The use of wordplay in the titles of my last two posts (ROMANCE WASN’T BUILT IN A DAY and ALL’S FARE IN LOVE AND FOUR) doesn’t cancel the reservations I expressed in my 6/1/15 post (SAY WHAT?); i.e., it’s chancy to ‘pun’ old sayings because most people today don’t know them….and if they don’t know the sayings, they won’t get the wordplay.
Now, granted that some party-poopers may have known the actual sayings (ROME WASN’T BUILT IN A DAY and ALL’S FAIR IN LOVE AND WAR) behind those titles, but pooh-poohed the wordplay as hardly worth the strain my brain went through to get the end result. Be that as it may, my purpose here is to be ‘test assured’ that my readers are more familiar with once-familiar old sayings than “most people” in the first place — so, if you’re game, here’s a list of 4 old sayings, 4 song titles, and 4 made-up idioms. If you can pick — out of the dozen — 3 of the 4 old sayings, consider yourself a genius. If you get all four right, I will consider you a genius.
1. FAINT HEART NE’ER WON FAIR LADY
2. A PRETTY GIRL IS LIKE A MELODY
3. DISCRETION IS THE BETTER PART OF VALOR
4. ANY PLACE I HANG MY HAT IS HOME
5. GOOD FECES MAKE GOOD NEIGHBORS
6. FISH AND VISITORS STINK AFTER THREE DAYS
7. ANY TIME’S THE TIME TO FALL IN LOVE
8. DON’T CHANGE CORPSES IN THE MIDDLE OF THE STREAM
9. DON’T THROW COLD WATER ON THE FLAME OF LOVE
10. GO TO BED WITH THE CHICKENS, WAKE UP WITH THE ROOSTERS
11. WHILE THE CAT’S AWAY, THE MICE WILL PRAY*
12. GENIUS IS ONE PERCENT INSPIRATION AND 99 PERCENT PERSPIRATION
*Apparently they’re church mice.
So, how do you think you did? If you can’t stand the suspense, hold on to your pants, because I will keep you in suspenders no longer — the old sayings are #1, #3, #6 and #12. Speaking of #12, if you weren’t right at least 3 times of 4, obviously you don’t perspire enough to be a genius.
As for the other two categories, I made up #5 (“feces” for “fences”), #8 (“corpses” replaces “horses”), #10 and #11 (“pray” is a play on “play”), and the song titles are #2, #4, #7 and #9. What’s that you say — #9 sounds like something I made up, not a song? Well, I hate to throw cold water on your hot tamales, but the proof is in the pudding:
In closing, take pride, ye geniuses who passed the test and could dig the rest; let the record show, The wordplay’s the thing.