No. 868



Have you ever been accused of being a word-merchant? You can believe me when I say there are far worse things in this old world, but generally speaking a word-merchant is someone who possesses a huge vocabulary and uses many words in their writing and speaking that are not in the working vocabulary of most people.
We have a great writer here in our community who works for our local newspaper and is semi-retired. His name is Fred Petrucelli, and Fred is definitely a word-merchant. You better have a dictionary handy when you read his articles or you will miss much of what he has to say. Fred is a long-time friend and I say what I have said to his credit.
The title for this column came to mind when a friend sent me something the other day titled “Humor for Lexophiles,” which means a lover of words. You will have to be on your toes to catch some of the following phrases, but I believe they are worth sharing and may also expand your mind a just a bit. Here goes:
I wondered why the baseball was getting bigger. Then it hit me. -- Did you hear about the guy whose whole left side was cut off? He’s all right now. – The roundest Knight at King Arthur’s round table was Sir Cumference. – The butcher backed up into the meat grinder and got a little behind in his work. – To write with a broken pencil is pointless. – When fish are in schools they sometimes take up debate.
The short fortune teller who escaped from prison was a small medium at large. – A thief who stole a calendar got 12 months. – A thief fell and broke his leg in wet cement. He became a hardened criminal. – Thieves who steal corn from a garden could be charged with stalking. – We’ll never run out of math teachers because they always multiply. – When the smog lifts in Los Angeles, U.C.L.A. – The math teacher went crazy with the blackboard. He did a number on it. – The professor discovered that her theory of earthquakes was on shaky ground. – The dead batteries were given out free of charge. – If you take a laptop computer for a run you could jog your memory.
A bicycle can’t stand alone; it is two tired. – A will is a dead giveaway. – Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana. – A backward poet writes inverse. – In a democracy it’s your vote that counts; in feudalism, it’s your Count that votes. – A chicken crossing the road; poultry in motion. If you don’t pay your exorcist you will get repossessed. – With her marriage, she got a new name and a dress. – Show me a piano falling down a mine shaft and I’ll show you A-flat miner. – When a clock is hungry it goes back four seconds. – The guy who fell onto an upholstery machine was fully recovered. – A grenade fell onto a kitchen floor in France, resulted in Linoleum Blown apart.
You are stuck with your debt if you can’t budget. – Local Area Network in Australia; The LAN down under. – He broke into song because he couldn’t find the key. – A calendar’s days are numbered. – A lot of money is tainted; ’Taint yours, and ’taint mine. – A boiled egg is hard to beat. – He had a photographic memory that was never developed. – A plateau is a high form of flattery. – Those who get too big for their britches will be exposed in the end. – When you’ve seen one shopping center you’ve seen a mall. – When she saw her first strands of gray hair, she thought she’d die. – Life is like a jar of jalapenos. What you do today, might burn your rectum tomorrow. (As you can probably guess, I have amended the last line.)
(EDITOR'S NOTE: Jim Davidson is a public speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034. To begin a bookcase literacy project visit You won’t go wrong helping a needy