“Have you noticed that even the busiest people are never too busy to tell you how busy they are?”
A few days ago my wife was working on her daily newspaper crossword puzzle and came across a series of clues for a “quip.” The answer (in various places on the crossword puzzle) ended up being “A man is never too busy to tell you how busy he is.”
I was fascinated by this quip. After all, I take hours explaining to my wife why I don’t have the time to do all of the chores around the house that she wants me to do. I am just so damn busy.
I wanted to find out to whom this ingenious quip should be attributed, so I did some Google research. It turns out that the quotation originated with someone named Bob Talbert.
Who the hell is Bob Talbert? I had never heard of him, and so I did another Google search. Born in South Carolina, Talbert was hired as a columnist by the Detroit Free Press when he was 32. His “folksy charm” caught on with Detroit readers and he became a very popular columnist, writing over 9,000 columns during his tenure with the Free Press.
Some of Talbert’s other notable quotations include:
Teaching kids to count is fine, but teaching kids what counts is best.
Good teachers are costly, but bad teachers cost more.
I hate television. I hate it as much as I hate peanuts. But I can’t stop eating peanuts.
Time neither subtracts nor divides, but adds at such a pace it seems like multiplication.
Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me.
Talbert, an inductee into the Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame, died in 1999. Until I looked him up that day, I had never heard of him, and I’m sorry I hadn’t. I think I would have enjoyed his columns.
Written for today’s One-Liner Wednesday prompt from Linda G. Hill.