DOGGING IT

In my last post, I noted how politics has gone to the dogs. In this post, I’m thinking about how to retrieve dogs from such uninvited tie-ups and (with WORK LIKE A DOG DAY coming Aug. 5) work toward putting them in respectable company. Given the base point (and I do mean base), you’d think this entails no big feat, but it does give me paws….

Since there are already more blogs about dogs than you can shake a stick at (including a — dare I say — fetching one by a regular follower of this blog), I don’t want to be a copycat. That would be barking up the wrong tree. So, to give you a different kind of doggy post, I’ve been doggedly digging up old dog doggerel, similes and sayings….but I’ll start young:

What are little boys made of? Snakes and snails and puppy-dogs’ tails — that’s what little boys are made of. What are little girls make of? Sugar and spice and everything nice — that’s what little girls are made of. 

It’s a dog eat dog world.
It’s raining cats and dogs.
Time to rest my dogs.
Crooked as a dog’s hind leg.
Dog days of summer.

Dog and pony show.
Every dog has its day.
Gone to the dogs.
Let sleeping dogs lie.
Mean as a junkyard dog.

Sick as a dog.
That dog don’t hunt.
When you lie down with dogs, you’re going to get fleas.
You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.
It’s a two dog night.

So, let’s call it a day with two high-class dog songs:

 

BEN THERE, DONE THAT

FRANKLIN, BENJAMIN (Jan. 17, 1706 – Apr. 17, 1790), was a jack-of-all-trades and master of many. No other American, except possibly Thomas Jefferson, has done so many things so well. –WORLD BOOK ENCYCLOPEDIA

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Ben Franklin indeed did so many things so well that it would take an encyclopedia to chronicle them fully. To touch on but a few, as a statesman he was the only man to sign all four of these foundational American documents: the Declaration of Independence, the Treaties of Alliance with France and of Peace with Great Britain, and the Constitution. His service as minister to France helped win the Revolutionary War. As a civic leader, he established the world’s first subscription library, raised money to help build the Pennsylvania Hospital for the sick and insane (the first in America), and helped found the academy which became the University of Pennsylvania.

As an inventor, he cooked up an efficient heating stove, was one of the first to experiment with electricity (famously, and dangerously, flying a homemade kite with a key tied to the end during a thunderstorm), and invented the lightning rod. In this connection, I beg your indulgence with a poem:

FRANKLIN COURTS KITE-TASTROPHE

For of all sad words
Of tongue or pen,
The almost saddest are these:
“It might have, Ben.”

No doubt you’re familiar with Franklin’s POOR RICHARD’S ALMANAC, but did you know why it was so called? He wrote it under the pen name Richard Saunders, an imaginary astronomer, beginning 1n 1733 and published annually for 25 years. It is the source of some of Franklin’s most famous and enduring sayings, such as “A penny saved is a penny earned,” “God helps them that helps themselves” and “Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.”

But in my research for this post, I found my favorite Franklin quotes to be those with more wit and humor (such as the one that opened my previous post) than I had associated with his writings. Just goes to show that you can’t judge an almanac by its cover. I close with these examples:

Fish and visitors smell in three days.

We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid.

Many people die at 25 and aren’t buried until they are 75.

When you are finished changing, you’re finished.

If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead and rotten, either write things worth reading, or do things worth writing.

Were I a Roman Catholic, perhaps I should on this occasion [narrowly avoiding a shipwreck] vow to build a chapel to some saint, but as I am not, it should be to build a lighthouse.

The only thing that is more expensive than education is ignorance.

Trouble knocked at the door, but, hearing laughter, hurried away.

The problem with doing nothing is not knowing when you’re finished.

I’m finished.

 

 

 

SO THEY SAY (PART THREE)

Time once again for another exciting episode of SO THEY SAY, so let’s get back to where Part Two left off, and continue putting the right slant on some questionable old axioms. My readers deserve nothing less, because….well, they just don’t.

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The best things in life are free.
Nevertheless, donations are acccepted for this and all previous and future posts.

She will talk to a wooden Indian.
That’s why I keep a wooden Indian around the house.

You can’t get blood out of a turnip.
Try praying harder.

The bigger they are, the harder they fall.
Try praying harder, but only for small turnips. If they fall hard enough, the big turnips should bleed on their own.

It is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness.
Or, you could pay your electric bill or replace that burned-out bulb.

Six of one, half dozen of another.
The correct Jeopardy! answer is: How many Ricardos and Dons does it take to change a lightbulb?

Seeing is believing.
How true. I see much better now, after turning on the candle in the light socket.

She can’t help being ugly, but she could’ve stayed home.
Maybe she had to run out and buy a thesaurus.

There’s no fool like an old fool.
I prefer to think of it as being special.

Say what you mean and mean what you say.
But don’t be mean when you say it.

SO THEY SAY (PART TWO)

How time flies. It seems like only yesterday that I posted Part One of SO THEY SAY. Time to get back to work. Time’s a-wasting. Time to bite the bullet. Time is stranger than fiction. Etc.

In Part One, as you will fail to recall, I did what I will continue in Part Two, so rather than repeat the original intro, I’m sitting here trying to think of another one even more brilliant….

Sorry, I can’t do the impossible. Just scroll down to that post to get the idea. They say time waits for no one, but I’ll wait. Take your time.

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The left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing.
As if it cared.

The squeaky wheel gets the grease.
Hold the fries.

There may be snow on the roof, but there’s still fire in the furnace.
I suppose that beats fire on the roof and snow in the furnace.

The course of true love never runs smooth.
What’s the rush?

The cure is worse than the disease….
u
nless the side effects put you mercifully out of your misery. Just sayin’.

The only sure thing is death and taxes.
That’s two things (unless you can afford a very creative accountant).

The pen is mightier than the sword.
….
and just as obsolete.

The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.
OK, I’ll bite….as long as I don’t get heartburn and there’s a rear exit.

The truth shall set you free.
My truth — not the other guy’s. Trust me.

The more things change, the more they remain the same.
Sounds to me
like there may be
a Part Three.
We shall see.

SO THEY SAY

In some lost past post of mine somewhere in the blogosphere, I asserted that what you don’t know can’t hurt you  is one of the dumbest well-known sayings ever said. Don’t get me wrong — I love a good old adage as much as the next good old adage lover, but not all old adages are created equal. I think we’re often inclined to take such supposed wisdom at face value, when a second look might give us pause — second thoughts, so to speak.

I have over the years acquired over a dozen books of old sayings, truisms, maxims, aphorisms, expressions, etc. Here is a selection from my collection which, upon further inspection, may warrant further reflection:

Water, water everywhere, but not a drop to drink.
That didn’t seem to bother W. C. Fields, Dean Martin or Homer Simpson.

Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.
And yet, very few smokers carry fire extinguishers.

We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.
Easy now. What did that bridge ever do to you?

Truth is stranger than fiction.
In fact, so strange you can only find it in the Rare Books section.

Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive.
So much for practice makes perfect.

What goes up must come down.
Try telling that to all the kites and balloons caught up in trees.

When the going gets tough, the tough get going.
But when the meek get tough, they get dis-blessed and disinherit the earth.

When it rains, it pours.
One word: drizzle.

When you lie down with dogs, you get fleas.
My dog resembles that remark (or at least he would, if he had fleas).

And that’s just scratching the surface. There’s plenty more where they came from, so I’m thinking there’s a Part II in your future, you lucky dog.