Thursday, December 20, 2007

I recently sent off an email in which I wrote that someone needed another something “ like she needs a hole in the head”- which just goes to show us yet again the dangers of stooping to writing in clichés. The moment I hit “send”, I started thinking “Well, your mouth is a hole in your head, as are your ears and nostrils. Who decided that a ‘hole in the head’ is the benchmark for the ultimate in the unwanted? That doesn’t actually make sense."Thinking about it further, I determined that the expression must really be: “like another hole in the head”, which makes way more sense. Maybe I have mis-heard the expression all these years. I figured that must be it. But a quick glance at yielded the following:

Have neither a need nor a desire for something, as in I needed that extra work like I need a hole in the head. This expression has such ancestors as "As much need of it as he has of the pip [a disease] or of a cough," from John Ray's English Proverbs (1678), and "As much need of it as a toad of a side pocket," from Francis Grose's Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue (1785). [Slang; c. 1940]

So, that's it. It's an expression that is commonly used in English, yet makes no sense. I contemplated switching over to saying "like a toad has need of a side pocket". It's very colourful, but seems to be assuming a lot. Maybe toads would actually enjoy having pockets. They could carry around extra dead flies and such. Could be handy.

But today is a day to celebrate, not to obsess of obscure linguistic problems! It is Severin’s 12th birthday! He’ll have a party on Saturday with a few friends. But today we’ll celebrate with just the family. I asked him this morning what he’d like for his birthday lunch.
“Rabbit!” he said, with a wicked grin.
Valentine got right into the spirit of the thing: “Mallory’s are just the right size now! Individual servings! Tasty and tender tiny bunnies! Yum!”
Just then, Mallory walked in the door with her favorite baby bunny in her hands. Snow White is one of the litter of six that was born about two weeks ago. Very adorable, with tiny, fuzzy white ears.
“Hey Mal!” I called out. “Why don’t you pick out a few of the bunnies that you aren’t so fond of and put them in a box? Just leave them in the kitchen. Severin wants rabbit for his birthday lunch.”
She just rolled her eyes at me and walked back out.
JP started expounding on the joys of rabbits as a food source rather than pets and lamenting the fact that it is never served in our home. He then waxed nostalgic over his mom’s homemade terrine de lapin (smooshed-up rabbit meat spread, for all you non-francophones)
Just so you know, there will be none of that in my home. Bunnies are for cuddles, not casseroles.

As for Sev, for lunch he’s getting fries and dead cow, in the form of grilled kebabs.

No comments: