An Old Expression/Response That Will Leave You laughing

portrait me & shirley

Got a big smile going on today?

If not, allow me to toss out a few crumbs of jocularity for your entertainment.

My wife and I (photo) have been married 43 years as of August 31st.  We’ve stayed together this long because we communicate and both have a good sense of humor.

One night, I remembered an old expression my Dad used and spontaneously decided to share it in a moment of frustration.

It was one of the funniest expressions for exasperation I ever heard. More on that in a moment. To this day, it still ranks in my top three retorts.

History. The whole family was in the car driving to the beach (1960) and my mother was thoroughly breaking Dad’s chops over trivial things:

Why can’t you speed up and go around that idiot?”

Why are you slowing down… the lights still yellow?”

The four of us kids were in the back seat, forced to hear the constant pick, pick, pick of my mother’s complaints. This went on for nearly an hour before Dad could no longer hold it in anymore.

It was a quick retaliatory response. Stunning in its directness;

“Margaret… would you shut up? Your ass sucks canal-water!”

There was a stunned silence, then we kids burst out laughing. My mother didn’t seem to have a response. She made funny little gurgling sounds (they may have been growls). I had trouble getting my breath, I was laughing so hard.

A moment in time.

Which brings us up to the time when my wife, Shirley, and I were working on putting together Christmas toys for our three boys. Bikes and benches. Hundreds of screws and nuts and bolts. No sleep until the job was done.

It was a recipe for disaster. For whatever reason I blurted out, “Your ass sucks canal-water!” At first I thought she was going to throw a wrench at me. But, to my surprise, she burst out laughing and wanted to know where I heard that expression?

With pride, I said my dad and told her the story. When it was over she said “That’s cute. Now don’t you ever say that in front of our boys!”

So much for tradition.

As It Stands, life is full of laughs, you just have to recognize when.

 

Author: Dave Stancliff

Retired newspaper editor/publisher, Vietnam veteran, freelance writer, blogger, married 43 years with three sons and five grandchildren.

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