The trouble with children is that they are not returnable.

Never keep up with the Joneses. Drag them down to your level.

It is not the simple statement of facts that ushers in freedom; it is the constant repetition of them that has this liberating effect. Tolerance is the result not of enlightenment, but of boredom.

Vice is its own reward. It is virtue which, if it is to be marketed with consumer appeal, must carry Green Shield stamps.

The formula for achieving a successful relationship is simple: you should treat all disasters as if they were trivialities but never treat a triviality as if it were a disaster.

The law is simply expediency wearing a long white dress.

Euphemisms are unpleasant truths wearing diplomatic cologne.

There is no need to do any housework at all. After the first four years the dirt doesn't get any worse.

Abatement in the hostility of one's enemies must never be thought to signify they have been won over. It only means that one has ceased to constitute a threat.

Nothing more rapidly inclines a person to go into a monastery than reading a book on etiquette. There are so many trivial ways in which it is possible to commit some social sin.

In an expanding universe, time is on the side of the outcast. Those who once inhabited the suburbs of human contempt find that without changing their address they eventually live in the metropolis.

There are three reasons for becoming a writer: the first is that you need the money; the second that you have something to say that you think the world should know; the third is that you can't think what to do with the long winter evenings.

However low a man sinks he never reaches the level of the police.

Treat all disasters as if they were trivialities but never treat a triviality as if it were a disaster.

I recommend limiting one's involvement in other people's lives to a pleasantly scant minimum.

When I told the people of Northern Ireland that I was an atheist, a woman in the audience stood up and said, 'Yes, but is it the God of the Catholics or the God of the Protestants in whom you don't believe?

Love is the extra effort we make in our dealings with those whom we do not like and once you understand that, you understand all. This idea that love overtakes you is nonsense. This is but a polite manifestation of sex. To love another you have to undertake some fragment of their destiny.

The young always have the same problem - how to rebel and conform at the same time. They have now solved this by defying their parents and copying one another.

It's no good running a pig farm badly for 30 years while saying, 'Really, I was meant to be a ballet dancer.' By then, pigs will be your style.

The very purpose of existence is to reconcile the glowing opinion we hold of ourselves with the appalling things that other people think about us.

Living en famille provides the strongest motives for rudeness combined with the maximum opportunity for displaying it.

The trouble with children is that they're not returnable.

Men get laid, but women get screwed.

Is not the whole world a vast house of assignation of which the filing system has been lost?

Though intelligence is powerless to modify character, it is a dab hand at finding euphemisms for its weaknesses.

Nothing shortens a journey so pleasantly as an account of misfortunes at which the hearer is permitted to laugh.

If at first you don't succeed, failure may be your style.

The poverty from which I have suffered could be diagnosed as 'Soho' poverty. It comes from having the airs and graces of a genius and no talent.

My mother protected me from the world and my father threatened me with it.

An autobiography is an obituary in serial form with the last installment missing.

I simply haven't the nerve to imagine a being, a force, a cause which keeps the planets revolving in their orbits and then suddenly stops in order to give me a bicycle with three speeds.

Life was a funny thing that happened to me on the way to the grave.

Manners are love in a cool climate.

Decency must be an even more exhausting state to maintain than its opposite. Those who succeed seem to need a stupefying amount of sleep.

The British do not expect happiness. I had the impression, all the time that I lived there, that they do not want to be happy; they want to be right.

The consuming desire of most human beings is deliberately to plant their whole life in the hands of some other person. I would describe this method of searching for happiness as immature. Development of character consists solely in moving toward self-sufficiency.

For an introvert his environment is himself and can never be subject to startling or unforeseen change.

Sex is the last refuge of the miserable.

It is explained that all relationships require a little give and take. This is untrue. Any partnership demands that we give and give and give and at the last, as we flop into our graves exhausted, we are told that we didn't give enough.

To know all is not to forgive all. It is to despise everybody.

For flavor, instant sex will never supersede the stuff you have to peel and cook.

Health consists of having the same diseases as one's neighbors.

Fashion is what you adopt when you don't know who you are.

You fall out of your mother's womb, you crawl across open country under fire, and drop into your grave.