Hobo-lifting Aroma (or Stop Being So Lazy)
by Richard Wallace

I know this lady, well, that's a reach, I don't know that she's all that much of a lady, but she showers regularly and dresses up to go out, so you know, six of one. That part, the 'six of one' part, you knew what I meant, right?hoboroma.jpg I short-handed a cliched old saying because I could save space since everyone knows the rest, and what it means. No? Okay, the saying is, "Six of one, half dozen of another", and it is supposed to mean that there is no difference, just semantics, describing the same situation with different words. The same thing, or the same difference, I have trouble with that too, but I'm getting further off track.

Basically, you say you have a bag of granola and I say you have a sack of crap and some interloper will pipe in, "Six of one, half dozen of another." Ya, fascinating. That might be why they cut it down to 'six of one', see? Anyway,lazy3.jpg
I would like for people to stop doing that, shortening well-known phrases assuming they are so damned well-known. I heard that six of one nonsense several times before I had any idea what these hillbillies were trying to say, and I'm reasonably coherent, really.

Back to the lady, she married my Uncle and became my Aunt Tinky about 30 years ago, and she is as country as collard greens and backyard dentistry. She is constantly dropping these abbreviated gems of hokum wisdom, leaving me wondering do I even dare ask for the English version. The one that got me the most confused is "He wouldn't take a job in a pie factory." The literal meaning was lost on me, but by context I knew the intended meaning, she could just as well have said "He wouldn't himqua toda flim-whap." She was trying to say someone was very lazy, and specifically that this someone suffers frequent, long-lasting bouts of self-inflicted unemployment. She said this about one of her step-sons, my cousin Angus. ( He is as bone-idle as a corpse but that's neither here nor there.) The phrase is intended to convey that the person shuns work to such an extent that even a leisurely, lucrative job would not be good enough to keep the person interested for long. Unfortunately, I couldn't figure out how a factory would be such a great place to work,lazy2.jpg especially a pie factory. Heavy sacks of sugar, flour, and kidneys to lug around, loud, dangerous machinery putting that wavy crimp in the crust, hobos flying all around, I don't think so, not for me, thanks.

Eventually I asked someone else what this botch was saying, and I got the original version: "He is so lazy; he wouldn't take a job in a pie factory tasting pies." Oh. Oh! Yeah, that might be a pretty sweet gig! I imagine pie-tasters make pretty good kablinky, seeing as how they have already convinced someone that they deserve full time pay for something that really only requires a mouth, which most of the other workers in the factory probably possess. Not pretentious and sanctified by society like those wine and cheese sniffing snobs, but steady work to be sure.

All that trouble just because she wanted to save three syllables. I counted, tast / ing / pies. Now that's lazy.

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