Thomas Jefferson Carver

“And the final use for peanuts!?!… Murder!”

-Thomas Jefferson Carver, the last line of his “Peanuts, Peanuts, Peanuts!” expo, circa 1934; originally named Wilfred J. Carver, Thomas Jefferson Carver adopted his new moniker to capitalize on the then famous George Washington Carver.  Like his G.W. Carver counterpart, T.J. Carver earned moderate fame for creating new uses for the common peanut, though T.J.’s were much less scientific (i.e. packing peanuts were originally just peanuts before the invention of styrofoam).  In March of 1934, as the grand finale in his keynote speech at the “Peanuts, Peanuts, Peanuts!” expo in New York City, Thomas Jefferson Carver confessed to a full crowd that he had murdered his estranged wife, who had a documented peanut allergy.  Carver was arrested on the spot and was soon sentenced to life in prison.  As a result of his brash confession and his signature top hat, monocle and cane, Carver became somewhat of a celebrity inside the walls of Sing Sing Prison and earned the nickname, Mr. Peanut.  After his death in 1942 (ironically choked on a cashew), the Planters Nut Company capitalized on his odd image with their new cartoon mascot.-

William Shakespeare

“The eyes are the window to the soul… and the mouth is the front door to the soul…. which makes thine head the soul’s house.  I would venture thine ears serve as some sort of irregularly shaped chimney or something, but I doth not know for certain. Thus, the point I’m trying to pass tis that a man’s home is his castle, so it doth makes sense that a soul’s home would be its castle…. therefore thine head be a castle.  Halt… about what were we conversing?”

– William Shakespeare, circa 1615; it’s often debated as to whether or not the opening line of this quote was a Shakespeare original. It is known, however, that in his later years Bill would often hang around his bar (MacBeth’s Scottish Bar & Grill) and make drunkenly profound statements to anyone who would listen to his incoherent ramblings.  Most nights would end with him challenging bar patrons to do shots of whiskey out of the prop skull used in his production of Hamlet.-

Edwin Land

“A picture is worth a thousand words… and a piece of your soul.”

-Edwin Land, inventor of the Polaroid camera, circa 1932; After spending a semester in Australia on a “study abroad” program through Harvard, Land became fascinated with the Australian Aborigine’s belief that a photograph could actually steal a portion of a person’s soul.  Secretly, Land took to this belief himself and devoted much of his career to developing his soul stealing technology.  His crowning achievement was the public release of his instant develop Polaroid camera in late 1948 (Land had lobbied to name the camera the “Soul Swapper 5000” but was voted down by the company’s board of directors).  Upon his death in 1991, it is rumored that his personal assistant discovered his “collection of souls”, which consisted of over 5 million Polaroids of complete strangers.  His assistant promptly had them all shredded to avoid Land being dubbed “a real creeper” in the public’s mind. (Fun sub-fact:  Land’s personal assistant was actually a man named Ed Roland, who would later become the leader singer for the band Collective Soul.)

J.K. Rowling

“If you want to see the true measure of a man, watch how he treats his inferiors, not his equals.  If you want to see the true measure of a wizard, watch how he treats his house elves. Rest in peace, Dobby, I love you.”

-J.K. Rowling, July 22, 2007; the first half of this quote was originally published in J.K. Rowling’s, Harry Potter And The Chamber of Secrets. She later added to the quote in a press release the day after publication of her final book in the series, Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows.  Despite the fact she killed the character herself, Rowling was devastated by the death of Dobby the House-Elf and could not write for months after.  In tribute to her beloved Dobby, she gave a single dirty sock to every person at every book signing for a full year after.

Yoda

“Do… or do not.  Care less, I could not.”

-Yoda, excerpt from the original draft of the Star Wars: Episode V script, circa 1978; The part of Yoda was originally earmarked to be played by an aging Marlon Brando, but after multiple readings George Lucas decided it was too gritty a take on this crucial character.  To fill the role, Lucas approached his puppeteers asking for a cross between Brando and Kermit the Frog.  I think you’ll agree they hit the nail on the head.

Sir Isaac Newton

“If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants.  If I have moved faster than others, it is by sitting on the backs of unicorns.  If I end up living longer than others, it is because I’ve boobi-trapped the underside of my bed against boogie-men.”


-Sir Isaac Newton, in a letter to friend, Robert Hooke, February 15, 1676; Though a brilliant scientific mind, Sir Isaac Newton was a staunch believer in all kinds of mythical creatures.  His absurd claims annoyed his more envious friends, and he often attributed his discoveries to these outlandish encounters.  For example, Newton claimed to have thought of his First Law of Motion when he was thrown from the back of a minotaur because it stopped too quickly.  His family made up the thing about the apple falling from a tree after his death as a means of saving face.

Nathan Hale

“I only regret that I have but one life to give for my country.  Were I a cat, I would have nine, and I’d give them all for my country.  How cooleth would that be?”

-Nathan Hale, September 22, 1776; Nathan Hale, American hero, spoke these words moments before being hanged by the British for espionage during the Revolutionary War.  Hale was survived by his brother Enoch and his 28 cats.  He had disturbing amount of cats.  This quote originally appeared in the “Patriot Cats” December 1776 issue of Cat Fancy magazine.

Franklin D. Roosevelt

“So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear… is fear itself… although, fascists are pretty scary too… and communists… killer bees… axe murderers… polio… organized crime… dust bowls… sharknados…”

-Franklin D. Roosevelt, circa March 1933; In this original draft of his first inaugural address, FDR went on to list over 550 things that Americans had to fear.  By the end of the rehearsal he had reduced five staff members to tears, prompting him to nix his list of examples.-

*Unfortunately, historians and Hollywood rarely recognize FDR as the originator of the “sharknado” concept.

Alexander Graham Bell

“Watson… come here… I want to see you… bring me a large pepperoni pizza… with cheesy bread.”

-Alexander Graham Bell, March 10, 1876; the first words ever to be transmitted electronically over the phone.  Typically we see this quote without the final portion as it detracts from the importance of the event.  This was, however, the first instance of someone ordering food over the phone.  Five minutes later, Bell received the worlds first telemarketing call and was asked to consider switching his long distance service.  Distraught by the revelation of what he’d unleashed on the world, Bell was too depressed to finish his pizza and cheesy bread and was force to share with Watson, whom he had not fed for three days.-

The Ugly Puckling

“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.  And statistically speaking, YOU miss about 75% of the shots you DO take.  So technically, you’re missing 175% of all your shots… which makes you a real loser.”


-Victor Nadrofsky, Wayne Gretzky’s pee wee league hockey coach, circa 1969; Gretzky famously gave a shortened, more motivational version of this quote later in life.  In his unauthorized biography, The Ugly Puckling, the author alludes to unsubstantiated comments that Mr. Gretzky may or may not have made about this kind of tough love being a key factor in his success.-