Sometimes, as soon as I wake, and I’m talking the very second, there’s a question clamouring for an answer. It’s there, in my head and I don’t know where it came from, but it’s pushed itself forward demanding attention. There’s nothing else for it but to do something about it.
This morning the question was about two halfpennies rubbing together. You know the saying, I haven’t got two halfpennies to rub together. What if you had? What if you had those two halfpennies and you rubbed them. What would happen? This What if? question is huge. I read somewhere it’s often the question Stephen King starts out with. So, I looked up the derivation of the saying re: rubbing two halfpennies together and I learned something about myself: I have a tendency to take things too literally.
I’m not too hot, it turns out, at this blue sky thinking. See, when I think of rubbing two halfpennies together, I immediately imagine there has to be an element of manual manipulation in there somewhere. You have to grab hold of those damned halfpennies, don’t you. and physically rub them together? Actually, no you don’t. They might rub together all by themselves, jangling in your pocket as you walk along the street, thereby demonstrating to the world around you that you are a person of means.Listen everybody, those jingling coins say to your neighbours. I have the wherewithal to buy whatever one may purchase for ready cash. Of course, the neighbours wouldn’t know whether those were coppers rubbing along in your pocket, or guineas.
And so, the whole phrase can mean so much more than I had thought. Now, there are images in my head; there are sounds; there are values and attitudes creeping into the old saying that I’d never considered before.
Hmmmm. More food for thought.