Shallow ideas from deepest Albania

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The Independent Online
Today I am bringing you more jewels from that great ongoing work, The Book of Albanian Proverbs.

Albanian proverbs are different from ordinary proverbs. Ordinary proverbs sound at first sight as if they are full of wisdom and insight, but generally turn out to be humdrum and banal, whereas Albanian proverbs, which sound a bit scatterbrained at first encounter, turn out on closer inspection to be profoundly meaningless.

I, personally, much prefer them. Anyway, here is another selection of Albanian wit and wisdom.

People who have small lawns spend much more time tending them than people who have big lawns.

The shark kills several humans every year, but humans kill thousands of sharks during the same period. Which species is the more dangerous?

When asked if you believe in coincidences, simply reply: "That is all I believe in. There is nothing else. The odds against anything at all happening are so enormous that everything must be unlikely, and therefore a coincidence."

There are only four gospels in the Bible. Why were there eight of Jesus's disciples who refused invitations from the New Testament to write their versions of the thing?

There is nothing sadder than a sport which used to be in the Olympics and is now discarded.

A bow-tie cannot tie itself.

Occasionally a shark eats a swimmer, so they made a film called Jaws. Every day, thousands of people are killed by other people in cars, but no one ever made a film called Offside Front Bumper.

There are no second-hand hat shops.

They say that nothing is impossible. This is untrue. It would have been impossible to invent the paper clip before the invention of paper.

When asked if it were possible for the inhabitants of Java to believe in the existence of snow, which was something they had never seen, the philosopher said: "I do not believe in the existence of the inhabitants of Java."

Those who are hard of hearing never imagine that other people have difficulty in hearing what they say.

Many blacks in the USA call themselves Afro-American, but no one in Africa ever claimed to be Americo-African.

There must be some atoll in the Pacific Ocean which would jump at the chance to test its nuclear weapons in the middle of Paris.

It takes the average prime minister five years to get the hang of the job. Unfortunately, the average prime minister lasts only four years in his or her post.

By insisting on changing "his" to "his or hers" and "he" to "he or she", the feminists have increased the use of paper for printing purposes slightly but significantly, so that an extra 100,000 trees have had to be felled in the past 10 years. It is not known what sex these trees were.

No one ever got divorced on the rebound.

A man who pays $3m for a painting can never hang that painting on his wall. He can only hang an object worth $3m on his wall.

There are many large ships besides the Titanic which did not hit icebergs, and there are many small ships like the Marie Celeste which were not found abandoned, but who remembers their names?

Home is the place where you cannot be treated like a tourist.

If knots were any good, why should anyone want to invent double knots?

There are more film stars than there are films.

A man with a hole in his trouser pockets should wear trousers with the turn-ups inside.

Unleaded pencils are better for the environment, but worse in all other respects.

When a man pays by cheque, it never occurs to him to feel flattered at being asked for his autograph.

Chauffeurs and orchestral conductors are two classes of people who do not care what they look like in front, as long as they are presentable behind.

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