“Chuck that wood, woodchuck! Chuck it!”

jcp-reallyI’ve been thinking about the veracity, sometimes even the possibility, of those strange phrases everyone likes to throw out.  Take, for instance, ‘eat your heart out.’  Certainly I can eat someone else’s heart out, though it would get quite messy and I don’t have a clue why I’d want to behave that way.  I’d probably need a knife or at least a spoon and a pair of those things you crack open crab legs with to get past the rib cage.  The whole thing sounds very unappetizing.  Unfortunately, I think the phrase is even more confounding.  Call me crazy, it’s been done before, but I think ‘eat your heart out’ implies consuming your own heart.  This simply just isn’t possible.  You’d be dead before you finished the right atrium, and who has that kind of neck?  I’m not Gumby.  Eat your own heart out there, plastic man.  Some of us aren’t that flexible.

Then we have the saying, ‘a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.’  How true is that phrase?  I believe it all depends on the type of birds and the location of the bush.  Say, for instance, the bush is inside an enclosed aviary and I was holding one of those twenty dollar parakeets that they use to tell if gas builds up in a mine.  And let’s say the two birds in the bush were three hundred dollar parrots.  The two birds in the bush would be worth five hundred eighty dollars more, unless you’re a miner in a gas filled mine, of course.  See, there’s another variable.  Who is holding the bird?  You could even argue one bird in the bush is more valuable if it’s a goose that lays golden eggs or something.

Speaking of variables, that brings me to ‘how much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood.’  There are way too many variables in this phrase for a definitive answer.  What’s the woodchuck’s mass?  How big are its paws?  Is there a distance it has to chuck the wood for a successful chuck to be counted as the crowd yells, “Chuck that wood, woodchuck!  Chuck it!”  Are we talking balsa wood or solid oak?  What sort of motivation does the woodchuck in question possess?  If it’s a slacker woodchuck or one burned out from years of chucking, it could affect the chuck rate.  This sort of thing sets my teeth on edge, or does it?  Perhaps it’s just a lie filled with hyperbole.  You be the judge.

Source: David Swann