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Casing the joint

[ 2011-11-30 15:41]     字号 [] [] []  
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Casing the jointHad your fill of the summer’s parching rays? If not, perhaps your skin would beg to differ. The reason why aging is so intimidating isn’t because it appears to sneak up on you like a first-rate mugger. In reality, aging is more like a savvy bank robber who’s spent months casing the joint.

My comments:

“Casing the joint” is an American idiom describing the criminal activity of thieves and robbers. Joint is slang for a place, especially a meeting place. The pub on the corner, for instance, is a familiar joint, where they used to drink and where some of them often got drunk. To case the joint is to look the place over, thoroughly examine it before going ahead with one’s plans to, say, ransack it. Think of “case” as in, for instance, a jewelry case, a box which shelters your pearls and diamonds. A case completely wraps up what’s inside, hence the idea that to CASE the joint is to THOROUGHLY examine it, finding out every piece of information about the place.

To say that in reality, aging is “more like a savvy bank robber who’s spent months casing the joint” is to say that aging is a slow process. It doesn’t happen all of a sudden. It is a gradual process. In fact, it is something that has been happening all the time.

And, yet, it happens so slowly that people often don’t notice it – until it’s too late.

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Go to Zhang Xin's column


About the author:

Zhang Xin(张欣) has been with China Daily since 1988, when he graduated from Beijing Foreign Studies University. Write him at: zhangxin@chinadaily.com.cn, or raise a question for potential use in a future column.