Now that the New Zealand trip is complete, thoughts turn to Art Linkletter.
For those of you too young to know, too old to remember, or have no earthly idea who I am talking about, Art Linkletter hosted a very popular afternoon TV show in the USA called House Party, which ran from 1952-1969.
One of the most popular sections of the show was a segment called "Kids Say the Darndest Things" where Art Linkletter asked kids simple questions, and got, as children always deliver, candid answers.
Here's an example of Art Linkletter conversing with a young girl named Karen:
Art: "Who do you think would make a perfect husband, Karen?"
Karen: "A man that provides a lot of money, loves horses, and will let you have 22 kids, and doesn't put up a fight."
Art: "And what do you think you'll be when you grow up?"
Karen: "A nun."
Art Linkletter always responded to answers like this with what I call the "Owl Look" - big eyes and circle mouth:
Adults say the darndest things too. A few favorites come to mind:
1. The Lovely Older Lady
My friend Doug Darby told this story about a neighbor of his, an older lady who, over the years, didn't say much, but always seemed as sweet as Tweety Bird's mother. One day Doug was walking along the neighborhood sidewalk and saw the lady sitting on her porch. He smiled and waved at her. The following conversation ensued:
Doug: "Good morning."
Older Lady: "Don't smile at me, you idiot."
2. Tony Curtis in Medieval Times
The American actor Tony Curtis was from the Bronx, and had the accent to prove it. In the movie The Black Shield of Falworth Tony plays one Myles Falworth, a young squire hell bent on becoming a knight during medieval times. Urban legend has it that Tony recited a famous line in the film while gazing upon his parental home:
Tony: "Yon-dah lies the castle of my fod-dah."
3. No Cutting in Line
As some of you know, I teach technology courses, and am on the road quite a bit. A few years ago, before the invention of online bill pay, I returned home from a training jaunt to discover that my cable bill was due the next day. The following morning I motored, in the pouring rain, to the cable company customer service outlet located in a nearby mall, ready to settle this fiscal affair.
The place was jammed with people. As I walked toward the table in the main waiting area where I could take a number from a small red machine, I slipped on the wet marble floor, went down on my butt and slid to the front of the line. I made a complete stop next to a man who was next to be waited on. He looked down at me and said, disdainfully,:
And meant it.
Caricature of Art Linkletter: Sam Berman
Snapshots of Art Linkletter and Karen: YouTube