LITERALLY OR FIGURATIVELY
What’s it all about? You know, the stuff we say which has no relation whatsoever to what we mean. When we say something that totally means something else. Who are we trying to fool? Is it a deliberate plan to fool the aliens from outer space? Those green fellas with huge eyes and dome shaped heads. Well, the ones I met looked like that.
Are we trying to fool all those outer-planetary-alien creatures and legendary figures which come in all shapes and forms? Little green men, harpies, imps and fairies, sirens, leprechauns, tokoloshes, acheris, basilisks, loup garous, briarous, arachne’, upirs, dragons.
The choice is endless. They slither and fly, behead you and eat you, turn you to stone, abduct you, and generally scare you into counselling sessions, assuming you survive. Can any of them explain why us humans say one thing and mean another?
PUSH THE BOAT OUT
Going bananas. Blow one’s top off. Pop one’s cork. Hit the roof. Go ape. Barking up the wrong tree. Bite off more than you can chew. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Spill the beans.
Hit the sack. It’s not my cup of tea. He’s a top banana. He brings home the bacon. She’s a peach. Thousands and thousands of idioms to confuse not only our mythological pals but ourselves. Who does that?
But worst of all is our tendency to pay apparent compliments which are in reality insults, a way of knocking someone off their perch. ‘Squawk. Squawk.’
SAY WHAT YOU MEAN
It’s not only the aliens and creatures from the Land of Myth who are confused. Sure, we confuse ourselves. We’ve become (hopefully or not) such a polite society that we’ve lost the ability to speak as one finds.
We speak with forked tongues, that is when they’re not hanging out at some tactless remark from the few morons who haven’t done the course or read the book. Telling your friend, she looks wonderful when what you’re thinking is how fat she’s become is a common comment.
(Nothing like a bit of alliteration to align the vocals). The alternative is asking if her doctor is concerned about her weight. Perhaps a bit too far in the ‘truth’ direction. It smacks of false concern.
Placing your hand sympathetically on her arm and asking: ‘Is everything okay?’ This one covers a multitude of sins leaving the recipient wondering if she’s turned into haggard witch overnight, or if she has lipstick on her teeth, or horror of horrors is wearing the wrong shoes.
Why don’t females tell each other stuff like: ‘You have lipstick on your teeth. Your dress is caught up in your knickers. You look stressed. You’ve gained a few pounds. Must be living the good life. It suits you.’ Be kind and loving and support each other. Nah!
Telling your friend that her new outfit really suits her and then you meet your ‘other friend’ for coffee and snigger about how awful the other one looked and that she’s mutton dressed as lamb. Or commenting on how ‘skinny’ she is. ‘Lost far too much weight’.
Inside you’re seething and wondering how the biatch looks so amazing. Keep thinking like that Babe and the grooves around your lips will become craters. Nothing like a bit of jealousy to warrant a face lift.
THE MEETING OF THE ‘OTHERS’
Once a year all these ‘Other’ creatures meet in a fancy-smancy hotel in Dublin’s fair city. How do I know this? I have inside information being married to an alien. My very own personal Richard ‘Mork’ Abrahams.
Top of the agenda, actually the only item on it is: The Human Dilemma of Saying Something that Means Something Else. Actually, I’m wrong. They have a 2nd item to discuss. This came about as a result of wandering the hills and dales of Ireland. Remember these creatures can fly or have super-powered spaceships.
They can achieve more in 1 minute than we can in 2628000 minutes. No myths intended. Anyway, to get back to … Where were we? Another human failing – wandering off track. Oh, yes! The long and the short of it was they (the ‘Others’) discovered a business opportunity
Is Lá Bog é.
As they wandered the hills and dales of Ireland they were amazed at all the wet stuff that fell from the skies. To top it all people greeted them with a smile: ‘It’s a grand day. It’s a soft day or as we say in Ireland – Is lá bog é.
This rain stuff made you wet, thousands of droplets sneezed from the heavens. What was grand about that? And as to being a ‘soft day’ they just didn’t get it. One bright spark commented that the planet they came from was totally arid and wondered if they could make a deal with the Irish government to export some of the wet stuff to them.
Maybe a few brown envelopes would speed up the process. The whirring of brain wheels could be heard 1000 light years away when they realized the amazing business opportunity of supplying other arid planets and arid countries in the land of humans, with this wonderful wet stuff.
THE POLITE SOCIETY
Is it necessary? Absolutely, otherwise we would all be nervous wrecks of quivering flab and quivering thoughts, indecisive and totally divisive. We need to feel good about ourselves.
We need the gurus who tell us we’re amazing and wonderful and capable of great things. We need the compliments, meant or not, and we need tact in our lives rather than facts. Realism is fine and dandy for the comedy sitcoms on TV.
MEAN WHAT YOU SAY
In the ideal world we should be able to speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, but, and its’ a ‘big butt’, we don’t live in an ideal world. Just as well. Lies are an essential part of the human condition enabling us all to fool ourselves as well as others.
Next time you want to make a ‘nice’ comment but you’re thinking ‘bad ass’ thoughts, just rein yourself in. Think about how You would feel. Then compliment your friend and mean it.
There are a hundred and one compliments we can pay each other. Don’t get into debt by using them in a negative way. Smile with your eyes and mean what you say. Smile with your mouth, a generous smile that lights up the world. Literally speaking – have a wonderful week.
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