World Cliché Day by Charlie O'Shields

Though there was a time when I wanted to be a writer, I realize I’ve always been at the end of the pecking order. I write like people talk and not in a lofty literary way, so as luck would have it, it’s World Cliché Day! You could have knocked me over with a feather! I can do this with one hand tied behind my back and tongue firmly planted in cheek!

I doodlewashed a visual cliché to celebrate the day, as I always wanted to sketch a stack of books and putting an apple on top was just the icing on the cake. My brain was bursting with ideas for this one and I just couldn’t sit still, but an idle mind is the devil’s playground, so it’s best to go for broke. After all, laughter is the best medicine.

It’s not that I haven’t tried to write with the best of them, it’s just that, when push comes to shove, I don’t want to sweat the details. Trying to clean up my writing is like putting lipstick on a pig. You could, but you’d just have a pig that’s fit to be tied and you’d also likely be bored to tears. I love puns and will happily butcher the English language to get a point across, probably due to my years in marketing and advertising.

I don’t have the patience to dot my i’s and cross my t’s, when I’m trying to tell a story. While spending a few years in big corporate America I was assaulted with hundreds of buzzwords that made people sound dumb as a post. I used to get my kicks by inventing buzzwords and phrases to see how many people I could get to use them. Turns out, a lot! Just say something as serious as a heart attack, pretend you’re eating your own dog food, and you’ll have everyone chanting right along with you.

In case you’re wondering, the difference between a cliché and a corporate buzzword is that a clichè actually makes some sense. Buzzwords simply prove the more we learn the less we know, and unless you are the lead dog, the view never changes. So you might as well jump on the bandwagon, or else risk being told that you zigged when you should have zagged.

In that environment I stuck out like a sore thumb and always felt like I was swimming against the tide. The one salmon not swimming upstream. I understand that a house divided can’t stand, but trying to pretend you don’t see the absurdity in it all was too exhausting. If I’m going to sound dumb, I prefer to be dumb as a fox. But in that world you’re damned if you do, and damned if you don’t, so I’m happy as a clam to no longer be there.

Instead, these days, I’ve let bygones be bygones and you’ll now find me always giving 110% to things I can actually care about. And though I love clichès, I know I’ve opened Pandora’s box here and it’s making me sound mad as a hatter. But we’ve lovingly built these little words and phrases as a culture and now that they’re out you just can’t put the toothpaste back in the tube. They’re a part of who we are, and as beautiful as the day is long.

Clichès are as good as gold, albeit fool’s gold, but still something to celebrate! And though sometimes in life you’re the windshield and sometimes you’re the bug, a good clichè will make everything right as rain again. How else would we learn that you can’t swing a dead cat or take knickers off a bare arse? But if you don’t feel you’re quite a master of clichè yet, start slowly as you must crawl before you can walk and sometimes you have to break a few eggs before you can make an omelette.

Okay, I should probably quit while I’m ahead and if you’ve made it this far you might be about to lose your mind. Only time will tell. But when you’re at your next party, try to use as many clichès as possible to astound your friends. I’ve given you a headstart, because In this little post, I’ve already implanted over 50 of them in your brain!  How’s that for a topper? Someday, you will thank me for this.

Posted by:Charlie O'Shields (doodlewash)

Creator of Doodlewash® and founder of World Watercolor Month™ (July) and World Watercolor Group™. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world!

48 replies on “World Cliché Day

  1. Hahaha! You are many levels of brilliant! Remind me never to battle wits with you. 😉

    Also, that apple…holy moly! It’s beautiful and realistic! You must stop doodlewashing food…they make me hungry, like Jodi’s food photos! ❤️

    Liked by 4 people

  2. The writing was on the wall as soon as I saw the title of this, Charlie, but I decided to throw caution to the wind and face the music. At the end of the day, though, this is one of the most hilariously irritating posts I’ve ever read. I’m especially glad you got the one-hundred-and-ten per cent in, as that’s one that rubs me up the wrong way to the highest degree. I could scathe at that one until the cows come home.

    We know that every cloud has a silver lining, here of course, I’m referring to your doodlewash. SUCH a visual cliché – and you made it bearable, when all is said and done. The apple is superb.

    This is too much.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Haha! Thanks so much Jacob!! There were so many visuals clichès to choose I didn’t know which one. Then I realized I’m rather good at apples, so why no start there?! 😉 And wow…see? I know you’d be a cliché master! Those are awesome! If I wasn’t feeling merciful I could have kept going. lol


      1. “I know you’d be a cliché master!” Haha! I’m a bit of a walking cliché, so it was bound to be so.

        Yes! You see what you were responsible for? I was the same – it’s worryingly addictive once you get going, isn’t it? I’ll have to remember this occasion for next year! Tee hee!😀

        Liked by 1 person

  3. All work and no play makes Jack or in my case, Jill – A dull girl! 🎨 LOL Charlie! You’ve let the cat out of the bag now! 😊 I’ve always known that you can’t judge a book by its cover and this is why I find your art the cream of the crop! 🌟 And since the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, I like that you always look on the bright side and you can have your cake and eat it too! 😉🎂🎨

    Liked by 4 people

  4. I am too tired to add any whimsical cliche’s to the amazing list going here, but you surely are the apple of my pie, Charlie O! (wink!) Seriously – that apple is so amazing! Adorable post. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Loved this post, brilliant interweaving of cliches! I’m with you on the hating buzzword front- I used to work in advertising & it infuriated me when people said things like diarise (=schedule), verbalise (=say) & granular (=detailed) in all sincerity. I’m all for language evolving but its mindless slaughter makes me shudder!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. When you string cliches together – which you and all the commenters have done brilliantly – you are also mixing your metaphors, something my English teacher couldn’t abide. She always quoted a statement once made in the UK House of Commons (Parliament) where someone said ‘ I smell a rat – I see it floating in the air – but never fear, I shall nip it in the bud…’ as an example. Mrs Boyes was a brilliant teacher, and you are a brilliant blogger. This was a stunning post, thanks so much.


  7. Creative people, oh how they play and never conform. My all out worst cliche is “wheelhouse”. I hear this day in and day out…”it’s not in our wheelhouse”. That and acronyms, it’s going to be the death of me. But as for that apple, its stunning!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Cathe! Glad you like my apple doodlewash! ❤️😃 And yes!! Or nooooo! Wheelhouse is so ridiculous. I hate all terms stolen from sports. And acronyms become like a secrecy society of people who are so proud they actually know what the hell they mean. I also hate “take aways” (sounds like Chinese carry-out) and “learnings” (odd though acceptable plural form used to describe ideas known to every 5 year old on the planet, but a sudden breakthrough to adults) Ugh! 😑


  8. LOL! Marvelously funny string of clichés. I am horrified that there is such a thing as World Cliché Day. Why??? Oh well, at least you managed to turn it into something hilarious.

    Beautifully rendered stack of books and apple🙂. Lovely colors and they pop off the page.

    Liked by 1 person

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