To Be a Character, You Need a Catch Phrase

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Aug 24th, 2006
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Some of the recent stories have talked about the catch phrases of past participants of the World Drinking Tour. Indeed, if you are not a regular participant, the best way to be remembered is to have a good catch phrase that defines your existence.

For Lance it was clearly, “We could drink another Belgian beer, or we could go watch some bloke shaggin’ a bird.” For him, that was more than a catch phrase, it was a life motto.

For Martin G, it was “I work for a small company, and I don’t have an expense account.” Maybe not such a great catch phrase, but you always knew you’d be picking up the tab.

And I’m sure I’ll think of some others, but this got me thinking about the catch phrases of some of our regular tour participants.

Keef is a complex individual, and it is tough for a single catch phrase to define him. But he does have a few catch phrases that stand out in my memory …

“I slept in that bunker one night.” – An off-hand comment as we drove past the golf course on our way to my first visit to the Skimmington Castle pub.

“All I’ve got to say is that I’ve got nothing to say.” – Keef is rarely a man of few words, much less the same few words repeated over and over again. However, he must have said this to me about 50 times as we wandered the streets of Amsterdam, hoping that I would be able to recall the way back to our hotel.

“All the time you’re drinking, you’re saving money.” – This was Keef extolling the financial advantages of drinking at the cafe across the street from the Westvleteren monastery. In fact, if you haven’t already, you should sign up for his next financial planning seminar.

“One pint is too many, and ten pints is too few.” – Classic sage advice from Keef on what would happen if we popped ’round the Skim for a drink.

“I think I’ll order another Hurricane, so I can catch up to you all.” – Definitely Keef’s greatest weakness … if you started drinking before he arrived, he’ll insist on trying to catch up. But 3 Hurricanes in the span of an hour at Pat O’Brien’s in New Orleans was an ill-advised plan.

As I think about the other regular tour participants, I can see that we’ve got work to do in establishing catch phrases. Here are a few, that probably only the regulars will understand … see if you can match up the catch phrase with the participant to which it belongs …

“I’m stuffed and exhausted.” (Definitely better if an American says this one, as it could mean something a little different to a Brit.)

“Jeg snakker norsh veldig bra!”

“I have over 5 million years of marketing experience.”

Yeah, these others aren’t quite good enough to qualify as a catch phrase. And if you want to be a character, you need a catch phrase. Ponder this thought as we gather in 7 days time…