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When Al Franken Was Mistaken For His Daughter's Husband
One day Al Franken and his daughter (then a senior at Harvard) were approached by a nosy politician who, having recognized Franken, asked where the "couple" had met. Franken's reply? "In the delivery room!"
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James Thurber - Funnier In French
James Thurber was once approached at a cocktail party by a female admirer who declared that his work was even funnier in French. "Yes," Thurber replied, "I always seem to lose something in the original."
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Mark Twain - Pinhead
Mark Twain was once impressed by the tale of an industrious young man who had been offered a job after he was observed collecting pins which had been dropped on a sidewalk outside a company's offices. Some time later, Twain, intent on working for a certain firm, was seen ostentatiously collecting pins (which he himself had earlier dropped) on the sidewalk facing its windows. Sure enough, having collected several pins, Twain was interrupted by a clerk from the firm. "The boss asked me to tell you to move along," the man explained. "Your idiotic behavior is distracting people working in the office." [Among Twain's patented inventions: an automatically self-adjusting vest strap and a self-pasting scrapbook.]
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Graceland, Memphis, TN
Why Elvis Presley Wore Mirrored Glasses
Elvis Presley was famed for his bingeing. As his weight ballooned at the end of his life, the King allegedly began to wear specially-designed mirror glasses—so he could lie down and eat while watching TV.
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Garrick Club, London
When Du Maurier Sent Charles Laughton A Gift
Gerald Du Maurier once sent fellow actor Charles Laughton a glowing letter, along with a gift—a first edition of a certain book. The book and letter were never acknowledged, or returned. While visiting the Garrick Club one evening some time later, Laughton was introduced by another man to Gerald Du Maurier. "Ah yes, Charles Laughton," Du Maurier drily remarked, "a gentleman who can read—but not write."
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Etihad Stadium, UK
Why Etihad Stadium Named Some Stands After Colin Bell
In November 2003, Manchester City confirmed that they would, after all, be naming one of the stands at their new stadium after legendary midfielder Colin Bell. The naming of the main stand sparked an embarrassing public row after a poll on Manchester City's official website was alleged to have been hijacked by rival fans. City back-room staff feared that rival fans had voted for Bell ahead of former manager Joe Mercer so that they could dub the stand "the Bell End" - British slang for the tip of the penis. "This is a tremendous honor that has been bestowed on me," Bell declared. "I can't thank City fans enough for their continued magnificent support."
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Bletchley Park, UK
Alan Turing was the Office Weirdo
Known at Bletchley Park as the Prof, legendary code-breaker Alan Turing was famed for his eccentricities. He kept his tea mug chained to a radiator, for example, and, on several occasions, was spotted riding a bicycle to work while wearing a gas mask to alleviate his hay fever.
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The Origin Of Tennis' Strange Scoring System
The origins of tennis can be traced to a 12th–13th-century handball game called jeu de paume (“game of the palm”), played in the monastic cloisters in northern France. One day about a century later, someone ingeniously suggested keeping score with a device that was already sitting right there in the room - a clock. The game was scored by moving the hands to 15, 30 and 45 minutes. Though the 45—for reasons unknown—later became a 40, this traditional scoring scheme has been used ever since.
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Connie Chung Without Makeup
During an interview one day, news anchor Connie Chung made a confession: She did not look good without eye makeup. "We're talking refugee," she said of her natural appearance. "You know that scene in Twilight Zone: The Movie where the guy turns to the other guy in the car and says, 'Do you want to see something really scary?' Well, every night I take off my makeup and open the bedroom door and say to my husband, [Maury Povich], 'Do you want to see something really scary?'"
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Did John Travolta Use Scientology To Heal Marlon Brando's Leg?
One night Marlon Brando arrived at a dinner party in Los Angeles with a bad cut on his leg. He explained that he had injured himself while helping a stranded motorist on the Pacific Coast Highway. Seeing that he was in considerable pain, fellow guest John Travolta announced that he had just reached a new level in Scientology and offered his assistance. As other party-goers watched with astonishment, Travolta instructed Brando to close his eyes and began to touch his leg. "I watched this process going on—it was very physical," James Brolin later recalled. "I was thinking, 'This is really f*cking bizarre!' Then, after ten minutes, Brando opens his eyes and says, 'That really helped. I actually feel different!'" Travolta, ...