I come from a long line of crazy people | Opinion | The Press and Standard

by | July 3, 2016 5:00 am

Last Updated: June 29, 2016 at 11:06 am

Today’s column is about things my family says. We’ve always had a lot to say, and boy, do we share. (Except for my father, who spoke as if each word cost him five dollars.)
I come from a long line of slightly crazy people. (My great-aunt believed that her deceased brother was reincarnated as her housecat.)  So yesterday I was thinking about things my parents used to say — often about food, which was a hot topic at our house.
“Fish taste better when you fry ‘em with the heads on.” This is such a lie. I didn’t eat fish for 10 years after Mom played that card.
“An apple a day will keep anyone away, if you throw it hard enough.”
“Eat the shell, it’s fine.”
“Scrape the black part off, it’s fine.”
“Don’t worry about the expiration date, it’s fine.”
“The reason you eat oatmeal for breakfast and I eat Reese Cups is because I am bigger than you.” (Mom, again.)
“I just want a cold beer and some boiled peanuts.” (From my dad, the Baptist deacon. I’ve often thought this tactic would work wonders at United Nations negotiations.)
“Sarah, you know I can’t eat a quiverin’ liver!” This is epic: As a kid my dad picked up fresh meat from a slaughterhouse for his family’s grocery store. The delivery always included several pounds of still-warm, quivering liver. To the day he died, he refused to eat the organ in any way, shape or form. When Mom made fried liver and onions, (which we kids loved), he’d sigh deeply, make a sandwich and disappear into the den.
My beloved brother T-Bob had some pithy sayings, too (not about food.)
“I quit driving a Budweiser truck when a full keg fell on my foot. Does it look swollen to you?” (In fact, it was broken in three places.)
“I quit cutting trees when I fell out of a 20-foot pine and hit every branch going down.”
“I quit my job at the port because my boss yells so hard his nose bleeds.”
“If we run into each other at a party, act like you’re my date.” T-Bob had stalkers before it was in style. It was my job to discourage them. I never did, and he never learned.
My sister Moonbeam had a way with words:
“Mind blown!” (She said this about EVERYTHING: A good movie, a large dog, or finding a quarter in the pocket of her skort.)
“Don’t judge yourself. We all make mistakes.” Sounds good, until self-judgment is all that stands between you and a cell. Example: Mom once told a teenage T-Bob, with complete sincerity, “The only reason I don’t kill you beside this Florida highway is that I would not survive in prison.”
“I named my Boykin spaniel Donatella Arabella. What do you think?” I think she’s going to poop in your shoe the first chance she gets.
“This perm is a punishment from God.” Yes, it was that bad.
And finally, my oldest brother Bubba proved that quiet people are the funniest:
“We were born to help other people. That and eat Fritos.”
“Did you wear my shirt? I’ll kill you slowly.”
“Why is that guy here and where can I hide?”
“I went to mail a letter and broke my foot.” (It was broken in two places. He tripped on the curb.)
“She told me I looked like Robert Redford.” Bubba has coal black hair and blue eyes.

(Julie R. Smith, who once yelled “Possum!” right before her car was T-boned, can be reached at widdleswife@aol.com.)

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