All my books are available from:

About Me

My photo
I am a writer - late developer since I wasn't published until I was 50. I have now written 23 novels, numerous short stories and articles.


Blog Archive

Powered by Blogger.
Sunday 9 February 2014
                                    The Silly Things We Say

"It’s a small world we live in," I said the other day to my friend Andrew.
"What a cliché.  Can't you think of something more original to say than that?” he growled.  Poor soul, I begin to feel sorry for him for he's reached the age when he’s beginning to show definite signs of turning into a grumpy old man.
‘The problem is they are clichés because they say what is true and so are often repeated.”  I responded, feeling quite grumpy myself as my position as a writer appeared to be under attack and, in my opinion, wrongly for this really was a case in point - I’d just discovered that a friend’s great-grandfather had had an affair with another friend’s great-grandmother and my mother-in-law knew them both - now is that strange or is that strange?
Mind you, these were exceptional circumstances when only a cliché would do.  However it got me thinking about sayings in general.  And we really do use some odd ones.
Lets imagine a middle aged woman who has just discovered that her husband has run off with his secretary who is a good two decades younger than her, far prettier and also fun.  A splendid rant at the unfairness of it all is called for which makes her feel a lot better until a friend pipes up with - 
“At least you can take comfort that there’s always someone worse off than you!  She then proceeds to illustrate this by telling her, invariably, of a person who has just been diagnosed with some awful disease. 
“I’m sorry for your friend, but I don’t care.  It’s my husband who has done a bunk,” our middle-aged woman snaps, and rightly so. “You’ll be telling me next that her cat is pregnant.” 
“How did you know?“ 
It is at this point that you wouldn’t be surprised nor would you criticise the spurned wife if she chose to clock them over the head with a flat iron.
Here’s another.  What about a girl or boy, it doesn’t matter which, who is certain they have met the love of their lives; they are wallowing in the bliss of pure love and passion - and then they get unceremoniously ditched. 
Never mind there are plenty more fish in the sea.”  Some prat consoles them.  So what on earth is the point of that?  This poor soul isn’t interested in fish.  It’s the love of their lives they want and yearn for.  I suppose if you were a manic fisherman it might be of interest but who wants to kiss a guppy when it’s their prince they long for?
One that can cover numerous eventualities, from death to losing your wallet, from getting the sack to finding your favourite dish in the restaurant is “Off” from going bankrupt to getting a spot before a big dance:  It was meant to be . . .something better will turn up.  Oh, yes?  Who says?
  I will confess to often using that particular cliché when the purchase of a house you’ve set your heart on falls through.  And in that case, I’ve discovered, it’s often true.  I’ve lost count, in my peripatetic live, of the number of times a sale has collapsed and we’ve ended up with a far nicer home. 
A leopard never changes his spots.  How daft is that.  Just think about it for a minute, why on earth would a leopard want to change his spots? I’m sure they are perfectly happy the way they are.  And who knows, if they did change their spots maybe their mums wouldn’t recognise them.  And in any case, how would they go about it?  In the jungle or wherever leopards live.
And why is it just leopards?  What’s so special about them?  What about Zebras changing their stripes, or ladybirds, and how about Gloucester Old Spot?  Why persecute the leopards?
A stitch in time saves nine.   Who counted?  That’s plain silly, it could be more but then on the other hand it might be less.
It never rains but it pours.  Oh no it doesn’t.  What’s a shower?  Hardly a downpour is it?  Perhaps you could say that in all honesty in the tropics but not here.
Every cloud has a silver lining.  No it doesn’t.  We’ve all seen clouds there ain’t no silver there.
Life is what you make it.  No it isn’t.  Life happens - if you could control it then we’d all be whatever we wanted.  Personally I would be a brunette, beautiful slim, rich and with a seductive low laugh, not the snort I ended up with.
The grass is always greener.  That is just not true. I can look out of my window and prove to you that is a lie.
There are a couple of new ones I’ve noticed.  What goes around comes around.  Now what exactly does that mean?  If some kind soul would explain it to me.  And the other is I’ll give it 110% don’t trust whoever promises you that, don’t you know it doesn’t exist!

This article first appeared in the CGA magazine.


Post a Comment