Friday, March 17, 2017

Passing Time in the Air

Flying home from Florida a few days ago, I was faced with the choice of either watching for signs of an imminent crash or submitting to the in-flight movie which was La La Land.  Tired of the former, which I had done to death so many times before, I was pretty interested in the latter, especially after all the hoopla about it at the Oscars. But after the opening scene I decided it was a real clunker and opted instead for eavesdropping as a better way to pass the time and maybe even learn something.

It was during that activity that I heard a woman behind me say to her seatmate, "That would definitely kill two birds with one stone." Then they both laughed. I started wondering how anyone could do such a thing, unless the two birds were very close to each other at the time. I mean, like basically sitting on top of each other. And by the way, those would have to be some very small birds and you'd have to use a really big stone and throw it very fast and very hard to kill them both. That seems unlikely, not to mention cruel.

I wondered what the people had been talking about, since I tried and failed to come up with any examples of how one could kill two birds with one stone unless you were discussing killing birds with stones. But then I thought of this: For people with a weight problem who are so depressed about being fat they are suicidal, anorexia is the way to go. You ultimately end up dead but along the way you drop pounds and reach your goal weight. Mind you, I am not suggesting this, merely noting that it would be an example of killing two birds with one stone.

FYI, checking online, which you can now do on airplanes, I learned the phrase has been around forever, some say as far back as Greek and Roman mythology and the story of Icarus and Daedalus. "Daedalus is said to have obtained the feathers used to make the pair's famous wings by killing two birds with a single stone. Another common theory attributes the phrase to the Roman poet Ovid." I then started to read about Ovid but found it just as boring as the opening scene of La La Land, so I stopped and now that's all I know. Still, it's more than I knew before, and that's something. 

Anyway, we landed.

No comments:

Post a Comment