Monday, June 5, 2017
Guest Blogger - Alice Duncan
It’s June, by gum!
Good grief, the year’s half over. Seems like the older one gets, the faster time flies.
I’ll be in touch with May’s winners of SPIRITS REVIVED individually. And at the end of June, I do believe I’ll be giving away copies of UNSETTLED SPIRITS again because I have lota of copies of that one.
Anyhow, since I just had surgery to repair a piece of personal plumbing, this blog’s not going to be very long, but I had a lot of help and fun collecting its various parts.
It all started when my neighbor brought me a jelly doughnut (because he and his wife know I adore jelly doughnuts, but don’t eat them often because I try to eat healthily – I know, how stuffy, huh?) Anyway, he said he got it “from the bottom of his spleen.” That got me to thinking about some of the sayings I grew up with, and I asked folks on Facebook to lend me some of their remembrances. I’ll start with my own home.
When my dad thought someone was a meanie, he said the person had a scab over his liver. If he thought someone had done something particularly bone-headed, he’d say, “One more brain, and you’d be a halfwit.” My dad and my nephew Stephen were both in the U.S. Navy for eons and of course, for them both, creamed chipped beef on toast was always shit on a shingle. Stephen also mentioned that his mother (my half-sister, by gum) would say something was slick as a fart in a mitten.
My younger grandson, Riki, called Albuquerque “Albu-turkey” for a long, long time before he learned the proper pronunciation (well, the way New Mexicans say it, anyway).
My daughters both called hamburgers “han-gurmers.” Ever since I was given a black dachshund by a friend of mine, my kids said I was Weenie’s (that was the hound’s name) “grammoi.” So I am now Grammoi to my grandsons and both of my great-grandchildren.
My mom’s cousin’s husband, Miles Gilbert, when asked how he felt, would generally say, “Fine as a frog’s hair split four ways.” I’ve heard other people say “Fine as frogs’ hair,” but Miles had his own unique take on the expression.
Here are some other gems folks added to the list:
J.M. Cornwell produced these: Hope the crick don’t rise; lyin’ like a rug (when someone was fibbing); looks like the running gears of a katydid (when someone is skinny); gimlet butt (for someone who doesn’t have big hips); dumb as a box of rocks; a few bricks shy of a load; and a revolving door on her bedroom.
Judy Reutebach recalls her mother telling her “Your face will freeze like that” when she wore an unpleasant expression.
David Bedini’s family’s philosophy was, evidently, “Todays plums are tomorrow’s prunes.”
Vicky Fannin offered this from her dad, Byron: “Never say only and money in the same sentence.”
Carola Dunn’s son used to say donedies for donuts. To him all four-legged animals were “maus” (probably for meow).
Nina Paules’s grandmother, when asked what was for dinner, would say, “Layovers for meddlers.”
Diane Jasperson offered these charmers: Those maniac drivers passed me by like a dirty shirt; as well as: drunk as a skunk; purdier than all get-out; coffee is strong enough to curl your toenails; and does a bear poop in the woods.
James C. Work said his mom, when entering a dark room, would say, “It's dark as Egypt in there." His father thought she had mistaken "darkest Africa" but was too polite to mention it. James also remembered these: Somebody sure put a burr unner his saddle; don’t know him from Adam’s off ox; and dead as a doornail.
Here are some delights from Charlotte Westbrook McDaniel: So poor you don’t have a pot to piss in; ain’t that a kick in the head; about as useful as teats on a boar (or a boar-hog); It’s fixin’ to come a gully washer (hard rain).
Marcia-Lee Finocchio’s mom used to say she’d do something “after I eat this egg.” Marcia-Lee still doesn’t know quite what it means. Nor do I, but I like it.
Kathryn McIntyre grew up with these: She looks like the wreck of the Hesperus; time to bring out the brass monkeys; there’s frost on the pumpkin; like chasing a fart through a bucket of nails (when something is entirely futile); colder than a well-digger’s shovel.
Vicki Lemonds’ grandmother would say: It’s cold enough to freeze your pockets off and, when something didn’t go as planned, “Must not have been holding my mouth right.” For some reason, that last one really tickles me (editorial comment).
Sue Krekeler recalls hearing: S/he looks like five miles of dirt road (when someone is really tired).
Sherry Davis Fritz’s father would say something was colder than a witch’s tit in a brass bra; and something was “knee high to a tall Indian.” I have to admit I’d never heard that last one. I recall something being “Knee-high to a grasshopper” (editorial comment #2 or 3 or something).
Donna Weatherfield (another intrepid dachshund-rescuer) recalls the following: Hell’s bells and panther pants; Busier than a one-armed paper-hanger; and as nervous as a whore in church.
Debbie Sanders’ husband’s Pawpaw (whoever that was) used to say: Busy as a one-legged man in a butt-kickin contest; if frogs had wings, they wouldn't bump their butts when they hopped. Her mom liked to say: He don't have the brains of a piss ant; she don't know shit from apple butter; and you’d better straighten up and fly right.
Gina Gilmore offered the following: S/he don’t know shit from Shinola; and s/he looks like s/he’s been rode hard and hung up wet.
Susan Eggers grew up with these: Enough blue sky to make a Dutchman’s pants; it looked like the itch (if something looked really bad). I’m extremely partial to the second one (another editorial comment).
Ann Watson Smith’s kids used to say nip-nops for flip-flops and pasghetti for spaghetti. My own kids said the last one (editor again).
Julia Anderson grew up with: Mad as a wet hen; I have so much wind, if I could finger it just right, I could play “God Bless America.” The latter was generally said after a meal containing beans, which “Stretch a meal and also cause gas.”
Debra Iverson recalls people looking as if they’d been drug through a knothole backwards.
Jeanell Buida Bolton recalls hearing Hells bells and little fishes.
Johannah E. Zimmerman (and I, too, actually) recalled people being bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.
Susie Lonsinger remembers, when someone was getting uppity, s/he’d be told to get down off your high horse.
Lea Hood’s dad used to say she and her friends were a bunch of “wild Bohemians” when they were having fun (maybe too much fun).
Tabitha Hall and I remember calling a refrigerator the ice box. Becky Muth recalls the refrigerator always being the Kelvinator.
Thanks, everyone, for your input! I came away from this particular Facebook experiment with a whole bunch of new (to me) colorful expressions to use when life is dull.
If you’d like to enter June’s contest, just send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and give me your name and home address. If you’d like to be added to my mailing list, you may do so on my web site (http://aliceduncan.net/) or email me (you won’t be smothered in newsletters, because I only write one blog a month, and that’s an effort). If you’d like to be friends on Facebook, visit my page at https://www.facebook.com/alice.duncan.925.
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