Jeremy Clarkson · 327 pages
Rating: (4.7K votes)
“Boredom forces you to ring people you haven’t seen for eighteen years and halfway through the conversation you remember why you left it so long. Boredom means you start to read not only mail-order catalogues but also the advertising inserts that fall on the floor. Boredom gives you half a mind to get a gun and go berserk in the local shopping centre, and you know where this is going. Eventually, boredom means you will take up golf.”
“These people go on to tell us that mobile phones will cook our children’s ears, that long-haul flights will fill our legs with thrombosis and that meat is murder. They want an end to all deaths – and it doesn’t stop there. They don’t even see why anyone should have to suffer from a spot of light bruising.
Every week, as we filmed my television chat show, food would be spilt on the floor, and every week the recording would have to be stopped so it could be swept away. ‘What would happen,’ said the man from health and safety, ‘if a cameraman were to slip over?’ ‘Well,’ I would reply, ‘he’d probably have to stand up again.”
“She can take a year to read something, whereas I like a book that becomes more important in my life that life itself.
When I was in the middle of 'Red Storm Rising' by Tom Clancy - which was not selected for the Man Booker shortlist - you could have taken my liver out and fed it to the dog. And I wouldn't have noticed.”
“I wore a groove in the kitchen floor with endless trips to the fridge, hoping against hope that I had somehow missed a plateful of cold sausages on the previous 4,000 excursions. Then, for no obvious reason, I decided to buy a footstool.”
“I took ten days off and by 11 o’clock on the first morning I had drunk fourteen cups of coffee, read all the newspapers and the Guardian and then… and then what?
By lunchtime I was so bored that I decided to hang a few pictures. So I found a hammer, and later a man came to replaster the bits of wall I had demolished. Then I tried to fix the electric gates, which work only when there’s an omega in the month. So I went down the drive with a spanner, and later another man came to put them back together again.
I was just about to start on the Aga, which had broken down on Christmas Eve, as they do, when my wife took me on one side by my earlobe and explained that builders do not, on the whole, spend their spare time writing, so writers should not build on their days off. It’s expensive and it can be dangerous, she said.”
“Like every big organisation these days, the BBC is obsessed with the wellbeing of those who set foot on its premises. Studios must display warning notices if there is real glass on the set, and the other day I was presented with a booklet explaining how to use a door. I am not kidding.”
“We are going to have to stop penalising people for making that most human of gestures- mistake”
“.. international hand of freindship. A cigarette”
“…it seemed appropriate that I should develop some kind of illness. This is a good idea when you are at a loose end because everything, up to and including herpes, is better than being bored.”
“Maybe it’s an attention-span thing. Music is now the backdrop to our lives rather than an event in itself. We put on a CD while we’re doing something else. I can’t remember the last time I put on an album and listened to it in a chair with my eyes closed.”
“Even NASA’s most respected engineers have admitted to me, in private, that designing and building a supersonic airliner was a greater technological challenge than putting a man on the moon.”
“underneath the report about a shortage of scientists was another which said that a professor of acoustics at Salford University has proved that, contrary to popular belief, a duck’s quack does echo.”
“When I was in the middle of Red Storm Rising by Tom Clancy – which was not selected for the Man Booker shortlist – you could have taken my liver out and fed it to the dog. And I wouldn’t have noticed. Which”
“Now at this point you are probably thinking: so what? There is no Ebola in the world at the moment. Oh yes there is, but despite a twenty-year, multi-million-dollar hunt nobody has been able to find where it lives. Some say the host is a bat, others say it’s a spider or a space alien. All we know is that occasionally, and for no obvious reason, someone comes out of the jungle with bleeding eyes and his stomach in a bag.”
“А ще є пазли, і мені довелося якось пояснювати одному грекові, в чому суть цієї забави. "Часом треба витратити зо два тижні, щоби скласти всі ці шматочки в картинку. — І що далі? —Ну, а далі розбираєте ту картинку на шматочки і ховаєте їх до коробки".
Я не часто співчуваю грекам, але то був якраз один із тих рідкісних випадків. Те саме, до речі, великою мірою і з кросвордами. Якби вчені зуміли спрямувати в корисне русло ту розумову енергію, з якою люди щодня ламають собі голову над запитаннями на кшталт "прізвище відмомого російського любителя бананів, прочитане задом наперед", то вже давно знайшли би ліки від раку.
Кросворди, як і пазли та крикет, — насправді не ігри. Це просто засоби, які допомагають збавляти час. А тому вони не зовсім збігаються з тим напрямком, у якому розвивається сучасний світ.
Можна мріяти про повільне, розмірене життя, про те, щоби проводити дві години за обіднім столом, а потому до самого світанку жувати сир, але дійсність така, що нас мало нагла кров не заливає, коли світлофор надто довго не перемикається на зелене чи якщо двері ліфта не відчиняються, щойно ми натиснемо кнопку.”
“The prime minister is a Labour Tory. There’s a mosque at the end of your street and a French restaurant next door. We are neither in nor out of Europe. We are famous for our beer but we drink in wine bars. We are not a colonial power but we still have a commonwealth. We are jealous of the rich but we buy into the Hello! celebrity culture. We live in a United Kingdom that’s no longer united. We are muddled.”
“Make no mistake, Concorde was an extraordinary technological achievement. Almost certainly, one of the greatest.”
“would like to see a fund set up that does nothing but pay for great public buildings, follies, laser shows, towers, fountains, airships, aqueducts. Big, expensive stuff designed solely to make us go ‘wow’. I even have a name for this fund. We could call it the lottery.”
“if you lay back and let oblivion roll over you, it will be your fault.”
“I can't speak. I have no voice. I just stare at his dark blue yes. It feels as though I let the lifeboat sail away. I'm drowning in a sea of pain. He reached out, but I can't take his hand.”
“Sell yourself for money! why, if I were a man I would not sell one jot of liberty for mountains of gold. What! tie myself in the heyday of my youth to a person I could never love, for a price! perjure myself, destroy myself—and not only myself, but her also, in order that I might live idly! Oh, heavens! Mr Gresham! can it be that the words of such a woman as your aunt have sunk so deeply in your heart; have blackened you so foully as to make you think of such vile folly as this? Have you forgotten your soul, your spirit, your man's energy, the treasure of your heart? And you, so young! For shame, Mr Gresham! for shame—for shame.”
“Nikki, darling, light of my life. Can I have my driver take you to work?”
“After all, what girl wants to fall in love with a boy who doesn’t come to her rescue when she needs it most?”
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