Strange Talk

Kansas Farmland

My parents both came from families that had many colorful interesting sayings & expressions. My father was born into a Kansas farm family. My mother was born into a West Virginia mountain coal-miner’s family. This makes my sister and I Hickabillies. For some reason we are proud of this.

The other day one of my father’s favorite words popped out of my mouth. I had not heard (or used) it in years. It’s funny how your subconscious mind stores things from childhood that you don’t even know you remember.

did·dly·squat (dĭdˈlē-skwŏtˌ) noun, Slang:  A small or worthless amount.

Origin of word:  Too insignificant to piss on. (I don’t know if that’s true, but it makes sense.)  Used in a sentence:  “I got diddly squat for my bonus this year”;

Dad drove us all crazy with this expression:  “We?? You got a turd in your pocket?” You might be saying “What???” to your screen.  I know, it’s a strange one. It took me months to get it, and  dad had to explain it to me (hey, I was a dumb kid!)

Grandma often hollered at us when we were being rambunctious; “Too much laughing always turns into crying!” Sis and I would just snicker and roll our eyes. And damn it all, she was right. Somehow during our giggling & carrying on somebody got pinched, poked or scraped and ended up crying. One day my sister’s precious Ooffy, her old stuffed dog’s head flew off.  Her scream reached decibels never heard before by human ears. Imagine a couple of screech owls, trapped in a metal barrel. That would have been music.

I remember it like it was last week. A mind-numbing horror to witness, especially for a five-year old. They only way to get her to calm down was promising her  Ooffy would have surgery to re-attach his head and he would be OK. Grandma took headless Ooffy into her bedroom and sewed him back together. Then bandaged him up. Whew! My sister still thinks it was my fault, 45 years later.

Not only was Grandma right, but her words of doom actually came out of my mouth last Saturday when my granddaughters were playing and giggling (quite loudly). They turned to me and said, “What???”  I simply rolled my eyes and said, “never mind”.

Not a minute later both of them were crying.

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photo credit: Stuck in Customs via photopin cc