When I’m speaking to someone, and I want to pretend to distract them, I often invoke a phrase from The Simpsons episode, “Fear of Flying.” For example, imagine we’re having a discussion and you bring up a solid argument to which I have no response. I’ll point behind you and say, “Look! A dog with a puffy tail!”
To my great surprise, this phrase seems to have a personal origin far older than The Simpsons. At least part of the phrase, anyway. Check out this fabulous piece of art I created when I was just a wee lad:
Look at the caption! Isn’t it uncanny?