I might have told you at one time or another about Oil-Base Lockhart, a house painter friend of mine, now passed, who conveniently reduced his entire experience of the world to a single figure of speech. Oil-Base related everything to Dick's hatband.
I asked him one time who Dick was, and he had no idea what I was talking about.
“The one with the hatband,” I told him, and again he was mystified.
The words “Dick” and “hatband” obviously meant very little to Oil-Base in the metaphorical context, and out of that context they meant nothing at all. He seemed wholly unaware that he spoke them just about every time the need for a simile arose. He ended that particular conversation by saying, peevishly, “Why don't you just leave me the hell alone?”
“You'd be alone as Dick's hatband, then,” I ventured.
And he said, “That's right.”
Anyway, I was thinking about Oil-Base the other day — a confusing, mixed-metaphor day if there ever was one, glowering like Dick's hatband out there — and wishing that I could simplify my perception of contemporaneity as successfully as he did by adopting one all-purpose, all-occasion comparative. I thought I'd give it a shot here in the column, if y'all would indulge me, and what follows is that shot.
No. 1 dumber than Dick's hatband.
No. 2 crazier than Dick's hatband.
Sunday's sunset vivider than Dick's hatband.
Osama bin Laden slipperier than Dick's hatband even if it was made out of an eel.
Frank Broyles older than Methuselah, the hills, dirt, Dick's hatband.
The Arkansas legislature might've gone easier on Thomas Paine if he'd said, “These are the times that try Dick's hatband.” Not the cry of a doubter.
On the other hand, Patrick Henry probably made the right choice when it came down to “Give me liberty or give me death!” or “Give me liberty or give me Dick's hatband.”
There's a Cabinet member — you know the one — homelier than Dick's hatband. Face would stop Dick's hatband.
Hotter last week than Dick's hatband when somebody laid it on a two-dollar cookstove.
Sen. Obama just like Dick's hatband though it's hard to say exactly how.
Grass in my yard after this hot dry spell browner than Dick's hatband. And that accidental overdose of Roundup didn't have not nare thing to do with it.
Britney Spears trashier than Dick's hatband but that's no excuse. Even your better trash will wear underwear and take care of their kids.
Any way you spin it, and another big round of that is on the way, this surge has been about as effective as Dick's hatband.
A bunch of fire ants stinging you hurts like Dick's hatband if somebody spilt battery acid on it. That happened to me recently, so I can attest.
21st Century so far has sucked worse than Dick's hatband.
Wearing your pants so low that all the fruits of your loom hang out is more disgusting than Dick's hatband peeing on a flat rock.
How would you rank them insofar as gumption? — Justice Thomas, Chief Justice Roberts, Dick's hatband.
Mike Huckabee slicker than Dick's hatband that an owl blew its nose on and wiped on a doorknob. I'm just waiting, though, for somebody to ask him if he walked to school or carried his lunch.
“Ice Road Truckers” makes me nervouser than Dick's hatband in a roomful of rocking chairs.
Gates, Buffett, McDuck: richer than all three of Dick's hatbands.
Even if Dick's hatband were wet and made out of paper and shaped like a grocery bag, in his last few fights the middleweight champ couldn't have punched his way out of it.
Fox News makes the ass of Dick's hatband want a dip of snuff.
Somebody needs to open up a can of Dick's hatband on that Utah mine owner.
Our situation in this war is somewhere between Iraq, a hard place, and Dick's hatband.
Juice: guiltier than D's h.
Choice for the betting ref, face pissed Mob or slammer, easy as Dick's hatband.
You'd have to be sorrier than Dick's hatband to do what those lowlifes did to those dogs.
Deja vu = Dick's hatband all over again.
Tommy Robinson is bankrupter than Dick's hatband, but you have to give him credit. Or maybe that's not such a good idea.
It don't amount to a hill of Dick's hatbands whether they go Sunni or Shia, Kurd or Whey. Just get our folks out of the crossfire.
I wouldn't give you Dick's hatband for all the steroid-assisted home run records neither.
Gophers have tore up my yard this summer like Dick's hatband, little sons-a-bitches.
And after the coons located it and sent word, Joe's entire muskydime crop disappeared faster than Dick's hatband, in just one night.