I guess this is as good a time as any for Vastly Ineloquent Wisdom, The Sequel. If you missed the first installment, wherein the rationale for this silly exercise is explained, you might be interested in going here first. But possibly not. Up to you.
Anyway, last time we focused on the horse-sense of an old coworker of mine on the assembly line at Kenworth. Today we’re going to focus on my dad, who probably had more colorful expressions than anyone else I’ve ever known. And when I say “colorful”, I mean “in hysterically poor taste”.
Careful What You Wish For
Like most kids, I was prone to lamenting how lame my life was in comparison to other kids’ lives. As a part of this self-deprecating regimen, I’d do a lot of wishing for stuff. I wish dad would let me have a Slip-n-Slide like Tommy’s! I wish my mom would buy pre-sweetened cereals like Kelly’s mom does! I wish I had a foreskin like Lucas!
I seldom got what I wished for, but that did nothing to wear out my desire for things I couldn’t have. So I kept right on wishing for stuff and my dad kept at the ready a lovely expression to cover his bases in the event that my desires were flung his way. If I made a wish in his general direction, he’d dryly say, “Well, wish in one hand and shit in the other and see which one fills up faster.”
After I’d gotten past the fact that my dad had just told me to start defecating on myself, I got permanently stuck on a small flaw in the wording. He had said to “wish in one hand”, not to “make wishes and fill the hand with the successful results of same”. So in the end, the expression was pointless to me, because I could certainly come up with more wishes in a set period of time than I could handfuls of feces. And when I helpfully tried to explain this flaw to my dad, it only served to make him even less likely to heed my wish. At least there was irony as a consolation.
Words of Wisdom: Wish in one hand and shit in the other and see which one fills up faster.
Translation: Your excrement will always be more plentiful than your realized desires.
Not-So-Obvious Lessons: “It’s a waste of time to ask dad for a swimming pool,“ and “To some, brevity is more important than accuracy.”