When the shit hits the fan

Article published on July 26, 2006
Article published on July 26, 2006

This article has not been vetted by an editor at Paris HQ

It's not just the last century - Europe has a long history of getting into problems. Thus, it is not suprising we have a rich tradition of expressions that warn us to get out, before the shit hits the fan, as the English would say. The Hungarians have also understood that trouble is bad news: ha baj van, szar van, when there is trouble, there is shit.

But as all good Europeans know, getting out of trouble normally just means getting into more of it. The Bulgarians move from a thorn to a hawthorn, , , while the Hungarians opt for the less painful route from a pail to a bucket, cseberbõl vederbe. The Dutch, go instead from rain into the drip, van de regen in de drup. The English, always masochistically inclined, prefer to get out of the frying pan into the fire.

Given we know this; you might think we would have more success in avoiding trouble...