Say what you mean (HLD 85)

15 June 2020

Simon helped out around the house yesterday.

I should just stop writing there, so you can all pause and ponder that amazing statement. But no – I will push on!

He filled up the dog water bowl for me. Probably he did it for the dog’s benefit, but I did realise that thanks and praise were due from me for this invaluable assistance he provided me.

And – when I say filled, I was perhaps overstating the situation.

He half filled a bowl with water. When queried, he stated that he didn’t want the water bowl to spill, or the dog to drown in the mass of water that would be provided in a cereal bowl full of water.

Anyway – engineers doing household chores aside, the reason for today’s diarrhoea is that my response was “Oh the tide’s out”.

This was something that was said in my family, when given a cup of tea or coffee with quite a bit of space between the top of the drink and the top of the cup. It could be said ever so subtly when out at a cafe, for instance, without appearing to whinge about not getting your money’s worth of the drink. 

Which then, of course, sent my brain toddling off in the direction of “what sayings were said in your house, whether sarcastically or otherwise, that may or may not be understood by others?”

My favourite for many years has been “What did your last slave die of??? Not old age, obviously!”, but the message has never been understood by the people I’ve mentioned this to.

I’m also very fond of “Your invisible pills aren’t working” to someone standing in front of the television or other thing you’re meant to be watching.

I also routinely told members of the family that “I’m not an octopus” (meaning I only have two hands and can’t do everything at once).

Another favourite has been “Who died and made you king/queen???”

Dad had a few that we heard quite a bit growing up. Obviously the old standard of “Where you raised in a barn/tent?” was to let us know that we could close doors occasionally.

Mum recalls either her dad, or her husband, querying when arriving home one night “What’s wrong with the porch light? It’s the only one not on!”.

There are some classics that everyone probably heard growing up, like “Do you think I’m made of money?, “What time do you call this?” and “The wind will change” (and your expression will stay stuck). Anyone who woke up in our family later than Dad was always greeting with “Good afternoon”

The males in my family have long used the statement “It was the dog”. For obvious reasons. Spoiler alert – it’s very rarely the dog.

What sayings did you grow up with, or have instigated in your family?

Photo by Anna Shvets on

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