Up a creek without a pot, a window, or a dog

I love to use idioms in my everyday speech. It livens things up. Makes the things you say more interesting. Catches dull people off guard. Gets an occasional laugh. And y’all know I’m all about a laugh.

A few idioms that I especially like are multi-parters — you can add on to them for emphasis. You get a little more bang for your verbal buck. Here they are:

He didn’t have a pot to piss in. This saying describes someone who is poor, strapped for cash. And if this Sad Sack is really bad off, you can say that he didn’t have a pot to piss in or a window to throw it out of. That’s pretty darn destitute. In other words, he is, as my darling husband likes to say, broke down and busted.

That dog won’t hunt. If you have a coon dog that refuses to hunt, he’s pretty well useless. This saying is a gentle way to let someone know that an idea is bad, impractical. If it’s very bad, really and truly fruitless, you can let your friend or colleague down easy by saying that dog won’t hunt or tree. In other words, there’s just no point in it, just like there’s no point in going coon hunting if your dog refuses to participate.

And this is my favorite multi-parter because it has three — count ’em three — variations:

You’re up a creek. You’re in a spot, a jam. If things are getting pretty desperate then you’re up shit creek. (Law, the imagery …) And then sometimes you are flat bereft of all hope, in a place of complete and total despair, at which point you’re up shit creek without a paddle, boat, or banks. If that’s the case, you just need to kiss your ass goodbye.

The multi-part idiom. Use it when things are bad, badder, and baddest. If things are that dark, you can at least go for laughs. And as you know, I’m all about a laugh.

Photo: Jesse Schoff on Unsplash