Robert Wood Johnson, the former chairman of Johnson & Johnson, was known to be a
terror when he inspected his plants. On one such unannounced visit, the plant manager had
a fortunate 30-minute tip prior to his arrival. Hastily he had things spruced up by
ordering several large rolls of paper transported to the roof of the building. When
Johnson arrived, he was furious. "What in the hell is all that junk on the
roof?" were his first words. How were they to know that he would arrive in his
Edward Buxton, Promise Them Anything (Stein & Day), in
Reader's Digest, March 1980.
During one of his political campaigns, a delegation called on Theodore Roosevelt at his
home in Oyster Bay, Long Island. The President met them with his coat off and his sleeves
rolled up. "Ah, gentlemen," he said, "come down to the barn and we will
talk while I do some work." At the barn, Roosevelt picked up a pitchfork and looked
around for the hay. Then he called out, "John, where's all the hay?"
"Sorry, sir," John called down from the hayloft. "I ain't had time to
toss it back down again after you pitched it up while the Iowa folks were here."
& Pieces, November 12, 1992, pp. 19-20.
Lady Nancy Astor, the first woman ever seated in the British House of Commons,
encountered a lot of male antagonism -- but proved herself capable of giving as well as
receiving in that arena. Once, at a formal dinner, Lady Astor said to her neighbor that
she considered men to be more conceited than women. Noticing that she had been heard
around the table, she continued loudly: "It's a pity that the most intelligent and
learned men attach the least importance to the way they dress. Why, right at this table
the most cultivated man is wearing the most clumsily knotted tie!" The words were
scarcely out of her mouth before every man in the room secretly reached up to adjust his
Today in the Word, May 9, 1992.
An enthusiastic but somewhat unscrupulous salesman was waiting to see the purchasing
agent of the engineering firm where my husband worked. The salesman was there to submit
his company's bid, or price quote, for a particular job. He couldn't help but notice,
however, that a competitor's bid was on the purchasing agent's desk. Unfortunately, the
actual figure was covered by a can of juice. The temptation to see the amount quoted
became too much, so the salesman lifted the can. His heart sank as he watched thousands of
BB's pour from the bottomless can and scatter across the floor.
In A View From The Zoo, Gary Richmond, a former zoo keeper, tells about an experience a
friend had with a raccoon. He explains that raccoons go through a glandular change at
about 24 months. After that they often attack their owners. A 30-pound raccoon can be
equal to a 100-pound dog in a scrap. Richmond felt compelled to warn this young friend of
his named Julie of the change coming to her pet raccoon. She listened politely as he
explained the coming danger. She responded by saying what people always say, "It will
be different for me..." And she smiled as she added, "Bandit wouldn't hurt me.
He just wouldn't." Three months later Julie underwent plastic surgery for facial
lacerations sustained when Bandit attacked her for no apparent reason.
Quoted in Dynamic Preaching, June 1990.