Don’t give me a dusty answer!


A new interest has burgeoned in our home and it’s all because of a water damaged flea market find: a thick, wavy-paged volume called BREWER’S DICTIONARY OF PHRASE AND FABLE. Prospecting in the densely packed text whilst on the toilet has brought into our daily parlance some absolute nuggets:

A dusty answer is a brush off.

What’s for supper tonight?
We’re dining with the cross-legged knights. In other words, don’t expect any supper at all.
The origin of this phrase makes little sense: something to do with stone effigies of the Temple church. Yet, it trips off the tongue easily, especially in the mouth of a cross-armed woman when faced with the constant expectations of her family to see to the cooking.

At the tap, we drink from Diogenes cup, in other words from a cupped hand. Diogenes was, by the way, a Greek philosopher, who lived in a tub (!) and was revered for his simple mode of life. There’s a type of hermit crab from West India that they call Diogenes crab because the shell it crawls into is likened to the selfsame tub.

Here’s to little gentlemen in velvet coats! An unpopular king was undone when a mole hill caused his horse to stumble and the king to suffer a fatal fall. I can think of many situations where this toast is particularly apt but it would be cruel to list them.

How many times in your life has just the right answer come to you too late to give it? Stairway wit or in the original French, esprit d’escalier, is the perfect rejoinder which you failed to use in the salon and only came to you as you were leaving via the staircase.

There are two paths open to you if you are Australian – Sydney or the bush. To tell the truth, neither beckons.

Our house has become the castle of indolence in the land of drowsiness. Whether we have fallen into a torpor because of the heat (31 degrees forecast today) or our natural predisposition for sloth, it is hard to tell.

A Devil’s Mass is a showering of swear words so I won’t regale you with that. but I’ll just run off to have my Fitzroy cocktail (an Australian concoction which comprises of methylated spirits, ginger beer and one teaspoon of boot polish).

Finally, I’m thinking of having a new category for my posts: Lares and Penates but who could possibly know that these are treasured household items? Only some toga-wearing Romans. These are the names of the two Roman gods, one of households and the other storerooms, whose enshrined images were supplicated with offerings of wine, incense and honey in order to protect the owners possessions, on the lines of ADT and Chubb.The meaning changed over time to mean the items themselves or simply ‘home’. I think ‘Lares and Penates’ would make a great name for a household items shop but, having never taken Latin at school, I’m not sure how to pronounce it.

I’m going to post this now because by the street of by and by one arrives at the house of never(Spanish origin – things postponed never get done).  

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