Monday, September 05, 2016

All I Really Need To Know I Learned From The Three Stooges

You may recall a wonderful book, written by Robert Fulghum, entitled All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten. If you haven’t read it yet, I highly recommend doing so. In it, Fulghum explains that the lessons taught during his first year in school were, as it turned out, all he needed in order to live his life as a decent human being. Those enduring lessons included such stuff as “Share everything”, “Play fair”, “Clean up your own mess” and “Don’t take things that aren’t yours”.
Those are useful things to remember. On the other hand, I’ve received some of the most valuable lessons of my life from an entirely different source – The Three Stooges.

[There were actually six of them]

I first started watching their very educational films at around the same time as I entered kindergarten and I discovered that Moe, Larry and Curly (and sometimes even Shemp) had many inestimably precious truths to share. For instance…

·      *   What goes around, comes around – and it usually comes around in the form of that same guy you did something nasty to in the first reel, who said, “If I ever see you three guys again, I’ll tear you limb from limb!”

·       *  No matter how bald you may think you are, you always have enough hair left for someone to rip out.

·       *  You can be doing nothing more provocative than just standing around minding your own business and you still might get hit in the kisser with a pie.

·      *   Even if you make a really good pun, somebody is likely to poke you in the eyes.

·       * You might have a recipe, but success isn’t guaranteed unless you truly understand the instructions. For example, if it says “Separate two eggs”, it doesn’t mean you should place them five feet apart from one another.

·       * If you have triple bunk beds, it’s never a good idea to put the guy who weighs the most in the top bunk.

·      *  When you’ve checked into a hospital, if you hear “Calling Dr. Howard, Dr. Fine, Dr. Howard” come over the loudspeaker, it means the likelihood of your being cured is somewhat limited.

·      *  Rome wasn’t built in a day. Neither was Syracuse.

·      *  If you reach for something without really looking at it, chances are it will be alum you put in those drinks instead of powdered sugar. As a corollary, not every woman who puckers her lips is looking for a kiss.

·     * Spinning in a circle and saying “Woob! Woob! Woob!” is a reasonable response to almost any given situation.

·      * Snoring is mighty aggravating to most people if you’re the only one doing it. If, however, you and two other guys snore in unison, it’s hilarious! Also, you can prove you don’t snore by staying up all night and listening to yourself.

·      * If there’s a fat bald guy in the room, you probably shouldn’t play that recording of Pop Goes the Weasel unless you like being punched.

·       * Discretion is sometimes the better part of valor. If you run away, the worst that’s likely to happen is you’ll be shot in the bum. Then your theme music will play.

·      * If you don’t like someone’s answer, slapping them might fix things. On the other hand, you could end up getting a crowbar over the head. It’s a toss-up.

·      * If somebody shows you their fist and says, “See this?”, under no circumstances is it advisable to slap downward at it.

·      * Doing your laundry on a golf course isn’t a good idea. Also, when someone yells “Fore!”, if you yell back “Five!”, it isn’t likely to accomplish anything useful.

·      *  B-A-Bay, B-E-Bee, B-I-Bicky-Bi, B-O-Bo, Bicky-Bi-Bo-B-U-Boo, Bicky-Bi-Bo-Boo.

·      * Even if you can run downstairs fast enough to catch a cake that fell out a window, chances are you’re going to wind up face first in the thing anyway.

·      * Never sit in a dentist’s chair if you’re not the patient. And, if you ARE the patient, and your buddy just had his tooth yanked by mistake, it’s never a good idea to be standing there holding a pair of pliers when he comes to.

·       * If you say “Niagara Falls!” to someone, you deserve whatever happens next.

·      * Whenever there’s anything sharp and pointy around, odds are someone will sit on it. The possibility increases exponentially if it’s your boss.

And, of course, the most important lesson of all…

·      * No matter how well you plan something, there is always the distinct possibility that you’ll end up being a victim of soicumstance.

     Soon, with moe better stuff.


joeh said...

Thanks, now I have that B-A-Bay thing ear worming through me all day.

You didn't ask, but I vote Curly.

Urbie said...

A friend of mine, whose Dad worked in Vaudeville, said that Shemp was much more talented than he gets credit for, and was a phenomenal comedian live, who didn't translate that well on film, most of the time. Actually, one of his career highlights never saw the screen -- an appearance in a WC Fields movie in which he upstaged Fields so badly that Fields had the scene cut from the film!

Suldog said...

Joe, Urbie - I find my favorite going back and forth mostly between Larry and Shemp. I love them all, but Larry is just such an amazing reaction comic. After you've seen each short a number of times, you start noticing background things. Larry is more in the background than any of them and once you start focusing on him you realize how much stuff he was doing in the background in every scene. Shemp's reactions are also priceless, although they occurred more often in the foreground. While Curly's stuff is priceless and one-of-a-kind, Shemp's reactiona to, say, getting a hammer on the skull, are just stupendously goofy and hilarious.

OldAFSarge said...

They were all geniuses. Though I did prefer Curly over Shemp, I think that's because I kind of identify with Curly. Woob-woob-woob!

Jono said...

I remember just about all of these references. Also, make sure that when you dance you don't have a sofa spring stuck to your backside. Don't ever hire a painter named Omay.

messymimi said...

They were geniuses, and i say that even though i'm not a huge fan of slapstick.

(not necessarily your) Uncle Skip, said...

I was well beyond kindergarten when I first viewed the Stooges.
There is some doubt that I learned anything in kindergarten.
The Stooges weren't much help, either, other than to keep me occupied while the sketch was playing.

Anonymous said...

Well, I never went to kindergarten, so the Stooges are better, by default.
I think it worked out fine.
--Tennessee Budd

Craig said...

Lately, I've been wondering what life was like in the Howard family when Moe, Curly and Shemp were growing up together. . .

Daryl said...

i may be the only person in the world who thinks they are silly not funny ...

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Shammickite said...

I agree with daryl.