Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Top 10 things my dad said

My dad died in 2005 in early March.  It was sudden, but not tragic.  Well, it was at the time, but considering the myriad ways you can go, he went pretty well.  He left mom with a lot of trouble because he had no time to set things up and of course there is the abrupt way he left us. But I think mom would not have traded that for seeing him in pain. He fell over dead of an arrhythmia (heart attack but without the pain).

Anyway, This is about the catch phrases my dad used to say to me all the time growing up.  Now that I'm grown I've begun to think that dad didn't have too many original lines.  Nearly all of these are attributable to a different source except one and I think he got that from his dad.  See if your parent's rattled any of these well worn phrases.

1.  Rudolph the Red know rain dear.  -  This is a corny joke that I will not tell, It comes from a long line of pun jokes that were my dad's stand by's.  While dad didn't say much original, he did have a lightning fast command of the things he knew.  He retold jokes with great skill and story telling ability.  Well, this joke came up every Christmas without fail.  He would try to dress it in different ways but the aforementioned was always the punchline.

2.  Don't shuffle the eyes off em - Also, Don't roll the eyes off em - Dad loved to play games with the family.  Usually card games, but any game would do.  He was a good sport that way.  Well if you were trying to shuffle cards and he felt like it was taking too much time, that's the phrase that would come out.

3.  Kids should be seen not heard. - This was told to me countless times as I was a pretty loudmouthed kid.  I had a knack for turning something I thought was interesting into something fairly boring.  I started by re-telling one or two panel comic strips.  Usually Snoopy.  What I didn't realize was that for some reason without the pictures, the joke wasn't nearly as funny as I remembered it.  After telling a few clinkers in this fashion I would get this sage advice from Dad.  When company was over, he didn't want us saying anything.  In fact, when company came over to play bridge or something.  I remember that the TV was moved into our bedroom and we had dinner there where my brother and I were comfortably sequestered.  Mom would always hand pick the chips out of the bag and we would get the broken ones.  We were happy with that.  1/2 a bugle was better than no bugle at all.

4.  Futzin around. - If we were not doing something that dad wanted us to do he would tell us to 'quit futzin around and get to work'  I've found that the term futzin is synonymous with puttering, dinking, twinking, and possibly goofing.   If you know any others...keep them to yourself.

5.  So is Christmas. -  This had nothing to do with the holidays, but was rather the standard comback for this overheard exchange:

Dad:  'Mark get in here, it's time for family counsel'
Mark:  'I'm coming!'
Dad: 'So is Christmas'

There was one month a year that this didn't play so well, but he'd use it then as well.  He would then change to 'you're moving slower than COLD TAR' for a seasonal change.

6.  That's what thought did - This one baffled me for the longest time.  Dad never explained it and I think he got it from his dad.  It was one that you were supposed to figure out over time.  The exchange would go:

Mark:  'But I thought it would work if I did it this way'.
Dad:  'Yeah, that's what thought did'

Not really sure how it works, but I suppose that it means, that's what thinking will get you if you are stupid.  I'm not sure.  Maybe I'm too dumb to figure it out ;)

7.  You make a better door than a window. -  Dad didn't watch a whole lot of TV, but he did like college football.  When we would come in the room and stop between him and his show he would say that line.  He explained that one first off and a few times after to make sure we got the point.  It didn't stop us from stopping in the middle of the room to gawk at the tv like some glowing God.

8.  He who makes the gold makes the rules - This was Dad's standard reply to every query that started 'Why do I have to do that?' or  'That's not fair'  or anything even remotely close to that.  It was aggravating and yet it still proves true today.  Which makes it that much more maddening.

9.  Ya gotta get up in the morning. - This was a musical rejoinder.  He would sing out that little phrase to the tune of reveille early in the morning on Saturday to wake us up.  Dad was a farm boy and farm boys believed everyone should get up at the crack of dawn.  That or he was passing down the fun time he had in Basic Training. 

10.  It will take you a month of Sundays to do it that way. - Told to us if we were taking too long to do something because we were doing it incorrectly.  A month of Sundays didn't make a lot of sense to me either.  It either meant a month of weeks, or it meant that Sunday was not a work day so you could spend all day working at it.  I was never sure. After looking it up a month of Sundays indicates a long dreary time. 

Dad, I sure miss you.


Michael said...

I always thought "a month of Sundays" was the length of time it would take to pass 31 weeks (or 28, depending on the month).

A fine tribute -- I miss him too.

swampthings said...

Very cool tribute to your dad. Thanks for this blog.

Slrpycow said...

So bittersweet to read. There are still times that out of the blue, I am overwhelmed with missing him---and I am the newbie in the family.

What is classic about this list is how many of these phrases are standards around our house too. "That's what thought did" is the only one I haven't heard at some point. Of course, with my siblings, it was "That's what you get for thinking".