Gosh, I've noticed that phrase "thrown under the bus" a lot recently. It's gone from "colorful metaphor" to "overworked cliché" in the blink of an eye. (Also an overworked cliché "in the blink of an eye.")
For example, a couple days ago in the Washington Post Eugene Robinson op-edded on The Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr.:
Robinson opined that Senator Obama should return the favor, and (as many have noted) that's what happened. Not everyone's happy about that. Over at HuffPo, Charles Karel Bouley opines:
As near as I can tell, despite his prose style, Charles Karel Bouley is not a 14-year-old girl.
at Newsweek was
<cliché>ahead of the
</cliché>, tiring of the "suddently
inescapable phrase" back in
March (That was back when Obama had recently refused to
throw Wright under the bus, but had
instead thrown his
typical-white-person grandma under the bus.)
Let it be said that Pun Salad is in favor of throwing people under the bus without regard to race, creed, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, political affiliation, military status, marital status, family status, age, religious beliefs, irreligious beliefs, or physical, intellectual, learning, cognitive or emotional disabilities.
There seems to be a fundamental ambiguity in the metaphor:
One can get thrown
into the luggage compartment underneath the bus
while it's stationary.
- into the luggage compartment underneath the bus
On the other hand, one can get thrown
underneath the wheels of the bus
while it's moving ("Vrooooom!")
- underneath the wheels of the bus
Wave mama from the train a goodbye
Throw mama from the train a kiss a kiss
And don't cry, my baby, don't cry
How I miss that sweet lady with her old-country touch
Miss her quaint broken English called *Pennsylvania Dutch*
I can still see her there at the station that day
Calling out to her baby as the train pulled away
Yes, this is a blatant attempt to cut into Mark Steyn's audience.
Note the song refers to unusual syntax used in Pennsylvania, a reference made even more obscure by time. The song was written by Irving Gordon, who also wrote Unforgettable, popularized by Nat King Cole. The Wikipedia entry for the song reveals:
Homer and Jethro, a country music comedy team, recorded a parody
of this song that included the lines "Throw mama from the train, but
quick, but quick."
- In New York City during the 1950s, Jewish street vendors who sold knishes near subway train stations lettered signs that punned, "Throw Mama from the train a knish, a knish ... don't leave her hungry behind".
At least in this neck of the system administration woods, we have a saying: what if X gets hit by a bus? Referring, indelicately, to how well IT organizations like ours can deal with sudden unexpected loss of personnel. One of my major current projects is working on my documentation, known as the "Paul Gets Hit by a Bus" stuff. Although, since I'm an optimist at heart, I like to substitute "Beer Truck" for "Bus."