On Radio 4 this morning a reporter used the expresson, referring to Blair and Bush, 'Why talk to the monkey when you can go straight to the organ grinder?' Is there anyone out there who can recall ever seeing an organ grinder with a monkey? I remember learning the image from reading a pile of 1930s Christmas annuals which my Mum kept for when I was off school sick as a child. Let's retire it.
Why talk to the dummy when you can speak to the ventriloquist?
Why talk to the parrot when you can speak to the owner?
Why talk to the machine when you can get through to the call-handler?
You're talking to the wrong end of the lead?