ACT LIKE – ACT RIGHT.

We have all heard the old idem; “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” This was not the advice that children were taught in the rural South when I was young. We were cautioned to conduct ourselves in accordance with the accepted behavior of children, i.e., Yes-ma’am, No-ma’am, Thank you, sir. In addition, anyone beyond the age of twenty was addressed as Mr. or Miz.
Being taught right from wrong at home, we were expected to exercise these teaching’s if we were away from the nest and in the presence of others. If the occasion arose for us to be anywhere without parental supervision, it was drilled into us before leaving to “Act like you’ve had some raising.”
Manners were as important as our actions. If one of us was invited to share a meal with another family, we were also instructed to “mind your manners; ya’hear.” Things were more or less relaxed when we were at home, just so long as we “knew better.”
School teachers were held in high esteem and were always addressed as Miz. Smith, Miz. Jones, or Mr. Brown. The Principal of the school was up there right next to GOD as far as we were concerned. If we did anything to receive a spanking at school, it was a known fact that we would get another one when we got home.
At the top of the pecking order were ‘Ministers.’ It was demanded of us to show the proper respect to members of the Clergy. NEVER were we allowed to call a Minister by his first name. It was always ‘Rev. Smith, Reverend, or simply Preacher.’ This respect was not hard to instill in our young minds because we feared the fire and brimstone that would surely come if we were not on our best behavior in their presence.
Thinking back, I do not recall anyone who was permanently damaged by these teachings, and I firmly believe that if some of these requirements were made of youth today, there would be less violence in our world.
It’s really so simple. Just “Act like you’ve had some raising.” Now, that’s not so hard, is it…?

Demijon

I remember when

GRASS was something you chopped from the rows in your fields or garden rather than filler for funny cigarettes.
YO-YO was a toy operated by a string attached to your finger and not two dudes answering in succession.
RAP was what you received on your head from the teacher when you failed to pay attention in class.
INCENSE was considered the amount of knowledge contained within a person’s head and had nothing to do with the burning of smelly sticks.
BREAD was an important part of the human diet and was far removed from the medium of exchange stored in banks.
CHICKS were simply the offspring of a hen and a rooster and, in no way, to be associated with the female of the human species.
LINE was a straight mark drawn on an even surface or a string or rope; and not the definition of someone who handled the truth loosely.
POKE was a container used to carry ‘stuff’ in and had nothing to do with the connection of a fist in someone’s face.
A BLACK RACER was the fastest of a breed of the snake family and had nothing to do with an African American who was swift of foot.
DISCOUNT was merely Bubba’s way of telling a story; you know, “Discount and Discountess wus goin’ together.”
UPPERCUT had nothing to do with fighting. It was simply relating to the barber the type of haircut you wanted.
SPAM was not in any way connected to a form of junk mail sent electronically. It was popular food for millions during World War II.
BAIL was an amount of hay tied together with wire or twine rather than the price charged by the courts to get out of jail.
MORBID was the question the auctioneer asked before raping on the table with his hammer and declaring an item sold.
OUTBACK was the location of the privy and certainly not necessarily a sparsely settled region in Australia.
HOUSEWARMING was not a party. It was the chore for the first person out of bed to build a fire in the fireplace.
FRIGATE was a word denoting disgust with something that does not work properly and has no bearing on a fast sailing ship.
FILM STRIP was what them hoochie-coochie girls did when the cameras were rolling.
EVERLASTING was the account for the taste of the wild onion casserole served at the housewarming.
SOUNDLESS was simply an order from one or both parents to the younguns describing the way they should play.
SYNOPTICS was the way Bubba’s eyes reacted when he observed them “nekid hoochie-coochie girls” dancing.
TOPSIDE was the way Bubba described his car shortly after he wrecked it; you know, “It were Topside-turvey.”
UNDERBRUSH was designated as a tool to be used for cleaning underneath the stove or refrigerator.
WALKIE-TALKIE refers to more than one woman strolling through the mall or pretending to shop in a grocery store.
COURTROOM was the room of the home chosen as the place where young ladies were to entertain their boyfriends.
DISARM was the place Bubba wanted the doctor to inject the needle when he went for his distemper shot.
EPISTLE was what the Mexican admitted was the weapon used when he was charged with shooting his neighbors dog.
FARFETCHED was the description Mavis used when telling about traveling ten miles to borrow a cup of sugar.
HARDWAREwas what Bubba suffered when the
‘little woman’ put too much starch in his drawers.

Demijon:

“Attention, A.T.F. Employees;” Demijon is the Pen-Name of the Author; and is in no way connected with the ILLEGAL-ALCOHOL-RUNNERS-UNION # 365. or IT’S SUBORDINATES. Dj.

The Grease Pit

Often it was no more than two ramps constructed of heavy timbers that allowed an automobile to creep up onto a raised scaffolding. This allowed an attendant access underneath a car and to the many grease fittings situated at strategic points in the steering mechanism, springs, and wheels. Raising the car was also necessary to drain the oil when changing.

If the service station grounds were of the proper elevation, a pit was dug in close proximity and covered with an extended roof, thereby allowing service during inclement weather. Shelves were installed in the concrete walls of the pit to hold the necessary tools; and, of course, stop-blocks were required in order to prevent the vehicle from traveling too far and falling from the ends of the ramps.

Armed with a lever powered portable grease gun, the attendant would go into the pit and remove the plug from the oil pan to allow the thick, black oil to drain into a bucket that was always present specifically for this purpose .

While the oil was draining, he would clean the ‘grease fittings’ and pump a sufficient amount of grease into each one, being careful to wipe away any excess. Finally, after checking for any worn or damaged parts, he would replace the drain plug, emerge from the pit and raise the hood.

Any grease fittings that could not be reached from underneath were greased and belts, hoses and wires were checked for wear. Five quarts of new oil was poured into the crankcase, and the car was carefully backed from the pit and parked on a concrete slab by the side of the station.

It was here that the final service was performed. All windows were cleaned, the tires were checked for the proper amount of air, floor mats were swept, and the entire car was washed. If requested, the car was moved to the gasoline pumps and the tank filled before being returned to the owner.

Now it is time for the reckoning. “Five quarts of oil at .30 cents each = $1.50.” “Grease .75 cents.” “Ten gallons of gasoline at .25 cents each = $2.50.” “Labor = 1.00.” for a grand total of $5.75.

The Filling Stations of yesteryear were quite a different from today’s U-PUMPS fill-ups at the MINI-MART. “Ten gallons of gasoline – $27.65. Driving to the Jiffy Lube for an oil change – $24.95. Inserting five quarters into the Air Machine to vacuum and check tires, again do-it-yourself, – $1.25. Then to the drive-through car wash for another $7.00. In today’s world we would spend better than, $60.00 or more, and still would not get the free checks for worn parts.

We have come a long way from the days of the grease pit, and I wonder if this has been for the better. Today; for an extra $50.00 or more, we would get less than one-half the service. And; we would not even be told who the Lightning Rod Salesman was, that Mavis Tarlton ran off with last week.

Is this progress? Personally, if I could have my ‘druthers, I would opt for placing my car in the capable hands of an experienced attendant while I relax and be brought up-to-date on all the local gossip.

The buildings that housed the grease pits of yesteryear were much more than a couple of gas pumps. They were indeed, SERVICE STATIONS.

Demijon

By the way: It’s a Law: When your hands are coated with grease; your nose will itch, or you’ll have to pee. Dj.

Be Silent.

I think that I have finally figured out a cure for the dreadful disease called “foot in mouth syndrome.” This malady seems to be rampant in all walks of life and excuses no one.

Recently, while walking through one of the larger malls, I happened upon someone whom I first thought to be a friend that I had not seen for years.

This chance meeting apparently also triggered memories in his mind that had also faded from his memory bank to the point of being non-existent. It was clearly evident that he was struggling to remember me as well.

While we both reminisced, I desperately tried to get a handle on some of his renditions of events that supposedly, had happened in ‘OUR past lives.’

The blank look on both of our faces attested to the fact, that each of us was thinking; “How do we get out of this?” Therefore, we both were using a lot of “uh-huh’s” and “How about That’s” to disguise our lapse of memories.

After a short period of this banter, I had to leave, so I said to him: “It is sure nice seeing you again, Bob.” The disturbed look on his face should have given me a clue that something was a-miss; but it didn’t. Finally, he said, “I’m not Bob; my name is Arnold.”

Embarrassed, I walked away thinking to myself, why couldn’t I bring myself to begin with; “Please forgive me, but your name has slipped my mind?” Would this not have been better than to call him Bob; since I really had no idea who he was?

Someone once said that it is better to; ‘Remain silent and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.’ That is exactly what I did. “I removed all doubt.”

This was not the first time that this has happened to me. I should have been more cautious; but not old “mind like a steel-trap,” Demijon.

I was convinced that I could wiggle out of this situation. I felt that I should conceal the fact that the years had taken their toll on what few of my brain cells were left.

But, I have finally learned a lesson. When I am faced with a similar situation, I will hereafter desperately try to keep my mouth shut until I am sure of what I’m talking about.

I’m almost certain that anyone that I meet in similar circumstances today, will associate my silence with the feeling that, “That old boy has completely lost all his marbles.”

At least that will not be quite as embarrassing as trying to converse with a total stranger, as we would with an old friend.

I hope that I am not the only one to which this has happened. If not, a word of advice is in order. Please: ‘Remain Silent;’ and let them think ‘WHATEVER…’

They are going to talk about you anyway; so why give them any more ammunition? Would you prefer that they quote the ‘Old Saying’ that; “Somewhere: There’s a Village that’s missing AN IDIOT?”

Demijon

Incidentally: I was born and raised in a Town so small, that they could not afford a Town Drunk, nor A Village Idiot. My Brother and I; both being civic-minded Citizens, volunteered for these duties. I suppose that this could be considered our only claims to fame. After years of our notoriety, “I finally sobered up; and moved away.” However: “My brother still lives there. If you are interested in helping him; you may receive an application for the position of Town Drunk; by calling TD-349. “That’s TD-349.” “Call. Now!” Dj.
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Laugh With ! – Not At.

Nothing is more demeaning than to have someone laugh at you. Whether it be something you are wearing, the way you walk or talk, anything. It has probably happened to all of us at one time or another.

There are very few individuals that have nothing that would appear funny to another person, and laughing WITH them about it is sometimes a form of therapy; but to laugh AT them is the crudest form of humiliation. Let’s face it; there are one or two things about all of us, that would cause a snicker if we were standing in their shoes.

Suppose everyone was perfect. It might be somewhat hard to find enough to laugh about, and we would go through our lives and not experience the values of mirth. This would make for a gloomy world indeed. The muscles in our faces would never be exercised and we would simply “Shrivel Up.”

Laughing WITH others requires an effort on our part. We must be willing to laugh at ourselves, at the same time. If we will only look, we can find something equally funny about our own mannerisms or looks that we could share and have a Good Laugh together. This will provide a period of enjoyment for both and neither gets their feelings hurt.

It has been said that laughter is good medicine. I believe this; but it should not be at the expense of someone else. Shared laughter is one of the more benevolent forms of flattery and is not restricted to any individual. When used correctly, it can create a bond between two or more persons that can last a lifetime.

We can laugh at different lifestyles, different schools of thought, differences of opinions, and hundreds of other things that make up our complicated beings. When these things are shared, then we begin to laugh WITH each other.

Why not give it a try? What have we got to lose? If it works, then we will be able to exercise our facial muscles, our good feelings about ourselves will remain intact and we can enjoy being with others, with a clear knowledge that neither will be hurt by being ‘LAUGHED AT.’

Who knows, we might just learn to like it and in the process we could become much happier ourselves.

Demijon

Clear Meaning: BERNADETTE: “The act of ‘Torching’ a mortgage. Dj.

Mules

Have you ever wondered just how one trains a mule to respond to directions?

Training or Breaking a mule is done in the following sequence. A bridle is a harness that fits over the mule’s head with an iron “BIT” placed in the mouth. The bit has rings on either side to which leather or rope plow lines are attached. The lines are run through rings attached to the Hames that are fitted onto the collar around the mules neck. The lines then go to the handles on either side of the plow

Trace chains are hooked to the Hames and travel through hooks on the back-band in the center of the animals back and on to the singletree that is attached to the front of the plow.

To guide the mule in the proper direction, the farmer or trainer pulls on the right line and yells “GEE!” After repeated moves such as this, the mule begins to realize that “GEE” means move to the right. To move to the left, the left line is pulled and the yell is “HAW.”

After repeated tugs on either line at the same time GEE or HAW is yelled, the mule eventually learns to move either left or right on command.

Depending on the particular animal, this training could take only a matter of hours or even days and weeks. In isolated instances, this training could amount to naught since there were a few animals that were so danged “Mule-Headed” that they never learn.

I remember a neighbor who once purchased a young mule that had never been broken. He worked for weeks to train the mule to plow without success. He finally asked my Father to help him to break the animal.

Together, they hitched the mule to a jog-stock in an open field. Regardless of their attempts, the training was fruitless until my father walked over to a nearby woods and cut a small “Sapling Tree” about eight feet long.

With the neighbor holding onto the plow and lines, he got the mule walking in a straight line. When he yelled “GEE”, my dad hit the mule behind the ear with all of his strength. The same thing occurred when “HAW” was yelled

It took several licks with the Sapling before the mule would literally ‘JUMP’ to the right or left, with only a Mere Whisper of GEE or HAW.

Mules, like some humans, learn fast while others take a while longer; but eventually all do learn.

Demijon

Anyone questioning these methods will prompt the response; “Y’all ain’t from around here; are y’all?” Dj

Close to the Vest

The shiny, new Ford was parked in the crowded lot at a large Shopping Mall. Emblazoned on a sticker attached to the rear bumper were the words, MY CHILD IS AN HONOR STUDENT.

Beside it sat a dilapidated pick-up truck. The rear window of the cab sported yet another sticker which proclaimed, MY KID CAN BEAT-UP YOUR HONOR STUDENT.

Why is it so important for us to “One-Up” a neighbor or a friend? Perhaps we receive a false sense of security from exhibiting evidence of superiority. It does not matter that the proof of the above latter statement has yet to be confirmed. The very fact that it has been stated has given us a sensation of importance.

At one time or another; we have all experienced this same phenomenon. How many times have you acquired something only to have a friend or neighbor remark….?

“Oh, you bought the 3100. My 3800-ZX has twice the power and is much better constructed. You should have told me that you wanted one. I could have gotten it for you wholesale.” Interruption: (“My 3800-ZX can beat-up your 3100”).

In the Card Game of Poker, a winning player “plays his cards close to his vest;” meaning that he does not reveal that he holds the better cards until the end of the hand being played. Why then, does the same individual feel the urge to profess to the world that his possessions are of greater value?

In my short lifetime, I have known ‘A Few’ truly, wealthy, people. They are folks who literally have no need to prove anything to anyone.

Although most of these individuals exuded authority and affluence, they never felt it necessary to brandish their importance. This lends credence to the premise; “If you’ve got it; you don’t have to flaunt it.”

Would it not be better to congratulate the proud Parent of the Honor Student; rather than take an outside chance that; along with the honors: “That kid just might have earned a ‘BLACK BELT’ in one of the martial arts?”

Demijon

Although some may consider; A round or two of “Fist-E-Cuffs;” is just a form of exercise. Nevertheless; it has been proven that “Raw, Physical, Activity, is rather hard on one’s clothing.” Dj.

Yard Sales

Do you know what really makes me crazy? It’s yard sales. You know the ones that I’m talking about where all the cracked fruit jars, rusty toasters, sets of tea glasses in the holders that are shaped like a flamingo, two veg-a-matics, one fry-daddy and the lamp made from a statue of a hula girl complete with grass skirt. No shade, just the lamp.

All of this is displayed on the closet door which has been taken down for the occasion and is resting on one saw horse and a folding chair. Leaning against the saw horse are two broken bicycle frames minus the wheels. A box containing several broken crayons, several rusty pieces of flatware, a corroded salt shaker lid, three mayonnaise jar tops and one-half of a picture puzzle is situated near one end of the door/table with a big sign attached which denotes, SPECIAL – 5 cents.

The sign at the street is fashioned from an empty Tide box cut apart and taped to a broken hoe handle, (the hoe is for sale under the door/table). A rope is tied between two trees on which hangs an assortment of clothing. Two vinyl-web lawn chairs, complete with cigar box containing change for a ten, are placed in close proximity and serve as the check-out.

Cars parked at hurried angles line the street as the occupants mill about, being especially careful not to miss that once-in-a-lifetime purchase. You know, the one that will grace the door/table at their own yard sale which will be held next week.

Where does all this stuff come from? I have finally found the answer after months of exhaustive research. I have a friend who is an attendant at a landfill, and he revealed to me the secret of yard sale merchandising.

He keeps a little black book of telephone numbers of various clients. Hardly a day goes by without a call to one of the customers. The conversations go something like this…

**********************

“Hey, Miz. Abernathy, this here’s Bubba. Feller just come in with a pick-up load of cracked jelly jars. Miz. Bell’s been wanting some fer a long time, but I wanted to give you first chanch at ’em. Let ’em all go fer $3.00.”

“I’ll be right over. Thanks, Bubba.”

***********************

“This here’s Bubba, Miz. Peabody. You know them statchoos uv Elvis you been lookin’ fer? Got two uv ’em this morning. Make a nice lamp. Good shape too, but I’m gonna have to ast $1.00 a-piece fer ’em.”

“Save them for me, Bubba.”

**********************

“Miz. Gaskins? Bubba. Got in a shipment uv nice carpet scraps an’ a big ole sack uv clothes. I knowed you’d been lookin’ fer some, so I saved ’em fer you.

“I’ll be there when my husband comes home with the truck.”

***********************

“Hey, Jake. Take th’ CAT down there inta th’ pit an’ rake out that sofa. Got a customer been lookin’ fer one fer more’n a month.”

**********************

Upon discovery of this unknown field of merchandising, it is amazingly clear that as long as folks unwittingly discard these valuable items, the yard sale industry will thrive. There is even talk of a manufacturing plant that will produce these gaudy, broken, unsightly and rusted items. If this dream is realized, it could very well re-vitalize the economy.

Most importantly, this unique method of recycling will prevent the clogging of our landfills and stimulate the interests of those who cannot resist the urge to meander through and examine another person’s junk. In many cases it is extremely profitable.

After all, Bubba has only been in the business for two years and is already talking about retirement to a small town in Florida where he will become owner/operator of a permanent yard sale.

Demijon

Important Note: Closet door, Sawhorse and Folding Chair are Not For Sale!!! Must be used for Sale next week. Dj.

Speech Patterns

There are some folks who declare that those of us who are fortunate enough to live in the southernmost parts of our great country talk funny.

That’s just simply a Not – So! We know ‘zackly what we are saying and so does everyone else, unless they were unfortunate enough to have been raised in another country (like the North).

If this be the case, our language could, perchance, require some explanation. To understand us, you must be aware that we do not take stock in the wasting of words. Our method of speaking is simplicity itself.

To illustrate: Let us assume that Bobby Jule and Bubba met just outside the “Gone to Dinner Diner” one day around 12:30 p.m. It is very important to note that friends in the South feel an obligation to greet another friend anywhere, anytime, unless of course they were in the process of carrying on a feud…

************************

Bobby Jule: “Jeet?”

Bubba: “Nchet. Jew?”

Bobby Jule: “Naw. Yountu?”

Bubba: “Areite!”

*************************

A few other very important words that are continuously in use are: “Upta,” “Lessus,” “B’then,” “Hits’bout,” “Anems,” “Mommer,” “Gitun,” “Ahoin’,” “Fixin’ta,” “Bouff,” “U’aint,” and “Et.”

*************************

Suppose that Bubba passed by while Bobby Jule was working in the field at approximately the same time of day. The conversation could go something like this…

Bubba: “Jeet?”

Bobby Jule: “Nchet. B’then I gitun ahoin’ th’ grass outten this cotton, I’m fixinta run upta Mommer-anems. If U’aint et yet, lessus bouff go. Hits’bout twelve, anyhow.”

Bubba: “Areite!”

*************************

See? They both get the point across without any waste in their tremendous vocabularies. If, by chance, you are interested in acquiring better speech patterns, classes will be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Registration forms can be obtained from the writer or by calling BR-29. Only serious respondents need apply.

We feel that a word of advice is important if, by chance one is inclined to criticize or otherwise defame the character of our good old boys. Please be aware that it will not be taken lightly. It will grieve our citizens tremendously to waste a shot gun shell on the likes of you.

Demijon

Something to think about: “If you know for sure, that you are included in the ‘LAST WILL and TESTAMENT’ of a relative; It is rather improper to pull a U-HAUL TRAILER, to the Funeral.”

So! Now you know. Dj.

The SPY

The year was 1942.
Our country was at War with Germany and the Empire of Japan. Our Army saw fit to train combat soldiers in the rugged fields and woodlands of North and South Carolina. Maneuvers were conducted in and around the home place of an eleven year old boy.

Here was live adventure that he had only witnessed in the scores of comic books that he had managed to accumulate by rushing to the newsstand at the corner drugstore and spending the grand total of ten cents for each one. In the days before children were given an allowance, these coins were hard to come by.

Saving the tin foil from discarded cigarette packages and/or collecting scrap metal for the war effort were the only means of pocket change available to a youngster during the hard times just after The Great Depression.

The boy stood in awe of the many convoys of jeeps, trucks and gun emplacements, during the mock battles of the Blue and Red Army’s and trembled at the rat-a-tat of the machine guns firing the blank cartridges.

During a calm between the battles, he would ride his bicycle to a campsite and marvel at the pup tents, the camp kitchens, the stacked rifles, and the soldiers, busy with the cleaning of their equipment. Most of them were very friendly and talked to him about their struggles to defeat the enemy.

Since they were not allowed to leave the camping area, One soldier asked if he would ride his bicycle to the nearby store and get him a package of cigarettes. He readily agreed and the G.I. gave him $1.00. Pedaling as fast as he could he returned with a package of Wings cigarettes and .85 cents in change. The soldier told him to keep the change.

The light bulb above the boy’s head lit and he rushed home and scrounged a wooden box to which he fashioned two horseshoes to fit over the handlebars of his bike. Clutching the .85 cents, he went to the store and bought six more packages of Wings cigarettes. He still had 10 cents left from the $1.00.

He went back to the campsite and asked if anyone wanted to buy a package of cigarettes. It was only a matter of minutes until he had sold all of them for much more than he had paid for them.

With the extra money he made another trip to the store and re-stocked his box with more cigarettes and candy bars. The soldiers were glad to get these treats and everyone gave him a tip, amounting to quite a bit more than he had spent.

He made daily trips to the campsites with goods that were not offered from the Army and his nest egg increased substantially. The soldiers began to look forward to his visits and paid him well for the trouble of shuttling to and from the store.

His Daddy had a haystack at the edge of one field and the boy decided that he would help the soldiers who had been so kind to him. He climbed atop the haystack to look for the opposing aggressors in order to alert his friends of the oncoming enemy. He had no idea that if these operations had been conducted during a real war, he could have been shot for a SPY.

Too soon, the maneuvers ended and his friends departed for their base camp. Many of them thanked him for running the errands that they were not allowed to do and for providing them with snacks and smokes. A few even shook his hand and left a couple of crumpled one dollar bills in his hand. Their appreciation of his efforts was evident when he clutched the bills and coins in the pocket of his overalls.

This was the first enterprise that the boy attempted with his bicycle and he would never forget the generosity of the soldiers for a eleven year old boy. whose only possession was a battered bike with a wooden box attached to the handlebars.

These memories are still vivid simply because, “I was that boy.”

Demijon

Nothing good but memories can be said for getting old. Dj.