Rules Of Order

Here’s an extended meditation on that modern Sisyphus, Wile E. Coyote, and on the genius of his creator, Chuck Jones.


  1. Paraprosdokian” is a word I had never before encountered. But since it describes the essence of what makes a joke funny, I wonder if comedians (especially standup comics) are, in general, familiar with the word.

    Posted January 28, 2016 at 1:09 am | Permalink
  2. Whitewall says

    Henry, I saw this in some emails from my half wit brother in Florida:

    Paraprosdokians (Winston Churchill loved them) are figures of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected; frequently humorous.

    1. Where there’s a will, I want to be in it.

    2. The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it’s still on my list.

    3. Since light travels faster than sound, some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

    4. If I agreed with you, we’d both be wrong.

    5. We never really grow up, we only learn how to act in public.

    6. War does not determine who is right – only who is left.

    7. Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit.. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.

    8. To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism. To steal from many is research.

    9. I didn’t say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.

    10. In filling out an application, where it says, ‘In case of emergency, Notify:’ I put ‘DOCTOR’.

    11. Women will never be equal to men until they can walk down the street with a bald head and a beer gut, and still think they are sexy. (ever been to WALMART?)

    12. You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.

    13. I used to be indecisive. Now I’m not so sure..

    14. To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target.

    15. Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.

    16. You’re never too old to learn something stupid.

    17. I’m supposed to respect my elders, but its getting harder and harder for me to find one now.

    Posted January 28, 2016 at 7:36 am | Permalink
  3. Whitewall says

    I will never look at Mr. W.E. Coyote the same way again.

    Posted January 28, 2016 at 8:35 am | Permalink
  4. Robert,

    Number 5 is an interesting one, in the Chinese sense. The latter part of the sentence (the punch line) is becoming not so surprising but rather less true.

    Posted January 28, 2016 at 12:32 pm | Permalink