Cover Your Ducks, and other not-so-common expressions

Cover Your Ducks, and other not-so-common expressions

I have a tendency to mix my metaphors from time to time, resulting in somewhat confused versions of common sayings and proverbs.  Everyone is familiar with “cover all the bases” (or, cover all your bases, etc).  Everyone is also familiar with the idea of “getting one’s ducks in a row.”  The other day at work, I sort of mangled the two phrases together, but I like the new version I came up with:

Cover your ducks.

So whenever you want to make absolutely sure you’re seeing to all the possibilities, you’re covering your ducks.

Our owner at my job coined a phrase of his own that same day.  He was discussing “Moby Dick” and how the long passages detailing the minutae of 19th century whaling life can be difficult to slog through (I’ve never read the book myself, so I have to take his word for it) but they’re worth it in the end.  As he put it, you have to “stick with the blubber” and you’ll be rewarded. 

So anytime you face a slow and difficult task, but with the prospect of a reward somewhere down the line, you need to remember to stick with the blubber.

And I should add an older phrase, which I came up with by misremembering the old saying about teaching pigs to sing (the actual saying is: “You can’t teach a pig to sing. It’s a waste of time and it annoys the pig.”  My poorly remembered version was “Don’t try to teach a pig to dance. You’ll only get dirty, and you’ll annoy the pig.” (I think I was remembering the quote about the dancing bear – “the point is not that it dances badly, but that it’s dancing at all.” or something to that effect).  It shorthands to simply “pigs don’t dance.”

Whenever you’re looking at a task that’s both pointless and impossible to accomplish, you should give it up because, as we all know, pigs don’t dance.


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