Let’s Make A Resoluton This Christmas
By John Ward
Christmas is just around the corner now and I can’t wait. Oh yes, I am going to “have my cake and eat it too!” God, what a loathsome expression that is. I know what people are driving at, but shouldn’t it be “Oh, you want to eat your cake and have it too?” Even though this would be better, it is still a stupid expression, because “having it” could be interpreted as eating it, couldn’t it?
Look: having your cake and eating it too is idiotic because, naturally you have to have the cake first before you can eat it. Whether you buy it or receive it as a gift, you have it, right? So saying “Oh, you want to have your cake and eat it too,” is just goofy. I mean, the obvious answer is “Yes. Unless I want to eat some other person’s cake!”
What the accuser is saying is “you want it both ways” you want to have the benefit of eating a cake, but still having it available for eating again and as we all know, that is not possible or there would be no world hunger. So at least let us say: “Oh, so you want to have eaten your cake, but still have it available to eat later, huh?”
While we’re on it what does the expression “Starve a cold and feed a fever” mean? My wife has a cold right now... Do I starve her to get rid of the cold? If it turns into a fever, do I force feed her to kill the fever? Alternatively does it mean, if you starve the cold, you will feed, (or promote), the fever? Who comes up with this stuff? Explain yourself! I really would like to know, especially now. Should I be feeding my wife or starving her?
Remedies, Christ! I caught a cold while doing The Bird Cage at LLT. I got all kinds of advice and remedies from different members of the cast. I followed them all and at the next rehearsal, I was reduced to a babbling idiot. I had to be driven to where my wife was taking Spanish lessons so she could drive me home and put me to bed, babbling and shaking.
Here’s another: “Too many cooks spoil the broth!” I can spoil a broth all on my own, so can many individuals I know. I also wonder why we keep certain words around, like Wassail! What the heck is Wassail? Can I get some at the store and must I have a whole bunch of it available for the Christmas season?
People who use these words and expressions seem so wise and worldly, but I bet half of them don’t know what they mean. So, this Christmas, let us all try to make a resolution to communicate more clearly, change or eschew confusing axioms, homilies, sayings, analogies, allegories, allusions and expressions we learned from our parents that we never really understood.
OK, I am off to Costco to buy several gallons of wassail, an unlimited cake, broth and a funnel to goose-feed my wife. Shalom/Salaam/Peace/Pax/Pas/Pace and a Merry Christmas.