Many ideas grow better when transplanted into another mind than in the one where they sprung up.Oliver Wendell Holmes
Guy Browning (1964) is a humorist and after-dinner speaker. He writes the How to... column in the Guardian.
- Libraries are brothels for the mind. Which means that librarians are the madames, greeting the punters, understanding their strange tastes and needs and then pimping their books.
- How to use a Library, Never Push When It Says Pull, Small Rules for Little Problems (2005).
- What makes a date so dreadful is the weight of expectation attached to it. There is every chance that you may meet your soulmate, get married, have children and be buried side by side. There is an equal chance that the person you meet will look as if they’ve already been buried for some time.
- How to Date, Never Hit a Jellyfish with a Spade, How to Survive Life’s Smaller Challenges (2004).
- People who get to the top of any organisation are generally dysfunctional human beings who are overachieving, overcompensating or overbearing.
- The board, Office Politics (2006).
- Never work for a company that says people are its most important asset. If you wanted to get a mortgage and you said that your only asset was people you would end up living in a tent.
- People, Office Politics (2006).
- Happiness is like a scooter; once you're up and running, you can just scoot along. It's getting up and running in the first place that's the tricky bit.
- Men love women because women are the loveliest things on God's earth. Women love men because chocolate can't mow the lawn.
- Appraisals are where you get together with your team leader and agree what an outstanding member of the team you are, how much your contribution has been valued, what massive potential you have and, in recognition of all this, would you mind having your salary halved.
- A shoal of a million fish might not be able to write Romeo and Juliet but they can change direction as one in the blink of an eye. Using language a human team leader can give an order to a team of six and have it interpreted in six completely different ways
- Being nice to people at work is like being nice to people on the roads; everyone likes you but you don’t get anywhere.
- Singing is what you do when you want to make a noise but haven’t got anything much to say.
- To say something memorable before you die you either have to say something memorable and then completely shut up until you die or you have to say something memorable once every five minutes.
- Dreams are like low budget British films in that they’re generally badly plotted, packed with gratuitous sex and violence and very sloppily edited. Plus, on average, one person sees them.
- Flirting is vertical foreplay.
- Major cities are divided into two parts; the bits that are in the guidebook and the bits that aren’t. If you don’t take a guidebook, you’ll see a different city.
- A committee is a small group of people who get together to dream up difficulties and avoid decisions.
- There are two types of confidence; natural confidence which comes from being brought up in a loving environment where your parents told you how wonderful you were every time you put felt tip to paper; and artificial confidence which comes from sniffing felt tips.
- Camping is a temporary reversal in the progress of civilisation with the express purpose of instilling in young people a love for the indoors.