Johnny-on-the-Spot … by John Foster …
We went out for breakfast recently and while dining, a hawk flew into the window we were sitting next to.
There was a loud “Thump!” and we saw a flutter of wings before the bird righted itself and flew away.
I suspect the creature landed somewhere shortly after that and shook its’ head while looking for the aspirin.
I then thought, “Maybe we just witnessed an idiom.”
The dictionary tells us that an idiom is a noun, defined as a “group of words established by usage as having a meaning not deducible from those of the individual words.”
There’s actually a “hawk” idiom already.
“Watch like a hawk” means it’s hard to do something without being seen.
Another winged creature idiom might be, “The early bird gets the worm.” Get there early and savor the rewards.
Unless you “eat like a bird” which means you don’t eat enough and you’re picky.
Note: Most birds eat a lot in proportion to their size and weight.
Ever been on a wild goose chase?
You’ve been on a time-wasting, unsuccessful search.
Perhaps you’ve “killed two birds with one stone”.
Generally means you’ve solved 2 problems with one action.
Note: Remember when Opie killed a momma bird with his slingshot and had to care for the little ones?
If you “kill the goose that lays the golden eggs” you’re destroying something that gives you return to get immediate rewards.
How about some feline idioms?
If you can’t keep this information to yourself, you’d be “letting the cat out of the bag.”
To find yourself in an unpleasant situation by being overly-inquisitive, remember that “curiosity killed the cat.”
That might make you feel uneasy and agitated, “like a cat on a hot tin roof.”
Remember, in a tight-setting or cramped spaces, there’s “not enough room to swing a cat.”
But other animal references also ring true.
To consume a lot is to “eat like a horse.”
I’m not horsing around when I say you need to show patience and “hold your horses.”
However, don’t waste your time when there’s no chance of success by “flogging a dead horse.”
That’s from an original or trustworthy source, straight “from the horse’s mouth”.
Note: Today, I think much of the talk in our nation’s capitol is from the other end of the horse.
Perhaps I’m getting too political, causing some trouble by “stirring up a hornet’s nest.”
Note: Was that the original “sting operation?”
Some might believe that I’m making something unimportant to seem important”.
“Making a mountain out of a molehill” comes to mind.
But politics is more than tongue-wagging.
Our elected officials seem to allow tiny things to control or get in the way of bigger issues with “the tail wagging the dog.”
We hear calls for help when it’s not really needed. (Cry wolf!)
Now maybe we’re nearing the last in a series of unpleasant or undesirable events before we witness “the straw that broke the camel’s back.”
But maybe those elected hired hands will do something unexpected and “pull rabbit out of a hat.”
Note: If you keep a rabbit in a hat too long, you know what you’ll find in the bottom of the hat?
I feel our elected ones have been following the wrong course of action and have been “barking up the wrong tree” for quite some time.
But maybe they’ll change.
Why do I envision airborne swine?
“When pigs fly.”
These days, people think we need compromise.
While I tend to agree, I remember an old radio axiom.
Programmers used to think “middle of the road” formats were the way to go…until someone said, “Remember, if you stand in the middle of the road, you get his by traffic going both ways.”
Food for thought.
All this can be blamed on a hawk hitting the window one morning.