Marginalia, no.195

I swore that I would set up for Wisdom and utter grave sentences the rest of my days – and never – never attempt again to commit mirth with man, woman, or child.

~ Laurence Sterne, Tristram Shandy

A friend once confessed that he’d been class clown in grade school, a period of his life during which he answered only to ‘Bub.’ This was a surprise on both counts. Known to crack occasional jokes as an adult, most of them had a bitter kernel. His mother, he explained, once took him for a walk to discuss his antics at school. “You can’t laugh your way through life, Bub,” she said. I hate it when people lie to children.

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