April 2018

Thursday, April 22, 2010

NL #6: Please don't pick my brain.

NL #6: "I'd like to pick your brain about something." This expression, which I hear often in my work as a consultant, gives me the willies. The surgeons, after all, did pick my brain and thank heavens they took out the tumor, but I've seen the video, and it's not pretty (though it is amazing.) The expression “give someone a piece of your mind” also makes me queasy and makes me wonder what the surgeons did with the parts they removed. I think somebody has a piece of my mind.

Having had two eye muscle surgeries, "Peel your eyes," also gives me the shivers. It's hard not to think literally about it. For some reason, crows come to mind. And oranges.

Though as a general rule, I appreciate a good drink, please don't offer me a "bloody Mary." As a Mary who has been through brain surgery and puberty, I really hate this drink. I realize it was named for Mary Queen of Scots and not me, but my 7th grade social studies teacher called me Mary Queen of Scots (I think he was insulting me--I found him juvenile.) Either way, I take it personally.

I’m guessing people who’ve had major heart surgery don’t like the expression, “My heart bleeds for you” and those who have had heart transplants (like my friend Terry) don’t like it when someone “wears their heart on their sleeve.” That’s just bad surgery. I’m guessing those who have had nose surgery know about paying through the nose and bleed at the expression “take a nosedive.”

Perhaps crows don’t like the expression “eat crow.” Perhaps birds find it irritating that something that’s worthless is “for the birds" and that a fool is a “bird brain.” They may also not like the plan to “kill two birds with one stone.” Perhaps chickens find it demeaning that poor pay is “chicken feed.”

I wonder if Adams feel the Adams’ apple irritating or if soldiers returning from any war zone flinch when a teenager calls them the ultimate compliment: “da bomb.” I wonder how the Van Gogh fan club feels about the expression “I’m all ears.” I wonder how doctors feel about their patients eating all those applies and how apples feel about bad apples.

Cats and dogs must hang around just to listen to us talk about them. Cats hear about getting folks’ tongues and about being fat. Dogs probably don’t like the doghouse (ours didn’t even though his house matched ours, without indoor plumbing) and they don’t like to be really sick. I’ll bet cats do like being let out of the bag and sleeping dogs would prefer to lie. I’m guessing that neither likes it when it rains cats and dogs. Perhaps, though, pigs like to wear lipstick and cows like being sacred.

I’ll bet frogs don’t like the idea of being in peoples’ throats, that monkeys don’t like being on peoples’ backs and that bulls don’t like being grabbed by the horns. I’m betting snow balls don’t like the idea of being in hell, that guinea pigs don’t like being guinea pigs, that horses don’t like being held and that cats don’t like being skinned in any way.

I wonder how the person who invented post-it notes feels about the expression, “the best thing since sliced bread.”

We’ll have to pick their brain about that one. Mary

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