Welcome to Cliche Thursday, where we occasionally deconstruct 5 expressions that we’ve all become a little too familiar with.
Here we go…
“Stop beating around the bush” – I put on my thinking cap and tried to figure out the origin of this saying. This was the best I could come up with.
Wife: “Hey, come out here and help me get this stray cat out of our hedges.”
Husband: “Dang cats are always getting in our stuff. I’ve had enough.”
Wife: “Well, I can’t get the thing to leave. I keep whacking the ground with this shovel, but it won’t move.”
Husband: “Well, stop beating around the bush.”
Wife: “What do you propose I should do?”
Husband: “I don’t know, just beat the dang bush. Swing the shovel at the bush and hope it hits the cat. Or get the chainsaw out and cut the bush down. Or use the shovel to dig a moat around the bush, fill the moat with kerosene, and call down fire like Elijah. I don’t care what you do so long as you stop beating around the bush, it ain’t doing nothing.”
Yup. Nailed it.
“You’ll never amount to a hill of beans” – (idea from reader Lazarus) Have you ever seen a hill of beans? Me either. But I’ll be honest here, chances are I’d find it very impressive.
“You mean this hill I’m looking at…this entire mound…is made out of beans? Wow. That’s amazing. I mean, I can’t imagine how many beans are there and how long it must have taken to pile them up like that. It’s really quite something to behold. Impressive. Very impressive. ”
So you know what? Maybe I won’t amount to a hill of beans. Maybe people won’t be amazed and astonished every time they see me. But that’s okay.
Trying to amount to a hill of beans was setting the bar way too high.
“She’s as right as rain” – (idea from reader Larry H.) Of the 300 adjectives one could use to describe rain, the word “right” is noticeably absent from the list.
The only time rain is ever “right” is when…
A) you’re a farmer and your crops are about to dry up and die and if it doesn’t rain in the next day or two you’re going to have to sell the farm and go back to contract killing.
B) you’re a kid who signed up to play baseball and now you hate it but your parents won’t let you quit so you have to go to practice twice a week, except for when it rains and practice is canceled and you can just sit at home and play Wii baseball instead.
C) you’re a former farmer and a current contract killer and you need to bury a body in your backyard but the ground is frozen and what you really need is a good soaking rain to loosen up the earth so you can hide your latest “harvest”.
Other than those 3 scenarios, rain is ALWAYS wrong.
“He really rubs me the wrong way” – And come to think of it, there is no right way.
“Someday you’ll thank me for this” – Recent researched has discovered that of the 4.3 million times this phrase has been uttered since it was coined, only 6 people have ever received the “thank you” they were waiting for.
Jerry Columbus – back in 1491 he fired his brother Chris from the family tailoring business and told him to go get on a ship and sail off the edge of the world. Chris thought Jerry was telling him to go kill himself, but instead he was given the push he needed to go discover the Americas.
Kerry Lyons – drew a gun on her friend Sheryl Freeman to stop her from getting a “Favre Packers 4 Life” tattoo during Spring Break 1998. Sheryl calls Kerry once a week to thank her.
Larry Mitchell – punched his best friend Ronnie Lynch in the face to stop him from trading his Michael Jordan rookie card to Brian Webber for a french kiss from Brian’s older sister Denise. Despite having a crooked nose to this day, Ronnie appreciates what Larry did. He still has the card and Denise Webber had mouth herpes.
Neil Calfman – shaved off his younger brother’s handlebar mustache in his sleep.
Phyllis Strauss – kidnapped her coworker Nancy Johnson to keep her from a rendez-vous with Wilt Chamberlain in 1961. Nancy held a grudge for 30 years thinking she had missed out on finding true love until she read Wilt’s book “A View From Above” in which he claimed to have 20,000 lovers.
That’s it. That’s the list. And someday you’ll thank me for writing it.
What About You? If an expression is really fingernailing your chalkboard lately, flame it in the comments.
(for past editions of Cliche Thursday, click here.)