I don’t think I’ve written two sequential blogs on the same topic before, but time for writing them has dwindled. Lack of hours, lack of interesting topics, have been rate-limiting factors. Posting every two weeks has not been a strain until this month. Yet now I have additional responsibilities–I have been released from COVID jail! Of equal importance, friends have also been released, and businesses of all types are reopening. Appointments and dates must be made, shopping has to be scheduled. Time is of the essence. Let’s get this show on the road!
As a fallback solution, I’d like to devote this post to more explanations of the origins of American sayings. I have lots of material at the ready. There are zillions of sayings out there. And, per earlier caveat, I demand neither accuracy nor truth to explain them. This is the perfect spot to introduce an equine adage: “Take the bit between your teeth and run with it!” To refresh our knowledge of horses’ dentition, I am led to believe that behind horse molars is a space of unprotected gum. This is just the spot to place a bit (attached to reins). How one persuades a horse to accept this device is beyond me. But I digress.
So now there is a metal bit in a relatively soft spot in a horse’s mouth, attached to reins. One can attract the horse’s attention by pulling on the reins to let him know that something is required of him; turn, stop, whatever. Ignoring these signals will lead to harder pulling, increasing discomfort, general annoyance, and eventually, obedience. This system is very effective for most horses. Occasionally there is an extremely clever beast that has perfected the art of shifting the bit forward, out of the tender spot, and clamping it firmly between upper and lower molars. No amount of tugging on the reins has any effect. He can gallop off at top speed, in any direction, as he sees fit. Ha. Hence the previously noted: “Take the bit…”
Another horse-based idiom is more or less self-explanatory. “Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth” (teeth will be worn down, age of horse revealed). I have no idea what “a horse of a different color means.”
Now, what of the photo accompanying this blog? It is a shot of the interior of a beautiful church (Weiss Kirche) I took on a tour of Bavaria, Germany in 2012. Review of pictures of this building on the internet shows the exterior to be relatively plain, in contrast to the elaborately crafted interior. Breathtaking. In typical American tourist fashion, I skulked about, clicking off one shot after another. Sidebar: Germany has become more and more secular through the years, and many churches are very sparsely attended. Catholic priests are recruited from Poland to cover the large number of existing vacancies. No worshippers or priests were disturbed by my photoshoot.
What does this particular photo feature? The pipes of the church organ. Pipes are the sound-producing element of the organ that resonate at a specific pitch when pressurized air is driven through them. Whew. Within each pipe is a device, a stop, that controls the amount of air that can pass through said pipe. The more air, the louder the sound. The amount of air going through the stop is governed by a knob accessible to the organist, one knob per pipe. Now, interpretation of the saying: “Pulling out all the stops” means achieving maximum volume for all notes. That seems more sophisticated than “pulling out all the knobs.” This is another saying that can used as a rallying cry at a board meeting, or inserted into a motivational speaker’s presentation, or sales meeting. Whatever.
Good news! I’m soon going traveling, and I hope to get more blog material on my trips.
Pray for me.
PS: I returned to the hardware store I described in a previous blog. There was no 6’10” man there that I could see. But I didn’t make any inquiries.