Have you ever come across the term eggcorn? It’s a kind of misheard phrase, much like a mondegreen but not necessarily from a misheard poem or song lyric. A while back, I saw a comment thread on Facebook where a friend of a friend mentioned someone mishearing the Pulitzer Prize as the Pullet Surprise. Naturally, this photo came to mind. And then it makes me want to see if I can find photographic illustrations of some other such misheard phrases. Do you have any favorite misheard phrases?
No mockery in this world ever sounds to me so hollow as that of being told to cultivate happiness. What does such advice mean? Happiness is not a potato, to be planted in mould, and tilled with manure. Happiness is a glory shining far down upon us out of Heaven. She is a divine dew which the soul, on certain of its summer mornings, feels dropping upon it from the amaranth bloom and golden fruitage of Paradise. (Charlotte Bronte, Villette)
Close to 2 years ago, I was preparing to roast some vegetables for dinner. I washed a potato, and started to cut out some of the eyes that looked like they would be a bit tough, when, to my surprise, I had the impression that the potato was looking back at me. Yes, we all know that potatoes have eyes, but they don’t usually have mournful eyes. Further, I realized that the “eye” I was cutting into with the point of my knife was actually more like the potato’s nostril. Filled with remorse, I stopped to take some photos of my sad, sad potato. (And then I continued to cut it up and put it in a roasting pan.)
Some days later, I came across the quote above, by Charlotte Bronte. Indeed, happiness is not a potato, and I had the photographic proof.
If anything, as far as I can tell, sadness is a potato.
While perhaps not with the same frequency as my sharing of leaves, this is far from the first time I’ve shared vegetables with faces. In fact, 3 years ago, a butternut squash and I declared November 21st to be International Day of the Odd Vegetable.² Together, the squash and I reminisced about an eggplant we once knew.
How about you? Have you come across any produce with personality?
¹ That’s what I was imagining I’d call a post about this potato.
² Alternately, The Day of Peculiar Produce.
Today is the day when millions of people around the world come together in the spirit of pants. In thousands of cities around the world, people celebrated by wearing pants big and small. Whether lounging at home in pajama pants, stretching their legs in yoga pants, or striding out into the world of work wearing more professional pants, pants-wearers world wide wore their pants proudly. “It really warms my heart to see so many people wearing pants,” a woman said tearfully on a New York street corner. Indeed, wearing pants has been warming the hearts (not to mention the legs) of millions of people every day. “My grandpa always said he was proud to wear the pants in our family. I know he’d be just as proud to see all his great grandchildren wearing pants as well,” said a father of several rambunctious pants-clad girls at a pants rally in Kansas City. As Mark Twain once said, or maybe it was the Dalai Lama, “Wearing clothes with legs divided, will ever keep our hearts united!”
It may not surprise you that none of the above paragraph was true. At least to the best of my knowledge. What I know to be true is that today is a special day for me and my pants. Today marks the 9th anniversary of this blog. I hope that you, too, wore pants today to celebrate with me.
As part of my Mother’s Day present, Theo gave me temporary custody of his much-loved new tiger, Tigs. First it was going to be just for the day, but then he decided I should get to have Tigs for a week. Later that week, I had a lab meeting in Boston, and I decided that I would appreciate the company of a tiger for my day.
Overall, Tigs made a delightful workday companion. And from the happy expression on his face, I’m quite sure he enjoyed his big day in the big city.
Continuing with the onslaught of ducks, I present these two grainy photos that I took on my sad but trusty little flip phone back in 2009. They probably amuse me more than they should.
It also amuses me to think that people first encountering my blog these days may think I have some sort of duck fetish. No, really I don’t. I have more of a fetish for running with themes. (Cf. that time when I got carried away with potatoes. Or utensils. Or bread. And dare I even mention pants? (I dare.))
Yesterday, I posted a set of photos of happy faces. This seemed like a reasonable follow-up, since some days, you just don’t want to put on a happy face. (You see them too, right? This is not the first time I’ve shared found faces. If you’ve been visiting for a while, you may even recognize the little leafy guy in the bottom photo.)