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A Few Pickles Short of a Jar (full episode)
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2010/04/18
11:28pm
San Diego, California
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Oh, God. Thanks for the correction to my French. The longer I stay away from France, the worse my French gets. I was last there in 2004. I expect I'll sound like any other tourist by the time I make it there next.

2010/04/19
10:15pm
Andrew Troth
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Regarding "That's a good question": I think this is often used in a way that's almost euphemistic, as a substitute for a blunter response like "That's a question I hadn't thought of and don't have a ready answer to." It buys the speaker time to come up with a valid response, while complimenting the questioner instead of admitting the responder's ill-preparedness. It's a face-saver. Of course, it can be sincere too, but I think it's rare for someone to utter that phrase with the intent of making a value judgement vis-a-vis the questioner's previous questions.

2010/04/25
6:47am
Glenn
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I like "not the sharpest cheese in the dairy case" or "not enough watts to read by." For someone in management in business, "he can't spell CEO" makes the point. Unfortunately, this one usually is said in the context of an inexplicable promotion: "Can you believe they made him a Director? He can't even spell CEO!"

2010/04/27
3:48pm
jenny
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I like it!! One of my favorites: He isn't the sharpest tool in the shed OR She isn't the sharpest knife in the drawer

modhran said:

A fun full-deckism that I've used in the past is really just adding to a standard phrase to describe a certain kind of person who is beautiful enough that they've decided to use their looks rather than their minds:

"Nothing up stairs, but oh, what a staircase"

Like how Judy Holliday's character, Billie, began in Born Yesterday


2010/04/27
10:52pm
Rick Reid
Sydney, Australia
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- An Aussie version of a full-deckism – "He has kangaroos loose in the top paddock"

- The way I remember "it's" and "its". "his" is possessive and has no apostrophe, similarly "its"

2010/04/30
4:13pm
Bill 5
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re: Galloping Goose

The expression "It'll never be seen on a galloping horse" means "Don't be such a perfectionist." But why? A caller remembers an even odder version: It'll never be seen on a galloping goose.

I was surprised you went in the direction of machinery that was unreliable for galloping goose. I had seen some of the original Galloping Geese (Is it Gooses if it's a proper noun??) years ago at the Colorado Railroad Museum, and just saw another one at Knott's Berry Farm last weekend. (They gave a behind-the-scenes tour of their steam railroad "roundhouse" to the Boy Scouts as part of railroading merit badge. By the way, their roundhouse is a rectangular cube.)

They were buses (originally Buick sedans) modified to run on the narrow gauge rails in the Colorado mountains so the Rio Grande Southern could cheaply keep their US Mail contract when ridership dropped off to too few to pay for a full steam train. A gas or diesel motor railcar could do the minimal job much, much cheaper than a steam locomotive, as long as there wasn't a lot of ore to haul.

Wikipedia has a brief, but good article here. (Grant, I was sure you would have checked at least this!)

And here is Wikipedia's explanation for the name sounds more likely to me. (Though, of course, we all know Wikipedia has both the greatest amount of correct information and the greatest amount of myth & disinformation all collected in one place!)

It is unclear exactly where the name "Galloping Goose" comes from. It is mostly commonly suggested that it referred to the way the carbody and the freight compartment tended to rock back and forth on the line's sometimes precarious track. It is also suggested, though, that the name arose because the "geese" were equipped with air horns rather than the whistles of the steam locomotives. The name was used informally for years before the tourist operations, though the railroad officially referred to the units as "motors".

2010/05/01
11:25pm
BobBrown
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In the April 28 David Letterman Top Ten List there is a reference to Todds and Scotts
Link: http://is.gd/bQBDm

Top Ten Signs Your Governor Is Nuts
4.Just ordered the deportation of guys named Scott or Todd

2010/05/02
2:00pm
Chuck
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To the "fish or cut bait" discussion, I thought adding the lyrics of the Roy Holdren song of the same name might be interesting:

Holdren's Story about the song:
Growing up in South Dakota my family did custom cattle work. Freeze branding, artificial breeding, pregnancy testing, etc., if it said moo, we did it. It was dangerous work with serious consequences for yourself or others. I can still hear my dad snapping, “Both hands while learning!” when I wasn't paying attention to what I was doing.
This was my second write at a song based around that phrase. Actually, my dad has probably been fishing no more than five times in his life. But as they say, “Never let the truth stand in the way of a good song”.

Give my daddy a pair of pliers and little wire
And he can fix anything
Got his PHD on grandpa's knee, a tractor seat
And the front porch swing
Every Sunday after church
He'd change out of his one good shirt
Grab his old khaki jacket and a can of worms and go fishin'
And he'd take me along ….and he'd say…

Use both hands while learnin', keep takin' up that slack
Don't waste time wishin' go fishin' for the big'un
Cause you gotta throw the little ones back
You gotta learn when it's time to set the hook
And when to leave well enough alone
When it's down to get doin' and it's gotta get done
You gotta fish, cut bait, or go home

When I was sixteen daddy seemed mean, out-of-touch,
Old, and in the way
Then about the time I turned twenty five
He started getting smarter everyday
Now every morning I put on a fresh white shirt
Grab a tie and jacket and go to work
It's a hundred-mile-a-minute life a man could get hurt
But I'm doing fine just a'doin' what my daddy said
…and he said….

So here is is either do something useful or leave.

2010/06/17
5:52pm
Santa Rosa, CA
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BobBrown said:

In the April 28 David Letterman Top Ten List there is a reference to Todds and Scotts
Link: http://is.gd/bQBDm

Top Ten Signs Your Governor Is Nuts
4.Just ordered the deportation of guys named Scott or Todd


This Todd/Scott thing is clearly a common phenomenon. One thing I thought about is that the vowels are the same. I'm not an expert on the brain, but my husband has some Central Auditory Processing issues and I have noted that he always gets the vowels but misses the consonants. Once I asked his son, similarly linguistically inclined, to put the place mats on the table. He heard "face masks." This happens over and over again. It makes me wonder if there's a part of the brain that would react like that in larger percentage of humans.

2011/02/03
8:42pm
Cassiopeia
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I was watching a BBC series from a few years back on DVD recently, The Vicar of Dibley. One of the characters (a gruff farmer) was describing someone whose competence was not up to snuff and described him as "a few teats short of an udder". It made me laugh and reminded me of this past episode with "pickles short of a jar", so thought I would share.

2011/04/16
2:09pm
Elise
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Some of my favorite full deck-isms: His cheese slipped off his cracker. He's not the brightest bulb in the circuit. His elevator doesn't go to the top floor.

2011/04/18
12:56pm
Wichita Falls, TX
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In an earlier episode, a caller named Todd said that people are forever calling him Scott. He wondered if there was some linguistic reason that people so often confused these names. Grant does a follow-up on why people sometimes mix up names.

I have a personal theory on this. As a little backstory, I used to work in a call-center with lots of downtime and a few employees would collaborate to play a game that "mined" larger words for smaller words found therein made from the letters (and their frequency) from within that larger word. In the process of developing my pen-and-paper strategy for finding more words faster, I separated vowels and consonants into two horizontal rows, with vowels lined up below consonants, so I could flip flop up and down to make new combinations. We played the game for several years, never growing weary of it, and in the process I inadvertently trained myself to notice the patterns of vowels to consonants within words, as a technique of determining whether a larger word contained a fewer or greater number of words, or its eligibility for use in the game. I came to realize that I also remembered peoples' names because of the vowel-consonant pattern, so when Katheryn was confused with Margaret, it immediately made perfect sense to me because the vowel-consonant pattern is practically identical.

MARGARET
KATHERYN

As for Scott and Todd, I propose that it may be the double-consonant ending where the confusion comes in. I know way more Scotts than Todds, and if remembering that it ended in a double consonant (being rather, a double of the same letter) I'd quicker suggest Scott than Todd.

A San Francisco man confesses he routinely pronounces the word "both" as "bolth." Grant gives him the results of an informal online survey that shows the caller he's not alone—some 10 percent of respondents said they do the same thing.

I have heard people pronounce it that way, but it never occurred to me that people saying it that way inserted an L. What I hear is that someone from, perhaps the Minnesota region, who say "Don'tcha know" with "o" found in "fork" (and perhaps pronounce "Minnesota" similarly). I've heard that particular "o" sound, but never presumed it to be an insertion of and L sound at all. The first time I encountered "bolth" was within the last year, when a commenter on one of my YouTube videos actually wrote it out as "bolth" instead of the traditional spelling.

2013/01/28
8:33am
LizinSavannah
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I dug up this old episode after finding that just about every interview I hear on the radio these days seems to include a guest responding, "That's a really good question" -- and now, after hearing it so often in so many different discussions, I find it really annoying. Apparently (according to several websites advising speakers) it's being taught as a way to "buy some time." I'm beginning to wonder if I'd prefer the old "Ah" or "Um" -- they're not so insincere, at any rate!

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