All those Ivy League bastards look alike. My father wants me to go to Yale, or maybe Princeton, but I swear, I wouldn’t go to one of those Ivy League colleges if I was dying, for God’s sake.
The more expensive a school is, the more crooks it has.
I don’t like to see old guys in their pajamas and bathrobes anyway. Their bumpy old chests are always showing.
He also started picking his nose. He made out like he was only pinching it, but he was really getting the old thumb right in there.
Where I have my hand on your back, if I think there isn’t anything underneath my hand- no can, no legs, no feet, no anything- then the girls’ really a terrific dancer.
I swear to God. If I were a piano player or an actor or something and all those dopes thought I was terrific, I’d hate it. I wouldn’t even want them to clap for me. People always clap for the wrong things. If I was a piano player, I’d play it in the goddamn closet…In a funny way, though, I felt sort of sorry when he was finished. I don’t even think he knows any more when he’s playing right or not. It isn’t all his fault, I partly blame all those dopes that clap their heads off—they’d foul up anybody, if you gave them a chance.
A woman’s body is like a violin and all, and that it takes a terrific musician to play it right.
For instance, if you’re at a girl’s house, her parents always come home at the wrong time—or you’re afraid they will.
If somebody knows quite a lot about those things, it takes you quite a while to find out whether they’re really stupid or not.
If a girl looks swell when she meets you, who gives a damn if she’s late?
These intellectual guys don’t like to have an intellectual conversation with you unless they’re running the whole thing.
I didn’t have anything else to do, so I kept sitting on the radiator and counting these little white squares on the floor.
That killed me. Her middle name is Josephine, for God’s sake, not Weatherfield. She doesn’t like it, though. Every time I see her she’s got a new middle name for herself…Old Phoebe said something then, but I couldn’t hear her. She had the side of her mouth right smack on the pillow, and I couldn’t hear her.
I keep picturing all these little kids playing some game in this big field of rye and all. Thousands of little kids, and nobody’s around—nobody big, I mean, except me. And I’m standing on the edge of some crazy cliff. What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff—I mean if they’re running and they don’t look where they’re going I have to come out somewhere and catch them. That’s all I’d do all day. I’d just be the catcher in the rye and all. I know it’s crazy, but that’s the only thing I’d really like to be. I know it’s crazy.
People are mostly hot to have a discussion when you’re not.
“I thought the carrousel was closed in the wintertime,” old phoebe said. It was the first time she practically said anything. She probably forgot she was supposed to be sore at me.
“Maybe because it’s around Christmas,” I said.
She didn’t say anything when I said that. She probably remembered she was supposed to be sore at me.
I thought what I’d do was, I’d pretend I was one of those deaf-mutes. That way I wouldn’t have to have any goddam stupid useless conversations with anybody. If anybody wanted to tell me something, they’d have to write it on a piece of paper and shove it over me…I’d build me a little cabin somewhere with the dough I made and live there for the rest of my life… I’d have this rule that nobody could do anything phony when they visited me. If anybody tried to do anything phony, they couldn’t stay.
It’s full of phonies, and all you do is study so that you can learn enough to be smart enough to be able to buy a goddam Cadillac some day, and you have to keep making believe you give a damn if the football team loses, and all you do is talk about girls and liquor and sex all day, and everybody sticks together in these dirty little goddam cliques.
I’m always saying “Glad to’ve met you” to somebody I’m not at all glad I met.
Some people you shouldn’t kid, even if they deserve it.
What I like best is a book that’s at least funny once in a while… What really knocks me out is a book that, when you’re all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it.