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MIB
We Three Blings


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Here's the story: There was dinner at the White House when Calvin Coolidge was president. A woman said to him "I made a bet with a friend that I couldn't get you to say two words.".

He turned to her and said, "You lose!"

What's the story behind this?

MIB

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What it all comes down to is, dyslexics have more nuf.


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rossdawg
The Red and the Green Stamps


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Don't know the exact info off hand but supposedly Calvin was boring and never spoke a great deal. I have also heard another quote about him. When somebody (maybe Will Rogers?) famous was asked if they heard that Calvin Coolidge died he replied "How did they know?"
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Farkle
The Red and the Green Stamps


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Hmm, 2 versions of the story on one Whitehouse web page

quote:
Calvin Coolidge, a president of few words, was so famous for saying so little that a White House dinner guest made a bet that she could get the president to say more than two words. She told the president of her wager. His reply: "You lose."


and further down the page:

quote:
Both his dry Yankee wit and his frugality with words became legendary. His wife, Grace Goodhue Coolidge, recounted that a young woman sitting next to Coolidge at a dinner party confided to him she had bet she could get at least three words of conversation from him. Without looking at her he quietly retorted, "You lose."

A different version appears here

quote:
His nickname of "Silent Cal" was well earned. There is a story that is frequently told about him. A man once bet a friend that he could make Cal say at least three words in a conversation. When the man met Coolidge, he told him of the bet. All Coolidge said was, "You lose."

True or not it does seem to sum up the man's frugalness with words which seems to be the idea behind the tale. It may have happened and been morphed or it may be an amalgum of events or some cartoonist may have come up with the idea. It has the smell of UL about it for sure.


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Smeazel
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
Originally posted by MIB:
Here's the story: There was dinner at the White House when Calvin Coolidge was president. A woman said to him "I made a bet with a friend that I couldn't get you to say two words.".

He turned to her and said, "You lose!"


Um... actually, I think the usual version of the story is that the bet was that she couldn't get him to say more than two words. Therefore, by saying "You lose", Coolidge was still staying under quota. (If the bet had been that she couldn't get him to say two words, then by saying "You lose" he would in fact have made her win.)

It's a very popular and common story, but I'm pretty sure it is, indeed, an urban legend. Mind you, I don't have any proof of that offhand. A simple web search (on altavista, searching for +Coolidge +"you lose") turns up many retellings of the story, but none with any reliable attribution. In fact, the details change in some of the retellings, with the woman becoming a man, or the exchange taking place on the street rather than at dinner. Still, in most of the retellings, it is a woman, and it is at dinner, and the variants could conceivably be errors that came up in the repetition of a true story. The fact that Coolidge's interlocutor is never named seems particularly to point toward UL-hood. The closest that any account I could find comes to reliable attribution is in the account at http://commonconservative.com/library/pres30.html , which says that the story was told by "[h]is wife, Grace Goodhue Coolidge" - but which still doesn't give the other woman's name, or mention when or in what context Mrs. Coolidge told the story. So, again, I'm pretty sure it's an urban legend, but I can't prove it.


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christmas tree kitapper
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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quote:
Originally posted by rossdawg:
Don't know the exact info off hand but supposedly Calvin was boring and never spoke a great deal. I have also heard another quote about him. When somebody (maybe Will Rogers?) famous was asked if they heard that Calvin Coolidge died he replied "How did they know?"

I've read that the quote about ol' 'Silent Cal' came from Dorothy Parker.

kitap

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"I have never in my life been more disappointed by a politician I voted for than I have been with George Bush. He is a total liberal."- overheard by me on the shuttle to the U of A game on Nov. 11th.


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Don Gato
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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quote:
Originally posted by rossdawg:
Don't know the exact info off hand but supposedly Calvin was boring and never spoke a great deal. I have also heard another quote about him. When somebody (maybe Will Rogers?) famous was asked if they heard that Calvin Coolidge died he replied "How did they know?"

The Will Rogers/Calvin Coolidge story I heard (probably just as apocryphal as "You lose") was that Rogers was going to meet him for the first time, and was told no one could ever get Coolidge to smile. So when they were introduced, Rogers looked at the president and said, "Sorry, I didn't catch your name." Coolidge cracked up.

Frank


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noreen
We Three Blings


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His wife was ill, so silent Cal went to Sunday church by himself.

After he returned:

She: "What was the sermon about?"

He: "Sin."

She: "What did he say?"

He: "He was against it."

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"No matter what kind of a twisted sexual mutant you happen to be, you've got millions of pals out there. Type in 'Find people that have sex with goats that are on fire' and the computer will say, 'Specify type of goat.'"


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glendwr
The Red and the Green Stamps


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Didn't Will Rogers say that Coolidge looked like he was weened on a pickle?

Jon "maybe he was a sourpuss" Benignus


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