Kenneth Avery is a Southern humorist with well over a thousand fans. The charm and wit in his writing span a nearly a decade.
And What Did You Say
when you spoke to me and I did not understand? Say it again, and this time, very slowly. Ever had that conversation? I have. And for us who cannot hear words from people who speak too loudly, it becomes embarrassing. Plus it makes my wife angry when I keep asking what did you say? Please tell me!
It's not fun. I think that it is a matter of age. When I was a youngster, I do not remember this problem. Now there were times when those in authority, my parents, my teachers, and my bosses. Them, I chose to try and disregard what they said because I would hear another lecture about something that I dd wrong or hear a lot of advice by these people using the same words over and over.
So with time and patience, here I am. I am 67 years of age. And I can discount the myth about "with age comes wisdom" because I am not any wiser as I was as a boy than I am now a grown man, a husband, father and now grand father. My question is: where does an older man go to get a load of "this" wisdom?
So Here Goes With
a list of things we say or have said that is not necessarily from any region of the nation, it's just a collection of words and phrases that I have managed to collect.
"Let me hold that little baby," did you catch the error? What baby is ever huge? I have made the same verbal error and saying, "look at the little baby how cute she is." Normal, but I am training myself to say baby.
The man was "good and drunk." I did not know that intoxication had any degrees. I do know that when one consumes alcohol, you become "tight," then "drunk," then the last stage of imbrication is "good and drunk." So is that the final stage of one is inebriated? I have also heard "knee walking drunk," "drunk as a dog," but who knows how a drunken dog feels? And this one, "tight as Cooter Brown's hat band. Drunk is drunk to me.
"Ahhh, that meal was delicious, but I can't eat one more bite," what a lie. I've said this many times and then proceeded to take a lot more bites. I have walked up to the buffet table and came back to my table loaded with (a) plate with lots more bites.
"You stupid fool! Can't you do anything right?" Any person who has worked for a cruel boss or supervisor has hear this one or something similar. Did you get the first redundancy, 'stupid fool?' Well, you can get your point across if you simply say, "I do not think that you are stupid whatsoever," or "now, Jim. You are not fool, so just work faster." Those two correct statements even make the people feel better.
"Oh, man, it'll be cooler in Heaven, this place here is hotter than Hades," well, neither the person who made this statement or I have ever went to Hades, so how do we measure the heat at this place? No explanation needed.
"Mutton head, " and "chowder head," are both awful and incorrect. No human has ever been born with a sheep for a head. I know a bit about clam chowder, but honestly, I cannot explain this insult, so just forget that these two ugly words are in your vocabulary.
"Billy, you mean that you ate 12 slices of pizza? Are you a boy or a hog?" One, the adult should never equate an animal with a child no matter how much they eat. A milder, more-loving approach will work lots better.
"Sir, you are older than time," says a young smart aleck. My question, obviously, would be is this smart aleck as intelligent as God? Case closed.
"Hey, it's ol' four eyes," I have heard this from fools when I attended school. I also saw the hurt on the students' faces who wore glasses. I did not know that these fools who claim to know such math could mistake us as having four eyes rather than two.
"Awww, just put it in a poke," is what the southern families said to grocery store owners once they moved to the north, in the early 1950's, when the automotive plants were going wide-open. A man told me that a southern guy walked up to the cashier and when she finished checking him out, the man told the boy to 'just put my grub in a poke,' and the boy was confused. The young man asked the customer, do you really want me to take a poke at you? It was a matter of culture and understanding.
"Stubborn as a mule," was said many times in the south when farmers were plowing their fields and their mules became stubborn and just sat down. What else was the farmer to say, 'stubborn as an animal?' That one does sound better.
"Poor as Job's turkey," said by TV star, Andy Griffith on his show, the Andy Griffith Show when he (playing sheriff Andy Taylor) was telling a story with Opie and his pals about how our country was started. Griffith noted that Paul Revere was pretty good man, but 'poor as Job's turkey,' so being a patriotic does not mean riches.
And one of my favorites:
"You better stop running in the yard or you will break your leg," so was I to not run in our yard for fear of a bodily-injury, or go inside the house so I could run in the house like a wild mule?"
With that one, I say, "thank you, kindly, for taking time to read my ideas."
January 26, 2021____________________________________________________
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© 2021 Kenneth Avery
Mona Sabalones Gonzalez from Philippines on January 28, 2021:
I very much enjoyed reading this. It's true, a lot of things we say don't make sense. Maybe you can also explain to me, the meaning of the quote, "She wants to have her cake and eat it too". It's as old as -- not as old as time -- but old. However, what's the point of having a cake if it's not eaten? Wouldn't it be a waste to have a cake and not be able to eat it? Thanks, Kenneth. Great article.
Audrey Hunt from Idyllwild Ca. on January 28, 2021:
Hi Kenneth. What a great piece this is! Love the analogies. I giggled as I read the familiar phrases. Sharing your article and thanks.
Stay well and be safe.