More of the proverbial from Albania: plenty of wit, not a lot of wisdom

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The Independent Online
It's time for more Albanian proverbs today, from the Great Book of Albanian Proverbs which I am slowly translating in my declining years. Albanian proverbs, if you have never come across them before, are exactly the opposite of ours. Ours are short, pithy and fairly useless until you start thinking about them; Albanian proverbs sound fairly deep and meaningful unless you start thinking about them.

Here goes, then, with some meretricious wit and wisdom!

Never ask a Formula One Grand Prix racing driver to teach you the technique of reversing a car.

If birds were able to talk, would they bother to sing?

When does a letter arrive? When the postman delivers it? When it is opened and read? Or when it is answered?

A lift spends 50 per cent of its time going up and 50 per cent of its time going down, but from the name it is given in all countries - ascenseur, elevator, lift, etc - you would deduce that it could only go up, not down.

Nobody knows all the words of his own national anthem.

You can get sea-sick in a set of revolving doors, but you can't cross to France in them.

All parrots think they are teaching us to say "Pretty Polly" or "Who's a pretty girl then?" When they think we have mastered the phrase, they give up. But we don't see it that way. We think that parrots lose the knack of talking, whereas all that has happened is that they have given up teaching us.

Who will send the Queen a telegram when she is 100?

Nobody ever really believes he is going to die. If they did, they would be working on their dying words now.

There is only one thing worse than a hymn, and that is a Christmas carol.

Aeroplane disaster movies are never shown as in-flight entertainment on aeroplanes. It is the only good thing to be said about air travel.

It would be easier to take the single currency seriously if the word "euro" wasn't pronounced quite differently in every country.

If we are ever invaded by aliens who feed on electricity, we will be sorry that we left our pylons unguarded.

People are sometimes described as natural blondes and sometimes as natural brunettes, but nobody is ever described as naturally bald.

Woe betide the substitute who scores a goal in his first game, for much will be expected of him.

Angling must be one of the most feminine activities in the world. It is quiet, organised and moderately healthy, and requires endless patience. Why are all anglers men, then? Because all sensible women also think it is entirely pointless.

If I had been condemned to death in the Middle Ages, and had been given the choice of the method of execution, I hope I would have had the presence of mind to ask to be electrocuted.

There are two kinds of people who make jokes about their cheques possibly bouncing - those who are quite sure their cheques won't bounce and those who are quite sure they will.

The man who sneers at take-away food will happily go out on a picnic, and the man who passionately defends live entertainment is furious whenever a cinema is turned into a bingo hall.

An after-dinner speaker: One who would willingly do the speaking for half the money if he could be allowed to miss the dinner.

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