“On behalf of the former sinners of tomorrow, I protest…..” This is exactly the kind of phrase that asks to be posted, shared or tweeted. It triggers an immediate response. It’s just got to be relevant. It’s so clever … familiar ….. timely….ageless….provocative… entertaining. As a stand alone phrase, it’s great. One more piece of inane bull### that we love to share. However, there is so much more to it than the gut response. The phrase is Runyonesque. Now this odd adjective and the phrase require a bit of context.
Context, in most things, provides clarity. Context clarifies much in the same way butter* is clarified. Clarification takes time and thought. It’s simple. The end product is richer and more intense. Fussy loves simple.
So, put on a low flame…. mentally. As the flickering blue heat tickles the gray matter, search your memories, ideas and life experience. No knee jerk reactions please. NO internet. Then, let the flame die… let the reflections settle, cool and collect. Now decide; where does the phrase come from? What does it mean?
Fussy knows. Not fair? So what! Here’s the context along with Fussy’s clarification:
Damon Runyon was an American journalist and writer. His ability to capture a specific era in America was so impressive that the adjective Runyonesque came into its own. Runyon described life on the streets of early 20th Century Times Square. His articles and stories were based on real people with larger than life personalities. Sky Masterson was one such Runyonesque character. Sky, an inveterate gambler, spoke the line, in the musical, “GUYS AND DOLLS”. Marlon Brando, what a hunk, played Sky in the 1955 MGM movie.
Does Fussy’s context provide definitive clarity? Absolutely not. Ain’t nothin’ new under the sun. Fussy has forgotten more than you’ll ever know. Here’s one thing Fussy didn’t know. Damon Runyon’s legacy lives on, not only in popular media, but in the fight against cancer. Visit DamonRunyon.org to discover how Runyonesque life can be. If you’ve enjoyed this simple phrase and story, follow along. Regular posts on all thing simple.
*GHEE! How do you clarify butter? Coming in a blog post soon.