Many of these come to me while traveling; like billboards for motel chains that offer "clean rooms $45 a night" as a selling point. And while it's not the deepest thought I've ever had, I do wonder--shouldn't clean be given? And do I really want to stay in a place that views this as an extra benefit? I've wondered what they'd say if I stopped and asked what they charged for the dirty ones.
Then there's accidental word pairings. The other day I saw a place that advertised "gas & beer lottery tickets". Seriously? There's a lottery for that? And our small town used to have a restaurant with a marquee that read "Every Saturday Night! Dancing Roasted Chicken." The image of that dancing headless chicken covered in seasonings became a frequent brain movie and the subject of a lot of stories that Gary and I would tell to one another as we ran errands. I was kind of sad when the owners retired and took it down.
My imagination is fired by everyday phrases too. For instance bars that advertise "live bands". I know what they mean, of course, but think about that for a minute. See? Now you're doing it too.
Recently, I overheard someone say, " . . . so I had to abandoned the idea" and for the first time in my life I thought about what that meant. Abandoned--left behind in an isolated place. And then of course I considered all the sadness associated with it and I began to feel sorry for the idea and wondered if it was still where the person had left it. Maybe I could bring it home and add it to my population. Because, let's face it, there's always room for one more idea. Maybe I could open up a shelter for unwanted, abandoned ideas and pair them with people who understand them and don't mind that they aren't perfect.
It's a sickness, folks. One that I'm willing to share. What about you? What words and phrases catch your eye and why?