The Pinnacle

Over on reddit, someone asked users to recount their “best one-liner moments“. This is easily mine:

I was in a high school humanities course, and the philosophy instructor was talking about the “essence” of things. For example, he said that a clock which stopped telling time could no longer be considered a clock, because the telling of time is the “essence” of clockness.

After giving a few more examples he plucked an empty paper cup from his desk, ripped out the bottom, and held it aloft. “What about this?” he asked the class. “Is this still a cup? I would say not.”

To which I replied, “I’m sorry, but I just don’t think your argument holds water.”

Pretty much the pinnacle of my career as a smartass.

14 thoughts on “The Pinnacle

  1. In University:

    Stewart Cunningham

    Women are only good for 3 things & cooking and cleaning are 2 of them.


    Men are only good for 1 thingand most of them aren’t any good at that.

  2. Did your high school instructor literally ask “Is this still be a cup?” If so, that explains a lot about the college freshman writing I see.

  3. My dad uses the expression, “It’s colder than a well-digger’s butt” when it’s really cold out. Once, on a cold night, I came in and asked him, “If a cold nose means a well dog, does a cold butt mean a well digger?” Cue snare drum…

  4. My proudest one-liner moment was when I was introduced to a chap from Iowa at a party. I told him that I was from Dublin and asked him where he was from. He said:
    “I’m from Des Moines. Do you know where that is?”
    “Sure I do. Des Moines is where us Irish get our coal from.”

  5. So, me and my friend and our dates are at the state fair, we’re in the goat and sheep barn when I see a sign that identifies some goats as “Mohair goats”. I ask my friend, “Tell me Ray, how come those goats are named Mohair goats?” He says, without dropping a stitch, “That’s ‘cuz, dem goats dere, gots mo hair dan dem goats dere!” I think even the goats got a chuckle out of that…

  6. Early during my employment at CVS Pharmacy, the store manager told me that “CVS” literally stands for “Convenience. Value. Service.”
    One particularly tiring day, the manager caught me doing a sloppy job of stocking shelves. “Come on, Jake. Don’t halfway it. Do the job right.” After a brief silence I replied, “I’m sorry. I guess I was thinking of Convenience instead of Value and Service.”

  7. I’m sorry to burst your bubble, Matthew, but this is not a one-liner. A one-liner is an entirely self-contained joke. Your example would more accurately be called your best punch line as it requires the whole story about the teacher’s presentation in order to get the laugh.

  8. I remember distinctly the pinnacle of my career as a smart-ass.

    It was middleschool. My history teacher had just finished explaining how the Americans had opened up a can of whoop-ass on the French during a battle in the French and Indian War.

    “The French were toast,” my teacher said.

    “Don’t you mean—‘French Toast’?” I let loose.

    The crowd goes wild.

    So begins my career as a wry and witty wisecracker, which — if graphed — would resemble a steeply declining mountain side.

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