The Best of Andy Rooney

When they're on vacation, columnists look for easy columns to write: Here are a few random thoughts and observations:

We still say, "The phone is ringing," even though telephones don't "ring" anymore. There used to be a small bell in every phone. They make other noises now.

There's no excuse for having electrical outlets behind the couch, where you can't reach them.

Why can't they invent a pill that would stunt the growth of toenails?

Canada's national anthem is harder to sing than "The Star Spangled Banner."

Considering how often we hear of farmers' crops being destroyed by something, it's a wonder there are any farmers left. I think there should be more stories about how much money some farmers make in a good year.

I've never received anything important that came in an envelope marked "URGENT."

It's hard to stay in touch with all the good old friends you've made.

It is offensive to have price tags glued to pieces of fruit.

I don't know the difference between flotsam and jetsam, if there is any.

It wouldn't do any harm and might do a lot of good if a law were passed forbidding any company from putting out a "new" or "improved" model of anything for one year. This would give us all time to pay for the last new model we bought. It would give the companies time to get it right.

People who cut down big hardwood trees and have them sawn into fireplace-size lengths to burn haven't had to pay for a board at a lumber store recently.

I never believe anyone playing the part of the president in a movie.

We're using more paper with the printers connected to computers than we ever used when we had carbon paper and Xerox machines. I still have a box of "seven-books." "Seven-books" was the name we used for one original and six carbons when I wrote a radio show for Garry Moore and Durward Kirby.

It's often surprising to find how long ago you saw a movie. "Kramer vs. Kramer," with Dustin Hoffman, came out in 1979, 31 years ago. Kids in college weren't born yet. I was thinking it was three years ago.

The latest Volkswagen bug looks a lot like the original but it has the engine in front. That seems like cheating.

I like a watch with a second hand because I'm always timing stuff, like how long it takes me to climb a flight of 17 stairs, or whether I can hold my breath for one mile when I'm driving.

We're about at the end of the grapefruit season. Now I wish the melons would get ripe. For the price they charge, you ought to be able to take a bad melon back.

I wish we could divert some of our rain to Florida.

Foreign affairs are not as interesting to read about when you're on vacation.

There are about five times a week when everyone has a question they'd like to ask a doctor but it doesn't seem serious enough to go to the trouble and expense of making an appointment.

When I watch a summer rerun of a television show, it's almost always one I've never seen before.

This classic Andy Rooney column was originally published July 15, 1998.

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