The Most Interesting People Who Live Life, Volume 2: 250 Anecdotes
by David Bruce
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Some samples: 1) When Zen master Hakuin was a young Zen student, he learned that hidden virtue is rewarded. He was traveling with two older monks; all three travelers were carrying baggage. While he walked, Hakuin meditated. One of the older Zen monks pleaded that he was ill and asked Hakuin to carry his baggage for him. Hakuin agreed. The other monk then decided to take advantage of Hakuin by claiming that he also was ill and asking Hakuin to carry his baggage, too. Heavily loaded, Hakuin meditated while carrying all the baggage until the three monks reached the boat on which they would travel. Exhausted, Hakuin slept for a long time. When he awoke, he was surprised that the boat had traveled through a storm. While the other monks had been terrified by the storm, become seasick, and vomited, Hakuin had slept peacefully. 2) At one time, Elizabeth Taylor was married to John W. Warner, a Senator from Virginia. After a trip to a Virginia oil field, Senator Warner was thirsty, so he stopped at a tiny country store to ask for a glass of water. However, the proprietress denied his request, saying, “We’re running a business here. We’ve got Coke, Sprite, and 7-Up. Take your pick.” Aghast, Senator Warner said, “You don’t understand. I’m Senator John Warner and I want a glass of water.” This did not impress the proprietress. Then one of the Senator’s aides said to her, “You don’t know this man. He’s married to Elizabeth Taylor.” This did impress her. She replied, “Well, then, he can have all the water he wants.”) 3) In 1977, many of Lily Tomlin’s young fans waited in the winter cold so that they could buy front-row tickets to her one-woman Broadway show "Appearing Nightly." She surprised them by appearing in character as Mrs. Beasley, who wore a 1940s Red Cross volunteer uniform and gave them coffee and doughnuts.
- David Bruce, November 2011
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