Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Can YOU cut the mustard?....

Can’t cut the mustard?.....

I heard a student say this the other day. It made me wonder if they even knew what it meant. Kids often mimic phrases they hear elsewhere, but don’t really understand what they mean. 

My father used to say, “You’re nuttier than a fruitcake.”

I knew what that meant. 

Cut the mustard. I shouldn’t think that would actually be too hard to do.

Probably not the same as cutting the cheese, I would think.

So, super sleuth that I am, I dusted off my investigatory skills and pulled out my research big guns.

I googled it.

Come to find out, nobody knows for sure the origins of the phrase. Another fellow sleuth thought it referred actually to the mustard seed. Apparently the dang thing is hard to cut. So if you’re not up to completing a task satisfactorily , you can’t cut the mustard. 

OK, good enough for me.....but then I found this tidibt.


Now this is much more interesting

(Kudos to the first pioneers to try these things....)

  1. Soothe Sore Throats: combine a bit of mustard with the juice of half a fresh lemon, one tbsp of salt, one tbsp of honey and 1/2 cup boiling water. Mix ingredients together and let cool for 10 minutes before gargling. Warning: this will not taste or smell good, but after a few rounds of gargling, your throat should be feeling a lot less sore.

(Translation: Gargle with a solution that smells like crap and tastes even worse and after vomiting for 20 minutes you won’t even notice your sore throat.)

  1. Decongestant: instead of using a topical decongestant, rub some mustard on your chest and place a cloth that's damp with hot water over it.

(Translation: Warm, soggy mustard on your boobs will cause your lover to run for the hills, resulting in such hard breathing he’ll have enough oxygen in his system for days.)

  1. Face Mask: spread a thin layer of mild mustard on your face for a few minutes and rinse for a nice, healthy glow. 

(Well, OK. But now read this warning that came with this tip....)

WARNING: Take a second before slathering up your face like a sandwich, and see if the mustard makes your sensitive skin react. Spread a little bit on your inner wrist. If you break out in some funky rash there, then I advise against putting mustard on your face.

(However, as directed in the previous suggestion, your chest as a mustard site is ok.)

  1. Relax Muscles: You can utilize mustard to relax your muscles.  If your feet are exhausted from a long day of standing, make a mustard foot bath with 1 tbsp mustard in a pan of warm water. Stir water until mustard dissolves and dip your feet in for 15-20 minutes.

Translation: The aforementioned possible rash will probably develop on the soles of your feet making it virtually impossible to walk, thus resulting in very relaxed muscles throughout the rest of your body for the duration of the rash.

Live and learn.

Grey Poupon, anyone?