Counting Chickens, Snow and Calories

February 4, 2007 at 1:15 am 1 comment

The last book I read in 2006 was Ricky Gervais Presents: The World of Karl Pilkington.  I read it on the way to Atlanta for the Chic-Fil-A Bowl.  It’s pretty much transcripts of highlights from The Ricky Gervais Show podcasts which stars Karl, Stephen Merchant and Ricky Gervais.  Most of it is Ricky and Stephen questioning and mocking Karl.  One part of that book had me laughing so hard, tears came into my eyes and I threatened to cry in a car with three men!  

That part is an excerpt from Season 1 Episode 6.  Karl was explaining common sayings that he didn’t understand.  He hit upon “a stitch in time saves nine” (he said he didn’t have to worry about that as his girlfriend “repairs me stuff anyway”) and then moved on to “People in glass houses should not throw stones.”  Karl’s interpretation of the saying was very literal.  When asked what it meant, he said, “Don’t be chucking stuff about if you are surrounded by glass and what have you.”

When Ricky points out that the saying isn’t just for people who actually live in glass houses, Karl protests, “No, no.  But that saying has been around a lot longer than we think.  That’s when people probably did live in basic glass houses and stuff.”

The whole interchange continues and grows more and more hilarious.  I laugh, but then I step back and realize that even if we understand a saying, it doesn’t guarantee its lesson will be fully absorbed.  A saying that comes in right now is “Don’t Count Your Chickens Before They Hatch.”

Earlier this week, our area was predicted to get a snow storm.  100% chance the weatherman and the online weather sites agreed.  The evening before this predicted storm, all the counties in the area announced schools would be closed, including Radford University.  The next day, we had exactly zero inches of snow.  I saw a brief flurry but that was it.

This reminds me of a time in college where a hefty 17″ was predicted.  Some friends of mine got a pony keg and had a party.  I remember at around 3 AM one guy, noting the lack of precipitation of any genre, said, “Man, if it doesn’t start snowing soon, I’m screwed.”  It turns out he had a midterm the next day.  And it turns out, he had to show up for said midterm– not a single inch of the predicted seventeen made it to Blacksburg that night!

So you really can’t bank on the snow prediction as a given, at least not here.

I don’t have parents and teachers anxiously awaiting a cancellation call, but I still manage to fall into the same trap.  Sometimes I find myself counting “Calories Burned” before they are actually burned.   I’ll be at lunch and decide to go ahead and order up a dessert.  “It’s okay– I’m lap-swimming/running tonight,” I’ll tell myself.  But then late in the afternoon, I’ll get a phone call or get distracted by a duty of some sort and before I know it, it’s bedtime and I never got around to the activity I assumed would happen.  So far, the consequences have been minimal…although according to The Enquirer, I do weigh as much as Britney Spears.  🙂

If Karl was asked, it could be very likely he would think the scope of the saying “Don’t Count Your Chickens…” was confined to… chickens.  Maybe, just maybe, he could apply it to other poultry as well, perhaps even reptiles.  I, on the other hand, am fully aware the principles extend well past egg-bearing animals. 

But, is the end result any different?

Entry filed under: Karl Pilkington, Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant.

Sentimental Text Messages Brush Mountain (Audie Murphy)

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Pearis Mountain in the Snow « TGAW  |  March 17, 2008 at 9:31 am

    […] of the view to come between the trees and I knew it was going to be great. And I found myself counting chickens before they hatch. I was already planning on who I was going to send picture messages to from the top. Derek, Sean, […]


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