Every now and then, Irena Karafilly surrenders to the temptation to sound sage and witty and finds herself polishing words of wisdom, hoping to find a pearl. Her aphorisms have been included in Short Flights: Thirty-Two Modern Writers Share Aphorisms of Insight, Inspiration, and Wit, John Robert Colombo’s Famous Lasting Words: Great Canadian quotations, the Montreal Gazette, and online on James Geary’s All Aphorisms, All the Time. Here are a few of them.
A good-will divorce is like having all your teeth extracted and having to smile.
All it takes to start a war is one angry, charismatic man who is sure he is right.
The really amazing thing about history is not that it so often repeats itself, but that it fails to bore us.
Only a pessimist would take a cell phone on his honeymoon.
A cockroach would surely disagree about the sanctity of human life.
Wisdom is a consolation prize one receives with a toothless smile.
Zen is something no one understands but all applaud with at least one hand.
Falling in love is like falling anywhere. You pick yourself up, brush yourself off, and keep on walking, hoping no one saw you.
The only power you have over people is the ability to do without them.
Men love you when you forgive them more than their mother ever could.
Early success spoils some writers but posthumous recognition saves none.
You can’t explain the pleasures of haute cuisine to a starving man.
Hypochondriacs are people who used to get more candy when they had the measles than they did on Halloween.
If fighting did not come to men so naturally, they would have invented war just to get away from their wives.
If human beings were born with a conscience, God would be out of a job.
Sex is possibly the only activity one performs best with a minimum of thought.
People are at their most brilliant while defending themselves against their own conscience.
Youth may be wasted on the young, but it would only give a coronary to the elderly.
People long for fame so they can thumb their nose at a kindergarten friend who failed to invite them to a birthday party.
When you really want to get someplace, even a hay cart will eventually get you there.
Nothing will get you into trouble faster than speaking the truth.
No balding man finds comfort in not being married to Delilah.
A hero is a man who has learnt to keep all his fears locked up in one forbidden room.
Birth control, like many excellent ideas, often suffers from poor timing.
A critic may have to praise a friend’s book, but shouldn’t be expected to read it too.
As an investment in the future, there is nothing more risky than parenthood.
Politicians are people who raised a hand at school but then forgot what they had meant to say.
Psychoanalysis enables a person to sleep on the job and wake up to talk about others’ dreams.