I can't swim, so when the cigar goes out, I know I'm getting out of my depth." To illustrate, he lit the cigar, walked into the lake until the water reached the level of his mouth, then returned to the dry land, the cigar extinguished. "There, now," he said triumphantly, "if it hadn't been for the cigar, I would have drowned.
President and Mrs. Coolidge, visiting a government farm, were taken around on separate tours. At the chicken pens Mrs. Coolidge paused to inquire of the overseer whether the rooster copulated more than once a day. "Dozens of times," said the man. "Tell that to the president," requested Mrs. Coolidge. The president came past the pens and was told about the rooster. "Same hen every time?" he asked. "Oh, no, a different one each time." Coolidge nodded. "Tell that to Mrs. Coolidge," he said.
Sir J. M. Barrie was sitting next to George Bernard Shaw at a dinner party. The vegetarian Shaw had been provided with a special dish of salad greens and dressing. Eyeing the unpleasant-looking concoction, Barrie whispered to Shaw, "Tell me, have you eaten that, or are you going to?
A major problem in the development of Elias Howe's sewing machine was the location of the eye of the needle. The inventor was rapidly running out of money and ideas when one night he had a peculiar dream. He was being led to his execution for failing to design a sewing machine for the king of a strange country. He was surrounded by guards, all of whom carried spears that were pierced near the head. Realizing instantly that this was the solution to his problem, Howe woke up and rushed straight to his workshop. By nine o'clock that morning, the design of the first sewing machine was well on the way to completion.
Jim Moore, founder of a famous New York restaurant, had many friends in the theatrical world. As he grew older, several of them died and were sorely missed by Moore. One Friday afternoon he made a pilgrimage to the graves of those departed friends, remonstrating with them for their thoughtlessness in dying. When he got to George M. Cohan's grave, he took out a parcel of fish and thumped it against the headstone. "In case you don't know," he shouted, "today's Friday, and I just want you to see what you're missing.