Posted by: Jack Henry | November 24, 2017

Editor’s Corner: A Mouthful from Richard Lederer

It’s the day after Thanksgiving, and I hope you all had a great holiday…or better yet, you may still be on holiday. I’m going to be lazy today as far as the Editor’s Corner goes, and provide you with Richard Lederer’s latest article, Every Day You Say a Mouthful of Food for Thought, since I know many of you enjoy him. This was posted in the San Diego Union Tribune, November 18, 2017. (Thanks for the newspaper, Ron!)

Thanksgiving is a delicious time of year to nibble on a spicy, meaty, juicy honey of a topic that I know you’ll savor and relish. Feast your eyes on the veritable banquet of mushrooming food expressions that grace the table of our English language and season our tongue. As we chew the fat about the food-filled phrases that are packed like sardines and sandwiched into our everyday conversations, I’ll sweeten the pot with some tidbits of food for thought guaranteed to whet your appetite.

I know what’s eating you. I’ve heard through the grapevine that you don’t give a fig because you think I’m nutty as a fruitcake; that you’re fed up with me for biting off more than I can chew; that you want me to drop this subject like a hot potato because I’m a spoiled-rotten weenie; and that you’re giving me the raspberry for asking you to swallow a cheesy, corny, mushy, saccharine, seedy, soupy, sugarcoated, syrupy topic that just isn’t your cup of tea.

Okay, so you’re beet red with anger that I’m feeding you a bunch of baloney, garbage and tripe; that I’ve upset your apple cart by rehashing an old chestnut that’s no more than a tempest in a teapot, just pie in the sky and won’t amount to a hill of beans; that you want to chew me out for putting words in your mouth;and that you’re boiling and stewing because you think I’m an apple polisher who’s out to egg you on.

That’s the way the cookie crumbles. Eat your heart out and stop crying in your beer. I’ll stop mincing words and start cooking with gas, take my idea off the back burner and bring home the bacon without hamming it up. No matter how you slice it, this fruitful, tasteful topic is the icing on the cake and the greatest thing since sliced bread.

Rather than crying over spilt milk and leaping out of the frying pan and into the fire, I’m going to put all my eggs into one basket, take potluck and spill the beans. I’m cool as a cucumber, happy as a clam and confident that this crackerjack, peachy-keen, vintage feast that I’ve cooked up will have you eating out of the palm of my hand.

Just think of the various people we meet every day. Some have taste. Others we take with a grain of salt. Some drive us bananas and crackers. Still others are absolutely out to lunch:

  • the young sprouts and broths of lads who feel their oats and are full of beans;
  • the salty, crusty oldsters who are wrinkled as prunes and live to a ripe old age well beyond their salad days;
  • the peppery smart cookies (no mere eggheads, they) who use their beans and noodles to cut the mustard;
    the half-baked meat heads, the flaky couch potatoes and the pudding-headed vegetables who drive us nuts with their slow-as-molasses peabrains who are always in a pickle, a jam, hot water, the soup, or a fine kettle of fish;
  • the unsavory, crummy, hard-boiled, ham-fisted rotten apples with their cauliflower ears, who can cream us, beat the stuffing out of us, make us into mincemeat and hamburger and knock us ass over teakettle and flatter than a pancake;
  • the mealy-mouthed marshmallows, Milquetoasts, milksops, half-pints, and cream puffs who walk on eggshells and whose knees turn to jelly as they gingerly waffle and fudge on every issue to see which side their bread is buttered on;
  • the carrot-topped, pizza-faced string beans and bean poles who, with their lumpy Adam’s apples, are long drinks of water;
  • the top bananas, big cheeses and big breadwinners who ride the gravy train by making a lot of lettuce and dough and who never work for peanuts or small potatoes;
  • the honeys, tomatoes, dumplings, cheesecakes and sweetie pies with their peaches-and- cream complexions, strawberry blond hair, almond eyes and cherry lips;

Hot dog! I hope you’re pleased as punch that this souped-up topic is a plum, not a lemon, the berries, not the pits. The proof of the pudding is in the eating, and this cream of the crop of palate-pleasing food figures is bound to sell like hotcakes. I’m no glutton for punishment for all the tea in China, but, if I’m wrong, I’ll eat crow and humble pie. I don’t wish to take the words right out of your mouth, but, in a nutshell, it all boils down to the fact that every day we truly eat our words.

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