The Sayings of Mikhail Zhvanetsky
Mikhail Zhvanetsky is the most prolific and famous Russian humorist. Here are my own translations of some of his best lines.
- Better a small dollar than a big thank you.
- Better dinner without an appetite than an appetite without dinner.
- Don’t drive faster than your guardian angel can fly.
- I drive too fast to worry about cholesterol.
- Best alibi — be a victim.
- A pedestrian is always right. While he is alive.
- Any car will last you a life-time. If you are hasty enough.
- Better a belly from beer than a hump from hard work.
- A bald patch is a glade trampled by thoughts.
- It is difficult to crawl with your head proudly held high.
- It’s a shame when other people have your dreams come true!
- The lottery is the most accurate measure of the number of optimists.
- A courteous man will not criticize a woman who carries a railroad tie awkwardly.
- The highest degree of embarrassment? Exchanged glances in a keyhole.
- Everything goes well, but past me.
- Let them laugh at you, rather than cry.
- While you measure seven times, others will already make a cut.
- It is not enough to find your place in life, you have to be there first.
- If a person knows what he wants, then he either knows too much or wants too little.
- And then he took a knife and shot himself dead.
- Thinking is too difficult, so most people judge.
- The more I look in the mirror, the more I believe in Darwin.
- Of two evils, I choose the one I haven’t tried before.
- Do not run from a sniper, you’ll die tired.
- You came — thanks; you left — many thanks.
- All great men are long dead, and I am feeling so-so.
- Never exaggerate the stupidity of your enemies and the loyalty of your friends.
- To save a drowning man, it is not enough to lend a hand; it is necessary for him to offer his hand in return.
- What a pity that you are leaving at long last.
- An idea came into his head and now it is desperately trying to find his brain.
- I am infinitely respectful of the terrible choices of my people.
- Some have both hemispheres protected by a skull, others by pants.
- For illusions of grandeur one doesn’t need grandeur; illusions are quite enough.
- Good always wins over evil. Hence, the winner is always good.
- Only on your birthday do you discover how many useless things there are in the world.
- You can recognize a decent man by how difficult it is for him to be nasty.
- Everything in this world is relative. For example, the length of one minute depends on which side of the bathroom door you’re on.
- In the form I filled in before the surgery there was this question: Whom should we call in case of an emergency? I wrote: A more qualified surgeon.
Of two evils, I choose the one I haven’t tried before. (c) Mae West.18 November 2010, 5:45 pm
“the length of one minute depends on which side of the bathroom door you’re on” – Zall’s second law.
Now I start to wonder how many one-liners attributed to him, if any, are genuinely his.18 November 2010, 5:53 pm
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