Ed Koch (1924 – 2013) was an American lawyer, politician, political commentator, movie critic and reality television arbitrator. He served in the United States House of Representatives from 1969 to 1977 and three terms as mayor of New York City from 1978 to 1989. He served with the 104th infantry division in World War II.
After reporter Andrew Kirtzman insisted on pressing a point about an inconsistent statement Koch had made, Koch replied:
“I can explain this to you; I can’t comprehend it for you.”
When George Bernard Shaw was still a young critic he was invited as a guest to a family party. When he came into the room, the daughter of the host was playing the piano.
“I have heard,” she said very sweetly, turning round to the visitor, “that you are fond of music.”
“I am,” answered Shaw, “but never mind! Go on playing!”
Arthur Conan Doyle, the famous author of detective stories, once came to Paris. He hired a cab at the railway station to go to the hotel.
“What hotel would you like to go to, Mr Conan Doyle” asked the cabman.
The writer was greatly surprised. “How do you know my name?” he asked.
“Well, it’s simple,” the cabman said. “The other day I read in the newspapers that you would probably visit Paris. Then I noticed that your suit was made of good English tweed.
“Wonderful!” said Conan Doyle. “You are a born detective!”
“Thank you, Sir,” the cabman replied. “But another fact also helped me to identify you.”
“What is it?” asked the writer.
“Your name is written on your luggage.”
Australian Prime Minister Paul Keating to Opposition Leader John Howard:
“He's wound up like a thousand-day clock! One (more half) turn and there'll be springs and sprockets all over the building. Mr Speaker, give him a valium.”
Author Truman Capote was drinking one evening with friends in a crowded Key West bar when he was recognised by a woman who had a few too many drinks. She walked over to his table and drunkenly asked him to autograph a paper napkin. The woman's husband became angry at his wife's display of interest in another man. He also staggered over to Capote's table and assumed an intimidating position directly in front of Capote. He then unzipped his trousers and, in Capote's own words, "hauled out his equipment." As he did this, he bellowed in a drunken slur, "Since you're autographing things, why don't you autograph this?" It was a tense moment, and a hush fell over the room. In the silence, everyone heard Capote in his soft, high-pitched voice say "I don't know if I can autograph it, but perhaps I can initial it."
In 1881 former PM of Great Britain and now leader of the Opposition caught a chill which turned into severe bronchitis. He took to his bed, growing continually weaker. He was aware that he was dying. When he was told that Queen Victoria wanted to pay him a visit, he replied: “No it is better not. She would only ask me to take a message to Albert.”