Wednesday, June 29, 2016

A Cliche Involving a Banana Peel

Most cliches were, at the time of their original coining, accurate observations, somehow made more visible and appropriate in the weight of their observation because of a fresh use of words and inference. Even today, in 2016, there is no guarantee that a horse being led to water will drink.

As it happens, a leopard has not evolved with an ability to change its spots, nor aree all clams happy. Indeed, not all coots are bald, nor do all butcher's dogs radiate fitness. However much you may question the sanity of a given March hare, not all hares in March will test out as mad, and while on the subject, the fact of a bug being in a rug does not guarantee its snugness. 

Some barking dogs do, indeed, bite; the occasional deer, surprised by oncoming headlights, may freeze in its tracks, but there is a good chance a savvy, streetwise deer will bolt at the sudden glare of headlight.

Only this morning, while taking in breakfast coffee before rushing off to an early class, you observed two crows offering a spirited rendition of the meme of the way a crow flies. A great favorite of your observations about the behavior relates to the disposition of a long-tailed cat in a room of rocking chairs. 

All respect to cats, in particular those referenced in a noted uncertainty principal, you have had close hand relationships with cats so laid-back as to give lie to the belief that a long-tailed cat would be nervous in a room filled with rocking chairs.

With due respect to cliches and what passes for down-home wisdom to be gleaned from animals, the veracity of the watched pot not boiling has been put to rigorous question, not the least by a reputable physicist who is known for other observations. With your own eyes, you've seen laid-back or at least non busy popcorn on a skillet, you have frequently had the experience of bringing home good lemons, and in numerous cases have paid more than peanuts for a butter made of the Valencia peanut.

The times you've had an actual or metaphoric finger in a pie did not strike you as being anything but involved in a mess, and you cannot begin to count the times when you did in fact partake of a free lunch.  Because these and other tropes of an illustrative intent work well in language, you, as a writer,tend to use those you appear to be able to snatch out of orbit as--dare you say it?--easy as pie, although your own personal experiences with making pies were never easy and your experience with eating them has been.

With all this as either prologue or backstory, here you are, in effect arm-wrestling with a cliche involving a banana peel.  Here you are, in effect, following the cliche of having slipped on one, a basic comedic trope. Watching others slip on banana peels causes us, inspite of our resolve to be good natured, to laugh. In doing so, we are not so much laughing in schadenfreude--leave it to the Germans to mash-up in one word the concept of rejoicing at the misfortune of others--but rather in relief that it has not happened to us.

In a matter of days, you've been in or around conversations where (1) someone spoke of traveling to visit an elderly parent or close family member whom you discover to be significantly younger than you while still being elderly (you were giving close consideration to inviting on a date someone who went on to mention a partent of your approximate age, (3) an individual at least ten years your junior referred to you as being a part of "you younger people, (4) an individual by some years your junior accused you of not showing proper respect for your elders.

Here you are, of, at, and in an age yet not seeing yourself as any specific part of it which, as things go for you, seems among the best of the possible outcomes you can foresee.

One day, while out for your walk, in that self-absorbed you often slide into as you walk, you missed the banana peel in your path, came down on it with emphasis, and were aware of being propelled aloft, an astronaut launced on the banana peel of age.

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