Up late unpacking old boxes, I find an old notebook, circa 1998, I titled "American Deadpan." Notes toward a novel I wrote three chapters of and left behind like old chewing gum once I got all the flavor out of the story. That's how writing fiction is for me: greedy, delicious, and, ultimately, unsatisfying. So I never returned to the novel (which was going to be about Yiddish, communism, porn, and the Unabomber) but now I'll return to the notes, which include, among other sundries, a list of expressions I overheard in conversation or borrowed from other books with the intention of re-using. (That's also known as stealing.) Here are my favorites. I didn't record their sources.
*You should talk United States.
*He's like a girl who gives from under her dress for a ride in a car.
*You wouldn't be his wife without he's a fine man.
*Take your troubles to God.
*I am become an Irish.
*I got misery in my legs.
*He's a Sunday thinker.
*He was a good actor, but he always picked the wrong character.
*It's been an enjoyment to listen to you.