Remembering John Simpson, Sr. through his many Simponisms

Remembering John Simpson, Sr. through his many Simpsonisms

November 24, 2019

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by Murray Brown

A good many of you know of my undying admiration of John Simpson Sr.

I know with absolute certainty that I would not have achieved anywhere near the success that I might have in this great sport without his guidance and the opportunity that he afforded me.

He was many things. He could be brilliant, kind, caring, generous, exceptionally loyal and was perhaps the most intuitive person I’ve ever known.

He was also capable of occasionally being hard, stubborn and unyielding.

When he was that way, time and patience would almost always lead him to changing direction if he was wrong. If he didn’t change paths, almost without exception, he was right.

All of this leads to what I found to be both an amusing and insightful aspect of his personality.

I call them Simpsonisms.

They are sayings that he often used. Some can be a little harsh. Some are quite insightful. There are a very few others which I’ve left out that might even be considered vulgar or inappropriate.

“He doesn’t have that pinhead for nothing”
– referring to a bald-headed trainer with a protruding scalp for whom he had little respect.

“The higher a monkey climbs, the more he will show you his ass”
– Self-descriptive.

“He’s as happy as if he had any sense”

“He’s as happy as a monkey with a new banana”

“He’s walking in high cotton”
– describing someone newly prosperous.

“You cannot protect a fool from himself”

“He’s got an impediment in his reach”
– describing someone who never reached for a check. This certainly NEVER applied to him. He would get downright angry if someone else tried to pay a check.

“I’ve got one of the sharpest pens you can find”
– describing his adversity to owing money and having any sort of debt.

“He just can’t stand prosperity”

“I wouldn’t pee on him if he were on fire”

“If you have a knee knocker, trade him for a dog and then shoot the dog”
– this didn’t relate to his character at all. He loved just about all dogs and most horses, sometimes more than he liked some people.

“You have to be smarter than a horse to train one properly”

“We will have to take up a collection to bury him”
– referencing people who lived beyond their means.

“He could start a fight in an empty house”

“Give him two nickels for a dime and he will think he’s rich”

“No horse can carry his top speed for more than a quarter of a mile. In many cases, separating the best drivers from the others is knowing when to use it”

“You can’t be selling apples, when people want oranges”
– when discussing the sale of yearlings.

“We have far too many intellectuals and far too few people with common sense running this country”

“His horses know how to read a tote board”
– when speaking of Eddie Cobb. He actually stole this from Jack Kiser, who wrote it about Charlie Fitzpatrick.

“Many are called, but very few are chosen”
– when describing any stallion’s chance of succeeding.

“He looks like a monkey trying to #@*& a football.

“A small person can be small in many ways”
– describing a vertically challenged owner who often switched trainers.

“His trunks have wheels on them”
– describing the same owner.

“I love a good horse, any horse”
– when asked if he preferred trotters or pacers. In actuality, he much preferred trotters.

“I prefer a lot of dogs to a lot of people”

“Let every cat take care of its own mouse”

“You’re as nervous as a blind fly in a shithouse”
– used to describe me when I’d become manic.

“If you tell the truth, you never have to think about what you first said”

“He’s educated way beyond his intelligence”
Almost all of these were taken from my book “MURRAY BROWN, Book Full and Closed.

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