Never Kick a Fresh Turd on a Hot Day

Natalie Frank, Ph.D.
5 min readDec 28, 2018

When I feel burnt out or overwhelmed by writing lengthy articles I sometimes take a break and answer questions for Quora. Quora is a site where people can ask just about anything and have the question answered by experts they select as well as writers in the general pool. One frequent type of question is “Who said . . . ?“ These questions often include quotes that are obscure or are rarely heard statements attributed to well known people. The trick to answering these is not to simply find out who said it, but to provide some insight into what the quote might mean. Taking a break today, I went to the Quora site and looked through the questions that had been directed to me specifically. One caught my eye. It was this:

I had been having a tough time working on an article for a client and this question definitely caught my attention as it lightened my mood and made me curious. So I immediately googled it to find that the statement had been been made by Harry S. Truman the 33rd president of the United States. Truman was what the historians called “a controversial president,” and with quotes like this, it’s easy to see why.

Although it isn’t certain when he said this, some say it was after he penned a scathing letter to music critic Paul Hume who had criticized his daughters concert in the Washington Post. The letter was as follows:

Mr. Hume:

I’ve just read your lousy review of Margaret’s concert. I’ve come to the conclusion that you are an “eight ulcer man on four ulcer pay.”

It seems to me that you are a frustrated old man who wishes he could have been successful. When you write such poppycock as was in the back section of the paper you work for it shows conclusively that you’re off the beam and at least four of your ulcers are at work.

Someday I hope to meet you. When that happens you’ll need a new nose, a lot of beefsteak for black eyes, and perhaps a supporter below!

Pegler, a guttersnipe, is a gentleman alongside you. I hope you’ll accept that statement as a worse insult than a reflection on your ancestry.



Natalie Frank, Ph.D.

I write about behavioral health & other topics. I’m Managing Editor (Serials, Novellas) for LVP Press. See my other articles: