A Few Cliches Explained

Sometimes these things just pop into my head as I try and fall asleep. Then I pick myself up off the floor, rub my head, and write them down on whatever paper or candy carton is laying around.

Have you ever wondered that people who wanted to be on the same page are even reading the same book as you?

Seems to me, people who want you to get your ducks in a row are bad at shooting guns.

People who want you to hit the ground running will stick their left foot in front of you at the starting line.

A Few New Phrases and Definitions

I love English language, especially American English, and all the bullshit phrases people think up to make themselves feel more important. So, I decided, why can’t I? Here goes.

I created a bullshit generator on my computer. It takes verbs, nouns, and adjectives, and generates random combinations. Every now and then, I get some gems.

Better Blow – Better than the last one that left you satisfied.
Mellow Pen – When your boss reluctantly signs your check.
Pumped Size – The new name for the larger sized soda at your favorite fast food.
Chilly Card – A greeting card from the South Pole.
Non-discrete Punishment – Public Execution
Moaning Place – The only room in your house where you’re allowed to be a bitch.
Taboo Wish – A curse.
Hulking Kitten – Tiger
Delightful Pipe – Bong
Juicy Hobbies – Sexual Promiscuity
Alcoholic Pet – Wouldn’t you like to see this? Hey, fido, here boy! Fetch me a 6-pack.
False Prison – Public School, Employment in Corporate America
Possessive Drawer – A drawer where you put your possessions and it doesn’t open.
Efficient Love – A quickie.
Exciting Grass – Weed.
Silent Knowledge – A secret.
Receptive Cough – To catch a cold.
Defective Circle – Oval.
Cowardly Rainstorm – A light drizzle.
Knowledgeable Link – Related thoughts.
Festive Change – Redecorating the house.
Diligent Vote – A vote that takes care and understanding, but never happens in Congress.
Satisfying Sit – A comfortable chair.
Condemned Result – A jury conviction.
Limping Hope – When your hope has nearly faded away.
Obsolete Stop – When you stop at a stop light and there’s no traffic but yourself for five minutes.
Nonstop Influence – American Advertising.
Makeshift Die – To think up a creative way to kill someone.
Pathetic Make – A crappy car.
Abusive Mark – A black eye, or bruise or a welt.
Ill Connect – A bad date that ended the next morning.
Dynamic Discover – When two people find something at the same time.
Electric Buy – When you’re shocked by the credit card bill.
Late Answer – In a board meeting, to say the same thing as the last guy.
Disgusting Order – Anything on the fast food menu.
Miniature Come – Premature ejaculation.
Greasy Win – When a court case is won by a slick lawyer.
Thankful Drink – Anything alcohol.
Adamant Present – A gift box that won’t open.
Silent Win – Humble champions.
Slim Save – When you shut up just before you tell someone they’re full of shit.
Bite-sized Report – Your child’s report card after he fed it to the dog.
Numberless Cost – Free. Hey, I sell books at a numberless cost!

Giving 110 Percent at Work

Giving 110% in the WorkplaceYour boss’s brilliance with numbers will shine when they ask you to give 110 percent. Most people don’t give 110% at work. It’s roughly between 35 and 50 percent.

But, for argument’s sake, let’s say everyone at work gave 110%. If I gave 110%, and you gave 110%, doesn’t that mean the boss is getting an extra 20%? And if ten workers give 110%, then the boss is getting a free worker. Can you say labor law infraction?

Suppose only you give 110%, but earn the same as everyone else who gives 50%. Isn’t it unfair that you provide more than twice as much effort and get less in return? With this equation, the boss isn’t getting just 10% more, he’s getting 60% more! What a bargain.

Let’s get away from the hypothetical and look at this scientifically. We know 110% isn’t possible, because 10% more would mean you took part of a whole. If that’s true, then what happened to the remaining 90%? Is it just sitting around, doing nothing, like your boss? Probably.

Idioms and Idiots

The glorious English language is full of phrases, and the most amusing are the idioms. Most laugh at idiots and the stupid shit they do, while others laugh at the stupid shit they say. Here are a few idioms I enjoy.

Off to the Side

This phrase means to move aside to speak with someone. But the side is never defined. Is it the left side, or the right side? Nobody knows, we just know it’s off.

Someone often pulls you off to the side for something you’ve done wrong, and they want to keep you from getting embarrassed when they criticize you. Don’t be fooled, folks. When someone pulls you off to the side they’re doing it to save themselves from being embarrassed. Not you.

What about when you pull someone off to the side, and want to tell them a little secret, only to have that person shout over your shoulder to the whole party. “Hey, everyone, Jack says he has a crush on Melody and wants to dress up in whips and chains with her!” Your heart drops, it sinks, and you think, “Holy, shit! I can’t believe everyone knows that now!”

That’s one way of looking at it. But, there are more uses for the phrase. Off to the side can be used in sports, like when the cameraman should be standing off to the side instead of blocking the wide receiver in the last play of the Superbowl.

Or how about when someone says they’ll do you a favor, but then brushes it off to the side? Doesn’t that make you feel awful? They’ve violated your trust, let you down, put your friendship off to the side. Well, you won’t be asking any favors from him for a while.

In happens to actors when their hair is parted off to the side. Completely ruins their character.

What about when you’re decorating a cake, and the icing droops off to the side? What if it’s a wedding cake? You don’t want that to be messed up. Then again, you shouldn’t have any complaints if the icing on the cake is crooked and the  bride and groom are cross-eyed.

Mum’s the word

When someone tells you, Mum’s the word, they don’t want you to reveal a secret. Okay, first of all, it’s not a secret if more than one person knows, so that’s out the window. Second, who decided Mum was the word? Is my mother going to force me to reveal a secret? And if I don’t, who is she going to make me cry to to tell her? Seems to me, Mum isn’t the best choice of a word to describe a secret.

You can learn a fine lesson from the CIA: they don’t use any words about their secrets. In fact, the CIA doesn’t even say no comment, because they’re smart: they ignore it all together.

But let’s be generous here. Why does it have to be Mum? Who’s idea was it to use a word that meant mother to keep a secret from people? The last person I’d ever find myself lying to is my mother.

Let’s suppose for a moment we use a different word. Hmm… how about, Dad? Why not Dad’s the word? Dad doesn’t want to know about all the shit his kids do. Dad doesn’t care; he’s too busy working, and when he comes home, the last thing he wants to here is how you banged the neighbor’s daughter, lit the rug on fire, smashed the mailbox, and had a swat team come over about a stinkbomb. If Dad’s the word, Mum will just go to him, and he’ll speak up about anything. First words he’ll say: I’m sorry.

But let’s move on here, and pick another word. Why not… pumpernickel? “Pumpernickel’s the word.” It’s a long word, people have to think about it, and throws them off. “Hey, Billy, what did that boy just whisper in your ear?” “Pumpernickel!” Gets them every time.

Or, how about a word that doesn’t exist? Like, Goshibulodooky. If someone asked you to reveal a secret, and you say, Goshibulodooky!, they’ll wonder what that word means. It deflects them from even thinking about the secret. Then, you go into a lengthy explanation about tour aunt’s best friend’s sister’s cousin’s nephew uncle’s great grandfather’s tailor’s shoe maker’s great grandson’s little brother, told you it’s a microscopic organism in the intermediate subatomic layers of the atmosphere. They’ll think you’re way too fucking smart and leave you alone. Problem solved.

Crossed the Line

Oh, here’s one of my favorites. When someone does something so horribly wrong, they have crossed the line. But where’s the line? Nobody ever defines the line. How are we supposed to not cross the line if we don’t know where it is? And second, whoever said we crossed the line?

You can’t cross the line by going over it; you cross a line by drawing a line through another line, thus resulting in a cross, and now — and now — you have two lines. Doesn’t that mean when you cross a line with your line that their line has crossed your line? We’ve been double-crossed!

Well, which line did I cross? Your line, my line, someone else’s line? I didn’t know we had lines here and there to be crossed in the first place. Can someone please draw these lines so we can stop crossing them?

And this phrase only comes after you’ve crossed the line. It only happens after the fact; post de facto. Isn’t it illegal to punish someone after the fact? And, to avoid punishment, to avoid being told we’ve crossed the line, we have to draw the line in the sand. But what if you’re not standing on any sand? What if you’re standing in a puddle of water? You draw a line, and poof, it vanishes in the ripples. Now you got lines going everywhere and everyone in the puddle is crossing the line!

Suppose you can’t draw; suppose your drawing skills are that of a one year old and your lines are squiggles. What then? Are the lines just wherever they’re at? I think, before you start telling people they’ve crossed the line, you need to draw the line. In fact, they teach kids to color within the lines. What a great way of teaching them to not cross the line. That’ll whip them into shape as little slaves for the rest of their lives.

What if I don’t want a line? What if I want to say you’ve crossed the circle? It would cover more space, wouldn’t it? It would be easy for someone to know when they’ve crossed the circle instead of the line. A line has to be directly in front and perpendicular to your feet, while a circle is all around. Take one step in any direction and you’ve crossed the line. Rectangles and triangles work, too, but circle beats them all.

Upper Hand

Another stupid thing people say. He’s got the upper hand. It’s related to playing poker, when one player has the advantage over others. Well, if he has the upper hand, what’s he doing with his other hand? What’s he hiding? Did his other hand cross a line, and thus it had to be brushed off to the side? Mum’s the word on that one.

‘Till the Fat Lady Sings

The phrase means something won’t be over until something happens. Supposedly it comes from a fat lady singing at the end of the opera. I don’t know about you, but many of the fat ladies I’ve met don’t exactly have the most pleasant voices. You ever meet those women who shop with their five kids, still wearing their nightgown and hair curlers, pushing two shopping carts, balancing an infant in one arm, and a cigarette in another? Their voice is hoarse and scratchy. I think if you waited for her to sing you’d find yourself wishing you left sooner.

And why is it always a fat lady? Why not a fat man? Sometimes that happens in opera, too, but suppose we used something else. Suppose we had a fat ostrich sing. Suppose we had a fat ostrich in heat and tied him to the stage with six lady ostriches prancing around. Suppose he had a really bad temper. Seems like it would make for a grand finale.

We could have the fat lady do something else, such as, It ain’t over ’till the fat lady shoots herself on stage and they close the curtains to cover it up. You’d be surprised at how few people would know it was real. In fact, she’d get a pretty big round of applause while her corpse is being dragged off stage. Then, when everyone is about to leave the theater, the host walks out on stage, and tells them it wasn’t part of the show, and the singer has really died. That would make a lot of people feel like a real dick.

By Chance

Finally, I’ll close with the idiom, by chance. This phrase means something will happen purely out of randomness; nobody will decide to make it happen. And the phrase is versatile.

First, something can happen by chance. You didn’t expect it, you wanted it to happen, but in the back of your mind, you knew that you couldn’t make it happen. By chance, it will happen, or it won’t. But it’s just a chance. You take your chances.

Second, it can be used when someone asks you something. “Excuse me, by chance, do you have the time?” “Why, yes, I do have the time. It’s exactly five minutes past your last chance for me to tell you the time. Maybe next time.” Can’t miss that chance.

Or, how about this. “If by chance she does want to go out with me, will you give her my number, Dave?” “Sure, Jack, I’ll give her your number. What was that… 5-5-5 you don’t stand a chance?”

Don’t wait ’till the fat lady sings, because, by chance you don’t mum the word, you may lose the upper hand and cross the line.

An Oxymoron for a Moron

Let’s delve deep into language here and dissect oxymorons that get on my nerves.

First, what’s with a fine mess. If it’s a mess, why is it fine? Doesn’t fine imply it’s organized and well thought out? Seems someone planned this and it’s not a mess at all; maybe it’s art, or a hangover. Let’s move on; it looks fine to me.

There you are, watching your girlfriend try on clothes, and she thinks the dress is a little big. A phrase innocent enough, so she tries on a smaller one, all the while you’re thinking, Can’t she say that when we have sex?

I’ve never had a mild interest in something. It’s I’m interested or I don’t give a shit. Perhaps there are different levels of interest, like hot sauce: mild, medium, hot, and flaming. I’ve yet to see a hot sauce labeled obsessed.

I don’t think you can have good luck or bad luck. It’s just luck or no luck. If luck was good then it’s just luck. If your luck is bad then it’s no luck at all. And why do some feel unlucky? It implies they had luck and it was taken away. Is someone else lucky? Did luck have anything to do with it? Did they run into some bad luck?

Things are pretty bad. So bad it’s a beautiful work of art. What a fine mess you’ve made of your girlfriend’s dress spilling that wine at dinner, you made her look pretty bad, and tonight, you’ll get unlucky.

It’s not true one size fits all. Fits all who, people? What about pets? Many people like to dress up their pets. Will my shirt fit my pet tiger? I’m not sure I want to find out. I have a mild interest in cuts that are a little big.