Category Archives: adage

Adage

Adage (ad’-age): One of several terms describing short, pithy sayings, or traditional expressions of conventional wisdom.


“The clothes make the man“ the homeless man’s sign read. He was wearing a pair of shoes that didn’t match—a brown loafer and a yellow and green running shoe, black pin-striped dress pants with a broken zipper held shut with a strip of duct tape and held up by a green and black bungee chord, and a t-shirt with a picture of two sexually engaged pigs captioned “Makin’ Bacon.” His hair was so dirty there were actually flies flying around it, and it looked like he was using vegetable oil to keep in place, hanging down to his shoulders and staining his t-shirt. He was collecting “donations” in an old Cohiba box from people walking by. I gave him a One-hundred dollar bill. He saw me and jumped up and started singing Elvis Presley’s “Surrender” in a voice killed by tobacco, alcohol, and possibly, tuberculosis.

I recognized the homeless man. He was Matthew Norder, but he did not recognize me. I was surprised, but I understood. We were childhood friends and went all the way through high school together. We went our separate ways when we graduated— I went to California, to UC Santa Barbara, and he went to a shady religious college: Slaves of Christ in Buffalo Plaid, Manitoba. His parents were very religious. I don’t know where they got it, but they had a machine that ground paper into dust. They would grind up pages from the New Testament and sprinkle the dust on their dinner every night. They believed that eating ground-up Bible pages would nourish their spirits, make them more godly, and sanctify their bowel movements as they excreted “the truth and the light.” They were not bad people, at least as far as everybody knew. They did not proselytize. They looked normal, except for the matching tattoos of bumblebees on the inside of their forearms. Matthew never said anything about his and their beliefs, and he seemed pretty much like everybody else in our small Central New Jersey town.

But that changed when he came back home after he graduated from Slaves of Christ. He told me the Dean of his school, “John Smith,” had counseled him to become a pimp for Jesus. At first, Matthew thought it was some kind of metaphor or a bad joke, but he quickly learned it wasn’t when he started taking classes: “Building a Stable,” “Disciplining your Whores,” “Guarding your Turf,” “Dressing Like a Proper Pimp.” It hit me like a lightning bolt! Matthew’s sign “The clothes make the man” was a reference to what John Smith had taught him all those years ago, and what he took up with great gusto. I remember the last time I saw him before he was arrested, tried and convicted of aiding in prostitution, he looked the part—he had a red beaver felt hat with a pheasant feather, at least five pounds of gold chains and bracelets, a purple hand-tailored suit, black suede Guccis, and a custom-made Hermes shoulder bag. He was leaning against a gold Cadillac, with a Rolls-Royce grill, and mounted behind the trunk, a spare tire with a gold cover and a huge gold cross with flashing blue lights. When I saw him, I ran.

I asked around and found out that Matthew had gotten out of jail two years ago. He couldn’t get a job and became homeless, and true to his education, he was dressing the part: Homeless Man. I still don’t understand the whole John Smith thing. It was crazy. I should have told Matthew’s parents, but I was a coward and they were staunch supporters of Slaves of Christ College. Matthew’s parents had gone to Slaves of Christ. We never talked about what they studied, but Matthew’s father had a store in the mall called “Big Steals” where he sold all kinds of things out of dented and scraped up cardboard boxes that he “recovered” once-a-week from a rest stop on the Garden State Parkway. Matthew’s mother produced “Documentary Movies” in their basement. When I was a kid, sometimes I’d go over for lunch and hear banging and moaning coming out of the basement. Matthew said it was their old washing machine making the noise.

As I put on my Burberry coat and got ready to kiss my perfect wife, and hug my beautiful children, and leave for work, I thought for a second about Matthew. His trajectory through life almost made me sick. I had checked: John Smith is still alive. How can he teach vulnerable students to be pimps for Jesus? What am I missing? Is there anything you can’t do for Jesus?


Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu).

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Adage

Adage (ad’-age): One of several terms describing short, pithy sayings, or traditional expressions of conventional wisdom.


There was a time when nothing seemed to matter. I rolled around in flower beds. I drank Pina Coladas in the rain. I dumped tons of salt on everything I ate. I farted loudly and proudly. Then it happened. I had heard it many times, but I never understood it’s gravity as I ignored it and failed assimilate it’s gravity. I thought I was safe.

“Never trust a fart.”

That day on the bus, I trusted a fart. I thought it was going to sound like a barking seal and make a cloud that would choke my fellow passengers.

I was wrong. I pushed hard on the fart—too hard. It made a sound like a gurgling brook. It filled my underpants with a nightmare.

I had pooped myself. Luckily, my escape point was one stop away. People were turning and looking at me, sniffing the air, and turning back around with a look of total disgust. A little boy spoke up: “Mommy, that man smells like my hamster when we found him in the wall, dead.”

The bus stopped. I got up and my nightmare swung between my legs as the passengers held their noses and silently stared at me. I got off the bus and hurried home. “Never trust a fart.” So true. Such good advice.


Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu).

Buy a print edition of The Daily Trope! The print edition is entitled The Book of Tropes and is available on Amazon for $9.99.

A video reading of this example can be found on YouTube: Johnnie Anaphora

Adage

Adage (ad’-age): One of several terms describing short, pithy sayings, or traditional expressions of conventional wisdom.


He was chronically constipated, but he had a saying he quoted every morning as he sat on the toilet: “Slow and steady wins the race.” Sometimes he would read a book, catch up on his email, or sing a patriotic song.

Although it took a relatively long time, he always managed to go without laxatives or enemas. As he wiped, he often thought of Tolstoy’s musing on time: “The two most powerful warriors are patience and time.” He had those warriors on his side, and every morning they fought alongside him and helped propel him to victory over his sluggish bowels.


Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu).

Buy a print edition of The Daily Trope! The print edition is entitled The Book of Tropes and is available on Amazon for $9.99.

Adage

Adage (ad’-age): One of several terms describing short, pithy sayings, or traditional expressions of conventional wisdom.

“When the going gets tough, it’s time to go home.” Joe Mellow (From One Cop-Out to the Next: The Virtues of  Broken Promises)

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu).

Buy a print edition of The Daily Trope! The print edition is entitled The Book of Tropes and is available on Amazon for $9.99.

Adage

Adage (ad’-age): One of several terms describing short, pithy sayings, or traditional expressions of conventional wisdom.

“When the going gets tough, the tough get Flomax.” Dr.  Gowyn McBunnet (From Bowling Balls to BBs: The Golden Book of Prostate Wisdom)

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu).

Buy a print edition of The Daily Trope! The print edition is entitled The Book of Tropes and is available on Amazon for $9.99.

 

Adage

Adage (ad’-age): One of several terms describing short, pithy sayings, or traditional expressions of conventional wisdom. [Others include apothegmgnomemaximparoemiaproverbsententia, and anamnesis {a related figure}]

“I respect faith, but doubt it will get you an education.” (Wilson Mizner)

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu). Bracketed text added by Gorgias.

Adage

Adage (ad’-age): One of several terms describing short, pithy sayings, or traditional expressions of conventional wisdom. [Others include apothegm, gnome, maxim, paroemia, proverb, sententia, and anamnesis {a related figure}]

A chain is only as strong as its weakest link.

  • Post your own adage on the “Comments” page!

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu). Bracketed text added by Gorgias.

Adage

Adage (ad’-age): One of several terms describing short, pithy sayings, or traditional expressions of conventional wisdom. [Others include apothegm, gnome, maxim, paroemia, proverb, sententia, and anamnesis {a related figure}]

No pain, no gain.

Or:

“Do not remove a fly from your friend’s forehead with a hatchet.” (The Quotations Page)

  • Post your own adage on the “Comments” page!

Defintion courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu). Bracketed text added by Gorgias.