Tad Friend’s article, “Secret Agent Man,” in a recent issue of The New Yorker, has this great quote from Michael Ovitz, former head of Disney and Hollywood agent:
I always viewed myself as the quarterback of a smoothly oiled football team, the playmaker.
For some reason that struck me as the funniest thing I had read in a long time. The article, however, paid no attention to the humor, as if it were a perfectly normal thing to say about a football team.
A former colleague of mine at Calvin College has been collecting mixed metaphors. Check them out at the English department’s Mixed Metaphor page.
I looked at the Calvin College English department’s listing of mixed metaphors, and my funny bone was struck by two, especially. There was your “you can beat a dead horse to water, but you can’t make him drink” and “don’t come running to me if you break your leg!”, attributed to Mike McKeown. That one hit me because we talked with Andrew today, who had let his kids run in their woods without shoes on. His mother was somewhat aghast, but Andrew allowed as how they understood the possible consequences, and he couldn’t always protect them against various scrapes. I’m going to suggest he use the line about the broken leg on them sometime soon. In fact, I think all parents should use that one on their kids!
Your mixed metaphors are truly funny, but try this one:
“They are opening doors that are on the cutting edge.”
The best part of this one is that he is describing an entirely imaginary technology, where these geniuses claim to be able to make “any element in the periodic table” by water cavitation alone. Even Our Lord only turned water into wine.
This is one of the finest examples of delusional disorder I have ever seen.