An Englishman, even if he is alone, forms an orderly queue of one.— George Mikes
The most famous George Mikes quotes to get the best of your day
You can keep a dog: but it is the cat who keeps people, because cats find humans useful domestic animals.
In England only uneducated people show off their knowledge;
nobody quotes Latin or Greek authors in the course of conversation, unless he has never read them.
A dog will flatter you but you have to flatter the cat.
I asked many friends if Australian anti-intellectualism was still a living force and they all told me it was. If you are above average intelligence, hide this embarrassing fact.
Television is of great educational value.
It teaches you while still young how to (a) kill, (b) rob, (c) embezzle, (d) shoot, (e) poison, and, generally speaking, (f) how to grow up into a Wild West outlaw or gangster by the time you leave school.
The British suffer from a most unfortunate superiority complex - unjustified even under Victoria and most certainly hopelessly out-of-date today.
There are many non-intellectual countries; Australia is one of the few anti-intellectual ones.
The world still consists of two clearly divided groups: the English and the foreigners. One group consists of less than 50 million people; the other of 3,950 million. The latter group does not really count.
In Moscow they do not pay much attention to the living but keep their cemeteries in a splendid state.
The poor Americans are so busy defending the rights of Hindus in Pakistan, Moslems in India, Jews in Palestine, Koreans in Japan, Italians in Yugoslavia and Hungarians in Czechoslovakia that they simply cannot give a thought to Negroes in the United States.
A foreign observer is struck by our gentleness: by the orderly behaviour of the English crowds, the lack of pushing and quarrelling, the willingness to form queues.
If somebody tells you an obviously untrue story, on the Continent you would remark, "You are a liar, Sir, and a rather dirty one at that." In England you just say "Oh, is that so?" Or "That's rather an unusual story, isn't it?
What beefsteak is to Argentina, flamenco to Spain, cool reserve and self-control in all situations to an Englishman, what vodka is to a Russian and beer to a Bavarian, what money is to a Swiss, that is outdoor-life to an Australian. It is a noble mania, better than vodka, better than cool reserve, better than money.
Australia objects to the mini-skirt not on moral but on economic grounds.
Australians are no prudes and the lovely, healthy, sporty Australian girls have no reason to hide their knees and thighs. However, the mini-skirt is disastrous for the wool-trade.
When people say England, they sometimes mean Great Britain, sometimes the United Kingdom, sometimes the British Isles, - but never England.
The Art of Conversation could not die in Australia;
it never lived. Television did not kill it; there was nothing there to kill.
When a wicked and unworthy subject annoyed the Sultan of Turkey or the Czar of Russia, he had his head cut of without much ceremony; but when the same happened in England, the monarch declared : "We are not amused".
If it is gay, ribald and lascivious night-life you are after, Israel is not the place for you. The night clubs you do find are nearer in spirit to a YMCA than to dens of iniquity.
It is often said that the Japanese are extremely clean at home, or inside any house or office, but dirty and untidy outside. 'Go and look at a railway station,' I was told, 'and you'll be horrified.' I went and was horrified; horrified by the cleanliness of the place.
A couple from Sydney or Melbourne might leave on the same day for their holiday: the wife might go sun-bathing at Surfers Paradise, in Queensland, the husband ski-ing in the Snowy Mountains. A lucky country.
Israelis keep teaching you your own business.
God knows everything but the Israelis know everything better.
The country has always been governed by a coalition but today it is governed by a so-called Grand Coalition which is a more polite word for all and sundry.
In the field of snobbery, Australia is an underdeveloped country;
even a few British ex-colonies, regarded as under developed in all other respects, could export a great deal of snobbery to Australia and still have enough to spare for their own, internal needs.
'I don't say a Zionist must be insane,' said President Weizmann, 'but it helps if he is.'
Australians are decent people with the right instincts and they wish everybody well; but if all is not well, it is none of their business and they will not lose too much sleep over it. The shrug of the shoulders has become - only temporarily, I daresay - the national gesture of Australia.
Long before the word Zionism was uttered for the first time, old religious Jews came from all over the world to die in Jerusalem. It is the finest place to die in - it has always been acknowledged. It has a joie de mourir quite its own.
Israel also deprived the world of its chance of shedding tears of genuine sympathy over her destruction. The world resents this; it likes to feel noble and sympathetic.
I said in my earlier book, and find no reason for retracting my statement, that the famous Jewish sense of humour got lost in transit to Israel.
The English take everything with an exquisite sense of humour.
They are only offended if you tell them that they have no sense of humour.
The British are proud of their ability to create a muddle and then muddle through all difficulties. I must shake the British pride: muddle is not an exclusively British institution. Read descriptions, for instance, of the over-organized, wonderfully systematic and "thorough" German war machine during the last war.
Rich people (in Australia) have swimming pools in their gardens but, at least, they do swim in them.
Although the rudiments of snobbery are there, its finer developments are basically alien to the Australian soul - that is, if Australians have a soul; many people believe that they are too matter-of-fact and down-to-earth to have such fancy commodities.
Nobody uses his car in New York, because so many people use it that traffic is congested and unbearably slow.
Bad English was the second language of Israel and bad Hebrew, of course, remained the national language.
Jokes are better than war. Even the most aggressive jokes are better than the least aggressive wars. Even the longest jokes are better than the shortest wars.
In England the boy pats his adored one on the back and says softly, "I don't object, you know." If he is quite mad with passion, he may add: "I rather fancy you, in fact.
Foreigners have souls; the English haven't.
To have created a Welfare State was a great achievement;
but we must go on to create a Welfare Planet.
American radio is the reverse of the Shakespearean stage.
In Shakespeare's time the world's greatest dramas were acted with the most primitive technical arrangements; on the American air the world's most primitive writing is performed under perfect technical conditions.
The Japanese are human beings like the rest of us, but they will strongly resent this insinuation.
English humor resembles the Loch Ness Monster in that both are famous but there is a strong suspicion that neither exists.
It is great fun dying in the United States of America.
It is great fun first of all for the undertakers who make a wonderful living out of it but also for the deceased who suddenly becomes the centre of attention and fuss.
Bargaining is a repulsive habit; compromise is one of the highest human virtues - the difference between the two being that the first is practised on the Continent, the latter in Great Britain.
It was decided almost two hundred years ago that English should be the language spoken in the United States. It is not known, however, why this decision has not been carried out.
A criminal may improve and become a decent member of society.
A foreigner cannot improve. Once a foreigner, always a foreigner. There is no way out for him.
I have often thought that the aim of port is to give you a good and durable hangover, so that during the next day you should be reminded of the splendid occasion the night before.
The man who is not afraid of danger is not a hero, but a psychopath.
On the Continent there is one topic which should be avoided-the weather;
in England, if you do not repeat the phrase "Lovely day, isn't it?" at least two hundred times a day, you are considered a bit dull.
Was he joking? Was he being sarcastic? Aggressive? Impertinent? Or just courteous? There was no telling from his impassive face. What a country, he thought despairingly. In Russia you always knew. If a man made a stern face he was threatening; if he was laughing uproariously, he was joking.