It’s dead as a cucumber

Chris Matthews from MSNBC was referring to the Graham-Cassidy Health Bill when he uttered this beauty.  He immediately realized his mistake and then said “dead as a door nail” but it was too late.  The malaphor is in the books.  It is a mashup of “dead as a door nail” (undoubtedly dead) and “cool as a cucumber” (extremely calm and in control of your emotions).  Certainly when you are dead you are pretty cool temperature-wise.  Perhaps this is what Mr. Matthews was thinking. I’m glad cucumbers are dead.  I still remember live tomatoes in the movie “Attack of the Killer Tomatoes.”  A big thanks to “my ol’ pal” Beatrice Zablocki for hearing this one and passing it on quickly.

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Push the trigger

This one was said by Chris Matthews (“Hardball”) regarding Trump vs. Kim Jong-un, and what would cause one of them to react.  It’s a nice mashup of I think “have a finger on the button” (the person who controls nuclear weapons) and “pull the trigger” (commit to a certain course of action), given the context.  “Push the right button” or “push somebody’s buttons” (doing exactly  the right thing to get the result you want) might also be in the mix, as well as “press the panic button” (to overreact to a negative situation), again given the context.  “Push” and “pull” are the culprits here.  A big thanks to “My Ol’ Pal” (MOP) Beatrice Zablocki for hearing this and sending it in.  Readers of my book and followers of this blog might also know MOP as she has given much guidance to me on malaphor interpretations over the years.  I also dedicated my book, “He Smokes Like a Fish and other Malaphors”, (available on Amazon!) to her.

She’s trying to walk this needle

The election is over, but the malaphors continue to flood in.  This one was heard on MSNBC’s Hardball with Chris Matthews.   Discussing Kelly Ayotte’s (R-NH) response to the question of Donald Trump being a role model, James Pindell of the Boston Globe uttered this gem.  It is a congruent conflation of “walk a thin (fine) line” and “thread the needle”, both meaning to skillfully navigate through a tough dilemma.  “Toe the line” might also be in the mix, with the speaker thinking toes do the walking.   A big thanks to Sally Adler for hearing this one and sending it in!


He’s chasing windmills

This was said by Erin Gloria Ryan on the Chris Hayes show, All In.  She was referring to Trump.  This is a congruent conflation of “tilting at windmills” and “wild goose chase”, both meaning futile searches or pursuits.  “Chasing a ghost” might also be in the mix, and also “chasing rainbows”, the latter noted by “my ol’ pal”.  As everyone probably knows, “tilting at windmills” is a reference to the masterpiece “Don Quixote,” wherein the title character tilts at windmills, thinking in his madness that they are enemies.  He probably chased them as well.  A tip of the hat to Sam Edelmann, frequent malaphor contributor, for hearing this one and passing it on.