Are You Playing with a Full Deck?

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I am often asked this question and clearly, I am not.

I can only think of the lyrics from The Statler Brothers’ song Flowers on the Wall:  “Playin’ solitaire till dawn with a stack of fifty one…”


Suppose one of your friends has made a really bad choice – see Bad Decisions – or a series of unforced errors.

When your friend commits one of these questionable actions, whether from lack of intellectual prowess, a deficit of synaptic receptors, a shortage of morning caffeine or just general dumbness, what (politically incorrect) saying do you use when referring to said friend?


  • Not playing with a full deck of cards.
  • Not firing on all cylinders.
  • Not the sharpest knife in the drawer.
  • Not the brightest bulb on the tree.
  • Not the sharpest crayon in the box.
  • No grain in the silo.
  • The lights are on but nobody’s home.
  • The wheel is spinning but the hamster’s dead.
  • The train is running but the engineer is asleep at the wheel.
  • The elevator works but not to the top floor.
  • The engine is running but the gear is stuck in park.
  • A few bricks shy of a load.
  • One taco short of a combo platter.
  • A few clowns short of a circus.
  • A few fries short of a Happy Meal.
  • A sandwich short of a picnic.
  • A couple pennies short of a nickel.
  • Got a screw loose.
  • Doesn’t have both oars in the water.
  • Has a leak in the ceiling.
  • Missing a few buttons on the remote control.
  • Gets mail at an unknown zip code.
  • Gets orders from a different planet.
  • Didn’t pay the brain bill.
  • Has room temperature IQ.
  • Their antenna does not pick up all the channels.
  • Their receiver is off the hook.
  • Their sewing machine’s out of thread.
  • Their belt doesn’t go through all the loops.
  • Their cord doesn’t quite reach the outlet.
  • Their ladder is missing a few rungs.

…and my favorite:

  • Their tray table and seat back are not in a fully upright and locked position immediately before landing and takeoff.

Any favorites of yours that I’ve missed?

12 thoughts on “Are You Playing with a Full Deck?

  1. What a great list! I like “Sharp as a bag of hammers” for general-purpose use, but when I’m referring to myself, my favourite is “Strong like ox; smart like turnip”. 🙂

  2. This is an old Yorkshire saying ‘a bit limp under t’cap’ meaning nothing is working under his hat. It can be very powerful said with sorrow in a genuine Yorkshire accent (these can be found on YouTube).

  3. LOL! I usually apply these to myself, sort of like a disclaimer before I say something stupid. Thanks for giving me some new material. I think everyone knows, “I’m not the sharpest tool in the shed.” 😉

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