50 Great Truths from the Pessimist’s Manual

25 October, 2016

Seeing the dark side to everything can also have a place. So says Eric Marcus, the author of the Pessimist’s Manual.

Throughout his work, he has definitely managed to cause more laughter than tears, although he seeks to explore the darker side of reality.

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Strange as it may seem, Eric Marcus is an urbanist who specializes in real estate. His grandmother found great satisfaction in seeing the negative side of life.

This inspired him to write about the worst of the worst, with a fine sense of humor.

The book compiles famous quotes by some of the world’s great minds, and others which have been created and recreated by Marcus himself.

The book jacket reads as follows: “Are you tired of smiling faces? Sick of being told: ‘Don’t worry, be happy’? Do you feel like yelling ‘Be realistic!’ back at the next person who tells you to be optimistic? You’re not alone!”

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Here are fifty of the great truths found within the Pessimist’s Manual:

  1. “What can you expect from a day that starts with getting up?” ―Wendy R. Ellner
  2. “The only time a woman really succeeds in changing a man is when he’s a baby.”Natalie Wood
  3. “There’s nothing wrong with teenagers that reasoning with them won’t aggravate.”  ―Various authors 
  4. “Keep your eyes wide open before marriage, half shut afterwards.”Benjamin Franklin
  5. “The only way to keep your health is to eat what you don’t want, drink what you don’t like, and do what you’d rather not.” ―Mark Twain
  6. “The only normal people are the ones you don’t know very well.” ―Joe Ancis
  7. “Quit worrying about your health. It will go away.”―Robert Orben
  8. Experience is a wonderful thing: it allows us to acknowledge a mistake every time we repeat it.
  9. “After a year of therapy, my psychiatrist said to me, “Maybe life isn’t for everyone.” ―Larry Brown
  10. “Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t after you.” ―Joseph Heller
  11. “A pessimist is a person who has had to listen to too many optimists.” ―Don Marquis
  12. “Whatever you decide to do, it will probably be the wrong thing.” ―Ashleigh Brilliant
  13. “Expect the worst and that’s what you’ll get, only it will be much worse.” ―JP Donleavy
  14. “Life is easier than you’d think; all that is necessary is to accept the impossible, do without the indispensable, and bear the intolerable.” ―Kathleen Norris
  15. “Why torture yourself when life will do it for you?” ―Laura Walker
  16. “No good deed goes unpunished.” ―Clare Boothe Luce
  17. “It’s not true that life is one damn thing after another; it’s one damn thing over and over.” ―Edna St. Vincent
  18. “Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed.” ―Alexander Pope
  19. “Things are going to get a lot worse before they get worse.” ―Lily Tomlin
  20. “Life is a tough deal where nobody gets out alive.”―Herbert Frankel
  21. “It is a sin to believe evil of others, but it is rarely a mistake.” ―H.L. Mencken
  22. “When trying to make a good impression on someone, you will most assuredly commit some form of stupidity.” ―Tamara Valjean
  23. “One thing that humbles me deeply is to see that human genius has its limits while human stupidity does not.” ―Alexandre Dumas
  24. “Whenever you want to marry someone, go have lunch with his ex-wife.” ―Shelley Winters
  25. “When a husband brings his wife flowers for no reason, there’s a reason.” ―Molly McGee
  26. “There is so little difference between husbands, you might as well keep the first.” Adela Rogers St. Johns 
  27. “Old age isn’t so bad when you consider the alternative.” Maurice Chevalier
  28.  “The longer I live, the less future there is to worry about.” Ashleigh Brilliant
  29. “The trouble with some women is that they get all excited about nothing – and then marry him.” Cher
  30. “Success is the ability to go from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm(Winston Churchill).
  31. “Those who are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed by those who are dumber.” ―Plato
  32. “There are two tragedies in life. One is to lose your heart’s desire. The other is to gain it.” George Bernard Shaw
  33. “One starts to get young at the age of sixty and then it is too late.” Pablo Picasso
  34. “The first half of our lives are ruined by our parents and the second half by our children.” Clarence Darrow
  35. “Correct me if I’m wrong, but hasn’t the fine line between sanity and madness gotten finer?” George Price
  36. “Marriage is a story; it begins with a prince who kisses an angel and ends with a bald man staring across the table at a fat woman.” (Anonymous).
  37. “Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family in another city.” George Burns
  38. “Love is a fire. But whether it is going to warm your hearth or burn down your house, you can never tell.” Joan Crawford
  39. “Every revolution evaporates and leaves behind only the slime of a new bureaucracy.” Franz Kafka
  40. “Bread always falls on it’s buttered side.” English Proverb
  41. “The worthwhile problems are the ones you can really solve or help solve, the ones you can really contribute something to…. No problem is too small or too trivial if we can really do something about it.” Richard Feynman
  42. “Love is an ideal thing, marriage a real thing; a confusion of the real with the ideal never goes unpunished.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  43. “When a girl marries, she exchanges the attention of many men for the inattention of one.” Helen Rowland
  44. “Laws are like sausages, it is better not to see them being made.” Otto von Bismarck
  45. “Often it does seem such a pity that Noah and his party did not miss the boat.” Mark Twain
  46. “There is hardly anything in the world that some man cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and the people who consider price only are this man’s lawful prey.” John Ruskin
  47. “I have enough money to last me the rest of my life, unless I buy something.” Jackie Mason
  48. “Every man is thoroughly happy twice in his life: just after he has met his first love, and just after he has left his last one.” H. L. Mencken
  49. “One hundred thousand lemmings (rodents from Norway that hurl themselves off a cliff toward their deaths, following their leader when there is an overpopulation) can’t be wrong.” Graffito
  50.  “Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe.” Albert Einstein
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Images courtesy of Lauren Kolodny