November 22, 2010

Did you know there was a serious author who was being ridiculed in Jack Handey's "Deep Thoughts"?

Yes. His name was Hugh Prather, and he published a book called "Notes to Myself" in 1970. It included things like:
¶“Another day to listen and love and walk and glory. I am here for another day. I think of those who aren’t.”

¶“My prayer is: I will be what I will be, I will do what I will do.”

¶“When I get to where I can enjoy just lying on the rug picking up lint balls, I will no longer be too ambitious.”
Later, he wrote “I Touch the Earth, the Earth Touches Me” and “Wipe Your Face, You Just Swallowed My Soul.” He "founded and ran a religion, the Dispensable Church."  Also, the Moosewood Restaurant (in Ithaca) was named after his dog, Moosewood.

He's dead now, at age 72.

And I love "Deep Thoughts"....
You might think that the favorite plant of the porcupine is the cactus, but it's thinking like that that has almost ruined this country.

45 comments:

Kev said...

(the other kev)

'Deep Thoughts' will be remembered with the works of O Henry and Ambrose Bierce.

Hugh Prather, alas, seems destined to join a list of forgettable self-help authors. RIP, anyway.

Scott M said...

Jack was tweeting before tweeting was cool (or even invented...how cool is that?)

MadisonMan said...

Interesting that his dog's name lives on in Moosewood Restaurant -- I have two of their cookbooks!

Roger von Oech said...

I always find it fascinating to see who ends up on the OBIT pages together.

Today's unlikely trio:

Hugh Prather (Notes to Myself)
Rob Lytle (70s Denver Bronco Running Back)
Norris Mailer (Norman's surviving widow)

------
Footnote: Some early 70s guys carried "Notes to Myself" as a kind of "babe magnet"

sunsong said...

I am sad to hear this. I am a fan of Hugh Prather. I met him in the 80's. He was a kind and thoughtful man. The Dispensible Church had a unique feature - besides being dispensible. When the collection plate was passed - you were free to take money out if you needed it or put some in. Your choice.

"Who could find heaven a place of rest knowing that even one other person was in hell." Hugh Prather

The Crack Emcee said...

“Wipe Your Face, You Just Swallowed My Soul.”

LOL! He should've been working for TMR.

Oh well, another dead NewAger:

There's an upside in there somewhere,...

traditionalguy said...

Humor is a twist of a truth that hurts to much to be a popular subject except in humorous styles. How about Gary Larson's Far Side cartoons. That is a deep series as well.

ricpic said...

I will be what I will be, I will do what I will do.

Doesn't that just like...happen?

I've eaten at Moosewood. Feh.

Coketown said...

I process books for a living, and these kinds of pseudo-Christian optimistic volumes of braindead platitudes were all the rage in the early 1970's. They were in fashion right after the metaphysical movement (you know, 10 steps to ESP, How to talk to dead loved ones) but before the environmental movement.

I'm glad I wasn't alive then.

ricpic said...

Who could find heaven a place of rest knowing that even one other person was in hell?

Me! I could...and have...and will.

Meade said...

Footnote: Some early 70s guys carried "Notes to Myself" as a kind of "babe magnet"

Ha ha. Along with "The Little Prince" and having Carole King and James Taylor albums on the turntable.

Oclarki said...

the thought of Hitler Stalin and Mao in hell troubles me not one whit. I could never find rest in a universe where those guys got off scot free.

chuck b. said...

The Moosewood Cookbook! A staple of every pseudo-retro-hippy liberal arts college student's kitchen. I should know.

JayC said...

The other day, I was in the kitchen, opening up a can of worms.

And then I thought, "Whoa! What am I doing?

Clyde said...

You can't spell Prather without "prat."

Al B said...

Prather: what you get by combining prattle and blather.

former law student said...

Irritatingly, the internet is split on whether Jack Handey or Wil Shriner (son of the Wabashful comedian Herb) wrote this favorite:

When I die, I want to pass away peacefully in my sleep, like my Grandfather, not screaming in terror, like the passengers in his car.

Jennifer Whatnot said...

My favorite Deep Thoughts were always the bizarre/disturbing ones, like: "As I bit into the nectarine, it had a crisp juiciness about it that was very pleasurable - until I realized it wasn't a nectarine at all, but A HUMAN HEAD!"

I also liked: "If you ever fall off the Sears Tower, just go real limp, because maybe you'll look like a dummy and people will try to catch you because, hey, free dummy."

holdfast said...

It takes a big man to cry. It takes a bigger man to laugh at that man crying.

t-man said...

"As the light changed from red to green to yellow and back to red again, I sat there thinking about life. Was it nothing more than a bunch of honking and yelling? Sometimes it seemed that way."

I don't know what sensitive guys carried around to attract easy lays, er, liberal gals in the late 80's. "In a Different Voice", maybe?

t-man said...

Only a few of my retrograde friends had the Moosewood cookbook. We were more into the yuppified Silver Palate.

Paul Zrimsek said...

If anyone feels the urge to pile on Prather, remember: "Never criticize a man until you've walked a mile in his shoes. That way, when you do criticize him, you'll be a mile away and you'll have his shoes."

Mark O said...

I have so many faults:

I work too hard
I’m a perfectionist
I care too much
I’m doing too much for others

MadisonMan said...

I think a good gift for the President would be a chocolate revolver. And since he is so busy, you'd probably have to run up to him real quick and give it to him.

Chip Ahoy said...

Laurie got offended that I used the word "puke." But to me, that's what her dinner tasted like.

Chip Ahoy said...

Maybe in order to understand mankind, we have to look at the word itself: "Mankind". Basically, it's made up of two separate words - "mank" and "ind". What do these words mean ? It's a mystery, and that's why so is mankind.

former law student said...

I don't know what sensitive guys carried around to attract easy lays, er, liberal gals in the late 80's. "In a Different Voice", maybe?

If they held on till the early 90s there was Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus to help guys establish their sensitivity to the needs of women.

We were more into the yuppified Silver Palate.

Nuh-uh. On the strength of having written the Silver Palate cookbook, the author, Sheila Lukins, went on to write a food column in the Sunday supplement Parade magazine, than which nothing was more Middle American.

c3 said...

Along with "The Little Prince" and having Carole King and James Taylor albums on the turntable.

Well the Carole King/James Taylor album thing never worked for me.

A.W. said...

no, handey not mock any serious author.

he mocked Hugh Prather.

t-man said...

Perhaps her columns for Parade were middle-America, but the Silver Palate was pure New York in early 80's. Moosewood, it was not.

ddh said...

"It's too bad that cowboys didn't eat much pizza back in the Old West, because I think a good painting would be a cowboy giving his last slice to his horse."

A.W. said...

my favorite handey quote: "If trees could scream, would we be so cavalier in cutting them down? Well, we might if they screamed all the time and for no reason."

It just makes me imagine a scene too silly for words. like a lumberjack cutting a tree as it screams, going, "shut up! shut up! shut the f--- up!"

kristinintexas said...

"If trees could scream, would we be so cavalier about cutting them down? We might, if they screamed all the time, for no good reason."

kristinintexas said...

LOL, A.W.!

kristinintexas said...

"If God dwells inside us like some people say, I sure hope He likes enchiladas, because that's what He's getting."

Mmmmm...enchiladas.

Celia Hayes said...

Oh heck - I have both the Silver Palate and the Moosewood cookbooks... what does that say about me, other than I have too many cookbooks for someone who isn't actually a chef?

Methadras said...

Good riddance to another NewAger. There is a special hell for what those people have done to the fabric of society.

Jeff with one 'f' said...

The Moosewood Cookbook aka the Deflavorizing Machine. It's what the hippies DESERVED.

dbp said...

"Who could find heaven a place of rest knowing that even one other person was in hell?"

I wouldn't be happy if I got in--since that would prove that heaven has lax standards.

sunsong said...

I wouldn't be happy if I got in--since that would prove that heaven has lax standards.

LOL - Mark Twain said:

"You go to heaven for the climate - hell for the company."

MadisonMan said...

I have both the Silver Palate and the Moosewood cookbooks.

Same. All were gifts. I use the Silver Palate one more.

Bob said...

There's a college professor in Georgia who has been writing essays for years called (I kid you not) "Random Thoughts." It's like the "Deep Thoughts" series except it's meant completely seriously. Until Obama came along, this guy was the most mind blowing narcissist I'd ever seen:

http://therandomthoughts.edublogs.org/

The education people oooh and ahhh over the complete trash he writes.

Celia Hayes said...

"I have both the Silver Palate and the Moosewood cookbooks.

Same. All were gifts. I use the Silver Palate one more."

*sob* I bought both of them! Through a book club, if that is any excuse!

Jim S. said...

"If a child asks you why it's raining, say, 'The angels are crying.' If he asks why the angels are crying, say, 'Probably because of something you did.'"

Rich B said...

"Mr. Prather died in his hot tub, apparently of a heart attack, his wife, Gayle, said."

RIP Mr. Prather, but that was pretty priceless.