Life As We Know It: April 29, 2013

      Apparently our commentary on the over-use of clichés stirred up quite a hornet’s nest, if you’ll pardon the expression. Not only were a couple dozen people motivated to share their own frustrations, several also offered clichés I overlooked.

     What can I say? Sometimes I can’t see the forest for the trees. I barely scratched the surface on the tip of the iceberg. Most folks got into the spirit of the word play by stringing together their own favorites. So let’s cut to the chase.

     Connie Schultz, a columnist for the Cleveland Plain Dealer and Creators Syndicate, said she and her husband, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown, “laughed out loud.” Going after clichés was a “win-win,” she said, adding “you can blame Sherrod for that one.”
It’s good that the Senator, a long-suffering Cleveland Indians fan like me, still has his sense of humor.

     Bob Duddy thought I should have included “in like Flynn” in my diatribe against clichés. Bob McLean cited two that bother him: “Duh” and “my bad.”

     Mark Kelly said the commentary arrived “in the nick of time.”
Herb Rolander said he “laughed his head off,” which if true could make me an accessory to a crime. I’ll plead not guilty by reason of insanity.

     Eric Russell lamented that I “missed the boat” when I didn’t mention “put that in your pipe and smoke it.” Sorry Eric. That would flout the smoking ban.

     John Blinn said the piece “hit the nail on the head.” Well, I WAS trying to hammer home a point.

     Mike Meuth sent it to the folks on his email list with the title: “Well, I’ll be a blue-tailed tick hound.” I think they’re called bluetick coonhounds, but hey, Mike’s version has a nice cadence to it.

     David Elsass said I wrote “with a full deck” and didn’t “mince words.”

     John Fedderke got all philosophical. “At the end of the day,” he wrote, “it is what it is.” You’re right, John. It’s all just water under the bridge. Or is it over the dam?

     Judy Carroll said reading the piece was more fun than “a barrel of monkeys.” I’ve always wondered about that one. Are monkeys shipped by the barrel? If so, I doubt they’re having any fun in there. Speaking of barrels, I wouldn’t want to scrape the bottom of that one.

     Sometimes a cliché works perfectly, as reader Kurt Meyers pointed out, citing “ballpark figure” as a good example of a phrase for which we all know the meaning and one we can use as a two-word substitute for a much longer explanation. Duh. My bad, Kurt.

     Hanson Holmes said the commentary provided chuckles for his morning coffee group at Mama C’s donut shop. He invited me to drop by some day at 6 a.m. and he’ll buy. Hanson, my friend, I’m retired. I don’t do 6 a.m. anymore, not even to wake up and smell the coffee.

     Kathi Bockmore, of Wellington, O., who managed to squeeze 11 cliches into her note, said I “hit it outta the park.” As a broken down ballplayer, I appreciate that. Happier than a pig in slop, you might say.

     But my favorite response came from my daughter Sheila in Alabama. “You really pulled out all the stops on that one, Dad,” she said, “whatever that means.”

     Honey, I’m tickled pink. In fact, I’m laughing my head off.