From Bruce Anecdotes
• Oscar Wilde once worked for a women’s magazine, The Lady’s World. After reviewing the magazine, he convinced its publisher to change its name to The Woman’s World and he changed its content from only what women wear to more of what women think and feel. After a couple of years, he left the magazine. Shortly before leaving, he was asked how much time he spent working at the magazine. Mr. Wilde replied, “I used to go three times a week for an hour a day, but I have since struck off one of the days.”
• Sometimes set designers want scenes that are impossible to build. Carpenter Frank Kirby tells of a designer who wanted a piece suspended over the stage. His model had the piece suspended by a wire, but he said he didn’t want the piece suspended by a wire because the audience could see it. Mr. Kirby told him, “You do it. When you can get it to stay up on the model without any support, we’ll get it to stay up on the stage.”
• Suzanne Farrell and her male partner were having technical difficulties during a choreography session with George Balanchine. Correcting the technical difficulties took precious time, so Ms. Farrell telephoned Mr. Balanchine to apologize: “Oh, George, I’m so sorry that you have to work so hard to make us look good.” He replied, “Don’t worry, dear. I have to work hard to make everybody look good.”
• James McNeill Whistler, the famous painter, held several jobs early in his career, at which he was always late — in the opinion of his co-workers. Mr. Whistler’s opinion was different: “I was not too late; the office opened too early.”
• Comedian Jay Leno doesn’t drink, smoke, or use illegal drugs. When Mavis Nicholson, who became his wife, asked for a drink early in their relationship, she almost did not become his wife. He told her, “Look, let me give you the money, and you can buy a blouse or something. I don’t want to buy you a drink.” With the $35 he gave her, she bought a blouse. (Mavis says, “I can’t begin to tell you how absolutely peculiar I thought that was.”)
• Olivia Pound’s father was a Nebraska judge in the 19th century. One day, an alcoholic lawyer attempted to argue a case before him, even though the lawyer was obviously inebriated. The judge listened for a few minutes, then banged his gavel and ruled, “This case is postponed for two weeks. The lawyer is trying to practice before two bars at the same time. It can’t be done.”
• When Darci Kistler, a ballerina for the New York City Ballet, was growing up, her family had a pet alligator named Iggy. One day, Iggy got loose and made his way into the family swimming pool, where the family had a terrible time trying to catch him. Every time a family member tried to catch Iggy with a net, Iggy crushed the net in his jaws. Darci was relieved when Iggy was finally captured and returned to the pet store — she had noticed Iggy eying the family’s dog and cat in a suspiciously hungry manner. Other family pets included snakes — once a boa constrictor was loose in the Kistler family house for a week.
• On his TV show House Party, Art Linkletter interviewed a little girl whose fish had recently died. He asked whether the fish had gone to fish heaven, but the little girl replied, “No, I threw him down the toilet.”
• As a child, future Secretary of State Madeleine Albright traveled with her family as they moved to Denver, Colorado — a city that is known as the “Mile-High City” because it is one mile above sea level. Approaching the city, young Madeleine waited for the road to steeply climb one mile skyward, not realizing that the car had been gradually climbing higher for a long time.
• Comedian Jay Leno really, really likes cars and motorcycles. In fact, his huge garage looks like a warehouse because it is so filled with his vehicular possessions. Still, whenever his mother visited him and wanted to borrow a car, he would tell her, “Mother, I’ll rent you a car.”
Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved
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