I was considering earlier an idiom often invoked to describe an additional win for the same amount of effort. It is reasonable that people seek economy — after all, we're going to die, just like certain proverbial ill-fated fowl. It would be nice to stay comfortable in the meantime.

I began to think about the somewhat gruesome literal interpretation, and the requirements of the actual task. In one case, I conjured up a notion of using some kind of well-placed ricochet trick, like a snooker champion. The other, a very large stone and some very dumb birds.

One approach employs a surreal level of skill and a miraculous amount of luck, and the other, the most gratuitous form of overkill to achieve an inelegant and possibly not very useful result.

What strikes me as odd, though, is that we use the idea to pile a bunch of disparate, yet superficially similar tasks together before we do them, and then wonder why they fail. Perhaps it's better to accept that any bonus we achieve is probably the result of dumb luck or overkill, and reserve the saying exclusively as a remark after the fact.