Chicago Tribune columnist Mary Schmich famously said that "dispensing advice is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts, and recycling it for more than it’s worth." I like that, although it seems that some people don’t bother to wipe off or paint over anything. Some folks, like my dad, just give it to you au natural. No shiny coating. No fancy details. Just cold, hard truths that are both disturbing and enlightening at once. Let’s have a look at another of my dad’s colloquial stool samples.
Poo Is a Common Theme
Sad, but true fact: shit makes a very powerful metaphor. Many of the bits of advice my dad gave me over the years involved mentioning shit at some point. It was true of the example from last time and this post is only going further down that smelly, steamy, fly-infested road.
OK, so let’s say my dad and I were driving somewhere together – to get gas for the chainsaw so I could spend my whole fucking Saturday bucking up trees and splitting firewood, for example – and we happened to spy a rusted-out Chevy Vega with mag wheels, a bra, and a rear window louver. Without fail, he’d quip, “A polished turd is still a turd.”
He’d say the same thing about some fast-food joint’s new “gourmet” burger, which tells you that food wasn’t even off-limits when it came to fecal references.
Words of Wisdom: A polished turd is still a turd.
Translation: Potential is limited by provenance.
Not-So-Obvious Lessons: “Turds can be polished” and “Whether stock or custom, the Vega is a piece of shit”.