make it do practically everything but a tail spin

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Senior Member
Dear all,
this from the sketch 'As the Spirit Moves' (chapter 'AUNT BERTHA’S SNAPPY WORK') by Dorothy Parker.

I would back Aunt Bertha against any living solitaire player for any amount of money you want, only providing that the judges leave the room during the contest. It was no surprise to me to find that she had just the same knack with a ouija board. She can take a ouija board that would never show the least signs of life for anybody else and make it do practically everything but a tail spin.

I've seen WR treads about tail spin. I wonder does the author here really means make it do practically everything except descend in a spin? Of course it's clear it's an exaggeration and a joke.
  • suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    It is just an exaggeration. She can make it do amazing things. In other words she pushes the needle around (and cheats at cards).
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