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Don’t Suffer Fools Gladly

Shakespeare came to mind when I first saw this ambiguous phrase, but it is not his at all. Actually, it comes from the Bible. Saint Paul was writing a letter to the Corinthians and using sarcasm, wrote, “for you suffer fools gladly, seeing yourself as wise” (IICorinthians 11:19). There needs to be a little history explained to get the full meaning. About 2000 years ago Corinth was a real fleshpot (if you know what I mean), and in them being of their ways, when the false apostles came to them, they rather listened to the false news than the teachings he/Paul preached about how to live their life according to Jesus Christ.

That sounds about right to me. Humans are humans and it’s easier to follow the ways we have engrained in us than to accept something new or foreign from what we have practiced. So, Paul, must have asked them to refrain from all their fleshly desires, and, well, you know how that goes…Shoot, most of us can not or had an extraordinarily hard time quitting cigarettes, let alone the ways of the flesh. And Paul wants us to what??? I will listen to the other guy down the street who says I can do everything I am used to doing, not change my ways, but feel guilty knowing there is more; I just don’t want to change anything. That sounds pretty human to me.

w-shakespeare-jesterNow take that phrase and fast forward about 2000 years to present day society. So, we now know where it came from, but the phrase means something different.

Today, people use the term freely when they are disgusted with people they think are stupid, fools, or beneath them in the social spectrum. Oops, there comes the second half of the quote “…seeing yourself as wise.”

But it can mean something a bit different. There are lists of celebrities who do not suffer fools gladly — such as Paul McCartney said that of Harrison when he died. I doubt that Steve Jobs had time to put up with fools or foolish ways. Al Gore was among the lists of influential people I found — and I strongly agree that he has no time to put up with foolish ways. He is on a mission, a climate mission, and his every minute counts to get his message out. The list continues with all people who have no time in their life for fools and their foolish ways. In America, we are a work driven nation and we basically have no time for what is not on the agenda. What needs to be accomplished is of utmost importance.

I will leave you with what G.K. Chesterton (an English writer known as the “prince of paradox”) said on the subject: “When you’re with fools, laugh with them and at them simultaneously.”

And then there is Darwin — he wrote “Do not laugh at the less evolved for they are trying their best with limted mental resources.”

I really don’t think Saint Paul meant all this when he wrote to the Corinthians. I think he said you think you are so darn smart but look at you following the fool rather than the truth. What do you think?

Have a great one…


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Fire at Will

I made a mistake on Friday when I wrote about Fire it Up, Will. That is not what the ad said. After seeing the ad again on TV, I paid more attention and the birds were saying “Fire at Will.” Or, at least I think that is what they were saying. The thing is that people only retain about half of what they hear, and then lose another half of that within the first couple of days. So much for me writing about what I hear on TV because I am not hearing half of what I thought I heard. There are three words in Fire at Will, I thought I heard Fire it up Will. And there is a world of difference in the meaning of those two phrases. So, I did hear a half of what I heard, “Fire” and “Will”. And on Friday I thought the rest of it was “it up” when in actuality it was only “at”.


Without going into what I wrote on about Fire it up Will, Fire at will is a military term when cannonballs were used. Apparently, some men were better at loading the cannons than others and after the generals realized this, they wanted the speedy military men to fire when they were ready instead of having to wait until everyone was ready, so the generals gave the orders to fire at will, allowing those men to fire at their discretion when they were ready.

Now, I don’t think that the birds were meant to be say to go ahead and shoot a gun (or cannonball) so, this other bird is insinuating that the unknown person in the clip may mean fire at Will (the man). Poor Will! So, really, what was the ad saying.

I think that this is just about as confusing as the ad — first off, I did not hear all the words, then is it to fire at your will or is it to fire at Will. Either way, if you are confused, I am even more so. I will remember the ad because I have made such a big deal of it in my mind, but who knows what I will ever remember about it in a month from now. By then, the birds could become people, the wire they were sitting on may become vehicles, and they may be saying shoot them up boys. So much for believing what you see or what you hear. What’s that old saying — believe a half of what you see and a quarter of what you hear. Now, I believe that…

As for tv commercials, there is nothing like the iconic “Where’s the Beef?” Plain, simple and demonstrative because the woman opened the hamburger bun to show you there was more bun than beef.

Have a great one…


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Fire It Up

I will start by confessing I heard this phrase on a Geico commercial and thought it was really cute. There were these birds on a wire talking to one another. One said, “Fire it up, Will.” The other bird said something like how do you know it’s Will. Another said, it’s not Will. Then the word Geico appeared.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFire it up — you would think it would have to do with a car, or maybe the cannonballs of old. But once I started searching this idiom it has nothing to do with either of these ideas. Wait for it — I was shocked. Fire it up refers to shooting a drug into your vein, or to begin smoking marijuana. Say what!!!???

I looked further, trying to associate the phrase with cars — you know, starting the motor, getting ready to go at a high speed like the NASCAR cars do. They say, fire your motors, but upon thinking about what they say, it’s not fire it up or fire your motors at all, it’s “Gentlemen (or Drivers), start your engines.”  Ah, how we substitute one phrase for another because we think it sounds similar and therefore the meaning should be similar, but come to find out we really do not know what it really means. And the definition — totally different from what we could ever expect.

Now, don’t get fire it up confused with fired up. When you are fired up your feelings are aroused or excited — think of passion, or it could mean to begin to smoke, which would bring us back to fire it up. You are not going to fire up your passion, but your passion will be fired up. Think about someone who really believes in an idea and is willing to give time, energy and money towards that passion, that person is fired up. Excited, aroused. Willing to give. That person is fired up.

Back to fire it up. In my search, I found many a song with the title of Fire It Up, and the majority of them tell stories of drugs, and then there is Joe Cocker’s version. His is the only lyrics that had nothing to do with drugs — he tells the story of a broken heart and he urges the broken heart to let love be fired up again.

I wonder if those who created the ad understood that the definition of fire it up deals with drugs. I wonder if Geico knows. Cute commercial, really cute, but now every time I see that commercial, I am going to wonder about Will…what is really going on away from the wire the birds are sitting on….

And if anyone can find me another definition for fire it up besides dealing with drugs, please share and where did you find it.

Until next time…have a great one…

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A Man’s Gotta Do What a Man’s Gotta Do

Seriously, what is this saying? And what is it that the man’s gotta do? People have said this saying to me through the years, and I always sit there, dumbfounded, trying to figure out what it is suppose to mean. For instance, after telling someone that I need to work on a project all weekend instead of enjoying time off from work, I would get a response of “a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do.” Seriously? What kind of a response is that?

In actuality, the phrase/idiom is meant a couple different ways. First, according to the Cambridge Dictionary, it means you do whatever you have to do, even if it’s different or dangerous. I understand that it means you do whatever you have to do, but that element of difficulty or dangerous was added in every dictionary I used to confirm the explanation. Another dictionary confirmed the first definition by saying “something said when you are going to do something unpleasant or you may joke that it may be unpleasant.” Maybe I am just too matter of fact. This is what I have to do, and it really does not need a response, especially one that makes little sense to me.

It is also used as irony or sarcasm — you know, mocking someone or something or showing contempt.

I am not alone in saying that this idiom is silly to use. Fred MacMurry said it in 1955 in the film The Rains of Ranchipur, and Clyde Gilmour, a Canadian radio personality and film columnist, awarded the idiom a prize for the stupidest phrase ever used in a movie.

Actually, the phrase was first seen in print when John Steinbeck wrote and then published The Grapes of Wrath in 1939. In Chapter 18 of the book, Steinbeck wrote, “I know this man — a man got to do what he got to do.” The line never made it to the film version — I can understand why.

And today — well you can hear Dr. Horrible singing his version of “A Man’s Gotta Do What a Man’s Gotta Do.” And, well, I can’t make sense of those lyrics either. I guess I am doomed…..

Until next time…have a good week…

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Buckle Up Buttercup

Are you ready for the ride of your life? If so, “Buckle up Buttercup” because I’m taking you for a ride you won’t forget. Now, the ride may not have anything to do with a car or the car buckles — they may be involved —  but when we buckle up Buttercup,  it will be the ride of your life — you know, going together on a journey that will be memorable. Sometimes, as life changes with me, I say those words to myself because I have no clue what is going to happen, knowing I am embarking on a journey I have never traveled before. So hang on, it’s going to be a ride that is sometimes bumpy, sometimes smooth, but definitely a ride, Buttercup.

buttercup-841225_1920 (1)But why Buttercup? I searched the web as far as I could go, and I never found why Buttercup was the name of choice, but it is used as a term of endearment.

Funny that this flower/weed is used in the context as a term of endearment because the inedible plant can be toxic to dogs and cats, can lead to serious problems for grazing animals, such as cattle and horses, sheep and pigs; and for humans, well, let’s just say that the plant tastes so bad that there is little chance of being poisoned.

Buttercup is also said with the saying, Pucker up Buttercup and Suck it up Buttercup. I tell ya, Buttercup gets around. And I sure would like to know how the buckle up, pucker up and suck it up all names Buttercup!

Take Pucker up Buttercup — you may remember this line in the 1986 film Ferris Bueller’s Day Off when Ed Rooney said to Grace, Pucker up Buttercup. Well, I don’t think Grace appreciated the innuendo, but he did say pucker up — wanna kiss? Buttercup, put those lips together and get ready for a big smacker.

In my book, buckle up and pucker up is better than suck it up. Don’t you just hate it when you meet that whiner? During World War I there was Captain Williams, company commander of the 5th Marines, who was at a battle in France when someone asked him to retreat. His response, “Retreat? Hell, we just got here! Suck it up Buttercup.” Sadly to say, he never made it through the battle, but his words have lived on. Keep going and stop your whining. Words to live by.

All in all, I may buckle up Buttercup, may even pucker up a few times, and know suck it up more than not during the course of this lifetime, but oh! what a ride!!! Don’t you just love life and what it brings? As I said, what a ride…

Until next week…have a great one…

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Fat Cat

photo-downloadI went to my writing group today and we made a general consensus that we were dog lovers. Well, to tell you the truth, I like dogs, but I am a cat person myself. I like their independence. And really, don’t you just love this one! Lounging, no doubt. One fat cat!

But there’s more than one meaning to that fat cat. Sure, it could mean a very healthy weighted furry animal — and then it could mean the money man, the fat cat of politics. You know, he’s the guy who carries the money purse with power and influence to whoever is in office. It’s how our government runs. The fat cat is the one who calls the shots, tells us how our world will run over the next years. It’s been that way for a long time — maybe since the beginning of political times. When you use “fat cat” for that political money man, it is meant in a derogatory way. I could picture that “fat cat” looking just like the cat pictured above. Lounging back, giving orders on how he wants to see the world evolve.

DonCaricature_of_-Organized_Big_Business_Interests-‘t get the money man mixed up with moneybags. Moneybags refers to a wealthy person, and usually people refer to that big spender outside of his earshot, but moneybags is not used derogatively, it is simply referring to a person who has wealth and throws it around for everyone to see. We have all seen those people during our life, whether their wealth is real or superficial. People love to show their money!

Then, there is the “fat cat” which refers to a rich and greedy person, or let’s say a corporation. We are used to those types of people and corporations in this 21st century — think of Bernie Madoff or the big banks. Here, it’s still derogatory, but in a different sense. These “fat cats’ are greedy — want what they have and what you have. I say run, don’t walk, from these fat cats.

The other “fat cat” is the one who becomes lazy and self-satisfied because of his privilege. Notice, I say privilege, not wealth, even though wealth is implied. I really can not think of any of those people in today’s society. I am sure there are those around, but those who come to mind with this meaning were the genteel class of the 19th Century — you know the land baron in England where all they had to do was whittle their time away reading poetry and partaking in fox hunts — think “Downton Abbey”, which I absolutely loved watching on PBS. And you know what happened to them — the time ended for them, and they actually had to work for a living. Amazing. Just goes to show you that the “fat cat” better be busy his entire life or the fat cat will become the lean cat.

Whichever way they are, I still like cats. The furry kind, that is.

Until later…have a good one!

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Late Bloomers

1081-1271374948s8MYI am a late bloomer. Or so they said.

My blooming had nothing to do with the flower, rather my late blooming had to do with where my birthday fell in the year. When I started school, the cut off to start first grade was December. My birthday is in November, so in September, this 5 year old started first grade. I had already went through kindergarten at the age of 4.  And it was always a struggle for me in the beginning because I was really a year behind my peers. It showed everywhere, from having a difficulty learning how to comprehend a story to still wanting to play with dolls when the other girls wanted to play with boys to wearing bobby socks instead of nylons. My mother always said she should have kept me back that first year, and honestly, she should have. I know that because I have many friends who are 10 or 11 months older than me and they had no problems in school or boys or nylons. The other evidence is that I did catch up with the comprehension, wanting to play with boys and wearing nylons — only a year later. I was considered a “late bloomer”.

A label.

Let’s take a look at the other “late bloomers”. Take Rodney Dangerfield who did not start his comedy act until he was 42. Grandma Moses started painting in her 70s and Colonel Sanders began his franchises in his 60s. Laura Ingalls Wilder did not publish her first “Little House” novel until she was in her 60s.

Now that I am in my 60s, I am publishing my first collection of short stories — and then on to my series of books. Move over Laura Ingalls Wilder, I am following in your footsteps. Actually, I look around and see the talent that is exuding from people who have been consumed with everyday life and now that they are retired they can pursue their passion. Is that a “late bloomer”? If you want to put a label on it, yes, but I think not, I think we are aging like fine wine. And our wine is our passion.

I have one friend who sings. We recently talked and I asked her what she would have pursued in life if she had not taken on the role of mother and caretaker. She said she would have developed her voice. Actually, she has a good voice and with a bit of practice and determination, she can succeed with a life she only glimpsed at before babies and working for the man took hold. Of course, she will not sing at the Met, but she will sing if she wants to. For me, I will not be awarded a Pulitzer, but I will write for enjoyment, and possibly make other people laugh or think by my writing. And that is what is all about anyway. Doing what you love at any age, for any reason.

Let’s take a look at the common definition of “late bloomer” — refers to young children who develop skills such as reading, language and social later than other children. Really? Those so called “late bloomers” include Albert Einstein because he suffered from speech difficulties as a child. Then, take a good look at the dyslexia people of the world — the Richard Bransons, the Charles R Schwabs, the Pablo Picassos, the Tom Cruises, or the Whoopi Goldbergs. But the best one of all was Thomas Edison. This man, as a little boy, was considered hopeless and sent home to not be educated. Instead, his mother home schooled him, and well, we know what he went on to do.

There are different thoughts in the schools today where they are trying to get away from the labels. But they are still there. My only thought is that all those “late bloomers” will someday be able to follow their passions and enter the world of us other “late bloomers.” And, oh, when they do, how sweet it is!

Have a great weekend …




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