Blog, quote of the day

“It puts the skirt on the Jack,” and other cuckoo-bird, idiosyncratic sayings my family is fond of.

In these serious days of Lots of People Spending Lots of Time on The Internet, I would like to share some peccadilloes and funny stories.

My friend on Goodreads said that they were reading Harry Potter 4: The Goblet of Fire.

I commented:

“This is the HP book that separates the girls from the women… it puts the skirt on the jack…. It really deepens the world. You will totally love it!

PS. In playing cards, especially pinochle, after the Ace, King, and Queen had been played, my parents would say, “That puts the pants on the Jack.” In the interest of humor and gender equality, I started saying, “That puts the skirt on the Jack.” Just because. It’s just awesome. Hard to explain, really. But that is where that odd expression comes from. <3″

I should also add that “separates the girls from the women” is a different, “separates the men from the boys.” For a more nuanced discussion with several alternatives, check out this article.

WW1 saw men
wearing skirts

My mom has always said, “It’s a long way to Tipperary,” meaning, obvi, “it’s far from here.”

Much later in life, I learned that Tipperary is an actual place.

It is in Ireland, and there’s a song. Also, I just learned, there’s a statue, because sure, why not?

Tipperary statue

Speaking of other strange expressions during card games, my brother is quite fond of saying, “in the catbird seat.” This is based on a short story of the same name by James Thurber, which appeared in the November 14, 1942 edition of The New Yorker. I remember reading this story at a young-ish age, possibly in high school, and having exactly no idea what it was about. The definition of the phrase, as narrated in the story, provided little insight: “‘Tearing up the pea patch’ meant going on a rampage; ‘sitting in the catbird seat’ means sitting pretty, like a batter with three balls and no strikes on him.

Clever illustration! Source.

Yeah, I think the not-small contempt for women in this story is moderately troubling. I am saying this, of course, as a woman. Ahem.

I also had this response (“in no way do I understand what is happening right now“) when my eleventh grade English teacher (Her name was Mrs. Stubbs, I am not kidding.) gave me this comment. —

First edition cover.

She said of the narrator, “You know he was impotent, right?” —

In the middle of my book report on The Sun Also Rises. Um, no. I had no idea. I had no idea what impotent meant, either, because I was so sexually repressed in high school that sex was This Big, Baffling Mystery That Was Yucky And Dirty And Strange And Exciting, And Maybe It Has Something To Do With Procreation and AIDS, Yet Somehow, People Kept Doing It.

No. No idea. Earnest Hemingway was handsome, though. I am not kidding.

Mr. Smoldering Eyes Would Like to Go to Paris, Please.

That’s some but perhaps not all of what I would like to share for today. Be of good cheer.