Heaven in a Wheelbarrow
I saw an amusing bumper sticker today... plain black text on a white background.
And why am I in this handbasket?!
Very cute, and like most good bumper stickers, it made me pause to consider it (for slightly more than the 2.3 seconds it took me to get the joke.) Strangely enough, my first question was "what exactly is a 'handbasket' anyway?" It sounds kinda metrosexual.
This of course, led me to question the origins of the phrase "going to hell in a handbasket." This page cites an early 20th century origin for the phrase, but points out at least one earlier (18th century) citation of a similar alliterative turn of phrase, 'head in a handbasket.'
Another source points out that going to heaven in a handbasket was perhaps the earlier iteration of the phrase. And going to heaven in a wheelbarrow perhaps trumps all!
Which, like saying Texas is just South of heaven is actually just a clever misdirection of the 'going to hell' meme—you can't get to heaven in a wheelbarrow, so you must be goin' someplace else!