rick's list - Behind Great Quotes Edition

Where do you suppose René Descartes was when he uttered his immortal "Cogito ergo sum"?

History suggests the phrase was first made public in text as part of Descartes' "Discourse on Method." But something THAT profound probably wasn't just scribbled off the top of the thinker's head in mid-manuscript. I suspect he "tried it out" in public a few times, perhaps at the corner pub with some of his pals, to see how it resonated. And if that's the case, what do you think the NEXT thing out of Descartes' mouth was? It's not like he just sat around 24/7 spinning immortal philosophical bon mots. He might have followed "cogito ergo sum" with something splashy like:

1. "Hey darlin', I think we'll have an order of cheese fries!"

2. Or: "You know what's (freakin') hard? Geometry. I can NOT figure that crap out."

This serves to remind us that virtually all geniuses are, most of the time, regular folks. Which is why I've compiled a list of before/after quotes associated with famous sayings. Herewith:

Alexander Graham Bell

1. "Mr. Watson, come here, I want to see you!" (The first words ever uttered over his just-invented telephone, to his assistant.)

2. Then: "Mr. Watson, let it go to the answering machine!" (As the just-invented telephone rang for the first time.)

3. And then: "Mr. Watson" — holding out receiver — "it's for you. It's the IRS. They're suing you!" (Comical phone prank on Mr. Watson.)

Sir Thomas More

1. To his daughter Meg: "God made the angels to show Him splendor, as He made animals for innocence and plants for their simplicity. But man he made to serve Him wittily, in the tangle of his mind..."

2. Just before that: "Meg! You are NOT going out dressed like Katy Perry!"

3. Just after that: "I get melancholy thinking my head might be sliced off for my convictions."

Donald Trump

1. Seated at a crowded table at his New Jersey golf course with media present, whispering to Kellyanne Conway: "You know what I always thought was cool? How those Middle East people make sinister sounding threats. Like Sadman Hussein came up with 'The Mother of All Battles' and bin Laden said, 'The U.S. government will lead the American people into an unbearable hell and a choking life.' That stuff is EPIC, Kellyanne. So listen to what I came up with and see if I sound like an angry Arab."

2. Seconds later, as Trump crosses his arms and intones a warning to North Korea: "(You) will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen." (Winks at Kellyanne and silently mouths, "Who's the badass now?")


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