Thursday, January 18, 2007

Quotes

One of my favorite Chicago writers, Finley Peter Dunne, once wrote that "Alcohol is necessary for a man so that now and then he can have a good opinion of himself, undisturbed by the facts."

My Dad was an avid reader of Mr. Dunne’s work, and he often quoted him when attempting to make a point. Dunne died 10 years before I was born. I had never read anything written by him until I was in my senior year of High School.

That little light bulb in my skull lit up when I saw his name; “I know this guy, he’s the guy that my Dad has been quoting for years.” In actuality, Dad had been misquoting Dunne for years. My Dad had a tendency to change a quote to tailor it for his need to make his point to his children. His speech was peppered with colloquialisms and verbiage. On the other hand, my Mom tended to be concise and more to the point; she never mince her words.

Both of my parents were very well read. My Dad graduated from college in 1936; back when a college education really meant something. My mom was a High School drop-out, who left school to support herself after running away from her sadistic father. They both forced me to read books and to acquire knowledge. It was something that I wasn’t too fond of doing at that time. I do thank them now that they are gone.

Back to the Dunne quote; it’s not a quote that my Dad would have repeated to me, as he was a teetotaler. He had criticized my drinking habits for years, as well as my caffeine and nicotine addictions. I usually retorted back to him with a quote attributed to Frank Sinatra, one of my parent’s favorite singers; “I feel sorry for people who don’t drink. When they wake up in the morning, that’s as good as they’re going to feel all day.”

I do feel good today. I had my first Bloody Mary at noon and chased it down with a beer followed by several other bloody marys and beers.

Today, I have a good opinion of myself, undisturbed by the facts. Thank you Mr. Dunne and Mr. Sinatra for the enlightenment!

And thank you Mom and Dad for allowing me to write semi-comprehensible while enjoying a few cocktails in the afternoon.

The Beach Bum

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