In the fine tradition of this blog (flaffing since '06) I present you another in the series of How To that was first featured many moons ago (three and a half months' worth to be precise) in this very hallowed space. It is the duty of all super-intelligent beings to educate and uplift the less fortunate (this is part of the mission statement of Flaff, Inc) and with this laudable purpose in mind I shall now expound on How To Understand and Grapple with the Ever-Increasing Profundity of English Proverbs and Catch-phrases. Often and often it has been made manifest to yours truly (which is a fancy way of saying me, originating from the letters written by Mid-Victorian forgers and imposters who never used to sign off with their real names -duh obviously!- and hence were identified as 'yours truly' serially numbered) that people do not perfectly grasp the meaning of the fine proverbs handed down to us by our ancient English counterparts. To my keen and perspicacious mind the reason for this is immediately apparent: the lack of understanding of the true meaning of the proverb. This is mainly because of our faulty school system (which works on the principle of if it's fixed it can be broken) and its inability to explain the fundamentals to young, enquiring minds.
Consider this simple example. Many of us are familiar with the phrase 'You can't have the cake and eat it too ', yes? Now, most of us have a misguided understanding of the phrase, imagining naively that it means once you've eaten the cake it can't exist in its original physical unblemished state anymore and hence, it cannot be had. This (obviously) misbegotten idea that not only fully misses the point but also dangerously leads one into the realm of metaphysics and relativity is a typical example of How English Folk Wisdom is Mis-hunderstood. Having buried myself in literary research for a long time (3 minutes and 45 seconds now, including a break to talk to a nosey chap who came around to my bench) I would like to respectfully submit that the actual meaning is far different from the purported one. What the proverb says in truth is that when you have a cake, it's normally for your birthday. And when you have a birthday cake, you obviously have to have a party! Cos sitting at home alone ogling your birthday cake and hogging every last bit of it yourself (while satisfying) is a little...well, on the lame side (this is not to say that this has not happened in the past, of course, but it's not ideal for digestive purposes). Now, once you decide to have a party, this inevitably involves guests (those pesky people who'll talk too loudly, laugh too hyenaically, drink too slurpily and eat you out of house and home). And as the cleverer among you must have realized this will most definitely result in you not having even a single piece of cake left for yourself. Ergo, it is *impossible* to have your cake and eat it too. See? Not only does this proverb explain to us why having a birthday party is the most ridiculous thing in the world, it also has an underlying, deep philosophy that helps us understand why really good birthday cake is hard to find at birthday parties.
Now, I understand that having had your eyes opened (as Nash would say, gone are the dark clouds that had you blind) you must be reeling under the impact of this revelation and its many ramifications. So I shall leave you with the gentle admonition that it's vital to always investigate deeply any proverb placed in front of you in order to understand fully its scope and breadth. Some of you might think that *this* is what proverbs like Don't judge a book by its cover are hinting at. But you would be grievously wrong. *Grievously*.
But that is another post.