Don’t be ridiculous, Nicholas


I’m not sure who is the more ridiculous: me [ I ?] for using this hyped and ridiculously expensive brand of disposable razor blade (and I have baulked at the even more expensive and nominally hyped Turbo marque) or the supermarket, which puts it on general access shelves, but encased with a further layer of security packaging which, even at home, poses a challenge – at least, to the wet-in-the-shower-needing-a-new-blade-challenge-challenged such as I?

Note: I was amused to discover with a little googling that the title to this post, a catchphrase, picked up I think from my father in childhood and probably by him from his parents, dates from a 1908 music-hall song by C.W.Murphy, author also of Has anybody here seen Kelly?.

Before I googled, I would have guessed that it came from something like ITMA. I underestimated how far back the roots of such phrases can extend, or conversely how long the half-life of a catchphrase can be. No wonder, as Milton said, fame is the spur! Just by way of example, as Dr Sherry said on Thursday, the phrase “all hell broke loose” is one of his, though in the original, which is more of a noun phrase than a clause, the sense is absolutely literal and “broke” corresponds to the modern “broken.”

In passing, another catchphrase: “Sweets for the sweet.” My mother used to say this when dispensing the single minty which we were allowed after dinner in lieu of dessert. We could hear the ringing rattle of the minties jar from our bedrooms at the other end of the house (where we would go after being given permission to leave the table – ah! quaint customs of times gone by!) and come running at its call.

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