Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Oh, shit!



I’m goin’ to tell you a Daddy story. I’ve told stories about my sweet Mama in the past. I don’t have many Daddy stories on accounta he wasn’t around much.

The characters in this true story are my father whose name was Boyd; his father whose name was Bud; and my father’s older half-brother, Herbert. Herbert was Bud’s stepson.

My father’s mom and dad were widowed-with-children when they met and married in 1909. They then had four boys together. The oldest of those four boys was Boyd. The oldest of my grandmother’s first set of children was Herbert.

Apparently Bud showed favoritism towards Boyd in all ways and all things for a long time. Any time Herbert had anything that Boyd wanted, Bud would say, “Herbert, give it to him.”

Now, I’m not kidding when I tell you that these people had nothing of value. They were the poorest of the poor. Dirt farmers. So anything that Herbert would have had couldn’t have been much. Scarce resources make for bitterness I’m afraid.

One day Boyd and Bud were walking down the dirt road that led to their farm when they saw Herbert coming towards them from the opposite direction. I’ve seen this road and I can picture the scene so clearly: the sun is shining brightly on the Tennessee hills, it’s warm, and the boys are barefooted because they can’t afford to wear shoes in the summer. They’re all wearing straw hats. Herbert is around 12 years old and Boyd is about six.

Herbert is carrying something. As they get closer to him, Boyd sees that Herbert has a stick with something on it. He’s holding it out in front of him. It’s clearly something important. Boyd starts running towards Herbert, saying, “I want that!”

That Boyd.

Bud says, predictably, “Herbert, give it to him.”

Herbert obliges. He hands the stick over to my father.

What is it you may ask? It’s shit. Shit on a stick.

My father told this story many times when he was an adult. He claimed that Bud never again told Herbert to hand something over to Boyd. But he acknowledged also that it may have been just that he himself learned a lesson and that he never again demanded things that weren’t his. Certainly as an adult my father saw that both his father and he had been unfair to Herbert for a long time.

My sisters and I used the phrase, “shit on a stick,” often. If one of us said to another one of us, “Whatcha got there?” The answer not infrequently was, “shit on a stick.” Translation: None of your bee’s wax. Hummmm...do people still say that? That means “none of your business,” and “you ain’t gettin’ it.”

So be careful out there. What looks interesting and important from a distance may be shit on a stick.

26 comments:

Christine said...

Words to live by or at least make a bumper sticker out of :-)

bornfool said...

Great story, TLP. I wondered where the phrase came from. lol.

Libby said...

so 'shit on a stick' is actually a literal expression, huh?

BarbaraFromCalifornia said...

Even being careful, I can get into Pedro's situation!

Have a great day.

The Lazy Iguana said...

Shit on a stick. I like that one.

But shit analogies must be a southern thang. On my mothers side of the family the sayings "shit on a shingle" and "slick as owl shit" are popular. Here is how to properly use these sayings.

1. That Clem in Marketing thinks he is shit on a shingle.

Translation - he thinks he is more important than he really is.

2. That frozen pond is slick as owl shit.

Translation - walk on this surface and you will fall, bust your ass, and we will all laugh at you.

actonbell said...

I love that story!

Rachel said...

HA! HA! Funny post! Liked the cartoon too!

AP3 said...

That's such a great story!

Monique said...

That's a great story, and a nice lesson learned. Thanks for sharing it!

lime said...

well said!

Peter said...

You'll have to dredge up some more of these Lucy, that's so good.

OldHorsetailSnake said...

Now then, I am not sure what is meant by "shit on a stink." However, I DO know what is meant by "his shit don't stink."

(Ans.: Descriptive of Ol' Hoss.)

logo™ said...

Love that bit of family lexicon,
your dad's family sounds like there would be lots more funny stories.

Thanks Lucy, you made me laugh.

Jamie Dawn said...

I don't use that phrase, but I wouldn't be surprised if the people that live around here do. It just sounds right for the area.

Very cute story. I was feeling sorry for Herbert, but he probably felt so goooood afer that shit on a stick incident.

Minka said...

Lovely story. Didnæt anybody give them the ten comandments of the bible to read? "You shall not desire your neighbour´s..." :)
shit on a stick is a greta phrase, but I truly love: None of you bee´s wax, that I haven´t heard before:)

kenju said...

I love this story and I like the cartoon!

Ivy the Goober said...

That bird in the cartoon is really dedicated! Love your story.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

LOL! Love this story...and I've always loved the expression 'shit on a stick', too I wish I knew what the derivation of that phrase is....Do you know?
And I don't hear "None Of Your Beeswax" too often, but I still do hear it. I like that one, too!
This really was a wonderful story Lucy...!

Janice said...

Funny store...even funnier visualization. "None of Your Beexwax" sounds like Wally on "leave it to Beaver".

Bela said...

What a wonderful story! It sounds like a biblical parable. :-)

Sar said...

Once I finally stopped laughing at the cartoon, I really enjoyed this story. You are the best story teller, TLP.

We say shit on a stick, but to imply someone's done something moronic. You rest your chin on your index finger and say, "you know what this is? Shit on a stick." Of course once you're well versed in this, you need simply apply finger to chin to silently convey your observation of moronic behavior to another who's well versed in the language of shit on a stick.

Cowgirl said...

lol TLP. My kinda story.

Now where's the sacred coffee? ;)

Lucy said...

My dad said that --- must be from that era... he also told me they wore cardboard shoes when he was 7. Lots of folks back then..had nothing - huh?

Good story TLP. Hope your getting along ok without your Sis. Anniversary of my mom's death coming up -- makes me sad

Doug said...

Man, and after I've been saving up for a month of Sundays.

neva (aka: puppytoes) said...

i lovelovelove that story... and i have never before heard the phrase "shit on a stick" (never made it's way to california, where i grew up, i guess!)! nevertheless... i am going to add it into my repertoire and use it from now on, because... damn. it's eloquent, and pointed, and a great response, i'm thinking to many a "none of your business" question!

as for that comic? HAHAHAHAHAHA!! i'm with sar... it took me few minutes to stop laughing in order to actually read this wonderful post.

you're the best! i wish we lived closer to each other, cuz i would so love to meet you! : D

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