From fortune

The Soviet pre-eminence in chess can be traced to the average Russian’s readiness to brood obsessively over anything, even the arrangement of some pieces of wood.  Indeed, the Russians’ predisposition for quiet reflection followed by sudden preventive action explains why they led the field for many years in both chess and ax murders.  It is well known that as early as 1970, the U.S.S.R., aware of what a defeat at Reykjavik would do to national prestige, implemented a vigorous program of preparation and incentive.  Every day for an entire year, a team of psychologists, chess analysts and coaches met with the top three Russian grand masters and threatened them with a pointy stick.  That these tactics proved fruitless is now a part of chess history and a further testament to the American way, which provides that if you want something badly enough, you can always go to Iceland and get it from the Russians.

— Marshall Brickman, Playboy, April, 1973

From fortune

An American tourist is visiting Russia, and he’s talking with a Russian about the fact that not many people in Russia own cars.

American: I can’t believe you don’t have cars here!  How do you get to work?
Russian: We take the bus, or the subway.  We have public transportation everywhere.
A: Well, how do you go on vacations?
R: We take the train.
A: Well, what if you want to go abroad?
R: We don’t ever want go abroad.
A: Well, what if you really HAVE to go abroad?
R: We take tanks.

Quote from fortune

“I quite agree with you,” said the Duchess; “and the moral of that is — ‘Be what you would seem to be’ — or, if you’d like it put more simply — ‘Never imagine yourself not to be otherwise than what it might appear to others that what you were or might have been was not otherwise than what you had been would have appeared to them to be otherwise.’”

— Lewis Carrol, “Alice in Wonderland”

From fortune quotes

I suppose some of the variation between Boston drivers and the rest of the country is due to the progressive Massachusetts Driver Education Manual which I happen to have in my top desk drawer.  Some of the Tips for Better Driving are worth considering, to wit:

“When competing for a section of road or a parking space, remember that the vehicle in need of the most body work has the right-of-way.”

“Although it is altogether possible to fit a 6′ car into a 6′ parking space, it is hardly ever possible to fit a 6′ car into a 5′ parking space.”

“Teenage drivers believe that they are immortal, and drive accordingly. Nevertheless, you should avoid the temptation to prove them wrong.”