There are quite a few idioms that force a listener to pause and wonder: “Where the hell did that saying come from?”
Surely you’ve heard a few of these:
“The lights are on, but nobody’s home!”
“Sure…when pigs fly!”
“Put a sock in it!”
These are each pretty strange. The first one seems a bit nosy, because your neighbor’s electric bill is their own damn business. The second one has a strange optimism toward the evolutionary advancement of pork. And the third one…that one’s just a little too kinky.
The strangest idiom I’ve heard is also the one I take the most umbrage at: “Don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater.”
Sure, I know this idiom simply means, “Don’t destroy the good with the bad,” and when editing a horror novel (such as one that may or may not be available soon) it’s a good saying to keep in mind.
But I put it to the jury: why must you unfairly take the baby’s side??
That little tyke could be a vicious murderer for all you know. Hell, that adorable little infant–who was likely using the blood of his enemies for bathwater!–could have a brief and horrible history which you refuse to even take into consideration while judgmentally throwing your nose up at the person in charge of disposal!
I suppose this particular idiom’s been on my mind lately due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Many people are upset about staying home, and my heart truly bleeds for them. After all, how can you POSSIBLY SURVIVE without your bi-monthly pedicures, weekly luncheons with your side paramour, or (gasp!) haircuts!
These underprivileged men and women, whose tribulations truly rival those of people living in police states overseas, insist that briefly changing their daily routines in the name of survival is simply too much to bear. Remember these freedom fighters when you go to bed at night. Perhaps even free up the space on your living room wall where Christ relaxes on his cross, and instead hang a picture of these brave and outstanding Americans who are so all-knowing that not even life-saving science can disrupt their daily routines. Praise be.
In short, they say we’re throwing out the baby with the bathwater, and the solution is worse than the problem.
Personally, I’m enjoying my time at home. I’m back to my nightly writing schedule, I’ve read more books in seven weeks than I did in the past year, and I’m doing old person things like putting together 1,000-piece puzzles and watching the nightly news with a good ol’ cup of Lysol-infused coffee.
Also, I think this is the longest we’ve gone as a nation without a mass shooting, which is a pretty great bright side.
In closing, I offer to you: “Don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater….unless that baby’s kinda a prick and the world could really do without it for a while.”
Maybe some time down the drain will build the baby’s character.
Wash your hands, and drink your Lysol!