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Jan
10

Water always flows in a particular direction.

Something struck me last night about the phrase “up a creek without a paddle,” and strangely enough, one of my professors used it today in class.

The phrase is used as a euphemism for a situation that is less than satisfactory. In other words, you’re fucked. The context is established as negative. Therefore “up a creek” implies being at a location at which you would rather not be, and would therefore imply, logically speaking, that you would rather be down a creek.

Water flows downstream.Something struck me last night about the phrase “up a creek without a paddle,” and strangely enough, one of my professors used it today in class.

The phrase is used as a euphemism for a situation that is less than satisfactory. In other words, you’re fucked. The context is established as negative. Therefore “up a creek” implies being at a location at which you would rather not be, and would therefore imply, logically speaking, that you would rather be down a creek.

Water flows downstream.

Getting from up a creek to down a creek would therefore involve sitting back and letting gravity and nature do the work. The only reason you might need a paddle is for steering purposes, I suppose, in the event that it was a rocky creek or a winding creek. But then there is the fact that “creek” is defined as a “stream, brook or minor tributary to a river,” and while such a thing could be rocky or winding, it does not bring to mind the likelihood of being very fast flowing. You could simply reach out and push yourself away from a protruding rock or off of a sandy bank on the edge of a curve.

I would suppose, then, that I would rather enjoy being up a creek without a paddle. It would allow for some relaxation and time to enjoy the scenery around me, rather than getting a rather extensive workout paddling up the creek against the current.

Though, if you weren’t paying attention, you might be lost in watching nature and not realise that you’ve come upon a waterfall. But to have come upon a waterfall, you would still have had to have floated from up the creek to down the creek, and once again… It is not the up the creek part in which the lack of the paddle was a problem. It’s the down the creek part where you’ll likely think that the decision not to turn around when you left home for the the trip in the first place, remembered that you forgot to pack the paddle, and figured, Hey. Who needs a paddle.
Getting from up a creek to down a creek would therefore involve sitting back and letting gravity and nature do the work. The only reason you might need a paddle is for steering purposes, I suppose, in the event that it was a rocky creek or a winding creek. But then there is the fact that “creek” is defined as a “stream, brook or minor tributary to a river,” and while such a thing could be rocky or winding, it does not bring to mind the likelihood of being very fast flowing. You could simply reach out and push yourself away from a protruding rock or off of a sandy bank on the edge of a curve.

I would suppose, then, that I would rather enjoy being up a creek without a paddle. It would allow for some relaxation and time to enjoy the scenery around me, rather than getting a rather extensive workout paddling up the creek against the current.

Though, if you weren’t paying attention, you might be lost in watching nature and not realise that you’ve come upon a waterfall. But to have come upon a waterfall, you would still have had to have floated from up the creek to down the creek, and once again… It is not the up the creek part in which the lack of the paddle was a problem. It’s the down the creek part where you’ll likely think that the decision not to turn around when you left home for the the trip in the first place, remembered that you forgot to pack the paddle, and figured, Hey. Who needs a paddle.

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