Hit the “refresh button”!

Hey there, welcome back… it’s been a while. Are you still a club soda or would you rather have something stronger?  No, no, club soda’s fine, no law says you have to have a drink-drink. In fact, I wish that clown down the end would switch to club soda. Talk about hot air, this guy’s a sandstorm.

Lemon instead of lime, right? Here ya’ go. Damn, he’s calling me again, I’ll be back…

Well, get a load of this. Our man just ordered another round and guess how he said it? “Sprinkle the infield!” What’s the expiration date on that one, 1982? That’s as bad as, “And my father will have…” or, “As long as you’re in the neighborhood, bartender.” Christ, I feel like I’m in a time warp.

Meanwhile, have you ever wondered where all these phrases come from? In other words, who the actual person was to first come up with a word or a line that stuck? Man, I have. Because someone had to say it first, right? Someone had to utter some pithy pearl which, before  the week was out, was quoted all over his town and later the world.  Think about it.  Someone had to first say, “Sprinkle the infield,” which is cute the first time you hear it, then bingo! it becomes a staple forever in saloon-speak. For what, thanks to this guy down the end, almost thirty years? And then outside of saloon-peak, what about the phrase, “Get your shit together”? Who in the hell invented and made that stick? And it wasn’t Tom Hanks’s character in Forrest Gump, either. It had to be a well known hippie somewhere, plugged into some kind of social network, and here we are in 2010 still “getting our shit together”.

And, “Tell it like it is,” that’s another one. I mean someone came up with that offbeat phrase back in the nineteen sixties, which found its way into mainstream rap til Howard Cossell, getting down with his ever bad self, grabbed the phrase by the lapels and shook the life out of it. But hey, there’s still a television series called “Like It Is”.

And what about this, my friend… the simple, harmless word, “whatever”? How did that get legs. That was also huge in the sixties… the cool breeze answer to a question… but who first gave that little word all that heft? Anyway, I’m probably boring the shit out of you here with all these age-old references, but that’s what comes to mind when I hear, “sprinkle the infield”. Where’d it come from? Who said it?

What’s that? Oh yeah, television definitely has something to do with it and Wall Street I’m told too. Some pin-stripe comes up with a new way to phrase and puts it on line in a newsletter… something like, “I’m on board, large!”… and before the end of the day everyone’s “large!” But television, you’re right, that’s the main source. I heard Joan Walsh from Salon.com the other day on Hardball with Chris Mathews and she used the word “paradigm” in her answer. Good for her, good word. But before the hour was over, two other guests had used the word and I believe Chris Mathews himself was guilty of three. Then it popped up all week long all over that network. They’re like lemmings, these guys, I swear. And “narrative”… narrative’s another hot one they can’t get enough of. In fact, following that narrative, what about, “Walk it back”? That’s the very latest from the punditry echo chamber. They use that phrase whenever a politician “mis-speaks”. Which is daily. The politician doesn’t “take it back” now he “walks it back”. Hell, given the political landscape these days and the overuse of that phrase, more shit’s getting walked back than Jackson’s moon walk!

What did you say? Oh, without question, TV sit-coms are the absolute spawning ground for catch phrases. I mean thanks to Larry David… someone I consider a comedic genius… we never “figure things out” these days we “do the math.” Jesus is that overdone! What the hell gets into people, do they really think it’s cool plagiarizing cool? It’s like stealing someone’s jacket and then wearing it all over town as if no one will notice. Amazing!

Or they want everyone to notice, it ties them into the show. You know, “I used to watch Seinfeld, therefore I’m cool!” Reflected glory.

Good point, man, good point. Hey, you seem to be up on this stuff, you wanna’ have some fun til I have to go down and re-prime that human cliche’ pump? How about we take turns coming up with over-used catch phrases? And you have to deliver in twenty seconds or you’re out. You on board? Oops, that’s a cliche!

Yeah, I’m on board, I love stuff like this, You’re speaking to the choir.

Okay, you go first.

I just did, I said, “Speaking to the choir.”

Holy shit, you’re right, I missed that. Okay, how about this, Who’s your daddy?

Ugh, can we please give that some Closure?

Amen! But, hey, get going, man, you’re on the clock.

I just went. Closure, Closure, what’s more overdone than that?

Damn, right again, I’m asleep at the switch here. Whoa! Asleep at the switch, that’s a qualifier. Back to you!

Nice recovery, You’re nobody’s lunch meat!

I like it, I like it, now we’re rollin’. How about, “Happy camper”? Believe it or not that one’s still going strong. In fact, if I hear about one more person who’s not a happy camper I’m setting fire to the camp.”

“Let’s not go there.”

Why not? Oh, right… “Let’s not go there”… another good one. Damn, you’re fast. That one’s definitely seen its expiration date. Okay, how about this, “Back in the day,” have we had it yet with, “Back in the fucking day”?

Or, “At the end of the day”, that’s all over the place too. It’s the new “When all’s said and done”, or, “In summation.”

And “Bottom line”, that’s still being used as, “In summation.”




Hah! This whole conversation is “too much information”…almost sorry I started it! Okay, still my turn. Let’s see here… “Phone tag”, how about that?  That’s what happens when you’re trying to, “Touch base.”

Whoah, man, you just used two. So I’ll have to “think outside the box but still “keep it real”!

Excellent! Shit, I’m drawing a blank here. Hey, what about that? I’m drawing a blank.

Sorry, pal, no dice. You got ten seconds, Sir Scribbler.

Uh… aw damn… c’mon, Scrib. Shit!

Times up, my friend, or as they say out there in Cliche’-land, the fat lady just sang!

F-u-u-u-u-c-k! All right, all right, you win, dammit. How ’bout I buy you a drink out of my own pocket?


I’m not grousing, I’m serious.

I know, I meant Grouse as in Famous Grouse… I think I’ve earned it.

Ahh, that you have, my friend, you take it neat, right?

(Over and out from Bar-land, see ya’ next week-end!)

PS: If you feel like it, dear reader, and if I’ve ignited your inner cliche’ out there, how about leaving in Comments one of your own? You know, some phrase about which you can say, been there, done that!

40 Responses to “Hit the “refresh button”!”

  1. 1 JaJa July 17, 2010 at 5:53 pm

    You da man. Fresh, or should I say stale, from the British Open.

  2. 2 Jane July 17, 2010 at 6:35 pm

    Are we on a *level playing field*?

  3. 3 Petro July 17, 2010 at 6:51 pm

    Yer firin’ on all cylinders, Scrib…

  4. 4 Ken July 17, 2010 at 7:32 pm

    Done there. Been that.

  5. 5 jc July 17, 2010 at 10:28 pm


    *Waiting patiently* for what Anony *throws down*.

    P.S. I love the P.S.

  6. 6 physiobabe July 18, 2010 at 9:45 am

    Rock on, Scrib! Am I dating myself?

    It is what it is.

    Ciao, sweetie.

  7. 7 Jager July 18, 2010 at 10:20 am

    “In your wheelhouse” is one I’ve been hearing along with “on my radar” or “your Radar” or “come up on your radar”…a friend said the the other day, “when it came up on my radar, I went Defcon 6 on the deal”!….whew!

  8. 8 scribbler50 July 18, 2010 at 1:01 pm

    Jaja: Whoever da’ man is who yells “You da’ man” at ANY golf tournament let alone The British Open, he should be made to trim the fairways with a nail clipper. Thanks for that!

    Jane: “Level playing field”, I flat-out love it… which of course means I don’t love it when I hear it. Perfect! You’ve “tipped the scales” in your favor.

    Petro: I “put the pedal to the medal”, what can I say, Bro?

    Ken: Saw there, liked that!

    jc: Two things. First off, I too anxiously await what Anonymoustache “throws down”, I should “fire off” an e-mail and say, “Let’s do this!”. And secondly, forgive my ignorance but what in the world does “ROFLMFAO!” mean?

    physiobabe: Jesus are you on target with that one, “It is what it is.” That’s become the button on every conversation! And as far as dating yourself, “You are what you are!” 🙂
    Ciao, bella mia.

    Jager: “When it came up on my radar I went Defcon 6 on the deal.” That’s hilarious! I’d wear a helmet around this guy, man.

  9. 9 chris jones July 18, 2010 at 1:34 pm

    Groovy post, Scrib.

  10. 10 scribbler50 July 18, 2010 at 2:03 pm

    “Far out”, Chris, thanks!

  11. 11 Petro July 18, 2010 at 8:47 pm

    Where are you, jc? I’ve been “chomping at the bit” over Scrib’s puzzlement over a well-known intertoobz acronym, and I don’t mean to “steal your thunder” just because I have to “step up” and “seal the information gap.”

    ROFLMFAO: Rolling On the Floor, Laughing My Fucking Ass Off.

    There it is. At the end of the day.

    OK, now I’m getting a bit sick…

  12. 12 scribbler50 July 18, 2010 at 9:35 pm

    Petro: Thank you, man, I wouldn’t have gotten that in a million years. And now that I know, thanks as well to jc for the compliment. Obviously I’m not up on my computer acronym-age, I think it was last Tuesday I figured out LOL!

    (It means Lots of Luck, Right?) 🙂

  13. 13 Petro July 18, 2010 at 9:46 pm

    “(It means Lots of Luck, Right?) ”


  14. 14 Anonymoustcahe July 18, 2010 at 10:40 pm

    So there I was, you know, just walking off the course chucking wedges and dropping F-bombs like they were going out of style when it occurred to me that I should just chill and beat a path to the 19th hole, instead of going all medieval on the sticks, y’know. After all, this was supposed to be fun, right? I mean, I felt like I’d been running around like a headless chicken for a while and thought I’d go walk 18 to let off some steam…get my mind right…clear my head…shake the cobwebs out, y’know? So I get up to the first tee and decide to let the big dog eat. Of course, starting with that first drive I shoulda known I couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn this day and shoulda just quit right then…..but if I only knew then what I know now….I shoulda quit when I was ahead, like when the guy in the clubhouse offered me a beer before I started. But nooooooo. Mister Arnack Parmicklaus had to go out and personally experience the good walk spoiled. If you think the driving was bad, you should’ve seen the carnage on the greens. The flatstick wouldn’t cooperate, I just couldn’t roll that rock and suffice it to say that the boss of the moss I wasn’t. They named the damn game golf because all the other four-letter words were already taken, right?
    Annnyyyhooo, to cut a long story short, the idea of the 19th hole also reminded me that on a nice sunny day like this I shouldn’t have been wasting my time on the links but having a good time on a completely different kind of links…surfing…the net, y’know… starting with behindthestick dot com. I figured it was high time to check in with our favorite dispenser of literature and libation, knock back four fingers of scotch and listen to the proverbial Sam tickle the proverbial ivory.
    And boy, am I glad I did…’cos Scrib50’s like the mailman…he always delivers. I mean, it’s always like hittin’ pay dirt, man. His site is more fun than a barrel full of monkeys. Sometimes I’ll re-read posts just for shits and giggles. It’s gotten so that if I ever check in and find an insipid post my jaw would hit the ground and you could knock me over with a feather. But we all know that it’d be a cold day in hell before that happens and that thought’s good enough to send us to the happy places in our minds.
    I think I’ll stop here. I know that I’ve been known to throw a pun in here and there, and don’t want my comments to get clichéd…..

  15. 15 scribbler50 July 18, 2010 at 11:45 pm

    Anonymoustache: Holy shit, man, I had a feeling you’d be weighing in a little heavier than usual this week given that the topic was wordplay, but this…. well… this knocks me over with that same “feather”. Thanks, my friend, you’ve managed to pack more cliches into one single comment than exist in a Raymond Chandler knock-off. All I can say is… you “stepped up to the plate and delivered!”

  16. 16 jc July 19, 2010 at 2:05 am

    Thanks for the assist Petro. Been sick myself, *hacking up a lung* and *sleeping like a log*. Get better dude.

    OMGWTFBBQ Scrib! *headdesk* *facepalm* Try Urbandictionary. 🙂

    This post was *right up yer alley* Anony. Figured you would *go to town* on it. *Hell of a swing*, knocked it *outta the park*.

  17. 17 Anonymoustache July 19, 2010 at 6:39 am

    Scrib50, jc,
    Thanks, and I’m glad and relieved that you guys liked it.
    I did feel a bit of extra pressure this week what with jc’s comment and Scrib’s follow up….felt like I needed to bring the goods…to bring my ‘A’ game…..to stay in the moment and not get ahead of myself….to take it one word at a time….to send a proper shout out to my peeps in cyberspace so I don’t lose my street cred, y’know? Now it feels like there’s a big load off my mind…a weight lifted from my shoulders…like the monkey’s off my back…ok ok I’ll stop.

  18. 18 scribbler50 July 19, 2010 at 8:55 am

    You MUST stop, Anonymoustache, you’re putting the rest of us to shame. You’re a “man among boys” here… a “top shelf”, “creme de la creme”, “A-lister”, Bro. So PLEASE, just get up from your keyboard, take a few steps back and walk away. It’s not often I ask someone to “check his ego at the door”, but this is an emergency!

    And jc: You’re getting perilously close yourself to being asked to walk away, you’re getting too good at this! 🙂

  19. 19 Jim Certa July 19, 2010 at 10:01 am

    I always found ” It slipped through the cracks” very annoying. Is that corporate speak for ” We fucked up but let’s blame it on the architecture”?

  20. 20 scribbler50 July 19, 2010 at 10:18 am

    Jim Certa: That’s exactly what it means, good one, Jim. And the funny thing is, stuff that slips through the cracks usually comes back to “bite you in the ass”!

  21. 21 serendipity37 July 19, 2010 at 1:28 pm

    Love this column, can’t wait til Monday when I can read it. You guys all went above and beyond on this one. It was more than the cats meow, it was the cats pajamas. Keep entertaining me–my head is now filled with more usless information than I can ever use.

  22. 22 d-a-p July 19, 2010 at 1:46 pm

    boy its been hot this summer….
    …..are you ready???
    “NO SHIT, SHERLOCK”!!!!!!

  23. 23 scribbler50 July 19, 2010 at 1:53 pm

    Serendipity: Thank you so much, and your comment was the “bee’s knees”!

    d-a-p: “That’s so funny I forgot to laugh!” 🙂
    Or, “Way to go, Dick Tracy, where’d you park your squad car?”

  24. 24 HyeFye July 19, 2010 at 3:12 pm

    I cannot compete on a level playing field with anonymoustache, so I shall hit the bricks of the city, where I shall sweat like a pig en route to my favorite watering hole, where I shall drink like a fish till someone sticks a fork in me, ‘cuz I’m done.

    And that’s the god’s honest truth.

  25. 25 Ken July 19, 2010 at 4:58 pm

    This dialogue is just the bee’s knees. As my awful, 1920s vintage grandmother used to say during the 1960s. She also liked to talk about the Strange Death of President Harding.

  26. 26 scribbler50 July 19, 2010 at 5:38 pm

    HyeFye: Boy, you’re not “horsin’ around”, sounds like you’re gonna get “fried to the gills”!

    Ken: Not to “rain on your parade”, my friend, but I used “the bee’s knees” two comments above you. But thanks to good ol’ Gram just the same!

  27. 27 JSaw July 19, 2010 at 5:54 pm

    “That’s what SHE said”

    And the truly awful — open the kimono.

    Though in the spirit of “full disclosure” I try and use this often:

    WFNHIT: What fresh new hell is this?

    As always, Scrib — “thanks for sharing.”


  28. 28 scribbler50 July 19, 2010 at 7:04 pm

    JSaw: Love the first one… truly a shopworn annoyance. Don’t get the second one… not sure I want to. Am most impressed by the third one… not just for its “transparency” but your truly original acronym. And as far as the fourth one goes… you’re welcome, my friend, “No prob!”

  29. 29 Jennifer July 20, 2010 at 12:35 pm

    Out of fear… I’m speechless…

  30. 30 scribbler50 July 20, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    Jennifer: You fearful? You speechless? “Well shiver me timbers, if that don’t take the cake!!!”

  31. 31 Ken July 20, 2010 at 4:07 pm

    Actually, Scrib, Grandma was an awful person. If there was something bad that could be said of someone, she’d say it. Especially about my mother.

  32. 32 Donna B. July 21, 2010 at 4:03 am

    In any contest like this I’m bound to come up one taco short of a combination plate. Word games just ain’t my cup of tea. You’d think I’d wake up and smell the coffee, but I’m pretty much out to lunch most of the time, so here I am commenting when I should clam up.

  33. 33 scribbler50 July 21, 2010 at 10:37 am

    Donna B: I counted five in there, you sly little devil, so I would say “your cup runneth over”!

  34. 34 Jager July 22, 2010 at 3:07 pm

    Srcib, I just reread this post and some of my Dad’s “oldies but goodies” came back to me:

    At home when I was a kid: “You’re as handy as a cub bear with boxing gloves”

    At his car dealership refering to trade-ins as “Tired Iron”

    On my Mom’s brother: “Your Uncle has one arm longer than the other, know why?” Me: “Uh no, Dad” “Because he can’t stop patting himself on the back!”

    One of his mechanics, commenting on a female customer:

    “Her ass was at least two axe handles wide”

    Mechanic to me while I was helping him fix my car:

    “Give me just a c–t hair more on that hoist”

  35. 35 Jager July 22, 2010 at 3:12 pm

    OH, so I’m not sexist:

    Mechanic to me while pointing out the huge belly on a male customer:

    “That guy hasn’t seen his dick in years without a mirror”

    Dad’s service department was a constant source of amusement and knowledge!

  36. 36 M.A.Peel July 25, 2010 at 7:39 pm

    Hey Scrib, I’m late to the party. And I’ve got some bones to pick with you.

    Never heard of “Speaking to the choir” but use “preaching to the choir” all the time. And I don’t know about being asleep at the switch, but definitely being “asleep at the wheel.”

    Regional difference?

  37. 37 scribbler50 July 25, 2010 at 8:04 pm

    M.A.Peel: Yikes, you’re right… it IS “Preaching to the choir” and you’re the only one to notice. Nothing regional about it, I just screwed up, Eagle Eye. However on the second one, “Asleep at the switch” is definitely a common phrase. As is your version. It refers to someone who dozes off at the controls. Whatever those controls are.

    And just for the record, even though I’ve been properly scolded I’m glad you made it to the party late or not. 🙂

  38. 38 M.A.Peel July 25, 2010 at 8:26 pm

    Hey, Timothy Hutton just said “preaching to the choir” in tonight’s Leverage episode. Love it when the universe seems a little connected.

  39. 39 scribbler50 July 25, 2010 at 8:49 pm

    M.A.Peel: I do too, now stop rubbing it in!

    But seriously… I swear to God almost every week, either right before or after I do a post, some amazing coincidences will occur relating to that entry. I mean amazing. Don’t know whether its because we have so much information at our fingertips that it’s just the law of averages, but I choose to think it’s universe synchronicity. Or SOME kind of mumbo jumbo, know what I mean? More fun that way.

    Speaking of which, try one for size. I had just written a post about Kurt Vonnegut and I was telling this woman at the bar… a visiting journalist from Minnesota… that I had a web site and my latest entry had to do with that author. She said, “Oh wow! I once had a pet goat that I called Kurt Vonnegut.” First of all, who has a pet goat? And second of all, who in the hell names it Kurt Vonnegut??? She apparently had rescued it at the last minute from being slaughtered and “Slaughterhouse 5” triggered the unusual naming. But stuff like that seems to happen to me every week, I swear. Amazing!

  40. 40 M.A.Peel July 26, 2010 at 12:03 am

    Now, if I run into any sort of goat-related anecdote tomorrow I’m going to get really scared . . .

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