanging on that note because they never said if he successfully delivered that present to everyone. . . I'd like to think he did.

If you've enjoyed this post, you might want to try our Humorous quote post on President Harry Truman: The Lesser-Known of Russian Drinking Games: Harry Truman's Point of View

Then, again, you may just want to watch youtube videos of chimps playing Van Halen. I don't know what you're into. It's none of my business, really. Thanks for stopping by, though.