The motto of the Boy Scouts of America is “Be prepared”. I only made it through the Cub Scouts, but I like to think I got something out of the experience. As I have explained before, I have no survival skills whatsoever (I always assume that I would have learned them in Boy Scouts had I stayed), but I know how important it is in our modern society to have the right words for the right occasion.
I love a great turn of phrase. Some I find I can use in ordinary situations, like this exchange from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy:
Arthur: You know, it’s at times like this when I’m locked in a Vogon airlock with a man from Betelgeuse and about to die of asphyxiation in deep space that I really wish I’d listened to what my mother told me when I was young!
Ford: Why? What did she tell you?
Arthur: I don’t know! I didn’t listen!
I find if I leave out the bit about the Vogons and asphyxiation, most people will ask what my mother told me, setting up the punch line. (Disclaimer: I’m perfectly willing to leave the statement stand if they don’t ask. But they usually do. I think I subconsciously choose my friends for their ability to set up jokes.)
So I’m always on the lookout for interesting word choices. Which is why the headline of an article caught my eye yesterday. I didn’t even really care about the picture (shown above), but it was headlined “Big Pic: A Sea Turtle in a Wind Tunnel”.
I have decided that one of my bucket list items is to find some person, place, or event that I can describe by saying, “It’s like a sea turtle in a wind tunnel!” (Disclaimer: I do not promise it will be an accurate comparison.)