Robert Orben (born March 4, 1927) is an American professional comedy writer, although he also worked as a magician. He has written multiple books on comedy, mostly collections of gags and "one-liners" originally written for his newsletter, Orben's Current Comedy, and has also written books for magicians. Later, Orben moved into politics, and in 1973 he became head speechwriter to Vice President Gerald R. Ford.
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A certain businessman, renowned for his ruthlessness, once made a vow in Mark Twain's presence. "Before I die," he declared, "I mean to make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. I will climb Mount Sinai and read the Ten Commandments aloud at the top." "I have a better idea," Twain replied. "You could stay home in Boston and keep them.
To explain why we become attached to our birthplaces, we pretend that we are trees and speak of "roots." Look under your feet. You will not find gnarled growths sprouting through the soles. Roots, I sometimes think, are a conservative myth, designed to keep us in our places.