SPILLING THE BEANS ON THE CAT’S PAJAMAS
- Author: Judy Parkinson
- Hardcover: 176 pages
- Publisher: Readers Digest (September 30, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1606521713
- ISBN-13: 978-1606521717
Oh, the images that title provokes! Figurative language’s popular expressions come and go with time. Language changes so phrases like “spilling the beans” and “the cat’s pajamas” are cliches today long removed from their original meanings. All the times I wished someone to break a leg, I hurried to explain I was wishing him luck. Had he read Judy Parkinson’s Spilling the Beans on the Cat’s Pajama’s, it would have been unnecessary.
This morning again falling snow kept me housebound. Since hubby was still sleeping I decided to be quiet as a mouse. Luckily lights and turning pages do not wake up my man so instead of turning on the TV, I started reading. Expressions my father frequently used like blow hot and cold and cock and bull story jumped out at me. I knew they meant being inconsistent and a lie. What I did not know until today is their derivation from ancient tales.
I grew up in a world of books and was familiar with great books and classics. Greek mythology, Aesop’s Fables, Homer’s Illiad and The Odyssey, Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass had been my bedtime companions throughout my school years. I saw sour grapes, the face that launched a thousand ships, beware of greeks bearing gifts, mad as a hatter, and mad as a March hare as part of literature long before Hollywood moved them to the big, big screen.
I smiled at kiss of death remembering how years ago my youngest sons then in grade school received detention and how I greeted them there in front of their friends–a fate far worse than any scolding or punishment. I already knew that a baker’s dozen was thirteen. What I never heard was its medieval origin. England’s Henry III instituted his Assize of Bread and Ale reign on bakers caught shortchanging customers.
I doubt if any couch potato will enjoy Spilling the Beans’s catch phrases as much as I did. This Reader’s Digest publication is worth browsing through. I am putting it with my table books on on the coffee table not under the table to be appreciated. Reading means work not tuber eyes on the television as it opens our minds and brains. Don’t wait (I am only having some fun playing on words) until the dog days of summer to take a look at a copy of it and its 233 entries organized in alphabetical order.
Spilling the Beans on the Cat’s Pajamas lists at $14.95 and can be ordered online or bought in stores like Borders.
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