Reference Desk: A Question and Some Funny Lines
I've got a question about a book title for folks, and then a request for folks to share their favorite odd or surreal sayings; I'll cover the book question above the fold, then share an odd line related to the author and a relate a short experience with another "gotcha!" line afterward.
You'll have full use of the comment section for replies to either or both. First, the book related question:
There's a 1958 book by Richard Matheson called "A Stir of Echoes" -- it was eventually made into a Kevin Bacon flick, but that's not important. I'm interested in determining whether the title was ever a quote from a larger work of literature. I've checked quote databases, but cannot locate it. Yet, I can't shake the feeling that it was taken from somewhere...anybody know for sure?
OK, so that was the book-related question. Now, for the fun stuff:
Apparently (and I got this third or fifth hand) Harlan Ellison once said, or was at least quoted as having said, the following about Richard Matheson;
"Matheson has the heart of a small child. On his desk."
That's the kind of quote a horror genre writer would ... well, would kill for, I s'pose. It's the type of thing to make ya go "Hmmmmm..." (and then hope that it's not serious). When my friend passed the quote along to me, it reminded me of another brief Missy the Woo Dog tale...a true story, of course:
Once, when I was out walking with Missy, a small toddler shouted with joy at the size of her -- kids tend to either love dogs, or fear them, but both reactions are usually accompanied by a profound need to stare at the dog. In the case of the former, the kids run toward the animal and can't wait to touch it, patting it and/or kissing it.
Missy was used to this sort of thing, and having grown up with a lot of kids she was also very good with them. Not far behind the incoming toddler, his young mother approached slowly.
Her eyebrows raised slightly as the size of Missy in comparison to her child, and -- just to be on the safe side -- the young mother asked me if Missy liked children. She had a hint of concern -- maybe fear -- in her eyes, but was expecting a soothing answer based her perception of my stance and the dog's reaction as the child approached.
I said "Yes, she loooooves children."
As the mother began to visibly relax, I then added "...particularly with mustard and ketchup."
The mother's eyes began to widen in fear for a split-second as the kid came to an abrupt halt at Missy's side, but she relaxed when her little one looked up at me, then back at her, and started laughing hysterically.
Apparently, the kid was quick on the uptake.
...I was lucky to have survived. If the mom had gotten me alone anytime immediately following the incident, I have absolutely no doubt that the daggers that flashed ever-so-briefly in her eyes would have manifested tenfold before me and reduced me to a human equivalent of sushi.
So, what kind of surreal or borderline psychotic lines have you heard or miraculously survived uttering?