Joel Vernier

As I was waking up from a very well-deserved nap, after all, I did cut the grass today; I noticed my neck was sore, and I thought to myself, I have a “crick” in my neck. Where did I hear that expression? And then it came to me, my Dad. My Dad had more sayings than you could “shake a stick at!” If something was going to be easy, it was a “piece of cake!” If something was going to be very expensive, it was going to cost you an “arm and a leg!” Some of you may think I’m “barking up the wrong tree,” but seriously, I remember him saying these things.

When I was mad at one of my brothers, I had a “chip on my shoulder.” When I was trying to explain something, he would say, “quit beating around the bush!” As a young child, if I did something right the first time, he would point to his head and state that I had “good kidneys,” then he would hug me and say, “ole sock ole shoe.” 

For some reason, it felt pretty endearing. He would playfully grab me and say, “Ricky, Tikki, Tambo!” I have no idea where that came from. When I talked about buying a boat, he said that it was “nothing more than a hole in the water to throw money through.”

He loved baseball, and if he felt I was wrong about something, I was “off base” or “out of left field!” Or if I did something wrong twice, it was “three strikes, and you’re out!”

When people behaved the same way, he would say, “birds of a feather flock together!” When someone was in danger, they would be “sitting ducks.” When I started working to make sure I was not late, he said, “the early bird gets the worm!” If I talked about a kid he knew and could tell the kid was tuff, he would say, “that kid is all bark and no bite!” 

When keeping a secret, he said, “do not let the cat out of the bag,” or don’t “spill the beans!” To stop me from asking questions, he’d say, “curiosity killed the cat!” a heavy rainfall was called “raining cat’s and dog’s,” or “it’s great weather if you’re a duck!” When trying to teach him about computers, he said, “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks!”

When you have a difficult thing to do, you have to “bite the bullet!” If I was grumpy in the morning, I “woke up on the wrong side of the bed!” If I was unsure of the source of information, I needed to “take it with a grain of salt!” After saying grace when dinner is served, it was time to “dig in!”

If I barely accomplished something, it was by the “skin of my teeth!” When I was excited to do something and moving quickly, it was “hold your horses” or “cool your jets!” If my brothers and I got carried away roughhousing, it was, “alright, that’s the last straw!” If we left a door open, we were asked if we were “born in a barn!” Leaving lights on all over the house, he asked if we thought money “grew on trees!” If someone was thrifty, they were a “penny pincher!” If I tried to get away with something, he would say, “I wasn’t born yesterday,” or “are you pulling my leg?”

As I look back at these sayings, it occurs to me that they are a time saver regarding the human language. I think that’s pretty neat and preferable to the current letters like LOL, OMG, and BFF. Come to think of it, I think they all are fun to use. They are “slicker than snot on a doorknob!”

“Remember, every day is a gift! Some are just a little more fun to open than others.” – © Joel M. Vernier 05/30/2021 Author of: “The Guinea Pig In The Freezer.” joelvernier@aol.com.

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