Sometimes it’s the little things that irritate … thankfully!

Posted By on June 28, 2022

PoolFloatLeak_June2022Back in the late winter or early spring, the pool supply catalogs began arriving in the mail. Chlorine pucks and shock powder were my primary “look for” items as we were contemplating opening the pool for the season.

Unfortunately this year, we were a little slower than usual due to pool repairs, but noticed there were warning of shortages and all my searching could only find the 50 lb. buckets at about $100 more than the previous year.  I ended up paying the piper for waiting a little longer that I should have and justbit the bullet.” (this was my excuses to get PoolmasterInflatableChaira couple of idioms into this post).

Anyway, my point is that I added an inflatable up pool floating seat that I finally got around to filling up … only to find that it leaks and is well past the return date. I have sent an email to see if Poolmaster will make an exception?

Pay The Piper
Pay the piper comes from the famous 1842 poem by Robert Browning, The Pied Piper of Hamelin. The story is about a German town called Hamelin which, after years of contentment, was suddenly plagued by a huge increase in the rat population, probably due to some plague or poison which had killed all the cats. The rats swarmed all over, causing much damage. Try as they might, the townspeople could not get rid of the rats.

Then appeared a mysterious stranger bearing a gold pipe. He announced that he had freed many towns from beetles and bats, and for a cost, he would get rid of the rats for the town.

Although he only wanted a thousand florins, the people were so desperate that the Mayor promised him 50,000 for his trouble, if he could succeed.

At dawn, the piper began playing his flute in the town and all the rats came out of hiding and followed behind him. In this way, he led them out of the town. All the rats were gone.

When the piper came back to collect his pay, the town refused to pay even his original fee of one thousand florins. The mayor, thinking the rats were dead, told the piper he should be happy if he received any pay at all, even fifty florins.

The pied piper warned the town angrily that they would regret cheating him out of his pay.

Despite his dire warning, the rats were gone so the townspeople went about their business, at last enjoying a peaceful nights sleep without the scurrying and gnawing of rats.

At dawn, while they slept, the sound of the piper’s pipe could be heard again, except this time only by the children. All the children got out of bed and followed behind the piper, just as the rats had before. The piper led the children out of town and into a mountainous cave. After all the children had walked into the cave, a great landslide sealed up the entrance. One little boy managed to escape and tell the town what had happened to the children. Although they tried, they could never rescue them, and they were lost forever.

Even after more children were born, the town never forgot this fatal lesson. The piper will get his due!


Bite The Bullet
Dating from the 1700s, this idiom is said to be of military origin. Before anesthesia was invented, army doctors performing surgery, setting bones, or cleaning wounds would have their patient bite on a lead bullet or some other object to help endure the pain and stop them from crying out. A bullet may seem an odd choice but the soft lead used meant that they would absorb the pressure of the bite without damaging the teeth. 5,6 Also, according to the 1796 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue by Francis Grose, soldiers (or grenadiers, specifically) being punished for infractions with a whip would bite on a bullet so that they would not show weakness by crying out in pain.

The phrase appeared figuratively in an 1891 Rudyard Kipling story called The Light that Failed:

“Bite on the bullet, old man, and don’t let them think you’re afraid.” 7 Another suggested origin is that the expression came from the practice of gunners biting off the end of a paper cartridge of gunpowder to expose the powder to a spark. 8 How this practice could have anything to do with the figurative use of the idiom today, however, is difficult to understand.



Desultory - des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee

  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.