Quotes & Jokes by Pat Cooper


When my mother would make me sandwiches for school - zucchini and eggs, pepper and eggs, everything was with eggs - the oil would drip out of the bag. She didn't care if I lost the sandwich - she wanted that brown bag back. She used to give me artichoke sandwiches. You have no idea how embarrassing it is to sit in the schoolyard eating an artichoke with a piece of bread. A lot of kids didn't know what it was, they'd say, "Look at that guy eating flowers!"

My grandmother, on the stage, has an abortion! Gives birth to a three-pound Shetland pony! My grandfather is the jockey, comes in third and paid $2.80!

Today when kids receive their confirmations you have to give them a contract that you're going to buy them a car. I wanted a bicycle, and as I got a little order I was told Santa Claus might bring me a bicycle. Then one year my father borrowed a bicycle at Christmas, put it under the tree and I rode it all that day. The next day it wasn't there. "Where's my bicycle?" My father said, "Somebody stole it." Then I'd see an other kid on the street, and he'd have a bike. What I didn't know was that all the fathers were doing the same thing - the were all using one bicycle.

One of my sisters wanted to be an opera singer. So, we spent a few dollars to try to train her, because Italian people would like to have an opera singer in the family. But she's got trouble coughing, let alone singing. One day, she was in the shower singing 'Madame Butterfly,' three days later the Japs attacked Pearl Harbor.

We said to them to take all of the students who are troubled students and work with them. They're not bad. They're troubled because they don't have what you had and what I had growing up. It was tough, and it's still tough, but Jodi and her staff are making it work. These are the kids that would have been out on the street robbing and stealing.

I knew I loved it because I could take the failures. I was like a professional fighter - they're beat 20 times in a row and they just want that one win.

I remember on Thanksgiving all the kids wanted the drumstick. There were four of us then. Well, today you can go into the supermarket and get 12 drumsticks. Years ago you couldn't do that. So I was sucking on the neck for two years. My mother told me it was the leg, and I believed it. I went to my father and said, "Why is my leg always cockeyed?" He said, "The bird has arthritis."

One time I visited my mother and found St. Anthony's statue upside down. I say, 'Mama, why's St. Anthony upside down?' 'He don't answer my novena, he stays that way!'

When I got older I said, "Pa, I want an automobile." He said, "What do you want an automobile for, when you have the subway. Five cents - the open the door for you, you sit down. Then when you get to the station they open the door and you get out. In a $700 auto who's going to open the door for you?" You couldn't argue - they were never stuck for an answer.

We need to try to work out something so folks can be there. We're going to try to find some solution so we don't have to keep repeating ourselves during the regular meeting. I think it is a board issue, but we're just going to try to make some suggestions. We would be open to doing the meetings at a different time.

When I was a boy, we had forty five statues of saints in my house. Ever have ninety eyes looking at you every time you have to go to the bathroom?

I used to ask my father, "Can we go on vacation?" He'd say, "Yeah, on the fire escape." One day I was out there when it was raining, and I banged on the fire escape. He said, "I can't hear you, you're on vacation." Then he'd ask, "Do you really want to go on vacation? O. K. The Whole family will go, pack your bag." In those days they had little cowboy bags. I put my shirt in and - we went into the yard. The yard! He said, "Isn't it wonderful that you are here, in India?" I looked at my father like he was cracking up. He said, "It was a wonderful trip on that boat." I said, "This isn't India." He said, "If I say you're in India, you're in India."

I was the worst bricklayer in the world. I can show you buildings I worked on - they're a hazard. I closed a window one time. I forgot to set back a brick and I just kept going - there I was singing 'There's no business like show business'.

My uncle was the first one in my family to get a telephone. It was like going to the moon. He came running over to tell us, and we were so proud. A telephone! We didn't have to go to the candy store to phone any more. We went around telling everyone. But we didn't hear from my uncle for three days, so my father got worried. He said, "Let's go over there." We got there, and my uncle was very depressed. I asked, "What's the matter?" He said, "I got a telephone and nobody called me." He didn't give his number out - he didn't know that you had to!

I say, when you tell the truth, you never offend nobody, particularly if you do it with dignity.