Date: Wed, 30 Mar 1994 16:30:55 CST From: "Donald M. Lance" Subject: Popular Expressions An expression that politicians and newspeople like these days is "X can't walk and chew gum at the same time." Doesn't make a whole lot of sense. WhenI was a kid, back in the 1940s, in Texas, a popular challenge was to ask someone to walk backward while chewing gum and synchronize the steps with chewing action. Not all that easy, but not hard to learn to do. Try it; see what it feels like. When Lyndon Johnson commented that Gerald Ford couldn't chew and walk backward at the same time he was referring to this "test" that kids posed for each other back in Texas several decades earlier. The reporters, not being familiar with the specific reference, removed the word that makes the expression meaningful. I hear the expression often, but it doesn't make a lot of sense to say that someone can't walk and chew gum at the same time. But then sense isn't uppermost in people's minds when they use "country" expressions, or misuse them. In the original query along this line Ellen had asked about Clinton's "like flies on a junebug." That was misspoken. The saying is "like a hen on a junebug." Ever see a hen go after a bug? Not any longer, not even in Hot Springs at the IQ Zoo where trained chickens do all sorts of tricks. Yes, there is an "IQ Zoo" in Hot Springs (or used to be) where pigs and chickens do humorous tricks. A june bug has a rather hard shell and wouldn't offer much to flies. Flies might go after a tumble bug, but not a june bug. DMLance