Channeling Groucho Marx.

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If only Groucho Marx were still stalking through the foofaraw of our society today! He might have said some of the following:

  • “Deleted to meet you!”
  • “Silicon Valley? Isn’t that where they do the breast implants?”
  • “Just say the secret keyword . . . “
  • “Why don’t you find yourself a German co-pilot and go mountain climbing?”
  • “My iPhone does everything but have sex – and I hear Apple is working on that . . . “
  • “When it comes to responsibility, I’ve founded my own dynasty – the duck dynasty.”
  • “Road rage is nothing new – only, they used to call it highway robbery.”
  • “I hear China is so polluted that they throw the criminals outside and keep themselves locked up”.
  • “Do I want to see him? Only if it’s through the Hubble Telescope.”
  • “Why tell jokes when telling the truth gets bigger laughs?”
  • “The only conspiracy theory I know about is the one that’s keeping me away from Scarlett Johansson.” (Wiggles eyebrows)
  • “Why should a judge decide who can get married and who can’t? They oughta stick to taking bribes like every other honest politician.”
  • “One day I shot an elephant in my pajamas – the next thing I knew PETA was after me.”
  • “Global warming is a nice theory – but I wouldn’t want to live there.”
  • “I can’t think of when I’ve had a better time – but that’s because I’m getting Alzheimer’s.”
  • “The only difference between a doctor and a mortician is who gets stuck with their bill.” 

Anecdotes from the Life of Groucho Marx.

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Julius Henry Marx, aka ‘Groucho’ Marx, was born October 2, 1890, in New York City, New York.  He and his brothers Adolf (Harpo) and Leonard (Chico) made up one of the zaniest comedy groups in American history – The Marx Brothers.  On stage and in the movies, they kept audiences in an uproar with their outrageous puns, satires, musical donnybrooks, and all-around bad-boy behavior with those who were obviously their betters.  Groucho was the nominal leader of this band of merry Andrews, and as such usually had the best lines in their plays and movies.  He was also a noted raconteur in his private life, using his irrepressible wit to skewer stuffed shirts and deflate the pompous vaporing of so-called experts in any and every field.  Here are five gems on finances that came from him, and that we can all learn from:

  • “A hospital bed is a parked taxi with the meter running.’

Groucho was one of the first Hollywood stars to insist on using a stand-in for any stunts he considered to be even slightly dangerous.  He advised his children to work at boring jobs rather than risky ones; the money’s the same, he insisted, and you don’t have to spend time and money taking care of injuries.

  • “The only primrose path I know of is Wall Street!”

Groucho learned his lesson after the 1929 Wall Street Crash.  He invested in a wide variety of financial instruments, from real estate to bonds to precious metals, and was able to help his other brothers when their incomes dwindled at the end of their film career because they had insisted on investing in nothing but stocks.

  • “Alimony is like buying hay for a dead horse.”

Well, okay, this is more bitter hindsight than sound financial advice, since Groucho had 3 wives during his lifetime.  But he managed to stay friends with all three of his ex-wives and they eventually agreed to drop their alimony demands on him – thus proving once again that you can catch more flies with honey than vinegar!

  • “I find television very educational.  Every time someone turns on a set I go into another room and read a book.”

Groucho was an avid reader and book collector.  Towards the end of his life he estimated he had spent a total of four-hundred dollars on television sets, which were now worth nothing, and had spent well over twenty-thousand dollars on books, which were now worth nearly a million dollars.  He obviously knew the wisdom of spending money on things that not only give pleasure, but increase in value.

  • “The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing.  If you can fake those you’ve got it made.”

Groucho’s friends knew him to be a hard bargainer, but an honest one.  When he made a deal, he stuck by it no matter what.  This came in handy in the mid 1930’s, when the Marx Brothers’ movie career was considered to be over.  The team was let go by Paramount Studios and Groucho decided to take them into radio for a trial run.  When MGM Studios requested them for a movie, Groucho told them that they had already signed a contract for radio and would not back out of it.  Louis B. Mayer, the head of MGM, was so impressed with Groucho’s honesty and integrity that he personally bought out the team’s contract with the radio network, and the team began work on what many consider to be one of the greatest movie comedies every made, “A Night at the Opera”.

Are You Mustache Material?

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The first moustache in recorded history belonged to Cain, who wanted something to twirl diabolically when he rubbed out his brother Abel.  It worked so well that most villains since antediluvian times have had something hirsute under their nefarious noses.

But you are NOT a villain, except perhaps to those in the same elevator when you’ve had a bean burrito for lunch.  So, is a mustache the right thing for you?  We have come up with 11 indications that a moustache would be totally copacetic:

  1. You lost your nose in a freak accident. Perhaps a polar bear bit it off during your last jaunt around Churchill Bay in Canada, or an overzealous plastic surgeon took one snip too many.  In such a case you should definitely go down to the dollar store and buy yourself a pair of joke glasses with the big nose and mustache attached.  Otherwise, how are people going to take you seriously?
  2. During an unfortunate lapse in judgment, you had an obscenity tattooed on your upper lip. It seemed like a hilarious thing to do at the time, but the next morning, once the hangover  cleared, you were horrified to see the filthy word staring back at you in the mirror.  Start dabbing your lip with Miracle Grow and hope the hair sprouts before you have to go in to work or on a date.
  3. You are British. We don’t take kindly to Brits in these here parts, lessen they got themselves a hunk a hair under their honkers.  Iffen you all show up with a clean lip and speakin’ like some Oxford dude, you kin expect a neck tie party.  Savvy?  If it was good enough fer Margaret Thatcher, it ought to be good enough fer you!
  4. Bad breath. Surprisingly, studies show that a long bushy mustache, one that covers the mouth, if washed and conditioned regularly, acts as a sort of filter, keeping odors and unpleasant gases from circulating beyond your lips.  A really long mustache can also double as a beard.
  5. You are turning into a walrus. It could happen.  Check your mirror each morning to see if you are beginning to develop blubbery jowls and growing tusks.  Stanger things have happened!  (Unfortunately, since we are not a political blog, we are not allowed to mention those stranger things specifically!)
  6.  You are not married.  Married men are not allowed to grow mustaches.  Or if they do, they are not allowed to enjoy them.  Show us a mustachioed married man who is smiling and we’ll show you a man who has just put his wife on a plane to the World Nitroglycerin Tossing Championship.
  7.   You are Groucho Marx.
  8. Or Tom Selleck.
  9. You enjoy the sensation of caterpillars crawling on your upper lip.
  10. You wish to keep pet chiggers.
  11. If you ride an old unreliable bike you should grow a handlebar mustache; that way if your bike’s steering system goes on the fritz you can use your stache for navigation.