Quotes, Part 1: 1987 – 2005 (or Uncle Lyle’s Big Book of Big Quotes)

“It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man’s fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call – the twilight zone.”

– Rod Serling

“I’d like some bacon, some whiskey and some drugs.”

– LBF, Syracuse University, outside my room after studying for too long, 4/17/88

“I need a woman ’bout twice my height. A statuesque, raven-dressed, goddess of the night.”

– The Grateful Dead, Miracle

“Politics is placation of the masses!”

– Syracuse University, a political conversation between Luke and Lyle, 12/14/87

“Don’t ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody.”

– The last two sentences of J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye

“There will be no more retreating, withdrawal, readjustment of lines or whatever you call it. There are no lines behind which we can retreat. This is not going to be a Dunkirk or Bataan. A retreat to Pusan would result in one of the greatest butcheries in history. We must fight to the end. We must fight as a team. If some of us die, we will die fighting together.”

– Lt. General Walton H. Walker, 24th Infantry Division, the battle for Pusan, Korea, summer of 1950

“What are you drawing?”

– Deb

“A liger.”

– Napoleon Dynamite

“What’s a liger?”

“Pretty much my favorite animal. It’s like a lion and a tiger mixed. Bred for its skills and magic.”

– Napoleon Dynamite

“Tear the bitch apart!”

– O Ren Ishii

“Do you have anymore subordinates I can kill?”

– The Bride

Kill Bill, Volume 1

“Life is fiction. Only perceptions are real.”

– Me, 4/5/91

“We make half-gallon bottles. I suppose we make gallon bottles.”

– A secretary at the Jack Daniels distillery in Lynchburg, Tennessee, on the phone to Luke in our dorm room at Syracuse University, after we called early one morning (after a very late night!) to see if we could talk to Lem Motlow, proprietor at the distillery according to each bottle. “I’m sorry sir, but he’s deceased,” the secretary told me. So I gave the phone to Luke and he asked her if they made gallon bottles. c. 1985

“Look, if you fall back and kill yourself, then I gotta fill out the paperwork and turn in a report, and I gotta stuff your body in a bag, so just get off, okay?”

– A New York City Policeman to a Grateful Dead fan sitting on a ledge above the staircase leading down into the subway outside Madison Square Garden, 9/17/87

“Hey Luke, Professor Bennett specifically mentioned the Pepsi lobby as one of the lobbies Senator McCarthy sold out to during the election of 1950.” Me

“Yeah, he wasn’t all that bad.” Luke, a big Pepsi drinker, 5/11/88

“Lisa, what are you rebelling against?”

– Principal Seymour Skinner

“Whaddya got?”

– Lisa Simpson

“Only those who believe in death will die.”

– An anonymous poet at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, 4/26/96

“Actually, I have a girlfriend.”

– A hottie at the St. Marks Bookstore who I asked out. I obviously didn’t know she was a lesbian. Great. 4/4/02

“I caught you a delicious bass.”

– Napoleon Dynamite

“I’d like to get some sleep before I travel. But if you got a warrant, I guess you’re gonna come in.”

– The Grateful Dead, Truckin’

“It was a strong effort of the spirit of the good, but it was ineffectual. Destiny was too potent, and her immutable laws had decreed my utter and terrible destruction.”

– Mary Shelley, Frankenstein

“Oh baloney. Any time you don’t have to clean house, cook and do laundry it’s a vacation!”

– A softball Mom from Nebraska at a motel in Kansas, 7/2/89

“We’re victims, that like to pretend we’re perpetrators.”

– Stephen Dobyns, one of my creative writing teachers, Syracuse University, 2/88

“Today in 1933 President Franklin Roosevelt enacted legislation to increase the content of alcohol in beer and wine to 3.2 percent. Yeahh, New Deal!”

– Me, Syracuse University, 3/22/88

“And what did you see, Clarice? What did you see?”

– Dr. Hannibal Lechter

“Lambs. They were screaming.”

– FBI Agent Clarice Starling, The Silence of the Lambs

“We need to interpret interpretations, not to interpret things.”

– Montaigne (whoever that is!)

“Death, that inexorable judge, had passed sentence on him, and refused to grant him a reprieve.”

– Henry Fielding, Tom Jones published in 1749

“Remember that, future, if you’re not burnt and crumpled.”

– Me, 2/18/88

“Take charge of your life and do dangerous things.”

–  George Lucas, Wired Magazine interview, 5/05

“Fast Eddie, let’s play some pool.”

– Minnesota Fats (Jackie Gleason)

“You look beautiful, Fats, just like a baby. All pink and powdered up.”

– Fast Eddie Felson (Paul Newman), from The Hustler

“Words create lies. Pain can be trusted.”

– Asami, The Audition

“It’s quiet.”

– Charlie

“Yeah, like a church. The church of the good hustler.”

– Fast Eddie Felson, upon entering Ames Billiards, The Hustler

“When they kick at your front door, how you gonna come? With your hands on your head, or on the trigger of your gun?”

– The Clash, The Guns of Brixton

“You don’t have a dollar in your sock or nothing?”

– A mugger to Luke, while they kidnapped him and drove him around Syracuse, 4/24/88

“I got mugged and they took my key, let me in.”

– Luke, banging on my window while standing on the fire escape at 7:30 a.m. Sunday morning, 4/24/88

“Goodnight, Mr. Chunky.”

– Some dudes at Acropolis Pizza, Syracuse University, saying goodnight to one of their passed out friends who sat with them in a booth, with big chunks of barf covering his shirt.


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