When you need to know what to say and how to say it — in convenient elevator pitch form

Whoa hey, thanks for holding the door! I mean, assuming you were pushing the doors-open button and not the doors-closed button, haha. Ever wondered what to say in awkward conversations like this one? Well, what you need is WIT, and by wit I mean spontaneous creativity. This book is the result of deep dive into the backstories of some of the wittiest people who ever lived — Great Wits ranging from Oscar Wilde to Jay-Z. The goal: To find out what made them so witty, and what we can learn from it. Oh, and it’s zippy and fun and filled with cartoons and quizzes and zingers freely available for your use next time you’re stuck in an elevator like this one. Here’s my floor. Bye!

 

"One day I'll be famous! I'll be proper and prim; Go to St. James so often I will call it St. Jim!" - Alan Jay Lerner

"He's a writer for the ages — the ages of four to eight."
- Dorothy Parker

"The dusk was performing its customary intransitive operation of 'gathering'."
- Flann O'Brien

At dinner, "one should eat wisely but not too well, and talk well but not too wisely."
- W. Somerset Maugham

"Decency is indecency's conspiracy of silence."
- G.B. Shaw

"Television is for appearing on, not looking at."
- Noël Coward

"Underneath this flabby exterior is an enormous lack of character."
- Oscar Levant

"Success is a science; if you have the conditions, you get the results."
- Oscar Wilde

"A cynic is a man who, when he smells flowers, looks around for a coffin."
- H.L. Mencken

"Cauliflower is nothing but cabbage with a college education." - Mark Twain

"America is the country where you buy a lifetime supply of aspirin for one dollar, and use it up in two weeks." - John Barrymore

"And what's a butterfly? At best,
He's but a caterpillar, drest."
- John Gay

"'Yes, but not in the South', with slight adjustments, will do for any argument about any place, if not about any person." - Stephen Potter

"No matter how politely or distinctly you ask a Parisian a question he will persist in answering you in French." - Fran Lebowitz

"I read Shakespeare and the Bible and I can shoot dice. That's what I call a liberal education." - Tallulah Bankhead

"Good intentions are invariably ungrammatical." - Oscar Wilde

"One more drink and I'd have been under the host." - Dorothy Parker

"Never serve oysters in a month that has no paycheck in it." - P.J. O'Rourke

"Life is something to do when you can't get to sleep." - Fran Lebowitz

"She tells enough white lies to ice a wedding cake." - Margot Asquith

"All humor is based on hostility -- that's why World War II was funny." -- Neil Simon

"It's not what I do, but the way I do it. It's not what I say, but the way I say it." - Mae West

"My face looks like a wedding cake left out in the rain." - W.H. Auden

" 'I think, therefore I am' is the statement of an intellectual who underrates toothaches." - Milan Kundera

"I have friends in both places." - Mark Twain

"I find that forgiving one's enemies is a most curious morbid pleasure; perhaps I should check it." - Oscar Wilde

"His socks compelled one's attention without losing one's respect." -Saki

"If at first you don't succeed, failure may be your style." - Quentin Crisp

"Do I believe in God? Let's say we have a working relationship." - Noel Coward

"[G.B. Shaw] hasn't an enemy in the world, and none of his friends like him." - Oscar Wilde