Monday, June 18, 2007

Laying in Bed Like a Lox

I’m laying in bed like a lox. What does that mean? I have always wondered what a lox lays like. I mean, think about it. A lox, otherwise known as a less fancy smoked salmon, doesn’t lay—it swims, gets caught, then prepared (grilled, baked, or smoked) and finally winds up on a table, getting served as an appetizer or main (Jews smartly eat it in eggs or on a bagel with cream cheese). There is hardly ever a time when the lox rests. A person may rest but hardly ever gets grilled or baked, unless you count too much time in the sun. And hardly ever gets smoked, unless they spend too much time in a bar. A human doesn’t do any of the things attributed to the preparation of some pink fish. And yet you often hear the phrase ‘laying here like a lox’. Or, “what am I, a lox’.

A plate of Lox, doing an imitation of Iris

You have to be familiar with lox before you use it to refer to lox as an inanimate object. For example, while lox is a little saltier than what is called smoked salmon, you never hear anyone say, “I’m just laying here like a smoked salmon, or a whitefish or even sable”—which is very expensive (so it is not a socioeconomic thing. I think it is probably a cultural thing to say.) So, I know people who say it, while you may not be familiar with the expression—which doesn’t make you a bad person, just culturally denied.

Iris doing an imitation of a Lox

Anyway, I had my third and fourth vein surgery today. I had the first two last week and the week before. They were both without incident. The doctor (the fabulous Dr Paul McNeill—Vein specialist), performed a Veinus vein closure. This is a new, pretty much non invasive remedy for varicose veins. (You may remember varicose veins from yesterday’s blog because it’s one of those things that happens to some people when they get on in years and baby boomers are in that category). So I had two closures and in order to actually rid yourself of the ugly blue things requires an additional procedure called a phlebectomy. I hadn’t expected him to do both on one day, although that was what I had hoped. So I am gauzed and wrapped ‘like a taco’, and laying here ‘like a lox’.

Food analogies are always fun because you can taste what you describe.
One of the classics, ‘You get more flies with honey than salt’, grosses me out because, let’s be honest (as is always the case on this blob), who wants flies? But if you did want flies, or any other insects or vermin, honey would do the trick. Nevertheless, disgusting as the concept is of collecting dirty winged varmints-- it is certainly descriptive. Personally, I hate flies and I would rather use splenda than honey. But my personal tastes are irrelevant in this blob.

And speaking of salt. There are a number of salt analogies—salt always being of questionable character. One of my friends always says he’s ‘he's worth his salt.’ It’s kind of a mid west thing that never sounds finished to me. I want it to be, “he’s worth his weight in salt,” but salt is not quite as valued as gold. So maybe it should be, ‘the measure of person is based on the salt content of his weight’ or ‘the weight of a person should be taken on a day when he’s not eaten too much salty food’. You’re right, they don’t work, but you get my point. Salt was valued more than gold in days gone by because it was a preservative as well as (in places like India) a life source. Excuse the extraneous information, I don’t want to get too historic or technical, but I want to hold your interest. So in the pursuit of interesting, references to salty are as follows: “someone or something with a lot of experience, particularly at sea. A salty Marine is one who has been around a while. A salty uniform is more faded and obviously used but still sharp. Salty language is language salted with profanities or obscenities.”

How about “take it with a grain of salt.” Let’s pause for a minute and try to figure that out. Take what with a grain of salt? It is supposed to mean be skeptical about what is or as says, to take 'it' with a “grain of salt” means to “accept a thing less than fully". It dates this usage back to 1647. What was the conversation like in 1647? Did the it go something like. “Ye old fart is speaking with too much salt in his mouth.” They go on... “Another meaning is 'with moderation', and it is related to the way someone uses something. It probably refers to the activity of cooking, where only a pinch of salt is sufficient to enhance the flavour of a dish. In this sense, USING something 'cum grano salis' means to use it with moderation.” The cum grano threw me for a minute but I’m not going there.

Moving on, how about, ‘shes’bitten off more than she could chew’. This might mean, Ok, so she’s a pig and she will probably choke and hopefully there will be someone there who knows the Heimlich Maneuver. Or it might mean she’s over her head, but then you have to explain that. Did I tell you that David has done the Heimlich twice. Once was on a bus and he saved a young woman choking on a roast beef sandwich. (My hero!). The second time we were out to dinner with Aunt Sophie and Mac. It was a place called Leo’s, which they liked and where, when you were leaving you got free cookies. Anyway, we were having our meal and at a table nearby a woman started choking. No one at her table seemed to care but she was clearly choking. So David leapt up and rushed to their table and administered the life saving action. She spit out whatever. The people at her table didn’t even blink. Not having inspired any interest from her dinner partners, David motioned to me to come over and help her to the ladies room—which I did. Well, she washed up and made her way back to the table. Not a thank you passed their lips—none of them. Her husband opined “..she does this all the time,” as if it were some kind of desparate attention getting device. Even the restaurateur ignored the episode -- but I think that was about avoiding a potential law suit. Regardless of their bad behavior, David was a hero, and remains a good person to eat with. And if you decide you want to eat with him, remember we eat everything from ‘soup to nuts’. We’re just sayin...Iris


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