From the Thinking Strange Thoughts series
WISE OLD SAYINGS
One thing that’s always annoyed me is so called “wise old sayings”,. It seems like you can say any old gibberish, and as long as it’s a “wise old saying” you can get away with it. I’ll give you some examples.
“You can’t have your cake and eat it” say’s who? I’ll tell you something, if I go to the trouble of obtaining a cake, then there’s a very good chance that I’m going to eat it.
“If the cap fits, wear it” Rubbish!! The cap may fit you perfectly but if you look stupid in the hat why should you have to wear it.
“A friend in need is a friend indeed”, no way, a friend in need is a bleedin’ nuisance.
“A rolling stone gathers no moss” Well of course he doesn’t, can you honestly imagine Mick Jagger putting on his wellies and wandering around the fields gathering moss, he’s far too busy, obviously he’d get an assistant to do that sort of thing.
“Inside every fat person there is a thin person trying to get out”. well personally I have no sympathy for them, it’s there own fault for eating the thin person in the first place.
And finally the silliest of the lot, “Too many cooks spoil the broth”, Surely it all depends on the amount of broth being prepared and the quality of the cooks who are preparing it. I mean, you could have just one cook, and if they were not very good there is a big chance that the broth would be spoiled. Sometimes the broth may be spoiled and it has nothing to do with the cook. I myself once made a broth and it was spoiled due to some dodgy prawns, now surely you can not blame the cook for that. Also it all depends on just how much broth you require. I mean, if I was running a restaurant and someone came in and ordered a million bowls of broth, I’m pretty damn certain that I would want as many cooks as possible working in the kitchen churning out broth. No, take it from Steve, the more cooks the better , lets just get the broth made as quickly as possible, and if for some reason it gets spoiled, well you can always whip up an omelette
Mind you, if these “wise old sayings“. are bad, they are nothing compared to “Wise old Chinese sayings”. The strange thing about “Wise old Chinese sayings” is that they are so long and complicated and seem to have nothing to do with what they are describing. For example if a “Wise old Chinese person” was describing a long journey, he would probably say, “A crow picks up a pebble from Ayres Rock, flies to the Sahara Desert, and puts the pebble down. Flies back to Ayres Rock, picks up another pebble, flies back to the Sahara Desert, puts down the pebble. He flies back and forth between Ayres Rock and the Sahara Desert carrying pebbles until Ayres Rock is no more but there is a huge hill in the Sahara Desert. Then the crow picks up a pebble from this hill and returns it to where Ayres Rock once was, he flies back and forth carrying pebbles until Ayres Rock is as it was and the Sahara Desert is flat once again, and this is how long the journey was.
Now, maybe I’m missing something, but surely it would be a lot quicker to just say, “It was a very long journey”. Or, if you really wanted to emphasize the point ,you could say, “It was a very, very long journey. I should imagine that a lot of people being told these “wise old Chinese sayings’ actually die of old age before the point is reached.
No, you would certainly not find me using any of that rubbish in my articles. Anyway I must go now, because as you know “ When a wombat wears purple underpants in September, very little good will come of it.”
Copyright of Stephen Ainley