Censuring Joseph Stalin at a public meeting, Soviet premier Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev was interrupted by a voice from the audience. "You were one of Stalin's colleagues," shouted the heckler. "Why didn't you stop him?"
"Who said that?" roared Khrushchev. There was an agonizing silence in the room. Nobody dared moved a muscle. Then, in a quiet voice, Khrushchev said, "Now you know why.
As a punishment for refusing to serve in the army, poet Robert Lowell was imprisoned for five months by the U.S. courts. While waiting to be transferred to Connecticut to serve the sentence, Lowell spent a few days in New York's West Street Jail. During his stay there he was put in a cell next to Louie Lepke, a convicted member of Murder Incorporated. "I'm in for killing," Lepke told the poet. "What are you in for?" Lowell answered, "Oh, I'm in for refusing to kill.
By nature, French artist Edgar Degas was conservative. His friend the etcher Jean-Louis Forain believed in progress. Forain had recently installed that newfangled invention, the telephone. Arranging to have a friend phone him during the meal, he invited Degas to dinner. The phone rang; Forain rushed to answer it, then returned, beaming with pride. Degas merely said, "So that's the telephone. It rings and you run.
A patient complaining of melancholy consulted Dr. John Abernethy. After an examination the doctor pronounced, "You need amusement. Go and hear the comedian Grimaldi; he will make you laugh, and that will be better for you than any drugs." Said the patient, "I am Grimaldi.