Saturday, November 12, 2011

Why is it so?

Have you ever wondered about how we adopt sayings and never actually question their origins or what they really mean? It struck me this morning that we use the term "Russian Roulette" but it seems to have very little to do with Russia - although Wikipedia suggests this is where the "game" originated - or Roulette - except perhaps (again as suggested by Wikipedia) the spinning action and the element of chance/risk involved. And who knew there were (at least) two variations - one where the two players take turns spinning the revolver's cylinder before firing. Chances are this would provide onlookers with better betting options by hopefully increasing the number of turns before one of the players did shoot themselves in the head! The other variation, where the cartridge is only spun once - means on a standard six-shooter, the game (and the players) would have a limited life. And if you were the second player and your opponent had survived three goes - would you pull the trigger? And if the punters had bet on which player would die - and they had bet on you/against you - would you be or feel compelled to pull the trigger. I would have said "who in their right mind would do it?" but then realised that, in my universe anyway, people in their right mind do not put loaded guns to their head and pull the trigger!