CHARLOTTE, NC: Today has little, if anything, to do with ALS, but it’s Father’s Day so I’m taking a break and writing some choice cynical witticisms for all the dads out there.
These treasures of wisdom are known as “paraprosdokians” which are generally defined as sentences consisting of two parts. The first is a figure of speech and the second an intriguing variation of the first.
A more accurate definition is a ” is a figure of speech, which is little known by the general public, but well understood by satirists.”
The key feature is that the final words make the listener reinterpret the first part of the sentence (which) are used typically for humorous or dramatic effect.
Following are some of the best;
I asked God for a bike, but I know God doesn’t work that way. So I stole a bike and asked for forgiveness.
A bus station is where a bus stops. A train station is where a train stops. On my desk, I have a work station.
How is it one careless match can start a forest fire, but it takes a whole box to start a campfire?
Why do Americans choose from just two people to run for president and 50 for Miss America ?
Behind every successful man is his woman. Behind the fall of a successful man is usually another woman.
A diplomat is someone who can tell you to go to hell in such a way that you will look forward to the trip.
Money can’t buy happiness, but it sure makes misery easier to live with.
When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water.
Dolphins are so smart that within a few weeks of captivity, they can train people to stand on the very edge of the pool and throw them fish.
I didn’t say it was your fault; I said I was blaming you.
To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target.
A bus is a vehicle that runs twice as fast when you are after it as when you are in it.
Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.
Here are a few paraprosdokians that were coined by well-known people:
“It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried.” — Winston Churchill
“There’s a bunch of different crunches that affect the abs … my favorite is Nestle.” — Shmuel Breban
“Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana.” — Groucho Marx
Now, just for good measure, my personal Top Ten Paraprosdokians:
Frog parking only. All others will by toad.
I want to die peacefully in my sleep, like my grandfather. Not screaming and yelling like the passengers in his car.
Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be.
I had the cab driver drive me here backwards, and the dude owed me $27.50.
I went to a restaurant with my friend, and he said, “Pass the salt.” I said, “Screw you! Sit closer to the salt.”
If I agreed with you, we’d both be wrong.
Always borrow money from a pessimist. He won’t expect it back.
To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism. To steal from many is research.
Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
The early bird might get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.
And so as an ALS Happy Father’s Day salute, we conclude with an appropriate quote from Edgar Alan Poe’s The Raven, which is actually not a paraprosdokian not all, “Nevermore!”
About the Author: Bob Taylor is a veteran writer who has traveled throughout the world. Taylor is an award-winning television producer/reporter/anchor before focusing on writing about international events, people and cultures around the globe.
Taylor is the founder of The Magellan Travel Club (www.MagellanTravelClub.com)
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