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.
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! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!