Tag Archives: Paul Dickson

Never Go To a Doctor Whose Office Plants Have Died

Erma Bombeck? Paul Dickson? Anonymous?

Dear Quote Investigator: Recently, while sitting in the waiting room of a medical office I noticed that the potted plants were in dire condition. This was a bad omen, and I vaguely recall a joke about this situation. Can you help?

Quote Investigator: The humorist Erma Bombeck wrote a widely syndicated newspaper column called “At Wit’s End” and several best-selling books. In 1975 she published a piece stating that previously she was not a suspicious person, but her viewpoint had changed over the years. She presented several comical remarks about her increasingly cautious outlook. Here were three examples. Emphasis added by QI: 1

Never go to a doctor whose office plants have died.
Never trust an optometrist who won’t look you in the eye.
Never frequent beauty shops that don’t have mirrors. They have something to hide. You.

Below are additional selected citations in chronological order. Continue reading


  1. 1975 January 7, Pampa Daily News, At Wit’s End by Erma Bombeck, Quote Page 5, Column 1, Pampa, Texas. (Newspapers_com)