Tag Archives: clichés

Don’t Get Caught Readin’ No Ugly Book; It Just Ain’t Proper

boringcoverI’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “You can’t judge a book by its cover.” When you think about it, these words don’t hold water.

“What?” you ask. “Why is this strange man stomping a cliché I’ve heard and believed since I was but a wee lad/lass?”

As we ponder this silly notion, cut through the myth, and get right down to the nitty gritty, we have to be honest with ourselves and those around us.

If we walk into a bookstore with a particular book to purchase and nothing else then the same rings true… maybe.

If we walk into the same bookstore with perusal on our mind then the cliché flies…no rockets out of the window.

Here’s where your honesty brings it all together. How many times have you purchased books after the cover caught your eye?

Check the back matter and there you have it, “a book judged by its cover.”

Now if you refuse to budge from this outdated saying of yore, I guess you read a lot of dark brown books and your library is ugly, boring and sad, even if the words between the ugly covers are exemplary.

The choice is yours, read what you like, like what you read, or vice a versa in reverse.

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Saying What I Said Does Not Necessarily Mean I Said What You Thought I Said. Sometimes It’s What Someone Else Surmised I Said…Just Saying

As I’m writing a novel, short story, or whatever, I attempt to make it feel as though the reader is a part of what woke up deadI’m writing by being descriptive about surroundings, clothing and anything you would normally experience in day-to-day life; including dialogue–the type of which I refer to as “goofy stuff.”

I’ve now learned that make-believe people say, do, and believe the same idiotic things that us real, dad gum, true-to-life people what breathes air and everything do…things like sayings, that, although make absolutely no sense, seem to make perfect sense to a certain percentage of the living/nonliving population.

Have you ever “woken up dead?” It seems there are those who have accomplished this feat. I’m still looking for a credible occurrence but all those who claim to have risen from their slumber in this condition are too hard to understand; i.e., teeth falling out, limbs dropping off and you would not believe the smell.

Another interesting quote that I seem to hear entirely too often (in fact, I think it should become a misdemeanor) is, “I’m finding myself.” Boy, if you ain’t found yourself by now, you better stop looking. Let me give you step-by-step instructions on how to accomplish this feat.

1) Walk into the bathroom.
2) Stand in front of the mirror.
3) If your eyes are closed, open them.
4) You are officially “found.”
5) Now, get off whatever part of your body you’ve been lazing around on, get a job, and act like somebody.
6) If by chance you still cannot locate yourself, then it’s quite possible you are wasting oxygen the rest of us can use. Maybe you should consider an exploratory trip to Jupiter. I’m sure you’d have no trouble getting there.

We’re coming down the home stretch.

Wrap your head around this one, “I found it in the last place I looked.” Let’s take a moment to dissect this statement. One could say, “I looked in ten different places, then low and behold, I found it in the 3rd place I looked.” What does this statement say to you? Does it scream idiocrasy or does it imply a more insightful conclusion to this conundrum by way of tenacity?

If you’ve taken time to read the last paragraph, then know this: You have wasted a minute or so of your life that you will never get back.

I will leave you with these words of wisdom for those of you who haven’t departed for Jupiter as of yet. Live, love, laugh, linger in lucidly, lounge in leisure, listen, learn, lavish in lessons and leap into life. Just stay away from stupid stuff.

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I Thunked I Heard Her Say it, Come to Find Out, my Thunker was Busted

“Mama told me there’d be days like these.” How often have I uttered that phrase after a particularly rough day? Quite a few I’m sure.mama said mama said there would be days

How often have you complained to a friend or coworker using those exact words? “Mama told me there’d be days like these.”

How many times has someone, be they friend, foe, brother, sister, neighbor, aunt, uncle, mailman’s sister-in-law, wife or just the dog down the street, hammered you with those words? Each one mired in their pathetic excuse for a life, drug through the muck of an excruciatingly painful day, causing them to speak those words of wisdom. “Mama told me there’d be days like these.”

Something is amiss. I ponder, I worry, and then ponder and worry some more until it hits me–Mama never told me there’d be days like these. In fact, I know of no one who’s Mama ever said “there’d be days like this.” And, to take it one step further, I know no one, who knows anyone, who may have thought they knew of someone, who had an inkling, that they heard of someone, who may have said that somebody’s mama, said something like that.

Mama did tell me one thing:

“Always make sure you’re wearing clean underwear in case you’re ever in an accident.” And she also said…… Wait a minute, back up a few words. Mama always supplied me with clean underwear, but she never told me to wear it in case I was in an accident.

“Clean your plate.” With the appetite I had growing up, she may have said something like, “don’t eat your plate,” but never, “clean your plate.” If starving children in China were depending on food being left on my plate, they were in for a rude awakening.

You know, the more I write, the more I become disillusioned with what Mama said, because it turns out that she didn’t say much of anything.

She didn’t tell me to become a writer, but she did act all proud when I published my first novel. She said, “This is my son and I’m proud because he published a novel.”

The more I think about it, Mama was just trying to steal my thunder and that’s why throughout the years she never said anything.

I’ll be talking to Mama soon and maybe we can work this out, but until then I’ll sadly wonder what could have been, if Mama had just opened her mouth.

And on top of all that, Mama doesn’t have Internet, so I can’t get in trouble…… Of course they do say, “The walls have ears.”

It’s probably just one more thing attributed to something that Mama said and since we know that she didn’t say anything, we’re still in the clear.

I’ve got to go; I’ve managed to confuse myself.

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And Down Will Come Baby, Cradle and Whatever Else Has No Business In the Top of a Tree

Dog Looking at and Listening to a Phonograph, ...

(Photo credit: Beverly & Pack)

As I sit in my lonely writer’s room, I ponder my very existence. Do I actually exist? If so, why am I here? How can I possibly accomplish the task for which I was brought into existence to accomplish? “How,” I ask you.  “How?” As my soul sinks into the depths of despair, I feel my very life’s blood flow into nothingness, for I am nothing…a mere thought, unable to accomplish the simplest of accomplishments.

 How sappy can you get? I almost threw up writing it. It may have flown a hundred years ago, and although my version was a little over the top, it just goes to show you how writing styles have changed over the years.

 I used this intro to segue into sayings we use today, but which have lost their relevance, (had they possessed an iota of relevance to begin with.)

 Remember this one?

 “Work like a dog.”

 Now I’ll admit that there are breeds of “working” dogs that actually labor today and this practice was much more prevalent back in the day when dogs were bred for a specific job.   The notion that, “work like a dog” has any real meaning today careened down the mountain side, through the veterinary specialists (including psychiatry) canine insurance, into businesses catering exclusively to our four-legged friends  complete with gourmet food, sweaters, bows and, the crème de la crème, fake reindeer antlers.

  My dog’s definition of work would be as follows:

 Eat, drink, lick, standup, yawn, chase squirrels, become bored, give up, bark at a cloud, water bowl too far away, yawn, circle twice, plop down, lick, take nap. Repeat process until bedtime.

 “Work like a dog?” I think not.

 How about this one?

 “Sleep like a baby.”

A friend spends the night at your house. The next morning you meet in the kitchen for breakfast. During coffee you make an offhand comment.“How’d you sleep last night?” “Like a baby,” comes the reply.

So you went to bed around 8 p.m., I think to myself. Cried yourself to sleep, woke up at 10 and 12 for a feeding and diaper change. At 2 a.m. you drank your bottle, burped ever so slightly and then pressure-puked all over your mother, your crib and yourself. Finally returned to sleep at 3 a.m., woke up at 4 a.m. for bottle and diaper change , then laid back down just in time for a rectal blowout. This little slice of heaven managed to push through the diaper legs and all over the crib. Someone cleaned you up and all involved were back to sleep by 5:30 a.m.. You were up for the rest of the day by 6 a.m.

 Once again, “sleep like a baby.” I think not.

 So what can we take away from these paragraphs of wisdom? Unfortunately, not much, so I’ll leave you with this tidbit:

 Elephants could fly, if bicycles would stop eating ham sandwiches… Now think on that one a while and get back to me.

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Would You Mind Repeating That? And this Time, in English?

Whether I’m penning a novel, a short story or a grocery store list, I have to wonder about the English language. Nay, what America has done to the English language? I have to wonder when a traveler from another country lands up on our hallowed shores, what is their first inkling? Finally, America “or” I’ve somehow landed on another planet.

United States of America

United States of America (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The clichés alone are enough to send the average visitor screaming back to their homeland. Put yourself in their place. You’ve taken the time to learn proper English. Your late flight lands in Los Angeles. You run for the gate to board the plane that will take you to your final destination, Chicago, only to find that the doors are closed and the plane is backing from the jet way.

The concierge says, “You must arrive at the gate on time; remember the early bird gets the worm.”

You ask, “When does the next plane leave?”

The concierge replies “Just sit tight and don’t kick up a fuss.”

You think, bird, worm, sit tight and don’t kick anything. What have I gotten myself into?

 Finally, you arrive at Chicago, recover your luggage and head for the taxi stand. You notice storm clouds overhead. You hear someone say, “It’s raining cats and dogs.” You run back inside, not wanting to be bombarded by falling felines and canine.

Anyway you get the picture…

Now, for my personal favorite: “phonics.”

The very name,” phonics,” is a misnomer in and of itself. If I were to spell the word “phonics” using phonics, it would look something like this, “fonix.”

And here’s a question that I would really love an answer to. Why are words that start with an “X,” pronounced like they begin with a “Z” such as “xylophone”? Or words that end with an “X,” pronounced like they finish with an “O,” such as, “Bordeaux”? Some would say that’s the French pronunciation. Well, the last time I looked I didn’t live in France.

Why are so many of our words rooted in Latin, when Latin is a dead and unspoken language? I guess you had to be there.

I bet it was something akin to our American revolution (which at the time was not a popular idea.) Many a plan was discussed under the cover of night in the city Taverns that laid the foundation for our independence. Can you imagine the pints that were pulled during these discussions? I imagine that not only would it have been enough to float the oldest commissioned battleship in our Navy, the U.S.S. Constitution, but several modern aircraft carriers as well.

I guess what I’m trying to get at with this analogy is that over the span of many years there had to be an inordinate amount of alcohol consumed to have created the language of these great United States of America.

It’s been said that American English is one of the most difficult languages to learn. For whatever reason, I find that a source of pride. What could be more appropriate than a complex language for such a wonderfully complex nation?

Post Script:  Kinda makes me leery when it comes to writing another novel with all the language faux pas.  Well, I guess if John Hancock can get his stuff published, then I’ll hang in there, too.

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