Thursday, May 1, 2014

Proverbs of convenience

Sometimes, it seems to me, that a person pushing his case using a metaphor ends up creating a proverb. Like a certain Goebbels is reputed to have said, 'Keep repeating a lie and it will be taken to be the truth' or some such thing. So, what may have started as a self-serving statement ends up becoming received wisdom due to constant repetition.

Apparently, people believe that "Too many cooks spoil the broth". Looks to be quite possible, since I have never seen any two people being perfectly confident about whether the other will do what is necessary. So it is quite possible that one cook dumps a truckload of salt in the broth assuming that the other is obviously a nincompoop who cannot be relied upon to add salt. In a rare show of unity of thought, the other would do the same on the same assumption. (One of those inexplicable wonders of the human brain is that this "Two minds with but one single thought" thing applies mainly to pejorative impressions about each other). Naturally, the broth turns out to be a gourmet's delight - for gargling.

What, then, do we say about "Two heads are better than one"? Do not ask me "Better for what?" The proverb is conveniently silent on that. It seems to me that this must have been the sales talk of a number two in the organization, who has given up on the number one either retiring or dying. So, he goes with this spiel to his boss to ensure that he also becomes the 'head' without having to indulge in such medieval pastimes as assassinations to create a vacancy. No broth gets spoiled in the process, since our man only wants to get the Chef's hat and perks, but has no intent of entering the kitchen. (You have doubts? Even after all those Deputy Prime ministers and the like? I think the original doubting Thomas can take your correspondence course) As a matter of fact, it seems to me that neither 'head' wants to enter the kitchen these days, and the broth gets made on auto-pilot, thereby proving that 'No cook can also spoil the broth'.

Of course, you do have a doubt here. Why is it "Two heads is better than one" and not any more? Well, as they say "Two is company, three is a crowd" - and, therefore, we developed Boards of Directors, Cabinets and the likes to ensure that we have enough people for those rare occasions when we prefer crowds. You know the net impact of that, since "The IQ of a mob is equal to the IQ of its Lowest Common denominator" which, invariably, tends to the single digits.

And, yes of course, in any crowd of which I am a part, you know who THAT Lowest Common denominator is!

P.S : Owe this to Ilakshee's comment though she may not be particularly pleased by my (mis)interpretation!

32 comments:

  1. Talking of heads reminded me of the Audience Poll in KBC- Audience is mostly right, but then in many cases many heads are not better than 1! The case of the 1st Cror3epati on the same show Harshvardhan Nawathe proves this- He had the guts to go against the Audience Poll & won! :)

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    1. Well - they do say that the IQ of a mob is equal to the IQ of the lowest common denominator :)

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  2. Wow! I'm just in awe of your interpretations and I cannot agree more on this. ROFL at gargling. :-D

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    1. Thanks Rekha! Loved hearing this from you.

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  3. Sir, planning to publish a book on proverbs? :)

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    1. Get me a thousand copies pre-ordered and I will :P

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    2. Ha ha ha :D If only I can draw such a number, I would have been an author myself by now ;) I will guarantee you one pre-order though

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    3. Good to know that I have one certain one :)

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  4. Good one Suresh ....and I don't think there would be a problem for getting an advance order for 1000 copies : -)

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    1. Hahaha! Wish I had your confidence Alka! :)

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  5. Two heads are better than one for having more lice? Too many cooks spoil everything, that I can tell from experience :).

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  6. Ah! That is why our pot luck lunches were not too much of a success - too many cooks.

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    1. They weren't? I thought they were - since there were not too many cooks in the same kitchen, except at the time of serving :)

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  7. haha you sure have a thing for proverbs. this post like your other ones of proverbs is hilarious and delightful. http://ankitaranotra.blogspot.in/

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    1. Currently yes - It is not a standing condition :) Thanks Ankita!

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  8. "Gourmet's delight - for gargling" had me in splits! You have got to patent that phrase. :-D

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  9. "Sales talk of a number two" - :D
    "medieval pastimes such as assassinations" - :D
    This bit got me laughing!

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    1. Great! NOW I get some lines quoted - rarely happens to me :)

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  10. Hello sir.. rememeber me. .

    Now this is coincidence I am in middle of writing myself a couple of articles on proverbs used daily or often..

    Lovely writeup .. made me.smile and laugh at places..

    Amazon. .as someone above asked you planning a book on proverbs ☺

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    1. Ah! Since I cannot look up your profile I am left guessing :)

      Thanks for those lovely words about the post. I know I can put up on Amazon - I only want to ensure that it sells :P

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    2. it Bikram here , never mind if you dont remember sir, I am just a mere mortal..

      Bikram

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    3. I did say I was left guessing and my guess WAS one Bikramjit Mann - if Thou Art He, then welcome back (Welcome back anyway even if Thou are not he :) ).. And, yes, all of us are mere mortals :)

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    4. I am heeeeeeeeeeee:)

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    5. Great! For once my guess was right :)

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  11. You are a laugh riot Suresh :D I have to give it to you for intriguing interpretations.

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    1. Thanks for those kind words! I was born with a kinky mind :)

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  12. Talking heads maketh this post a hilarious one ala the interpretation avoiding the pitfall politically in (correct).

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  13. oh dear.... !!!! how much more funnier can you be? i have a tummy ache laughing so much!

    i've heard of people being born with silver spoons, what were u born with?

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    1. I don't know, Titli, but you have certainly been born with the ability to make people happy - me, at least!

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