April 13, 2013

This and that

1. Recently I heard someone say that he was all "tapped out", when a stranger asked him for money. I wondered where the expression came from. Turns out it's British in origin. There they say (or used to say) that someone is "on the tap" when they're looking for a loan or a handout. So there you go.

2. Last night when the phone rang, I had an uncomfortable memory of the not-so-old days, when we had no idea who was calling us. In these days of constant caller-ID, it seemed a chilling idea. Not knowing who's on the phone?! Horrors. It's amazing how quickly these innovations work their way into our lives. And then we can't imagine living without them.

3. Have you heard about Rent a Mourner? It's a service based in the UK. Don't have people to wail plaintively at your mother's funeral? No problem. Rent a few. This reminds me of my post about the professional wailers in my Italian-American community, as I grew up. Those old Italian ladies dressed in black and would "wail" loudly at anyone's funeral -- for a price.

4. Here's an idea: Let's harken back to the days of "yellow journalism" and refer to Fox News as yellow media. They'd hate this! Yellow means cowardly; that's what they'd take away. I like it!

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