The Funniest People in Books: 250 Anecdotes
by David Bruce
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Some sample anecdotes: 1) Simon and Schuster once published a children’s book titled Dr. Dan the Bandage Man. As a publicity gimmick, they decided to include a half-dozen band-aids in each book, so publisher Richard Simon sent this telegram to a friend at Johnson and Johnson: “PLEASE SHIP TWO MILLION BAND-AIDS IMMEDIATELY.” The following day Mr. Simon received this telegram in reply: “BAND-AIDS ON THEIR WAY. WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED TO YOU?” 2) As a young woman, ballerina Margot Fonteyn wished to educate herself and so she read many books, including James Joyce’s 'Ulysses,' which was banned in Britain when she read it. While she was reading the novel on a bus, Ninette De Valois asked what she was reading, then almost had a heart attack after seeing the title. She told young Margot, “For God’s sake, child, don’t read that in public—you could be arrested!” 3) When visiting Robert Graves, comedian Terry-Thomas felt that perhaps he had offended the famous poet with his sense of over-confidence, because instead of having an intellectual discussion about Greek mythology, all Mr. Graves talked to him about was compost, frequently stick-ing a fork into various maturing piles and making Terry-Thomas smell them.
- David Bruce, October 2011
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