31 May 2007

Apocryphal Tales?

How did the phrase "Don't get caught in bed with a dead woman or a live man" gain common currency in political circles?

Some say that the old saying "You are what you eat" has religious origins. What are they?

Who was the famous political figure who scrawled "Watch the borders" on a report because the writer had not respected the protocol for margins? This was taken as an order and led to tightened border controls for several weeks.

The origins of these stories and phrases may indeed be what I have read or heard or maybe not.

This is an open thread for questions and answers re myth-making. Have fun.


Tim Worstall said...

The first one is Louisiana politics. Huey Long I think. "I can't lose this election unless I'm caught in bed with a dead woman or a live man".

So someone shot him instead.

Tuscan Tony said...

My favourite is the probably apocryphal Cabinet dinner headed by Mrs T, who when asked "what about the vegetables madam", replied "they'll have the same as me".

Who cares if it happened.

bt said...

It's " ... a dead woman or a live boy..." I think, so it probably holds true in even these more tolerant times.

Praguetory said...

I've heard of it being used before Huey Long died, although it has also been attributed to Edwin Edwards (also Lousiana) when talking of the only way he could lose on the eve of the 1983 election which he won by a landslide.

Alex Fear said...


That was spitting image. (But it was probably inspired by real life account).

Mark Wadsworth said...

Nicholas Parsons played the saxophone solo on "Baker Street".

Graham E said...

I love the quote by a 1930's Aussie politician who, whilst defending the White Australia Policy, said 'two Wongs don't make a white'