1000 Things We Hate #15: Skinning Cat Phrase

4 01 2010

What an inquisitive Cutie

So, today, I was watching Quantum Leap.

That’s it… end of post.

Just kidding…

Anyway, Sam leaps into a radio DJ who teaches the twist dance to Chubby (Checker?) what’s his name while landing the mom from Home Improvement before Tim Allen does.  Anyway, the point of the episode is to prove that Rock ‘N’ Roll during the good ol’ 50s uproar about it is a good thing.

The guy who obviously opposes Rock ‘N’ Roll is the owner of the local newspaper and tries to stop the radio station from playing the music through: passing a law forbidding it, cutting the power to the radio station, cutting the antenna/broadcast thing, cutting down their door with an axe.

So, he tries a lot, and when he’s trying to gain inspiration he uses the phrase “There’s more than one way to skin a cat.”

I have some really strong views against this phrase.

In research, I whipped out my Dictionary of Cliches by James Rogers (that I got for a dollar!), and it has this to say about the phrase:
Charles Funk believed the idea sprang from the small child’s maneuvers with a limb or a bar, during which the child hangs by his arms, lifts his feet up through them and then either continues on in a somersault or hooks his legs up over the limb. Funk imagined a mother watching this , who saw in it a resemblance to skinning a cat. Of course, the expression could simply have come from the process of removing an animal’s pelt. In any case, the saying has existed for more than 150 years.

That’s a completely believable and understandable creation of the phrase.  I don’t necessarily know why hunters would be skinning a cat unless it was a cougar or something 150 years ago.  However, now this phrase sort of implies that we’ll just all be skinning our domestic animals to figure out different ways of doing things.

Protective Headgear from Skinning

Now, this is why this post is about to turn really personal…

When I was a kid about 9 or so, our best family friends, The Dolders, lived in West Linn, and from my recollection (from when the event happened meaning this may not be completely correct now), one or possibly two of their cats was kidnapped… catnapped.

A couple of days later, their neighbors found a stinking bag of cubes of flesh that was thrown into their yard.  Apparently, the catnappers (most likely adolescents) had caught the cat, skinned it, and cubed it after that.

So, this personal hate is more so of the personal nature in relation to that story.

However, I’m pretty sure that other, more powerful phrases can be used to convey that there is more than one way of doing something that don’t really sacrifice a living thing.

If this doesn’t change, then I’m sure cats may just take up using knives on us instead of the other way around… sounds like a B-Movie plot.

I personally can’t imagine my cute, little Sabretooth ever having anything like that happen to her… So, I’m pretty sure I’ve never used this phrase in my life.

If you don’t agree with me then this cat can take you to court:


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2 responses

11 11 2011
1000 Things We Hate #201: Etc. «

[…] already shown that I have a problem with words and phrases such as: the skinning the cat phrase, the you know phrase, I don’t know, otay, the -gate suffix, the Monday excuse, and many […]

18 11 2011
1000 Things We Hate #202: I Know, Right « 1000 Things We Hate

[…] seem to be my enemy.  To check out more you can read: Skinning Cat Phrase, I Don’t Know, This is True, Otay, and […]

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