fools errand

Don’t take any wooden nickels today, y’all!

fish bike newer 450

Folks using the above saying have obviously never met Fiona Dorsal.

Fiona, unlike many of her species, may not NEED but absolutely prefers a bicycle as her main means of transportation.

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Because of abject laziness I am re-posting this lil gal from way back in 2007. In fact, I’m actually re-re-posting for about the third time.

You know, Fiona has evolved, not in a Darwinian way but as a drawing a few times since then.

Time

January 9, 2014

time running 450

RACE AGAINST TIME

Despite strenuous training and conditioning, Murgatroid found it difficult to beat the clock.

The Illustration Friday theme for this week is “Time.” So, since it is 11:00 pm on Thursday, with only an hour  left to post… time is running out!

SkADaMo 2013 Day 4

November 4, 2013

dog and pony show 450

“DOG AND PONY SHOW”

When all other ideas fail me I can always depend on my trusty animal idioms!

It’s really been fun and the SkADaMo list continues to grow. There are some really kick-butt sketches going on! Check out the list of participants (at least the ones who sent me their links) here.

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This idiom only works for those who have never met Finola Dorsal. She, unlike many of her species, may not need, but prefers a bicycle to other means of transportation.

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So, upon hearing of this week’s Illustration Friday theme, “bicycle”, who could help but think of a fish riding a bike. Who I ask you?

IF: drifting

June 23, 2009

sheep

SHEEP SLEEP (or Counting Peeps)

Sheila Sheepington-Fleecewater,
found it hard to sleep well.

So she sipped a bit of sweet water, 
while she counted people.

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The Illustration Friday theme lends itself to quite a few images this week. However, what immediately comes to my mind is the trouble “drifting” off to sleep insomnia often gives me, as my alter-ego Sheila demonstrates above. (Plus, I wanted another excuse to draw sheep shoes.)

I stumbled upon this term online. I’ve never actually heard anyone utter (or udder) this particular phrase, but by golly if it’s written somewhere on the internet it must be true, right? Well, regardless of it’s validity, this alleged idiom tickled me, and I immediately conjured up an image.

Granted, the little bovine beauty above does not appear to be awkward at all. Instead, she seems to be gliding right along, hauling…well…er…beef, if you will.

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Bessie is a recycled and refurbished post from way back in the early days. You know… waaaay back. Last November.

The poor thing was getting antsy, so I decided to knock the dust off, colorize and submit her to this weeks Sugar Frosted Goodness challenge, “C is for…”

cat got your tongue?

April 23, 2008

fail

April 14, 2008

Henrietta prided herself on being one of the rare hens with teeth and never failed to brush them.

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I’m still on this animal idiom kick. I imagine it’s because ideas for daily sketches can be a bit elusive at times and this theme is pretty rich with visuals. Why, I haven’t even exhausted the chicken phrases yet.

Let’s see, there was the “chicken who crossed the road”, supposedly to get to the other side. However, I think that’s “a cock-and -bull story.” If she hadn’t “counted her chickens before they hatched”, she may not have “chickened out”. Now, she’ll have to wait “till the “chickens come home to roost.”

Sorry, had to get that get that off my chest.

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I’m cheating a bit. This is from an older post. I freshened Henrietta up a bit with some color and pushed her chicken butt back on the stage. If you would like to see the older post and the black and white image, take a look here.

The Illustration Friday theme this week is “Fail.”

naked as a jaybird

April 12, 2008

NIGHTMARE

I woke up with a start today,
because my dream went wayward.
I dreamt I went to my first class,
naked as a jaybird.

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“Naked as a jaybird” seems an odd phrase, especially when you consider the blue jay is quite nicely outfitted in blue, feathery, finery. However, I couldn’t really tell you the origin of this idiom, although some folks speculate that the term may have something to do with the youngsters of the jay family.  Baby jays, featherless, (naked, you might say) have a tendency to get so overexcited and impatient about getting out there and flying, that they sometimes clumsily plop right out of their nests. So, I suppose we can just go with that one, unless anyone out there can unlock the secret.

Hee hee, little naked jaybirds scrambling about on the ground, waiting for mama jay to bail them out. How embarrassing, eh? Wonder if they ever dreamt that would happen.

 

 

putting on the dog

April 2, 2008

puttingondog.jpg

The fact that her job as hostess
at the Olive Garden was
less than lucrative, did not stop Thelma
from putting on the dog last Saturday night.

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a little birdy told me

February 29, 2008

boids.jpg

When we’d rather not reveal the source of the slanderous gossip we are whispering into the ear of our co-worker, we might find ourselves using the phrase “a little bird told me.” Yeah, it’s a cute saying and people have been using it for ions, but why? We all know birds can’t talk?

Or can they?

We all know that teaching a parrot to mimic certain words is possible, but are they capable of more?

As I perused the March issue of “National Geographic” I came across an article called “Minds of their Own, Animals are smarter than you think.” In this article, among many fascinating examples, was one about an African gray parrot named Alex. Alex not only spoke, but he spoke his mind, so to speak.

His owner roommate, Irene Pepperberg decided to teach him to reproduce the sound of the English language so she could then ask him questions about how he saw the world. She did this at a time when most scientist thought of animals as automatons, incapable of any thought. Animals were thought to be merely robots programmed to react to stimuli, nothing more.

One of the ways Pepperberg demonstrated Alex’s ability to think was to hold up a green key and a green cup.

She asked Alex, “What’s the same?”

Without hesitation, Alex said “Co-lor.”

She then asked “What’s different.”

“Shape.” Alex squawked.

Alex also had his own name for apples, one of his favorite foods. Because they tasted a bit like banana to him and because they looked a bit like cherries, Alex made up a name for them: ‘ban-erry.”

Y’all really have to read this article.

Amazing what you can do with a brain the size of a shelled walnut.

er, um, excuse me…

February 7, 2008

antsinpants.jpg

…BUT, AN ANT’S IN MY PANTS!

A situation like this is sure to induce a feeling of uneasiness and, possibly cause a person to feel, um, well, antsy.

However, when faced with a dilemma such as this, one must remember to remain calm. An ant’s curiosity lasts as long as it’s attention span, which is quite short. Feigning nonchalance is best. In 10 to 15 minutes the novelty of wearing your jeans will no doubt wear off. The ant will soon run off to check out something shiney and you will once again have possesion of your pants and your sanity.

frog in my throat

January 31, 2008

frog.jpg

Ahem!

To have a frog in one’s throat is to have a temporary hoarseness caused by phlegm in the back of the throat.

Of all the animal idioms out there, the origin of this one seems pretty obvious. Anyone hoarse with a cold or allergies will typically sound or croak, pretty much like a frog, right? So, duh, that’s a no-brainer. However, with a little digging around I found there is a wee bit more to the story.

According to The Phrase Finder

It used to be thought that if you drank water from a pond that had frogspawn in it, a frog could live and hatch out in your throat, which naturally would block your voice. Quacksalvers (that’s the traditional English equivalent of snake oil merchants) used to have a scam whereby the quack’s stooge used to pretend to be so afflicted; the quack would administer his medicine, lo and behold the stooge would cough up a live frog and “regain his voice”, and all the gullible peasants would buy this wonderful cure. For this reason, an obstruction in the throat is known as a “frog”.

Interesting story, if not exactly full of detailed information, like: What period in time did all this take place?

So with a little more digging I found this:

quack·sal·ver [ kwák sàlvər ] (plural quack·sal·vers) noun
Definition: quack: somebody who falsely claims to have medical or other skills or qualifications ( archaic )

[Late 16th century. < obsolete Dutch, “salve-hawker” < Dutch kwaken “quack, prattle” + zalf “salve”]

So, there you go.

A term likely originated by quacks in an effort to sell snake oil in the late 16th century.

Sound familiar?

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to make myself a nice hot spot o’ tea. I seem to have an amphibian lodged in my esophagus.

cat’s pajamas

December 5, 2007

catspajamas.jpg

Clearly these are not Pumpkin’s pajamas. However, you can tell by the look on his furry little face, that he was very anxious to demonstrate today’s animal idiom for you. “The Cat’s Pajama’s

The term “Cat’s Pajamas” got it’s start in the 1920’s, or roaring twenties, when pajamas (or pyjamas, if you’re from the U.K.) were a bit of a novelty. The term was coined by the sports writer and cartoonist at the time, Thomas A. Dorgan and along with “Bees Knees”, “Cat’s Meow” and “Cat’s Whiskers” meant “the height of excellence.” Similar phrases used in the 20’s but didn’t quite catch on were:

“the eel’s ankle”, “the elephant’s instep”, “the snake’s hip”, “the capybara’s spats”, “the flea’s eyebrows” and “canary’s tusks,” (hee heeeee, canary tusks!)

Along with these terms, Dorgan is generally credited with either creating or popularizing such words and expressions as:

dumbbell (a stupid person)

for crying out loud (an exclamation of astonishment)

cheaters (eyeglasses)

skimmer (a hat)

hard-boiled (a tough person)

drugstore cowboy (loafers or ladies’ men)

nickel-nurser (a miser)

as busy as a one-armed paperhanger (overworked)

Dumb Dora (uh, dumb)

Benny (for hat) and dogs (for shoes)

Sources: Wikipedia and Phrase Finder

Oh, Pumpkin also wanted me to point out that there were three cat related terms for “height of excellence.”

Thank you, Pumpkin, now get out of my pajamas.