Fighting Fire With Fire. And Other Things That Don’t Make Sense.

I heard someone say “Oh yeah? Well, I’m going to fight fire with fire.” and I was like “Um, stupid. I would definitely choose like water or an extinguisher or something. That would work way better.” Because fighting fire with fire makes no sense. When there is a wildfire the forest rangers don’t pull out their matches and set to work on the rest of the woods. And, yes, I know that wasn’t what they meant, but it did get me to thinking about why we say the things we say. Why are our cliches, cliches? Recognizing that they don’t make sense, why do we continue to use them on a daily basis? And where did theses sayings come from?

Fighting Fire with Fire.

Apparently the idea of this came from none other than the bard himself, Mr. William Shakespeare. The idea, though not the phrase, is a Shakespeare original in King John. As it turns out the phrase itself comes from fire-fighting- apparently they do set fire to their own woods, only they set “controlled fires” and these fires are called “back-fires”. But I wasn’t totally wrong about this being a ridiculous notion because these “back-fires” tend to turn on those who set them, hence the term “backfire” when plans go awry. So, what I learned is that I am right, “back-fires” are wrong, and Shakespeare is pretty much to blame for the entire thing.

A Fool and His Money are Soon Parted.

I feel like I know a lot of rich fools. Seriously, think about it. Some of the most well-known rich people are also straight-up fools. Case in point, Tiger Woods. The man is really really wicked rich- and yet he acted like a fool. Sure, he will probably lose a lot of money in the big D (that’s divorce people) but he will still be seriously rich. That fool and his money are not going to be parted. I understand the point of this old English proverb, that fools make poor choices and end up losing their dough, and I think it is true for most people. I think the saying should be altered, however, to read “A Regular Fool and His Money Are Soon Parted but a Celebrity Fool Usually Stays Rich.” That would make a lot more sense.

Be Still, My Beating Heart.

Listen very closely to me people- you do not want your heart to be still. Because then you are dead. You want that sucker beating, trust me. In fact, I’m going to start saying daily “Hey heart, please keep beating, thanks.” This saying was first seen in the late 17th century in a poem by John Dryden. It refers to a women’s heart beating quickly when the object of her affection is near. I don’t care how much I fancy a guy, I want my heart to keep beating- which leads me to believe that either a.) John Dryden never asked a women about her aortic rhythms when her lover approached or b.) that he actually didn’t love women and wanted them all to die. I will let you be the judge.

Life’s Not All Beer and Skittles.

Admittedly, I have never heard this in the US. I did, however, hear it frequently in England. The first time I heard it I was completely befuddled- I mean I searched every grocer in that country and couldn’t find skittles anywhere. Which left me to wonder, did they actually ban the delicious candy known as skittles because too many people based their lives around it? As it happens, skittles is a game in England. Like bowling. It was played in pubs. Hence the beer connection. So, obviously, this is an old English saying that was created to emphasize that there are more important things in life than beer and pub games- like blogging and cotton candy,and though it might not have any relevance in the US, I thought it was very amusing and since this is my blog I can do what I want and include it. Also, this is the only saying I think make any sense whatsoever because life isn’t all beer and skittles (be they candy or pub games) at the very least life is beer and skittles and fried food. I mean, who can live off of just beer and skittles- sure you are getting your carbs and sugar but think about protein people- that you can only get from fried meats. Duh.

The moral of this story is- think about what you are saying and if it doesn’t make sense maybe don’t say it. That is an important lesson. You’re welcome.


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