Prohibition against eavesdropping

Speak of the cubicle, that wondrous hidey-hole of alleged productivity! Alas, a perfect spring day and I was trapped in my dark and brooding cave.

Speak of the crane fly, and that early spring, clumsy insect will blunder into your home. The crane fly is not a ravenous skeeter eater or a vicious mosquito hawk. It's more of a gangly teen who can't figure out how to fit in. Think greasy hair and dorky outfits. Major zits. Self esteem issues.

The crane fly was not invited to the middle school dance. It's just hanging there on the wall hoping to escape notice and not be a subject of early adolescent cruelty. Hoping that when it enters a room no one will say, "Speak of the devil." Wishing, too, for a very long drum solo with strobe lights on the disco ball.

This time of year if I mention crane flies, they will appear. Speak of the devil, here comes an uncoordinated kid in a dorky gym suit. Crane flies are mild annoyances to humans and crunchy snacks for dogs and cats. For preschoolers a crane fly is cause for a mega freakout.

The expression "speak of the devil and he shall appear" became unhitched from any Satanic implications over a century ago. It's just a warning against eavesdropping, similar to "little pitchers have big ears". The subject of your gossip is apt to arrive on the scene so watch your mouth.

"Here comes trouble" might be used when an attractive female in shape-hugging attire appears. To any MOBO (mother of boys only) it's most likely an hourly occurrence no matter the ages of said boys. Funny thing is those boys grow up and become thoughtful. April showers bringing May flowers.

© 2013-2015 Nancy L. Ruder


Blackie said...

and he shall appear? I, as a gentleman, always thought it was "and she shall appear." She.... see the difference. She

I don't trust wikky, when the font of knowledge is right above, but why does the author solve one question, just to start another.

Little pitchers have big ears? Is this 2nd graders throwing from the field of dreams?

Kathleen said...

Uh oh, my poem-a-day prompt for today is to include a snippet of overheard conversation. I am in deep deer pellets.

Collagemama said...

For clarification, little pitchers are not in Little League. The expression refers to ewers, urns, amphorae, for pouring, Blackie. I was going to say two-handled jugs, but that would set off the wrong visual. "Little pitchers have big ears" was neighborhood mommy code when I was a kid to shut down gossip when children might hear (and repeat). It mystified me for years, since I was a skilled eavesdropper. On the other hand, I've known some t-ball players with caps sitting funny on their big ears.