Ciao: Random reflections on a rainy afternoon

BILL KLAUBER

I am sitting in my den right now looking out the window happy that I am not outside because it is raining cats and dogs — oops, I just saw a kitten flying by the window — but unhappy that I can‘t take my afternoon constitutional.

You might say that the rain had infringed on my constitutional rights. Since I believed this to be a violation of these rights, I thought I would pass some time consulting with a constitutional attorney.

Since I couldn’t remember the name of the firm that our former governor represents (or even his name?), I combed the list of attorneys in the yellow pages — all 57 of them. Yes that’s right, 57 pages as in Heinz 57. For gosh sake, this is Naples, not New York City.

Thank goodness it was not New York City or the cats-and-dogs rain we had might have been a foot of snow and the last thing I wanted was a snow job, which is practically irrelevant in Naples. That, in turn, being irrelevant, started me thinking about some of our many cliches and irrelevant expressions.

Why do people say it is raining cats and dogs? Wouldn’t it be more appropriate to say it’s raining fish and chips? I could even understand if it was reigning kings and queens, but I guess that would be another form of a royal flush.

Regardless, the ground is soaked, the streets are puddled and the visibility is limited. In short it is a day suited neither for man or beast, but perfect for fish and other forms of amphibious creatures which cats and dogs most certainly are not.

But the expression raining cats and dogs, regardless of merit, did make me think of the many clever colorful cliches cluttering common contemporary conversations and how far fetched they can be.

For example, there is a meal fit for a king. I will surely earn some points if I say that to my wife after she has prepared another of her great dinners. But if I am not pleased with what she has prepared should I say that it is a meal fit only for a peasant? (Just kidding dear, that would never happen.)

And speaking of wives, what’s with old wives’ tales. Why should they be any more suspect than stories told by young wives — who may have more to hide from their beloved husbands. That would kill me (or vice versa).

Which reminds me of the expression killing time. I picture Old Father Time and why would anyone want to kill him? He looks like a rather nice fellow, although his face looks a bit crabby — sort of like the face I see in the mirror each morning while shaving.

How about quick? There’s cut to the quick which, if I actually try and miss, could prove both painful and harmful. Using another form of the word, there is a quickie which could lead to even more pain and harm.

Then there is the age old adage that the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. If that is the case why not just turn the fence over to the side you prefer.

And, if you’re not on the grass you might well be in the bushes. That would be a good chance to see if a bird in the hand is indeed worth two in the bush, but that might depend on who is in the bushes with you. Before getting bushwhacked, I suggest you refer back to the consequences of a quickie.

We have all heard that it is not nice to rain on someone’s parade. On the other hand we are told that into each life some rain must fall. I guess the solution is to take an umbrella every time you march in or attend a parade.

And, getting back to the rain, it has finally stopped. So, with the sun out and with the cats and dogs hopefully back in, it is safe for me to take my afternoon stroll.

Ciao!

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