Election Obsession

You might have election obsession (with all kinds of apologies to Mr. Foxworthy):

If 9 out of every 10 posts you share on your Facebook page are “breaking news” stories designed to “expose” the “truth” about one of the candidates, yoooouuuu might have election obsession.

If you can’t have a conversation about something as benign as your last vacation without eventually referring to a political party or a candidate, yoooouuuu might have election obsession.

If your Facebook page has turned into a news feed from sources that have titles including words like liberal, conservative, left, right, progressive, or patriot, yoooouuuu might have election obsession.

If you are convinced that everything that is wrong with America is embodied in one candidate while everything that could be right about the country can be achieved through the efforts of the other candidate, yoooouuuu might have election obsession.

If photos of candidates show up on your Facebook feed more often than your family members or your pets, yoooouuuu might have election obsession.

If you know more about the personal life and background of a candidate than you do about some of your best friends, yoooouuuu might have election obsession.

And finally, if you have contemplated leaving the country if your candidate of choice doesn’t win, yoooouuuu might have election obsession.

Southern Word of the Day (Part 3)

Here is the latest installment of my favorite Southern words, and perhaps Jeff Foxworthy has used these too.  No plagiarism is intended here; I can only plead ignorance, which for me is not a stretch at all.

Iota.  Usage: “Just heard from the accountant that iota IRS some more money for 2015.”

Fawn.  Usage: “I never woulda believed it could happen, but I think Billy Bob is fawn in love with Charlene.”

Defensive.  Usage: “The deer ain’t able to jump defensive you make it high enough.”

Napkin.  Usage: “If I get drowsy after lunch, taking a quick napkin usually get me through the rest of the day.”

Conjure.  Usage: “Billy Bob, I can’t believe you conjure way out of going shopping with Charlene this weekend. What kinda story did you make up this time?”

Urinal.  Usage:  “Charlene heard about us going out last night, Billy Bob, and now urinal lot of trouble dude.”

Foamy.  Usage: “It’s gettin’ cold in here.  How about shuttin’ that door foamy.”

Avenue.  Usage: “I heard they avenue ride at the fair this year that’s making everybody puke!”

Southern Word of the Day (Part 2)
Southern Word of the Day (Part 1)

Southern Word of the Day (Part 2)

This is the second installment of Southern words.  For the last couple of years, I have been entertaining myself (not difficult) and my Facebook Friends with posts that I have coined “The Southern Word of the Day.”  Obviously, this gig is a direct rip-off of the comedian Jeff Foxworthy’s redneck words, and there is certainly some overlap.  However, I have imposed some rules on myself that Foxworthy didn’t always follow. For instance, I only use legitimate English-language words, which includes the occasional place name but mostly just regular words.  So I would never use Foxworthy’s “widgedidga” because it isn’t a legitimate word, even though it clearly is a phonetically-correct Southern word that translates to “with you did you.”  So Foxworthy’s word “mayonnaise” as a substitute for “man there is” serves as a good example of my method.  I also try to stay away from the simple two-syllable rip-offs like aster = asked her, or cider = beside her, or otter = ought to, or stark = it’s dark.

I have decided to put together a list of my favorite Southern words that I have posted, and perhaps Jeff Foxworthy has used these too.  No plagiarism is intended here; I can only plead ignorance, which for me is not a stretch at all.

Memberships.  Usage: “Back in the day when we was bar hoppin’ on River Street in Savannah, I memberships used to come by on the river so close you thought you could reach out and touch ’em.”

Artichoke.  Usage: “As cold as it’s been lately, you really artichoke that lawnmower engine before you try to crank it.”

Classified.  Usage: “I’d have been early to classified been able to find a parking place on campus.”

Tortoise.  Usage: “It scared me when I saw Billy Bob coming tortoise with that chain saw in his hands.”

Animator.  Usage: “The hamburger would be so much better if you’d put some bacon animator on it.”

Diversity.  Usage: “Earl did a good job singing, but I don’t think I’ve ever heard diversity was singing on that song at the Uncle Ned’s funeral.”

Mariner.  Usage: “I heard Billy Bob was dating Charlene; then the next thing I know he was mariner.  I wonder if she’s in trouble?”

Hibachi.  Usage: “How can you say Billy Bob don’t love you when hibachi that brand new set of steak knives just last month?”

Southern Word of the Day (Part 1)

Southern Word of the Day

For the last couple of years, I have been entertaining myself (not difficult) and my Facebook Friends with posts that I have coined “The Southern Word of the Day.”  Obviously, this gig is a direct rip-off of the comedian Jeff Foxworthy’s redneck words, and there is certainly some overlap.  However, I have imposed some rules on myself that Foxworthy didn’t always follow. For instance, I only use legitimate English-language words, which includes the occasional place name but mostly just regular words.  So I would never use Foxworthy’s “widgedidga” because it isn’t a legitimate word, even though it clearly is a phonetically-correct Southern word that translates to “with you did you.”  So Foxworthy’s word “mayonnaise” as a substitute for “man there is” serves as a good example of my method.  I also try to stay away from the simple two-syllable rip-offs like aster = asked her, or cider = beside her, or otter = ought to, or stark = it’s dark.

I have decided to put together a list of my favorite Southern words that I have posted, and perhaps Jeff Foxworthy has used these too.  No plagiarism is intended here; I can only plead ignorance, which for me is not a stretch at all.

Fornication.  Usage: “Charlene’s dress is perfect fornication like tonight.”

Covetous.  Usage: “It was so cold that Momma pulled out a blanket and covetous up with it.”

Quesadilla.  Usage: “You need to have your brights on in quesadilla runs out in front of us.”

Spectators.  Usage: “Broccoli is fine, but I spectators would taste a whole lot better with that steak.”

Anemone.  Usage: “I was running just fine anemone started hurting, and I had to stop.”

Ammonia.  Usage: “Would you come open the door?  Ammonia front porch!”

Motif.  Usage: “Billy Bob would smile more if he just had motif.”

Enema.  Usage: “My mother-in-law is always sticking her nose enema business.”

Pasteurize.  Usage: “I walked right pasteurize, and you didn’t even see me!”

September.  Usage: “We have grown everything on that 40 acres you can imagine September.”

Annuity.  Usage: “He was having trouble getting it out, but annuity was trying to say.”

Annihilator.  Usage: “We got stuck in traffic and ended up getting there annihilator than we thought we would.”

Free at Last

I made the final visit to my orthopedic surgeon today, who said my x-rays from my broken ankle look fine and that I am good to go.  He actually said I can even try to jog a mile to see how the ankle behaves.  I’m not exactly anxious to start jogging, but the walking is getting better every day.  I still have a bit of tightness, mostly in my lower leg muscles, and the swelling hasn’t completely gone.  At any rate, I don’t have to go back unless I have a real problem.  It was just under two months ago when I broke the ankle, and I am very relieved to be at the end of the initial recovery period of 6-8 weeks.  I shook my doctor’s hand, thanked him, and told him he is the best doctor I have ever had.  In his typical self-deprecating manner he said, “I didn’t do anything!”  I respectfully disagree.  He was wonderful.

It is a little embarrassing how carefully I walk now, especially on grass.  I hope my fear will subside as I get more strength in the left leg and gain more confidence about walking.  I need to be in shape for next spring, when I plan to hike to the top of one of the highest hills near our home.  And, I certainly want to be ready to get back in the Hobie kayak when the weather turns warm again in 2016.  Don’t let anyone tell you that grass isn’t harmful — it will knock you off your feet!

The Best Insult I Ever Received

Insults can come in a multitude of forms and are spoken for a wide variety of reasons.  They can be subtle, or they can even come in the form of backhanded compliments, which seem to me the worst of all.  Most of us give and receive insults, even if we are only joking and serve them up to people we really love and admire.  Insults are quite often irritating and can invoke emotions of anger, resentment, embarrassment, humiliation, or sadness.  But there are rare occasions when an insult is so perfectly timed and delivered, so incredibly appropriate, that it sticks with us for a long time and is worth sharing as a self-deprecating anecdote.  Here’s mine.

I worked in a public library for fifteen years in a small town in Georgia.  One day the library director and I and another employee took a trip to Atlanta to talk with a vendor about a software package we were considering purchasing for the library.  We were all in my car, and I was driving.  On the way back from Atlanta, we were traveling through a very rural area, largely made up of dairy farms — lots of trees, pastures, and barns.  The speed limit was 55, and I was cruising along at about 70 or so.

I felt a powerful wave of muscle contractions in my lower abdomen when I saw the flashing lights in my rear-view mirror and pulled over to the grassy shoulder of the state road.  The car was the familiar blue and gray style used by the Georgia State Patrol in the late 1980s.  I had met a few state patrol officers, and for the most part, they were tall men with wide shoulders and stern faces.  I am not a big guy, so even their presence is intimidating and makes me feel like I’m guilty even if I haven’t done a thing wrong.  To my surprise, the person that I saw stepping out of the patrol car had a more curvaceous body form and shoulder-length blond hair pulled back into a ponytail.  It was my first encounter with a female state patrol officer, and when she reached my rolled-down window, I was thrown off-guard again by how attractive she was.  I was in my late twenties, and she looked to be only a few years older than I.

Of course, she asked for my license, politely verified the pronunciation of my last name, and then she began the conversation that I will probably never forget.

Officer: “So, where are you headed in such a hurry today, Mr. _________?”

Me: “We’ve been in Atlanta all day and are heading back to work.”

Officer: “I see. And where do you work, Mr. _________?”

Me: “At the public library.”

Officer, after an outburst of laughter: “Oh my goodness, Mr. __________, this is probably the most exciting thing that’s happened to you all year!”

Me, smiling and slightly hanging my head: “Yes, I suppose you’re right.”

Officer, in a playful patronizing tone: “You promise me you’re going to slow it down for me the rest of the way back to the library, Mr. ______________?”

Me: “Absolutely.”

Officer: “Alright, Mr. ____________, you all have a good afternoon and be careful, okay?”

Me, sheepishly: “Yes mam.  Thank you.”

This was my first and only warning for speeding.  I am now in my mid-fifties and, since I began driving when I was fifteen, I have never been issued a speeding citation or another warning.  When I say “absolutely,” I mean it.

We Liked Grandma So Much Better Without Teeth

I introduced my maternal grandmother in an earlier post.  From my description of her then, it should be apparent that my grandmother had an incredible sense of humor, a trait I would like to think I inherited.  She had five grandchildren.  I was the last and the only male.  She absolutely adored me.  For most of my childhood, she lived in the house with my family (my parents and my older sister and me).  Both of my parents worked, so she served as a live-in nanny.  She also did a good portion of the cooking, cleaning, laundry, etc.

She received a great deal of pleasure from making my sister and my cousins laugh to the point of losing our breath.  If we wet our pants, she probably secretly considered herself victorious — mission accomplished!  She would stop at nothing to entertain us, including removing her teeth, putting a nylon stocking over her head, and then pulling it up while dragging the skin of her face up with it to distort her features to almost frightening proportions.  Some years after her death, my memory of these times became almost nostalgic, and I decided to write a funny song about her.  It must be fairly entertaining, as I have been asked to perform it many times for groups of people who never knew my grandmother or any other members of my extended family.  I include it here as a way of recording it and as a tribute to someone whose impact on my life was far greater than I realized when she was still with me.

WE LIKED GRANDMA SO MUCH BETTER WITHOUT TEETH

I recall the trips to Grandma’s house when we were little boys
Lots of food, candy, cakes, and pies, and she always gave us toys
And she told funny stories that would nearly split your side
But when she pulled her dentures out, we laugh until we cried

Gums on the bottom and gums on the top
If she talked real fast her lips would flop
Her nose hooked over and touched her chin
And we’d start laughing all over again
And when she sang her mouth was just as round as a wreath
We liked Grandma so much better without teeth

Now there’s something about a toothless grin that I just can’t explain
But when Grandma turned and gave a smile, we nearly went insane
And if she used her Polygrip her speech was never slurred
But Lord when she forgot it we couldn’t understand a word

Gums on the bottom and gums on the top
If she talked real fast her lips would flop
Her nose hooked over and touched her chin
And we’d start laughing all over again
A handmade set of ivory chops just simply can’t be beat
But we liked Grandma so much better without teeth

Now I know you love your grandkids and I’m sure they love you too
So if you want to see them giggle, then here’s what you must do
It sure can be depressing when your hair gets gray and thin
But when your molars start to go that’s when the fun begins

Gums on the bottom and gums on the top
If she talked real fast her lips would flop
Her nose hooked over and touched her chin
And we’d start laughing all over again
I’m sure it was a challenge when she tried to chew her meat
But we liked Grandma so much better without teeth

Gums on the bottom and gums on the top
If she talked real fast her lips would flop
Her nose hooked over and touched her chin
And we’d start laughing all over again
Couldn’t have loved her better had she been cursed with stinkin’ feet
We liked Grandma so much better
Oh I wish you could have met her
We liked Grandma so much better without teeth