Godbey: Expressions don’t always give accurate meaning

Published 6:00 pm Thursday, April 11, 2024

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Sometimes when you get a craving, you just have to give in to it. That’s exactly what happened to me yesterday. There I was, sitting on my couch watching television and minding my own business when I came across a reality show about baking cakes and the more they baked, the more my mouth began to salivate like Wile E. Coyote dreaming about the Roadrunner. 

I decided that I was going to bake my own cake from scratch. No bakery cakes or mixes for me. If those jerks on television could do it then so could I. Despite never baking a cake before in my entire life, I somehow believed that I could pull it off. Afterall, my parents taught me the skills that I would need in life. My dad taught me how to change the oil in my car while my mother taught me how to cook an egg and sew on a button. Skills that have allowed me to be self-sufficient my entire life. However, baking a cake was a brand-new adventure but I was sure I could pull it off. 

I looked up a recipe online and then darted off to the store for the supplies. The recipe called for cake flour, but I couldn’t find any, so I substituted it with Bisquick Baking Mix. I mean flour is flour, right? Next, the recipe called for two eggs. Since I love eggs, I decided the more the merrier and put in six eggs as I thought to myself that this is going to be the best cake ever. The recipe then called for vegetable oil, but I forgot to buy any, so I used bacon grease. I mean bacon is good with everything. I mixed it all up and put it in the oven and waited for my delicious creation to finish baking. In the meantime, my wife tried several times to intervene, but I insisted that I was the new cake boss in town and knew exactly what I was doing. However, when I removed the cake from the oven, It kind of reminded me of the floor mat in my truck. Thin and all rubbery like. I went back over the recipe to see where I went wrong and discovered that I may have gone off the recipe just a tad. Plus, I may have forgotten to add sugar. My wife took one look and then walked away doing her best to hide that, “I told you so” smile that was beginning to form on her pretty little face. I decided that maybe it was time to solicit the help of Betty Crocker.

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 I swallowed my pride and picked up a box of cake mix as I began to think about that old expression we use when something is easy, we say, “Piece of cake”. Well, that’s what got me into trouble to start with, thinking it was easy. Then, I began to wonder, what other expressions do we use that are not exactly right. For example, I remember giving a presentation at work once that I was nervous about and a co-worker said, “Break a leg”. Gee thanks. How about I break your jaw instead.  When someone talks to much, we say they, “Spilled the beans”. Well, when I eat beans, I can think of something that I do too much of but it’s not talking. Let’s just leave it at that. I’ve never figured out why we say, “Kick the bucket” when someone dies. Is this some requirement that St. Peter has that I wasn’t aware of? Kicking a bucket before I can get into heaven? Strange indeed. 

Someone caught me daydreaming this week and said, “Penny for your thoughts”. Are you kidding? Have you seen the way inflation is raising the price of everything. No, those thoughts are now at least a dollar.