We can’t put the genie back in the boxPosted: April 11, 2016
Discussing politics is not always a good idea, unless you blurt out a malaphor. One of my major malaphor contributors, Yvonne Stam, was discussing social policy with her husband and uttered this great mixed idiom. It is a mash up of “can’t put the genie back in the bottle” (not being able to revert to a situation formerly existing) and “opening Pandora’s box” (doing something that causes a lot of unexpected problems). As Yvonne notes, both involve mythical creatures that cause trouble. Also, closing Pandora’s box has a similar meaning to putting the genie back in the bottle. Both are impossible. I also think the mix up is caused by the containers themselves – putting things in boxes and bottles. Finally, back rhymes with jack so it is possible Yvonne was also conjuring up an image of a jack-in-the-box. Who knows? Bottom line is it is a terrific malaphor, and kudos again to Yvonne Stam for sending this one in!
Did this malaphor give you a chuckle? If so, my book “He Smokes Like a Fish and other Malaphors” will have you chuckling for days. You can find it on Amazon in book or kindle at http://www.amazon.com/dp/0692652205.