The Straight Dope

Go Back   Straight Dope Message Board > Main > General Questions

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 09-24-2009, 09:31 AM
Chickenwrangler Chickenwrangler is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Plant a Tree take a Wife and raise a Son

I remember looooong time ago hearing a phrase something along the lines that a man in his life time should "Plant a Tree take a Wife and raise a Son" Don't know if that is the exact phrase as it was a long time ago but certainly something similar.

Any one know where the phrase comes from and is it correct. It seems like the kind of thing one of the great philosophers like Confucius would have said.

Reply With Quote
Advertisements  
  #2  
Old 09-24-2009, 11:21 AM
Bisected8 Bisected8 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
I'm quite sure that I've heard it was the three things Ernest Hemmingway said were necessary to be a man (or do before you died, I forget which).
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 09-24-2009, 11:45 AM
Llama Llogophile Llama Llogophile is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bisected8 View Post
I'm quite sure that I've heard it was the three things Ernest Hemmingway said were necessary to be a man (or do before you died, I forget which).
Well I'm pretty much screwed then.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 09-24-2009, 11:50 AM
Duke Duke is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bisected8 View Post
I'm quite sure that I've heard it was the three things Ernest Hemmingway said were necessary to be a man (or do before you died, I forget which).
There was actually a fourth thing: fight a bull to the death. AFAIR. Not something most people are likely to do these days, unless one wanders into the middle of the freeway.

But it was definitely "to be a man", not before you die.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 09-24-2009, 11:52 AM
Nava Nava is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
I thought you were supposed to plant a tree, write a book and have a son.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 09-25-2009, 01:24 AM
Chickenwrangler Chickenwrangler is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Shucks! While I have great respect for Ernest Hemingway and his writing talents I really thought the phrase was some ancient philosophers wise words.

Write a book is good but don't like the kill a bull bit.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 09-25-2009, 03:39 AM
Northern Piper Northern Piper is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Beck's Cove, St John's
Posts: 17,350
But was it original to Hemingway? I remember a similar line in one of Agatha Christie's Harley Quinn stories. I think it was The Man from the Sea (spoiler warning: linked article gives the plot of the short story). That collection (The Mysterious Mr. Quin) was first published in 1930, so the idea might have been something that was floating around at that time.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 09-25-2009, 07:15 AM
Nava Nava is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chickenwrangler View Post
Shucks! While I have great respect for Ernest Hemingway and his writing talents I really thought the phrase was some ancient philosophers wise words.

Write a book is good but don't like the kill a bull bit.
Not kill a bull, fight a bull to the death. It doesn't say whose.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 09-25-2009, 08:42 AM
cmkeller cmkeller is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Because sometimes, señor, the bull doesn't lose.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 09-25-2009, 09:03 AM
The Scrivener The Scrivener is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Reminds me of this song, which combines the life cycles of trees and men, from The Wicker Man ('73):

"Summerisle (The Maypole Song)" lyrics

In the woods there grew a tree
A fine, fine tree was he

On that tree there was a limb
And on that limb there was a branch
On that branch there was a nest
And in that nest there was an egg
In that egg there was a bird
And from that bird a feather came
Of that feather was a bed

On that bed there was a girl
And on that girl there was a man
From that man there was a seed
And from that seed there was a boy
From that boy there was a man
And for that man there was a grave
From that grave there grew a tree

In Sumerisle, Sumerisle, Sumerisle, Sumerisle, Sumerisle

On that tree there was a limb
And on that limb there was a branch
On that branch there was a nest
And in that nest there was an egg
In that egg there was a bird
And from that bird a feather came
Of that feather was a bed

In Sumerisle, Sumerisle, Sumerisle, Sumerisle, Sumerisle

On that bed there was a girl (Sumerisle, Sumerisle)
And on that girl there was a man (Sumerisle, Sumerisle)
From that man there was a seed (Sumerisle, Sumerisle)
And from that seed there was a boy (Sumerisle, Sumerisle)
From that boy there was a man (Sumerisle, Sumerisle)
And for that man there was a grave
From that grave there grew a tree


BTW, the choreography of that song is supposed to be vaguely ominous, as well as disturbing (for the way the young boys are frankly sexual)...

Last edited by The Scrivener; 09-25-2009 at 09:05 AM..
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 09-25-2009, 10:51 AM
Yllaria Yllaria is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Stockton
Posts: 7,974
And now you've got me thinking of the happiness list. It starts, "If you want to be happy for a minute . . (do X)" and works up to happy for the rest of your life. I think getting married get you a happy month.

I checked Google. There are a few different lists out there. Here's one:

If you want to be happy for an hour, take a nap;
if you want to be happy for a day, go fishing;
if you want to be happy for a week, take a vacation;
if you want to be happy for a month, get married;
if you want to be happy for a year, inherit a fortune;
if you want to be happy for the rest of your life, help other people.

Other lists got you a minute for a kiss, a life for helping the disabled, etc.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 09-25-2009, 10:53 AM
ElvisL1ves ElvisL1ves is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: New England
Posts: 32,156
I thought it was
"If you want to be happy for the rest of your life
Never make a pretty woman your wife"
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 09-25-2009, 11:02 PM
Chickenwrangler Chickenwrangler is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by cmkeller View Post
Because sometimes, señor, the bull doesn't lose.
Which reminds me

A tourist is in Spain, and goes to a fancy restaurant for dinner. As he looks around, he notices a diner being served a beautifully garnished dish with two gigantic meatballs in the middle. When the waiter asks him for his order, the man asks him about the meatball dish. The waiter explains that the meatballs are bull's testicles, and when the bull loses the bullfight, the bull is brought to the restaurant, and this beautiful dish is made.
The diner tells the waiter that he wants the bulls testicles for dinner, but the waiter tells him that only one bull a day is brought to the restaurant, but he can have it tommorrow. The diner agrees. The next day the diner goes to the restaurant, and orders the testicle dish. When his food is brought out, he notices that the meatballs are extremely small. He mentions this to the waiter, and the waiter replies, ''Well sir you have to understand, sometimes the bull wins''.

Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 09-27-2009, 07:39 PM
Jackmannii Jackmannii is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Plant a Tree take a Wife and raise a Son

As Meatloaf said, two out of three ain't bad. I've got Mrs. J. and I've planted a helluva lot of trees.

If I was going to be nasty towards Hemingway, I'd say that killing oneself isn't so very manly. Instead I'll just note that in some ways he was an ass.
Reply With Quote
Reply



Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:41 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@chicagoreader.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to: sdsubscriptions@chicagoreader.com.

Copyright © 2013 Sun-Times Media, LLC.