Tuesday, November 28, 2006

What are the chances?

This afternoon in a comment I said, "Buckley's and no chance," and only later realised that for anybody not from Australia or New Zealand, such a statement might be incomprehensible. More usually expressed as "Buckley's chance and none" or shortened to just "Buckley's" alone, it's a way to say that something or someone has no chance whatsoever.

This reminded me of something which once happened to my sister Mavis (name changed to protect the litigious). One night years ago she was standing in a pub or a club - some sort of boozy establishment - chatting to a man who worked in his parents' restaurant along the street from where she was working. She basically only knew this man well enough to say hello to, and really only knew that much because she saw his parents in the street every day, going to and from work, and that distant familiarity transferred over to their son.

So there they both were, Mavis and the bloke, standing in said boozy establishment, loud music in the background, smoke dulling the atmosphere, people trying to make themselves heard in a rowdy Friday night crowd... I've got no idea, actually, I can't remember the details. But the important fact was this: he was talking to her loudly and she had to yell in reply, and when he asked her something (I know not what) she was halfway through bellowing "You've got BUCKLEY'S chance!" when she suddenly remembered his family's name.

No, really. True story. It was Buckley.