Life As We Know It: April 22, 2013
Cliches have always been, well, the bane of my existence. I’m not going to sugar-coat it. They stick in my craw like a bad penny. Not that a good penny would be a walk in the park if it’s stuck in your craw.
But going toe to toe with clichés, something I thought would be a slam dunk, has left me tilting at windmills and grasping at straws – on a slippery slope, no less. Am I left to lick my wounds and bite the bullet, difficult as that would be to do simultaneously?
Perhaps I’m missing the boat. Maybe that ship has sailed. Hey, any port in a storm.
Take the cake. Take it to the bank. In fact, take it with a grain of salt. Take one for the team. Take it easy or take it to the limit. But please, don’t take a long walk on a short pier.
Maybe I’m beating a dead horse here – no doubt a horse of a different color – but what is it with animals and clichés?
Let’s see if I have my ducks in a row: Sick as a dog. Strong as an ox. Blind as a bat. Crazy as a loon. Stubborn as a mule. Happy as a clam. Mad as a wet hen. Naked as a jaybird. Quiet as a mouse. Drunk as a skunk.
What, it’s not enough that skunks smell bad? They can’t hold their liquor either?
And of course, sly as a fox. You could also be dumb as a stump or dumber than a box of rocks. Personally, I prefer half a bubble off.
What about body parts? Let’s see, off the top of my head, there’s mud in your eye, a bug in your ear, a frog in your throat, and somebody rubbed salt in your wound. But hey, keep your chin up and get your butt in gear. If I left any out, I’m sure you’ll hold my feet to the fire. It’s no skin off my teeth.
You can be over the hill, over the top, over a barrel.
You can make waves. Make your move. Make money hand over fist. In which case, you’d no doubt make out like a bandit.
You can shoot the moon, shoot the breeze, shoot fish in a barrel, shoot from the hip, or shoot yourself in the foot. I don’t care. Just don’t shoot the messenger. That’s me.
You could show some backbone and show me the door. My preference: show me the money.
You can stick a fork in it or you can stick it in your ear, preferably without the fork.
Some clichés endure; others crash and burn. Ever hear anyone say “that’s how the cookie crumbles” anymore? Not so much.
As old ones fade, new ones hit the ground running. Here’s one: low-hanging fruit. But it’s the same old song and dance.
Caught between a rock and a hard place? Seems old, but it’s relatively new, like the last 15 years or so.
How about a hybrid? Of President Obama’s wars, you could say he’s “between Iraq and a hard place.” I’ll bet he wishes he could party like it’s 2008. You know, back in the day when he had the world by the tail?
How about “I just can’t wrap my head around it”? Of course you can’t. If you could you’d make a fortune in the circus.
He “dodged a bullet.” Must be Superman.
She “drank the Koolaid.” Still new but rapidly becoming old.
Occasionally a cliché works perfectly, so we don’t want to throw the baby out with the bathwater here. When you tell a certain retired editor turned columnist he’s not the brightest crayon in the box, there’s really no better way to say it.
I hate to sound like a broken record. Maybe I’m whistling in the dark, but when push comes to shove, giving up the ghost is just not in the cards. Go figure.
I know you’ve got a lot on your plate, but here’s some food for thought, something to chew on. Though it’s an uphill battle on an emotional roller coaster, let’s draw a line in the sand and circle the wagons. Let’s go the whole nine yards, gang-tackle clichés, and put them in a world of hurt. The ball’s in your court.
Wake up and smell the coffee. You know the drill. Let’s see the glass half full, think outside the box, and