Saturday, May 25, 2013

Interesting Anecdotes

Admiral Horatio Nelson
Recently I was browsing the aisles at my favorite used bookstore; I had a few books in hand and was ready to purchase my finds -- which I now can't recall what they were this specific day -- when I looked over the counter at a large stack of reference books.  Dictionaries, thesauruses, books of quotes, Chicago Manual of Style, etc.  And somewhere in that stack I spied The Little, Brown Book Of Anecdotes.  I grabbed it and added it to the pile.  I'm glad I did.  The book is anything but "little" -- it is chock full of great anecdotes -- paragraphs upon paragraphs of anecdotes.  My recent favorite is this one, about Admiral Nelson:

"When he tried to obtain compensation for his lost eye, Nelson was told that no money could be paid without a surgeon's certificate.  Annoyed by this petty bureaucracy, since his wounds were well known, Nelson nevertheless obtained the necessary documentation.  As a precaution, he asked the surgeon to make out second certificate attesting to the obvious loss of his arm.  He presented the eye certificate to the clerk, who paid out the appropriate sum, commenting on the smallness of the amount. "Oh, this is only for an eye," said Nelson. "In a few days I'll come back for an arm, and probably, in a little longer, for a leg."  Later that week he returned to the office and solemnly handed over the second certificate."

It's a great book.  You can find a copy HERE. 

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