Truck Stop: About my signature quotes.

Signature Quotes.

My email signatures have always had little quotes tagged to the end of them. I don't change them often but quite often people ask me where they come from, since I never bother saying so anywhere else and more for my sake than for yours, I have collected as many as I can find together and tried to work out where I originally got them from. I suspect this won't be a very easy task and it will probably take ages!

"The King of Sweden it will not irk. To hear that I neglect my work,
And tombfuls of historic dead, Care not how late I lie abed."

A snippet from an Ogden Nash poem called "How to get along with yorself". Hopefully you can still find this here along with some of his other stuff but there is also a copy locally. I have had this one from about 2006 to 2013, it may be about time to change.

"Busy trying to find lots of things not to do."

I reused this really old one for the rest of 2005 - It seemed to fit. It's from A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur's Court.

"It's a global village, but most of the people in the village are idiots".

In January 2005, when I realised that most people are incapable of being true to themselves I changed it to this more cynical quote about the Internet from somebody nameless on TV.

"This above all: to thine own self be true".

As of December 2004 I started using this one - Why? Because it's true. It's from Hamlet (Act I, Scene iii), by William Shakespeare. The whole quote is: "This above all: to thine own self be true; And it must follow, as the night the day; Thou canst not then be false to any man."

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."

(2004) - This is from the English Statesman, Edmund Burke (1729-1797) reflecting upon the French Revolution, I think. This was the first signature quote I used in many years of not having them any more when I started using Google's service - Mostly I was usiing it to make a point to IRC Operators about the current rather fascist reghime.

"Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose"

My current signature (July 1999). From the Song "Me and Bobby McGee" by Kris Kristofferson and Fred Foster. Janis Joplin redid this one at some point but it was whiney and for some reason the Bobby in the song changed sex (Just like My Girl Lollypop when SuperClare got hold of it, isn't that deep!). I started using this one when I finally decided to leave BT, it was no fun at all at the end and this seemed to sum my whole attitude to the place.

"In the kingdom of the blind, the one eyed man goes unnoticed"

One of my current signatures still (Sept. 1998). It's a distortion of the quote: "In the kingdom of the blind, the one eyed man is king", mainly because I am becoming a tad dissolusioned with various things at the moment... Whether it if a bad thing or a good thing for the one eyed man who goes unseen, is another matter, mind you.

"If I close one eye, the people on that side can't see me"

This was my signature until Sept 1998. It's from a David Bowie song called "When I'm Five". I have a habit of burying my head in the sand and hoping things will go away. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

"They cannot hear me, because the sound of who I am is deafening them"

I had this one for over a year, until June 1998. I don't know where it came from exactly but I believe it's an African quote.

"I can explain it for you, but I can't understand it for you."

This one is current, I have had it for about a year. I have no idea where it came from but it's a wonderfully true quote!

"We are here to protect democracy, not to practice it"

This one is from the film "Crimson Tide". I was using this for a while in late 1996, but not for too long. The actual quote uses the word "preserve" not "protect" but I remembered it incorrectly.

"We do not kill without thinking: that is the Law. Are we not men?"

This is a quote from the Black Mass "Das Tierdrama". I was using it in November 1995. I like the irony in this quote which isn't intended in the mass and most people will never spot. I am not even sure that I spotted it back then.

"Vanish into the void of thy empty Heaven, for thou wert never, nor shalt thou ever be"

A lovely quote from another Black Mass. In fact this one is from "Le Messe Noir", the original "Black Mass". It sums up that feeling you get when people keep harassing you with inane crap rather well and for some reason in the late part of 1995 I was being harassed a lot.

"The only way they'll take my $50's is out of my cold dead hands!"

In about September 1995, the Internic started charging $50 a time for registrations in the top level domains: "com", "org" and "net". There were a few of us who protested but they were a law unto themselves and they got their licence to print money anyway.

"We're the Sweeny, and we haven't had any dinner!"

This was one of my longest running quotes, I am not even sure it's the actual quote either. It is from a wonderful episode of "The Sweeney" (It's English) where the two nice policemen are trying to tell a suspect that they are really a tad too hungry to be polite and would like him to talk quickly so they could eat. By the looks of it, I was using this one from late 1995 to late 1996 occasionally replacing it with others but usually going back.

There's a lot more information (and the proper quote, "We're The Sweeney son, and we haven't had any dinner...") on the page and the clip itself is in Realaudio and Realvideo there too.

"What are you complaining about woman, you knew I was a snake when you picked me up."

I stole this one from a friend's signature. For a while I had the shorter "I am a scorpion, it is in my nature" (from the Aesop fable of the dog and the scorpion which has been my finger response for many years). The snake version of this story is a bit less obscure to use as a signature quote though. I used this one for a long while in 1994 or so.

"If gold can rust, then what will iron do?"

This one, and the rest that follow were part of a set of a few signatures where a random one was tagged at the end. These were the ones I used from 1989 onwards to about 1995. This one is either from Chaucer's Canterbury Tales or from something else of about the same time.

"Hit 'em in the wallet, that's where it hurts!"

This one was an in-joke on the Meikdo (martial arts) list. I could tell you what it meant but I would have to charge you.

"I'm OK, you're OK, here's your bill."

What a wonderful sentiment. No wonder I became a security consultant!


Shop! - Erm, sorry... In earlyish Harry Enfield shows, he had a race of little aliens (who looked remarkably like modern teletubbies) who didn't have a very large vocabulary. In fact, it consisted of "Tree!", "Shop!" and "Aaaah, little baby Jesus". I think you may have had to have seen this to truly appreciate it. A slight historical note about IRC: A nasty chappie removed the /wallops command from the server code because of my insistence in doing "/wallops Tree!". Strange what things wind people up, isn't it. All these years on, I can finally provide a Youtube Link

"Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law, I am the law!"

Quite simple this one, it is one of the slogans for the Multi User Adventure game "MIST". The other was "Fuck off back to your own game" but that was a tad rude to use as a signature.

"Toy swords make toy swordsmen."

Another wonderful sentiment, but I have no idea where the quote came from. I am pretty certain that I stole it from someone else's signature.

"Small children, expecially boys, should be buried at birth and dug up at 23."

I probably have the age wrong, I think he said 18 but this is a quote from Alan Beswick, one of my stranger heroes. I have met quite a few people who used to stay up till 2am in the early 80's listening to Beswisk on Red Rose Radio. Since we would all have been under 18 then he wouldn't much have appreciated it. Ah well, I mostly agree with him on this except I think 23 is a far better age for boys (18 for women of course). As a postscript to this, I have come to believe that it should really be about 28 for boys.


I found an archive file dated June 1992 with some random signatures of mine they were:

Michael Lawrie's 'Lorry' homepage. Email: