Seventh Blog: Catch as Only Catch Can

How versatile is the word "catch", right? Whether it's used as a noun for practical purposes, i.e., a door "catch" for your cabinets, a jewelry "catch" on a necklace or the "catch of the day" at the fish market, none of it compares to being at a party and overhearing someone say you're a great "catch" (at least that's what I've heard). Then again, nothing will take a smug smile off your face quicker than thinking you're on the verge of a fantastic deal only to hear, "Yeah... there's just one catch" (unfortunately, THAT I've actually experienced). And don't forget, with a mere "y" you can turn it into an adjective and that slogan or song or even the latest viral epidemic is suddenly "catchy".

But on to verbs, 'cause that's where "catch" shines.  Regardless if they're transitive or intransitive (I have no idea, either) they get it done. So yeah, you can "catch" a cold or a fever; "catch" someone by surprise; "catch" a fleeting glimpse; "catch" a ride from a friend; "catch" up or "catch" on; maybe "catch" a run in your stocking (does anyone still wear them?); "catch" someone's eye; "catch" hell; "catch" a buzz; "catch" me on the flip side; "catch" your breath or "catch" someone's attention. But whatever you do, don't be "caught" dead, or red-handed or with your pants down or between a rock and a hard place; and definitely try not to get "caught" in the crossfire. On the other hand it'd probably be nice if you "caught" a break or "caught" fire, ya' know, in the middle of a round of golf or on game night but definitely not on your person.

And even with all that, there's more. Let's not forget "Catch-22", the be-all and end-all of the "catches", the Joseph Heller coined phrase from his ground-breaking satirical 1961 war novel of the same name. In it, a pilot looking to get grounded from his bombing missions is informed that the only way to do so would be to request an insanity exemption, the "Catch-22" being that if he applied he was obviously doing a sane thing and therefore unable to qualify. After all, being concerned for one's safety in the face of imminent danger is a product of a rational mind.

So "Catch-22" finally gave a name to the paradox that has plagued us since we first heard "Which came first, the chicken or the egg?" or "Can God make a rock so heavy he can't lift it?" (something my 7-year old self didn't appreciate when trying to sleep at night). And while maybe only occurring sporadically in our lives: you lose your glasses but can't find them without having your glasses or you try to get your first loan but the bank requires a credit history to grant you the loan, you can be assured it never goes away. And if you're old enough you know exactly where it all started... asking your grade school teacher how to spell a word. "But how can I look it up if I can't spell it..." your query trailed off. Where the hell was spell check when WE needed it!... Sorry, I digress.

And while "catch" is impressive in its solo attempts, throw "phrase" on the end and it really delivers when it comes to movies. You've got De Niro in "Taxi Driver": "You talkin' to me?", Pacino in Scarface: "Say hello to my little friend.", Arnold's catchphrase in The Terminator: "I'll be back."; a host of 007s: "Bond... James Bond."; Star Wars' "May the force be with you" or Clint Eastwood in Dirty Harry: "Go ahead; make my day". And my personal fave from "Field of Dreams": Kevin' Costner's "Do you wanna have a catch?" cause, like, it's got the word "catch" in the catchphrase (how cool is that?!)... Okay, I've said enough. "Catch" you later.