Some one-liners contain the most pithy prose

By Bob Huber

One of my scholarly pursuits is the care and feeding of one-liners. I get most of them from my wife Marilyn who seems to have an endless supply and loves to toss them out to brighten my day, as follows:
• “You may think you’re still young, but you need your false teeth and hearing aids to ask me where you left your glasses and you need your glasses to find your teeth and hearing aids.”
• “I hesitate to say it, but the gleam in your eyes is the reflection off your bifocals.”
• “There you go again, making promises your body can’t keep.”
• “I see your favorite section of the paper has changed from ‘Sports’ to ‘50 Years Ago.’”
• “What’s the matter, can’t get your rocker going?”
• “Lately I notice your knees buckle, but your belt won’t.”
• “I see you burned the midnight oil at 8 o’clock again.”
• “You’re following Bob’s Gardening Rules again, which says, ‘The best way to remove a weed is to pull it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it’s a valuable plant.’”
But Marilyn isn’t the only one. An old friend — he’s both — in Santa Fe often writes me with little epigrams like this:
• The easiest way to find something that’s lost is to buy a new one.
• Don’t take life seriously. Nobody gets out alive.
• Life is sexually transmitted.
• Good health is the slowest way to die.
• The only difference between a rut and a grave is the depth.
• Slinkies are like some folks — they aren’t really good for anything, but you can’t keep a straight face when one tumbles down stairs.
• Have you noticed since the Internet sprouted, no one talks about UFOs anymore?
• Whenever I feel blue, I start breathing again.
• You’re wasting your breath. The weather never pays attention to criticism.
• In the ’60s, folks took acid to make the world weird. Now that the world is weird, folks take Prozac to make it normal.
• Politics is the second oldest profession, but it’s often confused with the first.
• Why does one match start a forest fire, but it takes a blowtorch to start a barbecue?
• I love cooking with wine. Sometimes I put it in the food.
• Everyone has a photographic memory. Some just don’t have any film.
• My wife thinks some days are a total waste of makeup.
• Do you believe in love at first sight, or should I walk by you again?
• If the shoe fits, buy two pair.
• For every action there is an equal and opposite government program.
Then come those profound axioms from folks right here in eastern New Mexico:
• Long ago men cursed and beat the ground with sticks. Today it’s called golf.
• You reach a point where you don’t lie about your age. You brag about it.
• The older you get, the fewer things seem worth waiting in line for.
• You know you’re old when everything either dries up or leaks.
• You’ll never know how you got over the hill without getting to the top.
And finally I was sent a couple of nursery rhymes all the way from California. Right off I want to state they have nothing to do with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Republicans in general:
• Simple Simon met a pieman going to the fair. Said Simple Simon to the pieman, “What have you there?” Said the pieman unto Simon, “Pies, you twit. You blind?”
• Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall. Humpty Dumpty had a great fall. All the king’s horses and all the king’s men had scrambled eggs for breakfast.
And finally a salute to Bob Hope with a trio of his quotes:
• “At my age, flowers scare me.”
• “I don’t feel anything until noon. Then it’s time for my nap.”
• “I’m happy to be here. At my age, I’m happy to be anywhere.”

Bob Huber is a retired journalist living in Portales.