30 January 2008

out of the mouth of adults

Having a blog is all about stealing other people's thoughts and ideas, and Jeff has collected a long list of his father's catch phrases which he titles as Bill-isms. As I read through these, many of my own parents' one-liners and threats came to mind, which I thought might take up too much of his comment section. So, I chime in here...with fewer readers. Since both my parents are equally pithy, I offer an "N" when Norman said it, and an "L" when quoted by LaVerne. And yes, those are indeed my parents' names. Comedic gold.

N: Your ass is grass and I'm the lawnmower.
Naturally, this is a threat. No real explanation needed.

L: Wish that guy had a feather up this ass.
This one has shortened over the years to make little sense to the average listener. Twenty-thirty years ago, the full phrase was "If I had that (desired object), and that guy had a feather up his ass, we'd both be tickled!". I'm not saying Ma used this phrase often as she's not a terribly envious person, it's just one of those that stuck with me in my youth due to the visual it evoked.

N: We're gonna have a three-legged race to the hospital to get my foot out of your ass!
Again, pretty much to the point. This too is often shorten to just inviting you to a three-legged race.

L: A girl can run faster with her skirt up then a boy can with his pants down.
Ma's birth control advice.

N: What a stump!
What a roundhead!
What a dickhead!
You cob!
Working as a builder (in a family business), Dad and the guys were always calling each other names. "That's no way to hold a hammer, you cob!" He even shouted these insults in his sleep on occasion, so they did filter into our home life. But keep in mind, he was never much for being angry. It was more like when Bugs Bunny would exclaim, "What a maroon!". As a side note, I had no idea a dickhead was the head of a dick until I reached my teens. I'm not sure Dad even put two-and-two together there.

N: Where are you going?
L: Are you writing a book?!
This transaction is said nearly every time Ma leaves her seat. It is usually followed by Dad's request for Ma to bring something back on her return; a cookie, a sandwich, a refill on his old-fashioned. It doesn't matter that she was getting up to go to the bathroom or bedroom. What matters is she's on her feet and wherefore has easier access to the kitchen then he does. Sometimes, Ma throws one out of left field but asking if he's "writing a western?"

Both: Pee for me too.
Next time you have to use the toilet, but are too lazy to get up, use this simple request.

N: All you're getting is a bucket of shit with a stick in it.
What we kids looked forward to each Christmas and birthday.

L: Can you hear this?
A LaVerne classic used seldom, but always with perfect timing! This is used in unison with giving Dad the finger, pointing downwards. Also shortened over the years as it is no longer necessary for her to turn her wrist and say "Well, let me turn it up for you."

In closing, my parent are not lazy people. A lot of these come off that way, but frankly, I probably couldn't follow Dad a day in his footsteps. Actually, that's another phrase of his! But I'm sure it's true. Dad's been a builder all his life, and Ma has worked as an independent contractor, painting and staining many of the apartment buildings he's hung the drywall and door frames in. They are also avid hunters, fishermen, and up until about 6-8 years ago, snowmobilers.

I must also add that these gems were always said in good humor! If a voice was raised in our house is was only because Dad had the tv so damn loud you had to shout over it. When my husband joined the family, he would literally sit in a corner waiting for a skillet to go flying by his head. He thought that any minute now there's going to be a stabbing and he should dial 9-1 and have his finger ready to dial that last 1. Being raised by Ward and June Cleaver, it took him a few years to get that these are the jokes, folks.

Now he's forced to hear this same type of shit coming from my mouth. God bless him.


Jeff said...

Oh man, too funny. I'm laughing my ass off at the thought of your mother yelling "Wish that guy had a feather up his ass" totally out of context.

I can't tell you how thrilled I am to read these. I always worried that the multiple posts I wrote about my dad were only funny to me, and that everyone else was just being nice saying they liked them. But now that I've seen you do this, I know for a fact these types of parental "isms" are funny as hell no matter who writes them... which THESE are!

Great post, and thanks for sharing.

S.A.S. said...

Nicely done!

bon bon said...

well, thank you for the motivation, jeff! i can't say my folks are as inspirational as your dad, but i think it's safe to guess we both spent our youth thinking our parents were a tiny bit crazy.

glad to liked it, s.a.s!

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