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Monday, March 11, 2002 ISSUE #221
 

 

BURLINGTON, Wisconsin: This is the home of the Burlington Liars Club, started in 1929 by a newspaper editor. Every year they pick a winner from all the lies folks mail to 'em from all over the world, and last year they got over two thousand letters. The winner was a lady who said her car was so old that when she registered it with the state, they gave her upper and lower plates.

They put the winning lies from each year on a brass plate, and they are bolted to the front of the various buildings downtown, along with the name of the person who submitted it. As I was walking around town reading all these award winning lies, I told the man who was showing me around, Dick Morris, "I don't see any lies attributed to any governors or senators or mayors. Shouldn't there be at least one winning entry from a LaFollette?" He said, "Oh no, we don't allow politicians to submit lies for the contest. It's open only to amateurs."

I was speaking tonight at the Burlington Farm-City Night, a big affair of appreciation put on for 73 years by Kiwanis and all the local businesses. It was called "A Salute to the American Farmer", and I told the farmers the way things are going in Congress on the Farm Bill, a Salute is maybe all they are going to get.

Well, these are fine folks, and we had a lot of fun this evening. The next time you sit down to a tasty meal, pause and thank a farmer, even if you don't stop to salute him.

On my way here this morning I flew to Chicago on Southwest. Have you ever flew on that airline? If you haven't you should, even if you have to go out of your way to do it.

I was sitting near the back of the plane reading the paper, and a flight attendant said to me, "Aren't you Will Rogers?" He said, "We'd like for you to come up to the front and do some rope tricks for the passengers."

Now, I had heard that Southwest is known for Positively Outrageous Service, and any ropin' I might do for 'em would certainly fall in the category of Outrageous.

As I followed him up there, carrying my ropes, I got some concerned looks, so the first thing I did after he introduced me on the intercom was assure everybody I had no intention of lassoing the pilot. I told them I was headed to Burlington, Wisconsin, to speak at a banquet. But because of the town's reputation, I wasn't sure if the invitation was on the level.

Well, I spun a rope for the first class passengers for a minute or so... (by the way, do you know who sits in the first class section on Southwest? The ones who arrive three hours early) Before I went to the back to put on a second show, I apologized to 'em, because normally for a passenger to be annoyed with live entertainment you have to be booked on a cruise ship.

So when you fly Southwest, you've got to be prepared for almost anything, except for arriving late. (Since they are paying me the same for that little plug as they did for the rope spinnin', it don't even qualify as a commercial.)

Did you read about McDonald's settling a lawsuit over French Fries? It seems the vegetarians found a tiny bit of beef fat in with their Fries, so they made McDonald's give twelve million dollars to "vegetarian supported charities". Now you may be wondering, exactly what kind of charity would a vegetarian support? Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Rutabagas? Save our Daffodils? Potatoes for Ethical Treatment of Anchovies?

First, remember you've got a company here that can stretch a pound of meat into dozens of burgers. Can you imagine how many tons of fries it takes to soak up a pound of their beef tallow? For one serving of fries... well I bet you would get more animal by-products on you petting a dog.

Besides, if you're a vegetarian for religious reasons, would you want to be seen eating at a hamburger joint?

If you're a vegetarian for nutritional reasons, are you going to order bean sprouts, succotash, and a bottle of spring water, and then say "and give me some french fries... and super size it."?

Vegetarians are wonderful folks, and I suggest they eat at Olive Garden so the rest of us can eat our French Fries the way we like 'em... beefy.

Did you see where, after Vice-President Cheney has spent the last six months holed up in an undisclosed location for national security reasons, the government announced he will be making a 12-nation tour of the Middle East. Including Israel.

If I were Dick Cheney, I think I would call up Mr. Rumsfeld, and say, "How about loaning me one of your Stealth planes. I'll just fly over all 12 of 'em in one afternoon, and get back to my hideout."

The college basketball pairings were announced Sunday. They got most of 'em right. Except for Gonzaga. Some of you might remember last year, after they kept winning so far through the tournament, I said the NCAA should go ahead and write 'em in as a #4 seed for this year, because they always win so many tournament games. But really, I was wrong... they deserved a #3, but got pushed down to 6. So all you teams in line to play 'em, watch out. Gonzaga is on a mission.

Historic quotes from Will Rogers:

"I am here tonight as kind of a peace offering. I have told a lot of jokes about these eating outfits, service clubs, or whatever you want to call them because I could not see much sense in them... But they were beneficial to the hotels because they got rid of a lot of bad food.... But now you have reformed and you are going along all right. I know from personal experience that you are getting along fine and doing something worth while. That is about all I can think of to say that would be any good for you." Speech to Kiwanis International Convention in Los Angeles, June, 1933.

"A child born in Wisconsin is taught two things. One is to love LaFollette, and the other is to hate Minnesota." Life Magazine, December 7, 1922

"Wisconsin is never doubtful. You can always depend on it doing just exactly what the other forty_seven don't." DT #577, June 1,1928


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