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17 July, 2011

Silly Sayings and Their Origins

I hail from a small town in Eastern Victoria, nestled within Gippsland, called Traralgon. I'm fiercely proud of my background, and love letting strangers and friends know about tidbits of information that have filtered through my upbringing and beyond.

Maybe because of my heritage, maybe for completely other reasons unbeknownst to me, there are a few sayings that have resonated with me, and that I continue to utter to this day whether it be verbally, while drunk, or cryptically as a status or Twitter update.

They'll always have an air of mystery for me, but today I feel like deciphering the nonsense, or attempting to.

1. Safest hands in the west
This is a favourite of mine to trot out after catching something. To me, it resembles a brag - these are the safest hands in the west - and I can catch unerringly and with great skill. But I'm not quite sure where I got it from. I barrack for an AFL team, the Western Bulldogs, and I'm fond of likening my ability to catch to that of an AFL footballer. But I can't be sure, I'm more fond of it now that I live in the East, I can cite the silly statement when catching something here, as if I have all of the ability of the Western world behind me. Maybe one day I'll meet my Eastern coounterpart?

2. Kick this one for st. paul, and this for minneapolis, and kick this one here for me and my super hero complex
I really enjoy this phrase, and is one that has resonated with me upon first hearing. I first heard it as an excerpt from a remix I heard on Triple J, but it is take from a oft-sampled spoken word called Pride's Paranoia. The entire verse is pretty mesmerising for me, much like Wear Sunscreen, but this particular verse stands out in my memory - why? I don't know. I'll probably never go to St. Paul or Minneapolis and I'm not altogether certain what a superhero complex is or whether I have one. But sometimes, at particular moments in my life, I've felt these words spill out of my brain.

3. Strike me a kipper, I'm all out of lemons
This statement is probably the most nonsensical of them all, as when you break it down it really doesn't make an ounce of sense. In recent years, it's been my most oft-repeated, now as a deliberate source of good humoured banter amongst friends. I've thought long and hard about where it came from, and did some research this morning. I'm pretty sure I heard the term or something similar on Martin/Molloy's The Brown Album back in 1995, but I don't have a copy of it anymore and the excerpts I listened to on Youtube bore no fruit. A Google search of the term revealed a similar catch-cry from a Red Dwarf episode, with the phrase 'Smoke me a kipper, I'll be back for breakfast.' I used to watch the show religiously, so it's entirely plausible that my memory has played Chinese Whispers and adapted it to the nonsense it is today.

4. Give me, a kiss to build a dream on
I love this phrase, and every time I hear it I smile. It takes me back to my teens, and my exposure to the game "Fallout 2" - it's from a beautiful Louis Armstrong song and my heart melts every time I hear it. I've uttered it in all sorts of incantations, and it still resonates with me today. It's a magical song.

So there you have it. An explanation of the unexplainable. It's funny though, how certain turns of phrase just sound appealing, but may come across as rubbish to someone else.

I guess this means I can no longer knock Megan Fox's tattoo.

I'm comfortable with that.