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  • Surprises are foolish things. The pleasure is not enhanced, and the inconvenience is often considerable.

  • ... there are times when life surprises one, and anything may happen, even what one had hoped for.

  • Surprises are like misfortunes or herrings — they rarely come single.

  • You're never safe from being surprised till you're dead.

  • ... the cream of enjoyment in this life is always impromptu. The chance walk; the unexpected visit; the unpremeditated journey; the unsought conversation or acquaintance.

  • Ah, I'm a woman that's been clear around the world in my rocking chair, and I tell you we all get surprises now and then.

    • Eudora Welty,
    • "The Whole World Knows," The Golden Apples ()
  • Never think you've seen the last of anything.

  • You could have knocked me down with a fender.

  • In a way, all creative writing is about the unexpected. Speakers in poems and essays and characters in narratives are coping with a series of surprises as they move through life, just as we are. The unexpected happens or the expected happens but the reaction is a surprise. We surprise ourselves and we surprise one another. The only thing that isn't surprising is that we continue to be surprised.

  • To be astonished is one of the surest ways of not growing old too quickly.

  • The blow you can't see coming is the blow that knocks you out ...

  • Breakthroughs, in art, in culture, in personality, come when tackling the unexpected.

  • Surprise is the enemy of prudence.

  • Surprises, I feel now, are primarily a form of violence.

  • But the English do not know what surprise is. No one ever turns his head to look at anyone else in the street.

  • It's not the punch you expect that knocks you down.