Herald Journal Columns
Jan. 28, 2002

'When it rains, it pours,' and other American slang

By DENISE ROSENAU

Have you ever heard the expression "When it rains, it pours?" I can't tell you how many times I've been able to apply that expression in different circumstances in my life, or in hearing stories about others lives.

There's that darn Murphy again, with his stupid laws and idiotic ways.

There have been times in my life that things just couldn't be better and brighter. Life is great, everyone is happy, and all my bills are paid. Cough, cough . . .

Then, there are the times when the car breaks down, the kids miss the bus, and you have no clean socks, and you feel like if you sink any farther into the hole of unhappiness, you may not ever climb back out.

My saving grace during those times is knowing that things can only get better. No where to go but up. And that usually holds me over until they do, in fact, turn over again.

Then the cycle of "when it rains, it pours" begins again, but with the positive parts of life taking over. Those are the best times.

I find that I use a lot of expressions. "When it rains, it pours" is a favorite of mine. So is quoting Murphy from Murphy's Laws.

Whenever I answer the phone here at work and get dead air, I hear myself saying, out loud or to myself, "How rude!" (pronounced Wooooodddd).

This comes from Jar Jar Binks in the last Star Wars movie. As loveable as Jar Jar is, he is also pretty dorky.

I also like the expression "meltdown." That term is relatively new and trendy, as far as expressions go. One of my husband's friends refers to his daughter's meltdowns occasionally, and the expression cracks me up.

In my mind, I see a cute little girl, literally pooling on the floor into a puddle of pinks and purples.

Honestly, I have a hard time believing that this particular little girl is ever in meltdown-mode. Her parents may disagree.

Where do we get these expressions? A lot of them are so corny that they don't even make sense.

I really like puns, too. Puns are great, and they keep me laughing on a regular basis. I've been known to say in the past, "Oh, ha ha, very punny."

I know here at the newspaper office, we "cracked" up over a headline that Lynda Jensen, the editor of the paper, wrote not too long ago. It was an honest mistake, and she didn't realize how funny it was until the paper came out and she started getting her comments.

I'm not surprised - the headline read "Crack found at the City Hall." She meant a crack was, literally, found on the Howard Lake City Hall building, not the drug-kind of crack, or the plumber-butt-kind of crack.

To top it off, she ended this particular section with this, and I quote ". . . commented that she thought the crack was always there, and just got worse."

Lynda has been a really good sport about the whole situation, as well as the city employees. She still turns a pretty shade of red whenever the subject is brought up.

We may send that article to the Jay Leno Show, for Jay's Headlines Monday nights.

You never know, maybe we will end up getting some national recognition.


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