Picks and Pans Review: Quote

updated 04/19/1993 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 04/19/1993 AT 01:00 AM EDT

>DEAD MOGUL BEATS REAGAN, BUSH, QUAYLE!

WITH COMMENTS LIKE "IT'S A QUESTION of whether we're going to go forward into the future, or past to the back" Dan Quayle turned the Vice Presidency into a malaprop platform—and earned himself a place on page 74 of THE 776 STUPIDEST THINGS EVER SAID, compiled by Ross and Kathryn Petras (Doubleday, $8.99). But Dan's total of 17 entries ranks him only sixth in the book, behind San Diego Padres announcer Jerry Coleman (18), George Bush (19), Ronald Reagan (24), Yogi Berra (37) and, the master of manglement, film producer Samuel Goldwyn (38).

Actually, many of Goldwyn's citations are not so stupid: "A verbal contract is not worth the paper it's written on" is word to the wise. "I was always an independent, even when I had partners" is an unsentimental self-assessment. The only thing wrong with the Yog's indisputable "It ain't over till it's over" is that it probably originated during the 1973 NL pennant race as, the authors note, the more parochial "We're not out till we're out."

Not surprisingly, athletes and politicians abound here, requiring the reader to distinguish dopey from dumb from deluded, as in boxer Marlon Starling's "I'll fight him for nothing if the price is right"; Washington councilman John Bowman's "If crime went down 100 percent, it would still be 50 times higher than it should be"; or a suggestion from the Federal Reserve System: "It would be a good thing to take your bankbook to the fallout shelter with you." One quote suggests foot-in-mouth disease may be hereditary. Said Dale Berra, true son of Yogi: "The similarities between me and my father are different."

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