Here are a few more new phrases to insert furtively into conversation with your friends, colleagues and perfect strangers at the bus stop. If someone disputes their veracity, remember to look at them the way Jesus would look at Mary Magdalene and say, "Have you really never heard that expression before?" Don't forget the pity; it lends you authority. And that way these awesome new words - already used for years in my own family - will take over the English-speaking world. And possibly also other planets.
At the very least, by using them you will end up sounding worldly in company. And some of you single guys out there in a bar might even get lucky. Language: helping unattractive men have sex since 196,000 B.C. I wish you all the best.
the bite of shame – (noun phrase) the last olive, the last serving of lasagna, the last slice of chocolate cake, etc. on a serving plate that no one can politely eat, despite the fact that everyone wants to and can't keep their eyes off it. The bite of shame is an unspoken compliment to the chef; the more delicious the dish, the more likely it is that a bite of shame will remain. Dinner guests in our culture are so insanely courteous. The best way to overcome this politeness in yourself is to have a kid. Then you'll find yourself using verbal tactics such as, "Are you going to eat that last bit of broccoli pasta? Because if you don't, I'm giving it to the dog." Or, "You'd better eat all that hummus or you won't get any raisins for dessert." Or even, "I've slaved away at the stove for hours to make your favorite dish and all you eat is a carrot stick? It's fish balls! What is wrong with you?" If - like me - you can't bear to see food wasted, soon you won't be eating any actual meals yourself but subsisting entirely on someone else's leftovers. And once you give in to the fact that you've become a human garbage disposal, then you'll have no problem at all - and even consider it your duty - to eat just about anybody's bite of shame.
food coma – (noun) the soporific state experienced after eating too much. If only we lived in a siesta culture where food coma could actually be followed by a nap! If only food coma occurred in young children!
I know my chickens – (phrase) stolen directly from the rural Italian saying "Conosco i miei polli", it's used when a person behaves exactly as you had predicted they would. For instance, on a cold winter's day you tell your cat to have a nap on your bed. The cat says no, that she wants to go outside to chase crickets. You insist she nap. The cat's about 93 in cat years and has only three good teeth. But she's adamant, so you let her out. Soon afterwards, you find her curled up on your pillow. "Ah, I know my chickens," you say with a sigh. That evening your husband says, "She'll probably sleep there all night." You reply, "I'll move her when we get into bed." You hear him say with a laugh, "No, you won't! She has you wrapped around her finger. I know my chickens!" And, in fact, he does know the behavior of every single chicken in his coop, because you wake up the next morning with what is known affectionately as a 'cat hat'.
But that's another blog post.