Posted by Smokey Stover on May 08, 2004
In Reply to: Putting eyepatches on fire hydrant posted by platypus on May 06, 2004
: : Mr. Bernett refers to useless tricks in advertising and mentions putting eyepatches on fire hydrant as the example of the obvious trick. What does it really mean? Perhaps this speech figure has a certain background?
: : Merci
: I'm not sure of the etymology behind "eyepatches..."; however, I've heard the phrase as "putting sunglasses on fire hydrants". And, take it to mean selling something useless, or unnecessary: i.e., selling sand to an arab, or a refrigerator to an eskimo.
Some fire hydrants have two outlets, faucets, taps, whatever they're called, side by side, so putting sunglasses or eye-patches on them is an obvious jesting gesture. As for selling refrigerators to Eskimos, guess again! The Eskimos in Alaska find refrigerators very useful, for keeping food cold without freezing it. SS