Thursday, May 29, 2014

Isn't that a fine how do you do

It's a little after 5:30 AM, CC is at the edge of the bed, and she's kneading on the box springs. Well, better the box springs than my face.  I had awakened earlier and turned on the TV. Since I've not watched the (First, Live, Local) news for several days I thought perhaps it might be wise to catch up on what was happening locally, you know, who got shot, who got stabbed, who got robbed, etc, etc.

Anyway, I occasionally dozed off, which of course means I really was not learning anything at all, but when my kitty arrived on the scene with her scritch, scritch, scritching, the first words that actually registered in my brain were "Isn't that a fine how do you do."

What did he just say?  Man, I've not heard that expression for years, I'm talking decades.  What made this even more amazing was the fact it came from a young 'whipper-snapper', and he was one of them edjukated metrolgists.  Yep, there he was in his 'fancy-dancy' suit telling me it was a 'fine how do you do'.

Okay, I know this has no relevance to news whatsoever, and of no importance either but it struck me funny. "Now, ain't that a fine how do you do." And, I began to wonder where this expression came from. Get ready, here's it comes, today's entry of useless information.   

The first two are from 

 Fine how do you do

an unpleasant situation. (Said with surprise.) This is a fine how do you do! Someone left a big puddle of motor oil in my driveway. John saw his girlfriend out with another young man. He walked up to her and said, "Well, isn't this a fine how do you do!"

That's a fine how do you do

Inf. That is a terrible situation. Well, that's a fine how-do-you-do! I tried to call Mary, and her number is disconnected! That's a fine how-do-you-do. I come home and find the kids are playing catch with my best crystal bowl. 

And from ....""Here's <that's> a nice <pretty> how-d'ye-do!''"  (I have not included the Internet names of the persons who penned these entries because I was not sure they would appreciate a stranger posting them in a blog.)  However, I welcome their input, and as I say you can find these entries in the website. 

 "I think this expression is pretty idiomatic in English: "here's a nice how-do-you-do".It might mean: " we have a small problem" or "well, look at what has happened now." or "Now what the hell can I do about this?" or something like "Wow! That's good news. Unexpected, but good.""

"Let the native English speakers correct me, if I am wrong. Laurel and Hardy wee a comedy team many years ago. Hardy often said to Laurel "This is a fine how-do-you-do you've gotten us into!" He also said "This is a fine mess you've gotten us into!" To me a how-do-you-do is a confusing situation or a spot of trouble. The other suggestions in the (above) post could also work, depending on the situation, but the last one - about unexpected news, is not one I've heard."

I remember hearing this expression frequently as I was growing up, and I wonder why it's not used any more, it seems it would still be appropriate in many situations.  Personally, I think it's kind of sad these 'old time' sayings have become obsolete sooo I challenge you to find a way to work this idiom into one of your conversations today.   

Now is that 'just a fine how do you do' I've got you into?  (See how easy that was?)

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