ERROL CASTENS: Your scribe yields his space to that most famous author, A. Nonymous

I like to think that occasionally I have some wisdom to share with you.

Then again, I also like to think that I'm young and thin and rich.

Given the debatability of all such points, I hereby yield most of this space (reserving only space for a comment or two) to a man far wiser than I – that inimitable author, A. Nonymous:

– A lie: “An abomination to the Lord, but a very present help in time of trouble.”

– “Be happy while y'er leevin, for y'er a lang time deid.” (There are alternatives to this view, of course.)

– “God be in my head, and in my understanding; / God be in my eyes, and in my looking; / “God be in my mouth, and in my speaking; / “God be in my heart, and in my thinking; / “God be at my end, and at my departing.”

– “Please do not shoot the pianist. He is doing his best.” (Supposedly a sign in a saloon in Leadville, Colo.; wish I'd thought to post such a notice when I've occasionally been pressed into accompanying hymns.)

– “There is so much good in the worst of us, / And so much bad in the best of us, / That it hardly becomes any of us / To talk about the rest of us.”

– “Well, what sort of sport has Lord ____ had?'”

“Oh, the young Sahib shot divinely, but God was very merciful to the birds.'”

– On the antiquity of microbes – believed to be the shortest poem in English: “Adam / had em.”

– “The world would be a safer place if all drivers over 70 sat and watched the first part of Driving Miss Daisy' with their middle-aged kids, then turned it off and talked.”

– “Love is blind; friendship closes its eyes.”

– “Noah would have thrown Mr. Rogers overboard.”

– Death: “Nature's way of telling you to slow down.”

– “Arbeit macht frei” (“Work liberates” – the inscription over the gates of Nazi death camps Dachau and Auschwitz).

– “There is one thing stronger than all the armies in the world; and that is an idea whose time has come.”

– “The world is full of fools, and he who would not see it should live alone and smash his mirror.”

– Rules for the military, popularized in the 1940s: “If it moves, salute it; if it doesn't move, pick it up; if you can't pick it up, paint it.”

– “Whilst Adam slept, Eve from his side arose: / Strange his first sleep should be his last repose.”

– “That we spent, we had: / That we gave, we have: / That we left, we lost.”

– “Nothing in excess.”

– “Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in GodÉ”

– “May the god of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”

– “How unbearable must the burden be of the man who cannot say, I'm sorry; I was wrong.'”

– “If time heals all wounds, how come the belly button stays the same?”

Errol Castens is the Daily Journal religion editor. Contact him at 678-1586 or

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