Saturday, August 29, 2015

You Don't Want a Bully in a China Shop.

I just love that title. Barbara suggested it to me during the Chinese stock market's meltdown when I asked what I should write about this week.  We’d just finished watching an American Presidential candidate give an encore performance of his coping mechanism when faced with journalistic criticism, and her line had me laughing right up until I looked at the Greek news. 

The same sort of guy, sans money or the hair, actually got elected in Greece and had the Prime Minister’s ear…until he got the PM’s boot.

As I mentioned last week, it’s election time again in Greece, the third this year. There’s also a new Prime Minister, the first woman in Greece’s history and the sixth since the financial crisis began—but she’ll only serve for thirty days. There’s also a new finance minister, the eighth since 2010.

New Greek Prime Minister Vassiliki Thanou

It’s anyone’s guess how this is going to turn out, because no Greek seems to believe a single word any politician says. In fact, the polls make it seem certain that no party will gain an absolute majority, and the environment for a viable coalition government looks even less hospitable now than it did for the government that just collapsed.  All of which means a possible new round of elections before the end of 2015—just what a disheartened people trying to cope with an economy on the edge of perdition needs: more uncertainty.

That was a long way around to an explanation for what I decided to write about this week. Or rather borrow from an email full of chuckles sent to me by a friend. It’s a list of paraprosdokians––figures of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected, frequently humorous. Of course, it’s a word derived from the Greek, meaning “against expectation.”

And since I didn’t write them, there’s a very good chance you, too, will enjoy them. I’m told Winston Churchill did. :)

1. Where there's a will, I want to be in it.

2. The last thing I want to do is hurt you, but it's still on my list.

3. Since light travels faster than sound, some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

4. If I agreed with you, we'd both be wrong.

5. We never really grow up, we only learn how to act in public.

6. War does not determine who is right - only who is left.

7. Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.

8. To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism. To steal from many is research.

9. I didn't say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.

10. In filling out an application, where it says, 'In case of emergency, Notify:' I put 'DOCTOR'.

11. Women will never be equal to men until they can walk down the street with a bald head and a beer gut, and still think they are sexy.

12. You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.

13. I used to be indecisive. Now I'm not so sure.

14. To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target.

15. Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.

16. You're never too old to learn something stupid.

17. I'm supposed to respect my elders, but it's getting harder and harder for me to find one now.

Not all of the above reflected my attitudes, but they did make me smile, something very little else in the world seems to be capable of doing these days…except for this current visitor to my farm. She always makes me smile.



  1. My wife used to say I was getting hard of hearing, but I haven't heard her say that for quite a while now.

    I used to be stuck in the same old rut, now I come here every day.

    The most effective motivation for getting off your ass is when someone else gets on it.

    If it's right to write, what's left for the liberals?

  2. Love these, Jeff. And #2 is my motto :)

    Also like:

    Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.

    If you are supposed to learn from your mistakes, why do some people have more than one child?


    Some cause happiness wherever they go. Others whenever they go.

  3. Laugher makes a lot of life bearable. So do adorable grandchildren.

  4. I'm not even going to attempt your word for these little phrases, but they are quite amusing and most are apt. Particularly the one about Christians in Church and the difference between knowledge and wisdom.

    1. Thanks, Anne. They're two of my favorites, too! As for pronouncing paraprosdokians, I just think in terms of parachuting Kardashians...without the chute.

  5. These are all very funny and many are quite true.

    I'm thinking of the one on Christians when I think of that county clerk in Kentucky who won't marry same-sex couples because she's listening to "God," not the law. Lots of Christians are more open and concerned about other people's lives and rights to be happy.

    And, yes, your little visitor looks like a ray of sunshine.

    And, on Greece-watch, one thing that uplifted me was seeing that the Greek Coast Guard rescued 2500 migrants from the sea. What with all of the awful news these days and the hassles in Hungary, I am glad to see that Greece was helpful.

    And I just read that Greece and Italy, not the wealthiest European countries, are among the most welcoming to migrants.

  6. Yes, Kathy, it's amazing how well the Greek coast guard and people are holding up when you realize that the target islands each week are receiving numbers of immigrants greater than their population!

  7. I think the Greek people understand hardship and have empathy and solidarity. After all, I think of what they have gone through, especially during WWII.

    Your posts on that history were very informative, including the one on the last remaining Jewish resister, a retired dentist in his 90s, which I have told friends.