Say What?

Being old, I like old sayings. I especially like the old Scottish proverb from the 1600s, “If wishes were horses, beggars would ride.” No, I didn’t actually use it myself in the 1600s, but I think it clearly conveys that you need to make things happen and not just wish for them to happen. However, I’m not sure the term beggars is politically correct these days. I think financially-disadvantaged is now the proper term. “If wishes were horses, the financially-disadvantaged would ride” just doesn’t seem to have the same cachet. And who wants to go ride a horse? Raise your hand if you do.

Put your hand down. Nothing good can come of that.

But there is an alternate version of the saying that I prefer.

I like the version that starts, “If wishes were fishes,” because it rhymes. However, there are different endings to that one, and I never know which one to use. None of them really grab me. Some examples follow.

If wishes were fishes,

  • we’d all swim in riches. (Just a bit too rhymy for me)
  • then creels would be full. (Nobody knows what a creel is)
  • we’d all cast nets. (Who fishes with nets? And too close to “we’d all want castanets,” which makes no sense unless you are a Spanish flamenco dancer)
  • we’d all be using an Arbogast Hula Popper to top water fish for them. (Too Hawaiian-sounding)

So, I have come up with one on my own. It rhymes but is not too rhymy. It may be offensive and sacriligeous, but so is my book of short stories about the afterlife, available for under a buck through this link, so click it already. Yes, I have trademarked this new saying, but I am allowing all purchasers of my book of short stories about the afterlife to use my trademarked new saying without having to pay me even one penny in license fees. Ready? Here you go.

If hopes were Popes, the whole world would be Catholic.

I’ve workshopped it with focus groups for months now, and it plays well with all, except unsurprisingly, the majority of Catholics are not amused. As a former Catholic altar boy, I suggest Catholics relax a bit, revel in the mention (finally some Catholic Church publicity that isn’t bad), and enjoy using my trademarked nugget of wisdom for FREE after reading my book of short stories about the afterlife. Are you hoping right now that I’ll stop plugging my book? Remember the saying.


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