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"That is certainly better than the interpretation I would have made based on my childhood. We used to refer to a situation in which we were extremely unlucky or felt put upon as "picking up the s----y end of the stick." I don't think that is what he meant in this instance, at least I hope not."

Hi Esconopeles,

Your initial interpretation and mine were the same, and I had the same misgivings about his usage as you. So, it was off to "Google." Apparently, the phrase has morphed into something different over the years. ;-)

Cal
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