Nothing so frightens a man as the announcement that he is expected
to respond to a toast on some appallingly near-by occasion. All
ideas he may ever have had on the subject melt away and like a drowning
man he clutches furiously at the nearest solid object. This book
is intended for such rescue purpose, buoyant and trustworthy but, it is
to be hoped, not heavy.
Let the frightened toaster turn first
to the key word of his topic in this dictionary alphabet of selections
and perchance he may find toast, story, definition or verse that may
felicitously introduce his remarks. Then as he proceeds to
outline his talk and to put it into sentences, he may find under one of
the many subject headings a bit which will happily and scintillatingly
drive home the ideas he is unfolding.
While the larger part of
the contents is humorous, there are inserted many quotations of a
serious nature which may serve as appropriate literary ballast.
jokes and quotes gathered for the toaster have been placed under the
subject headings where it seemed that they might be most useful, even
at the risk of the joke turning on the compilers. To extend the
usefulness of such pseudo-cataloging, cross references, similar and
dissimilar to those of a library card catalog, have been included.
a large number of the inclusions look familiar, let us remark that the
friends one likes best are those who have been already tried and
trusted and are the most welcome in times of need. However, there
are stories of a rising generation, whose acquaintance all may enjoy.
all these new and old friends have before this made their bow in print
and since it rarely was certain where they first appeared, little
attempt has been made to credit any source for them. The
compilers hereby make a sweeping acknowledgment to the "funny editors"
of many books and periodicals.