Keeping The Wolf From The Door

Yesterday in a local store, I overheard a glorious misquoting of an adage from a guy ahead of me at the checkout. This memorable incident occurred when he exclaimed to his partner “I’m sweating like a pig with a big mortgage!”

During our recent 1-2 month warm spell, the correct version of that idiom (I’m sweating like a pig!) has oft been heard amongst avenues and alleyways frequented by the populous of Blighty. A consequence of excessive perspiration – A natural bodily reaction to mitigate against overheating during unusually long spells warm weather.

On hearing this four word extension to the well-known adage, I couldn’t help but smile to myself. My mind manifesting the scene of a pig sweating as it scanned a mortgage statement showing missed payments. This perspiration fed by the fear of losing their much loved abode.

The hog ruing overstretching financially to acquire the house of bricks and mortar. A misguided strategy aimed at providing extra protection from the big bad wolf. The straw and wooden houses far more affordable, but coming with sub-standard security against large wild canines, the pig rules them out as possible abodes at the time of purchase.

The bricks and mortar keeping the literal ‘wolf from the door’, sadly though not the metaphorical version.


I’ve written a few times about my love of mixed idioms and metaphors. Smoking Like A Fish, Devil in Carnation and “You Catch More Honey With Flies!” examples of the literary offerings expressing my fondness of adage butchery.

“I’m sweating like a pig with a big mortgage!” isn’t a mixed idiom, moreover a correctly relayed phrase whose added specificity renders it erroneous. That being said, the incorrect addendum provides a similar whimsical outlook as jumbled metaphors/idioms.

Yesterday’s overheard oratory gaffe made me ponder how other such adages could be addended to give them a lighter hearted spin. Examples of these random epiphanies highlighted below:-

“A rolling stone gathers no moss, but can father a child in their 70’s.”

“A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, or three for a girl and four for a boy.”

“Necessity is the mother of invention. Mavis Troutbeck, 43 Acasta Drive, Burnley is it’s grandmother.”

“Pride comes before a fall guy for the killer of JFK.”

“Many hands make light work. One finger makes a light switch work.”

“Easier said than done. Unless the word is Llanfair­pwllgwyngyll­gogery­chwyrn­drobwll­llan­tysilio­gogo­goch.

“First come, first served. Three for a girl and four for a boy.”

“Early to bed, early to rise. Three for a girl and four for a boy.”

Creatively spent at this vantage point of the narrative, I’ve two choices:- 1) Move away from the adages/proverbs, or 2) Conclude all further adages with ‘Three for a girl and four for a boy.’………. Ok I’ll move away from the adages/proverbs…… No need to flaming shout!

To close, I wanted to convey a joke my son Jonny text me today about an interaction he’d had with Siri on his phone:-

Jonny – “Dad, I’ve just said to Siri that surely it won’t rain tonight when we’ve a cricket match to attend. She responded that it wasn’t forecast and to stop calling her Shirley…..… I hadn’t realised my phone was is Airplane mode!”

Where’s he get it from?!

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