Pine Nuts: Terms and coinages


Like most people I keep a list of expressions and phrases that I can lay my hands on and bootleg at first opportunity. But then like most people, I never quite get around to employing such an invaluable resource. This moribund inventory has grown to 103 pages, and that’s not counting Mark Twain expressions that I do use. So today I am determined to examine this rich mine of literary ore and share a few nuggets with you …

Some sentences just burst with felicity of expression; “If you think I’m happy, baby, baby, baby, you’re right!” While others set fire to the imagination; “She is somekinda beautiful.”

I even found a nugget of humor in a depiction of being overweight; “I’m not saying (you fill in the blank) is overweight, but when he gets a shoeshine he has to take their word for it.”

And what can be said about the important things in life without sounding pedantic? “What we tend to look upon as conveniences, are actually distractions.”

Who among us cannot appreciate the down slope honesty of an Olympic Snowboarder, “I’m here for the babes and the beer!”

And it’s not everyday that we get a free health tip; “If you feel awe and wonder in the smallest of human events you will be happy and healthy.”

So how do Americans feel about monarchy, anyways? “Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt served hot dogs to the king and queen of England at Hyde Park.”

Not one to talk religion at Thanksgiving, I’ll slip this gem in ahead of the turkey and the coin toss, “I’d rather see a sermon than hear one.”

Have we become more divided since 9-11? “Our internet has turned into a digital barroom brawl.” To continue that thread of thought, “It worries me not that he is a humbug. What worries me is the humbugability of the American public.” And the obvious corollary might be, “We have always had crazy people in America. But not until the Internet came along were crazy people able to organize and create chaos.”

Then too, everybody’s list of memorable observations must include a word from the Bard; “If music be the food of love, play on.” And should your preference happen to be country music; “All you need to write a country song is three chords and the truth.”

As proof positive that the pun is the saddest evidence of intellectual poverty, we offer this sad specimen; “I always wanted to be a monk, but never got the chants!”

An equally sad but poignant prophesy could be; “2020 might end sometime in 2023.”

Yet hope springs eternal when we remember, “In the 1070’s Russia and the United States cooperated not only in the mass production of vaccines, but also in a program to vaccinate people throughout the Third World. By 1980, smallpox had been eradicated.”

Well, it is time to go, but I feel gratified that I have finally examined a page of passages to be remembered, and have only 102 more to examine … maybe someday.

Learn more about McAvoy Layne at

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