Copyright © 1997. All Rights Reserved.
by FFWD Staff
Signs of the Apocalypse
· The phrase "sex rears its ugly head" became popular in the 1930s and is still current today in humorous or satirical contexts. The origin is uncertain, but it may refer to the rising of a penis or the rearing of a serpent's head - perhaps an allusion to the serpent in the Garden of Eden.
· The catchphrase "No skin off my nose" has been popular since the early 19th century and is still common today. It probably refers to boxing or an exchange of blows.
· The expression "What's your poison" is a dated expression originating during the 1920s. The phrase likely alluded to the slogan of the Temperance Movement, "Alcohol is poison."
· The saying "Warts and all" alludes to the instructions of Oliver Cromwell to Sir Peter Lely, who was painting his portrait, that it include any imperfections. "I desire you would use all your skill to paint my picture truly like me and not flatter me at all; but remark all these roughnesses, pimples, warts, and everything as you see me, otherwise I will not pay a farthing for it."
In her new book, Cliches (Bloomsbury), writer and lexicographer Betty Kirkpatrick questions whether clichés are over-used and abused or are an irreplaceable form of linguistic shorthand enabling people to sum up in a few words what would otherwise take 20. Noting clichés are considered "the bad guys of the English language," she suggests they may have received bad press.
The book features a collection of more than 1,300 clichés, their origins and how they are used.
Looking for something to do this summer? Forget Disneyland, Seaworld and all the other giant tourist traps, plan a road trip to see the world's largest catsup bottle in Collinsville, Illinois - an impressive example of roadside architecture which has been restored to its original 1949 appearance.
If you prefer viewing animals, visit the talking cow in Neillsville, Wisconsin - Chatty Belle is 16 feet high, 20 feet long and will talk a blue streak for 25 cents.
Or, help solve the conflict between Cawker City, Kansas and Darwin, Minnesota - both claim to be home to the largest ball of twine. Cawker City's ball was started by a farmer in 1953 and is now reported to be almost 17,000 pounds with a 40-foot circumference. Each year the city holds a twine-a-thon (in conjunction with the annual picnic and parade) to keep it growing. Darwin's ball of twine was started in 1950 and is reported to be more than 21,000 pounds and 12 feet in diameter.
The World's Largest Roadside Attractions site on the Web includes a list of off-beat tourist attractions including wacky highway art and architecture - from the largest artichoke to the largest corkscrew. Most destinations listed are in the US, however, Canada is home to wonders such as the largest hockey stick (Duncan, BC), pyrogy (Glendon, Alberta), lobster trap (Cheticamp, Nova Scotia) and moose (Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan).
Fill out the Fast Forward readership survey in this issue for a chance to win free prizes, including a mountain bike, a vacation for two in Victoria, concert tickets, tons of CDs and other great stuff.
Fast Forward has passes to the premiere of Wild America on Wednesday, June 25 at 7 p.m. at Market Mall. The movie, filmed in Canmore, stars Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Devon Sawa and Scott Bairstow in a true story about the adventurous Stouffer brothers, who captured the life of some of nature's most elusive and endangered creatures in their documentary series of the same name. To win, drop by FFWD with a donation for the food bank and name another movie Thomas has appeared in.
This is the last week to enter Fast Forward's Herb Alpert contest for a chance to win an autographed trumpet or one of five secondary prizes of his new CD and art book. See the ad in this issue for details on how to win.
FFWD also has 10 double passes for Johns, showing June 20 to 26 at The Uptown (see listings for details). The movie, directed by Scott Silver, stars David Arquette and Lukas Haas as young hustlers working the seedier stretches of LA's Santa Monica Boulevard. Utilizing a semi-documentary style, this film exposes the most tragic elements of prostitution while remaining cynical in tone. To win, drop by FFWD with a donation for the food bank.
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