Laugh at Yourself


Wouldn’t it be cool if we (and some of our tightly wound friends) could take a lesson from Yogi and laugh at ourselves?

Sometimes what comes out of your mouth isn’t at all what you meant. Yogi Berra was famous for his “Yogi-isms.” Like all of us, Berra was a combination of pride and humility. After being fired as Yankee manager, he didn’t come to Yankee Stadium for 14 years. That’s pride. Yet he would say things that didn’t make sense, see and hear his words played back, and laugh at himself. “I never said most of the things I said,” quipped Berra. From a New York Times article . . . “Berra playfully acknowledged the twisted attribution over the decades, characteristically revealing nothing and everything in his responses.” (“I might have said ’em, but you never know,” he once said.)

Here are a few of my favorite “Yogi-isms” . . . maybe there’s a couple you haven’t heard . . .

  • You can observe a lot by just watching.
  • Always go to other people’s funerals, otherwise they won’t come to yours.
  • We made too many wrong mistakes.
  • You wouldn’t have won if we’d beaten you.
  • I usually take a two-hour nap from one to four.
  • Never answer an anonymous letter.
  • The future ain’t what it used to be.
  • It gets late early out here.
  • We have deep depth.
  • Pair up in threes.
  • Why buy good luggage, you only use it when you travel.
  • You’ve got to be very careful if you don’t know where you are going, because you might not get there.
  • Even Napoleon had his Watergate.
  • He hits from both sides of the plate. He’s amphibious.
  • It was impossible to get a conversation going, everybody was talking too much.
  • I’m not going to buy my kids an encyclopedia. Let them walk to school like I did.
  • It ain’t the heat, it’s the humility.
  • If you ask me anything I don’t know, I’m not going to answer.
  • Take it with a grin of salt.
  • We were overwhelming underdogs.
  • Little League baseball is a very good thing because it keeps the parents off the streets.
  • The towels were so thick there I could hardly close my suitcase.

A couple of people I know have a version of Yogi’s “gift” . . . they mix their metaphors without knowing they’ve done it. These are authentic, “It’s not rocket surgery” kind-of quotes. See if you can figure out what it was supposed to be . . .

“You just have to roll with the flow”

“Life just ain’t no bunny rabbit”

“It’s not set in wool”

“She’s gonna eat your clock”

“I’ve got an axe to pick with you”

“I’m a one-track pony”

“I’m behind the gun”

Wouldn’t it be cool if we (and some of our tightly wound friends) could take a lesson from Yogi? “The LORD is with me. I will not be afraid. What can people do to me?” says Psalm 118:6.

Why not laugh at ourselves?

“You grow up the day you have the first real laugh at yourself.” -Ethel Barrymore

Question – If you didn’t care what anyone else thought, what’s the funniest thing you could tell about yourself?

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