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Bears, Excrement and Memory

September 3, 2008

My sister repeatedly uses this phrase, “business as usual in the woods” and it drives me crazy. I know one common saying that involves woods. She’s missing two important components. I remember the saying well because my grandfather used the rhetorical question in excess.

“Do you want a cup of coffee, Pap?”

“Does a bear s#!t in the woods?”

He loved answering questions with questions. Actually, he just liked that particular question. Honestly, I have no idea how my sister could forget or how she could completely change the question and its meaning.

She insists that Pap was her inspiration for “business as usual in the woods” and I don’t see how I can convince her otherwise. I do see how she may have come up with the replacement phrase.

“Doing business” can be a very effective euphemism and bears are just plain scary. Maybe she wanted to create a prettier picture or one that drives me to drink. Why does it bother me? I guess that I get frustrated when the truth is foiled.

But we all have our own truths, don’t we? My sister doesn’t remember the bears and the excrement. This may be a good thing. I find his rhetorical question to be a charming aspect of his personality. I guess we each have our way of remembering Pap.

Do you know anyone who mangles well-known sayings? Do they have a good reason?


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