Back To Back.

dueling pistols

Trust Maria the gaelikaa to come up with the most difficult topics to write on!  This one had me scratching my bald pate for quite some time before I could gather some thoughts on what to write.

To start with, this is not something that I use regularly or have ever had to use regularly.  The earliest memories I have of ‘back to back’ is reading about duelists with pistols first standing back to back with an umpire counting out paces for them to separate, turn around and fire on reaching the mandatory ten paces.  Since most of these stories were over a woman, it was quite interesting for me as someone not very interested in them at that age, to wonder what all the fuss was about.  Much older, and I hope wiser, I still cannot figure out what the fuss was all about?  You win some and you lose some and to fight over romance sounds so silly even now.  But the idea of those guns, how they would be tested, loaded and brought to the venue was something different!

Much later in life, I had to resort to back to back agreements tying up sales on the one hand and purchase on the other as middleman and this was something that was always exciting and very satisfying.

Then came playing or watching back to back matches,  and also watching movies etc at a time when such things were possible and you were not condemned for being a slacker.  These were no lifted eyebrows when you said that you had gone to a morning show and followed it immediately by a matinee show. And mind you, this was in the days of stand alone movie houses.  One can so easily do this now in a multiplex that I wish that we had had these in those days.  I would have been able to spend more time in theaters with my girl friends like I now see youngsters do in multiplexes watching back to back shows with only pop corn to sustain them.

There are however some usages that puzzle me.  Like terraced houses being described by builders as back to back.  The backs are usually gardens and the common walls dividing the houses are usually the drawing rooms/landings.  Surely they should be called side to side?  Back to back agreements are much touted about between governments which again, puzzle me.  How can one agreement with say a neighbour in the North on sharing river waters, be described as a back to back agreement with an earlier one with another neigbouring country in the South on technical collaboration in higher education?

Whatever the matter, the usage seems to be on the increase and I only hope that the usage that I first remembered is not.

This topic was suggested by Maria the gaelikaa, for the weekly Friday Loose Bloggers Consortium where currently nine of us write on the same topic every Friday.  I hope that you enjoyed my contribution to that effort.  The seven other bloggers who write regularly are, in alphabetical order,  AshokgaelikaaLin, Maxi, Padmum, Pravin,  Shackman and The Old Fossil. Do drop in on their blogs and see what their take is on this week’s topic. Since some of them may post late, or not at all this week, do give some allowance for that too!