I was raised in a morally-conservative Southern Baptist home. Most of the cousins that I knew best were all Southern Baptists, as well as many of my friends, mainly because my circle of friends largely came from our church. Drinking alcohol was a sin, plain and simple. Dancing was frowned upon but tolerated by the time I was a teenager in the 1970s. My mother was not fond of playing cards, unless they were game-specific like Old Maids, and much later, Uno. She was suspicious of regular playing cards because she associated them with gambling, another sin of the infidels. Most of all, sex was something extremely private and reserved ONLY for the sanctity of marriage — end of discussion. There was no wiggle room on this point at all. And it was not a topic of conversation in our home, instructional or otherwise.
My maternal grandmother was also a strong Southern Baptist and beloved by many in our church. She lived with us through all of my childhood and most of my adolescence. My mother worked outside the home, so my sister and I were largely raised by our grandmother. She held many of the same convictions that my mother did; however, there were times that her rural upbringing emerged, sometimes in irreverent ways. She had some wonderful little “sayings” that verged on being nasty, which made her giggle to the point of losing her breath. I always thought they were rather inconsistent with our family’s moral code, and I loved them. Here are a few examples.
If someone in the room exclaimed that somebody “tooted,” she would rattle off this zinger: “The fox is the finder, the stink lays behind her!” Of course, this is an old variation of the later line: “The one who smelt it is the one who dealt it.” Coming from my sweet grandmother, it was hilarious. Speaking of farting, she did it quite often in our home and found it to be quite entertaining.
Another even more priceless example to me was what I heard my grandmother say one time when she saw a very tall woman with a very short man. I will never forget it. “Well, when they’re nose to nose his toes is in it, and when they’re toes to toes his nose is in it.” Now that’s mighty raunchy humor coming from a Southern Baptist grandmother in the 1970s. I have so many more wonderful memories about my grandmother that I intend to document in this blog at some point. She inspired a song that I wrote and have performed many times, mostly because it has been requested so often, especially by seniors at gatherings where I have entertained. It never fails to bring laughter, just like my grandmother did for us so many times.