Did you ever wonder where so many of our unusual sayings came from? Take the one that goes:
“Fancy meeting you here!”
This particular salutation actually was a line of dialogue in an old 1927 Broadway play (“The Royal Family”) that ran for over 300 performances and was about the Barrymore family, (John and Lionel Barrymore as well as their sister Ethel Barrymore). I am sure that many of you reading this will not remember the Barrymore’s. But I am sure that many of you will know the name Drew Barrymore. Miss Barrymore is the granddaughter of John Barrymore and many of you might also remember her as the child actress that played Gertie in Steven Spielberg’s film E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial which debuted in 1982. Small world, isn’t it? Oh, another interesting tidbit of information is that the play went on to become such a hit that they made a movie of it in 1930 entitled (“The Royal Family of Broadway”) but alas, none of the Barrymore’s were in the film. The actors tapped for the roles were Frederic March and Ina Claire. Who knew? No problem, but do not shed any tears over this piece of history. Speaking of tears – another saying from some time back had to do with:
Remember way back when and you heard someone make the comment: “He or she is shedding crocodile tears!” Did you think of the following question like I did: “Do crocodiles even cry?” Well, I believe I read somewhere that they do not cry. As for the saying, the expression “Crocodile tears” goes way back in time to tales spun by Pliny the Elder. Pliny the Elder was a Roman author, naturalist, and natural philosopher during the early Roman Empire. Supposedly as the story goes, after devouring the body of a victim, the crocodile shed many tears over the head before eating that as well. As I understand it Bogorad (1928) and Kaminsky (1929) applied the name “crocodile tears” to the syndrome of excessive lacrimation while eating. Again, who knew? Now, let us leave the realm of unusual sayings and turn our attention to:
Fact or Fiction
Over the years, we have heard about or read stories about some of our well-known personalities. Try this one on for size! Did the actress Lucille Ball assist the FBI during World War II? Rumor has it that one day while driving home after having just visited her dentist where she had several teeth filled, Miss Ball, suddenly heard sounds coming from her mouth. Those sounds were due to a wireless transmitter apparently within the vicinity of where she was driving. Rumor also has it that the sounds were similar to dots and dashes. Informed about the incident, supposedly, the military authorities may or may not have realized that the sounds coming from Lucy’s mouth were because of the fillings within her mouth. The thought was that her fillings might have acted as a receiver. Later although never confirmed, the government was able to unearth a secret Japanese underground transmitter that was operating in California. What do you think …… fact or fiction? Who knows! My guess is that we will never know.
Okay, my time here is once again rapidly coming to a close. Hope I made you smile as what I just shared is merely the rants and raves of an old fart trying to keep his mind active and having a ball while doing it. That which I share is meant to be both informative and entertaining. Hopefully I have met both criteria. Until next time!