- I'm an open-minded guy, really I am. The only minority group I find myself hating across the board is contortionists. I think the following will explain why.

- Spring had come once more to Oxenberry farm. The temperature and the foliage did not reflect it yet, but I could feel it stirring somewhere inside myself. Somehow, I sensed the coming change in the season which artfully and poignantly reflected the very changes that were taking place within me, a girl on the verge of becoming a woman.

- Call me Urkel.

- "Want a stick of gum?" Cynthia asked. It sounded so innocent at the time, how could I have guessed how it would all turn out? How could any of us have, we joyful little fools?

- "This is the president calling," said the voice on the phone. "The fate of the free world hangs on your shoulders!"

"But I'm just a plumber with a drinking problem and difficulty relating socially with others," I protested.

"It may sound crazy, but that's just the kind of man we need!"

- "Oh, so that's why they always say 'don't try this at home'," I said, raising my voice a little to be heard over Teddy's loud, desperate gasps. "Don't worry about a thing, we'll get all of that back inside you where it belongs. And before mom and dad get home too!"

- It was the best of times. It was totally, totally the best of times.

- "Billy, have you ever heard the story 'War and Peace'?" I asked.

"No," said Billy.

"Let me read you the entire thing, word for word," I said. And here's how it went:

- Old Clem's back was stiff and aching from the his labors as he rose up once more from the stream. The sifter was empty again, of course. He threw the metal pan to the ground and the clang it made against the rocks was not violent enough to satisfy him. He'd come too late, the days of instant prosperity from the California Gold-Rush were over. There were no more easy fortunes to be made here... but what about on Mars?

- It was a dark and stormy night. Sometimes there was lightening, though, and then it wasn't so dark, but just for like a second. Most of the time it was pretty darn dark.

- "Who killed Madame Sansbridge?" Constable Mergedin asked aloud. It had been her neighbor, Gordon MacCleod, driven temporarily mad when his romantic advances toward her had been rebuffed, but Detective Saint-Claire won't figure that out for about 300 pages yet.

- "Abraham Lincoln!" I gasped. "What are you doing here in my attic playroom in the early 21st century?"

"No time to explain," said Abe. "Here's a gun."