“DOO-DADS”, “THING-MA-JIGS” & “DOO-HICKEYS”

Many people, if speaking or writing today, will agonize for hours trying to find just the right word or phrase.  This is totally uncalled for if one happens to be from, or a visitor in, the deep South.  We simply don’t do things that way.  In fact, there is very little that we agonize over – period.

We more or less take things as they come and let it go at that.  In most cases, anyone that does use the correct words to define something is often considered “Quare” or “Biggity.”  We know exactly what is meant by, “That doo-hickey what sits on top of th’ motor in my truck went bad.”  (The truck needs a new carburetor).  See how simple it is.

When one tells you that the “(air’s a-showing thru th’ rite back’un),” you instantly know that he is referring to;  (Holes in the Tires of the Vehicle).  Just stating facts without searching for the ideal description is one of the things that make for the colorful language that is found in the South.

While these descriptions may seem strange to some, they hold perfect meaning for most of us.  “Busted my han’ wide open on a tarr arn when I’sa changing th’ back’un,” explains why the hand is bandaged.

These substitutions for correct speech are not used because of lack of knowledge in most cases.  They are as much a part of the make-up of the area as is kudzu and sand-spurs.  It would be an honor to be invited into one’s home to look at: “All then ‘Do Dads, th’ Wife found at th’ Flee Market”.

If “That thang whot sets on your Starter quit workin;” You can rest assured that the “Voltage Regulator”, will have to be replaced.  And, you are in deep trouble if the ‘what-cha-ma-call-it,” is faulty at the same time.  But, the surprise comes upon receiving your itemized bill for the repairs and find that the voltage regulator costs $12.95, the alternator $36.50 and the labor $5.00.  You are told, “$54.45 jus ort ta do it.”

This is definitely not a result of being unaware of current labor costs.  It is simply the way things are done in the South.  We are completely happy with our laid-back style of living and our needs are not as great as our northern brothers, and we are glad to lend a helping hand.

As a rule, most people that visit here will return again and again and some even choose to make this their home.  The slow pace and relaxed way of doing things have a way of attracting others whose desire is to escape the helter-skelter of larger, more populated areas and it is not long after making the move until they, themselves, are referring to things such as…”Doo-Dads,” “Thing-A-Ma-Jigs”,  & “Doo-Hickeys”. 

Demijon.

“DOES FATHER KNOW BEST?”

Even though television has come a long way toward accurately depicting the average family in their situation Comedies; they still have a long way to go in order to get it right.  Perhaps the writers and producers fantasize quite a bit; and portray Mr. and Mrs. Average as being ideal:  The fact that we know differently; is what makes it a Comedy.

How many times has Father come home from work, dressed in an immaculate suit:  Removed his hat and coat, and hung them ‘in the hall closet’:  Fingered, the mail; perfectly, stacked, on the convenient table in the Spotless Living Room; while putting on a Sweater and retrieving his Pipe and Slippers?  Why was there always the sweater?  Was the furnace on the blink again?  “Honey, I’m home:” he says; as he sits in an overstuffed chair and unfolds the evening paper.

“In the kitchen, dear,” is the response from out of camera range and immediately a swinging door, (it always swings), opens to reveal the beautiful Mother:  Clad in the latest fashionable ‘House Dress’, complete with spike heels:  Every hair is in place and a short, ‘Lacy Apron adorns her perfect body’.  “How was your day, dear?”  “She asks as she hands him a frosty drink and bends to kiss his cheek”.

“THREE PERFECTLY DRESSED CHILDREN”; descend the spiral staircase and stands at attention before his chair and in unison remarks,  “We missed you, Father.”  “Note:  It is always Father, never Dad or Pop.  He tousles their hair and leans back to read the stock market report as the beautiful mother and the children retreat to the dining room to prepare the ‘Perfect Dinner by Candlelight’.

“GET REAL, PEOPLE;” “No one lives this way!”  “Okay?”

“PA’S DOING THE BEST HE CAN””

In true life; Dad enters the door; dressed in Coveralls, with ‘Joe’s Garage’ emblazoned on the back. He throws his Cat Diesel cap in the direction of the Coffee Table; strewn with ‘True Confession Magazines:’  He pulls the top of the coveralls from his shoulders and leaves them hanging down his back:  Kicks the papers and schoolbooks from the couch; and slouches at one end while reaching for the remote control to tune the Television to the Wrestling Channel.

“Bring me a beer, Marge,” he says;  “And tell them young’uns to get in here and clean up this hog pen.”  Marge emerges from the curtained doorway that leads to the kitchen, wearing a “faded chenille bathrobe, and with her hair still in curlers.

“You know where the damn refrigerator is:”  “Get your own beer”.  “Do you think you’re the only one around here that works”?   “I’ve had to stop those kids from fighting at least a dozen times:”   “Go wash that crap off your hands:  The hot dogs will be ready in a minute.”

Three filthy children came in the door, bouncing a basketball against the wall and said, “Pa, the septic tank is overflowing again.”  “I need ten dollars for videos.”  “Pa,  Juney’s pregnant”.  “Do I have to marry her”?”

“As I stated earlier, Television has improved over the years:  However, if its realism that they are looking for; they should hire me as a Consultant.  There is nothing like having a person who has experienced, first-hand, the factual aspects of the average Household; to make for a believable characterization of the Ordinary Family.

“Attention all networks:”  “If you are interested; please call me.”  “I am available, but remember, I don’t work cheap.”

Demijon

 

“DONATIONS”

I have said many times that I would not touch this with a ten foot pole; but I feel that I must express my feelings on charities.  NO:  I am NOT A SCROOGE, and I firmly believe in helping the less fortunate; but I feel that there is a fine line to be drawn somewhere and quite frankly, I don’t know just where to draw it.

I have received requests for donations through the mails from numerous charities and have responded to many of them with an amount that I thought I could spare.  Shortly afterwards, I began to get more and more requests from other organizations, anywhere from “Undernourished Fireants of America” to “Help Save the Mosquitoes.” What do they do;?  Do they call all the other Organizations and say:?  “Send Demijon a request.  He’s an easy mark.”

I realize that most of them are legitimate, and that some are downright scams but my point is that I simply cannot support them all.  If; with my limited income, I attempted to send a contribution to all of them; then I too, would be among the ones seeking help.

Nevertheless: I do support the charities that I feel I can afford: but there seems to be no end to the requests.  When we have given to what we feel is the limit, we turn on the television and find that Swaggart is going to get kicked off the air unless we send him a couple hundred dollars.  We cannot afford this so we change channels only to discover that Falwell is in the same sad shape and we have to help him or else he’s gone.  The list goes on and on.  Oral Roberts really scared me. He’s going to DIE unless he gets 12 million dollars.

Again, let me emphasize that I am NOT against helping anyone that I can; but: WHERE do I draw the line?  After all, there is ME, that I have to look after.  Do I send all my money to them and risk becoming destitute myself?

If I donate to every cause that I receive a request from, then I would not have anything left with which to secure for myself a bulk mail permit or pay for a television ad, in order to ask others to help ME: It’s really frightening.  So, I have come to the conclusion that the only way out of this dilemma is for me to donate my fair share through my church or some reliable organization and let them decide just who needs my meager contribution the most.

Yes: There is a fine line between Sharing and Giving, and I’m sitting smack-dab on top of the line and could fall either way.  I need help!  Bad!

DEMIJON

 

“COMPUTERS HATE ME!”

For all its ability to record data, store, and reproduce this data fast and efficiently, this machine simply despises me.  Sometimes I think that its sole purpose for being is to intimidate me.  It is unnerving when I have an idea that I wish to get across, and this box of bolts decides that I want to say something else and produces something completely foreign to what I had in mind.

For instance, suppose I am trying to say:  “The fox jumped over the big red dog”. and what appears on paper is:  “The fox called the dog a *#%@$%, for being in his way”.   You see what I mean?  The thing has a mind of its own and is determined to GET me.  I get the feeling that one day this tangle of wires will start cussing back at me.

I know exactly what I am doing, but how can I relate this to a conglomeration of micro-chips that believes it can out-think me?  I read the manuals and all they tell me is a bunch of gobble-de-gook.  They do nothing to explain why this machine simply will not listen to me.

This can prove disastrous for a world renowned writer such as my-self.  After all, I have an image to preserve.  Serious writing cannot be done with this thing.  I experienced no trouble at all with my trusty pencil and tablet.  We understood each other and what I thought was what I got when I utilized that medium.

Whoever was responsible for the design of this thing should have included in the design some respect and manners.  The very idea of a machine that won’t do what it’s told just makes me sick.

If it soon does not respond better than it has in the past, then I will have no recourse but to de-flop its floppy disc, remove its icons, pull the teeth from the megabytes, bust its control, and harden up the software.

Then, perhaps, I can record just what I want to say without interruption from some so-called ELECTRECALE GENYUS,

“SEE ?  It did it again.” !!!

Demijon

“I withdraw my nomination for BILL GATES for President”.  Dj.

THE POTENTIAL

A short while ago I ventured into a family-owned drug store, and was totally shocked when I observed that the contents of the entire establishment consisted of nothing but medicines, health supplies and beauty aids.  Where were the lawn and garden supplies,  the jewelry counter, the toy department, office supplies and the full line of cookware?  Although the store was located in a beach resort community; nowhere was there displayed any beachwear, Styrofoam floats and roller blades.  Apparently the owners were not aware of the additional money which could be made by diversifying into these markets.  Perhaps they had decided to regress to an era when a drug store was just that.  “A place to purchase drugs”.

I can well remember when very few prescriptions were written by a doctor.  Depending on his diagnosis, he would write the name of a patented medicine on a notepad and the patient would proceed to the drug store and buy a bottle of Castor Oil, Sloan’s Liniment, a jar of Vick’s, or Cloverine Salve, a box of Epsom Salts or a package of Ex-Lax.  Many people kept a supply of these items on hand for emergencies, thus eliminating the need to visit a doctor for minor illnesses.

Gradually, other items began to appear on counters in drug stores, but most were related to the health and welfare of their customers.  The addition of a soda fountain was perhaps the first of these innovations.  Then came a news stand and hundreds of items designed to enhance Milady’s looks such as rouges, lipsticks and hair products. It was not until the late forty’s or early fifty’s when most drug stores began to rely or other merchandise for a large portion of their profits.

Today it is nothing unusual to shop in an establishment that, while still named a drug store, is nothing more than a huge department store with a small drug department located in a cubical somewhere in the rear of the building.  When these major changes first became popular, they retained the soda fountain in addition to a grill and sandwich shop; but these were eventually dispensed with in favor of more profitable items.  In the larger chain stores, one may purchase hardware, appliances, some food items, and even clothing; and all offered at a supposedly fantastic discount.

After an accident involving an unusually sharp saw blade, I visited my local drug store in search of my favorite brand name band aid.  After searching three isles of “Super-Rite” bandages and first-aid products to no avail, I finally located a sales clerk who was in engrossed in creating a display for bathing suits on one wall of the gigantic building.

“Pardon me,” I asked, “Can you tell me where I will find the ‘Sticky-Side’ band aids?”  With a look of disgust, she replied, “Oh, we don’t carry them any-more.  The ‘Super-Rite’ brand is so superior that we are now stocking them exclusively.  You’ll find them on isle 29 right below the Microwave Ovens.  Have a nice day.”

With the tissue wrapped finger throbbing, I drove to the nearest Hardware Store and bought a package of “Sticky-Side” band aids and a tube of “True-Value” medicated ointment.

About my original question regarding the potential increase in revenue from merchandise which has nothing to do with health and well being.  Apparently the owners of genuine drug emporiums prefer to remain status quo.

For those of us who remember Pearl Harbor, this is a plus.

Demijon

“DRIVE CAREFULLY!”

“ARE CARS THE ONLY ITEMS WHICH CAN BE RECALLED BY THEIR MAKER?”

Even though I try, I sometimes forget to follow my own advice.  I suppose there are others who fall in this category.  We tend to think that an accident will happen to the other guy.  We drive our Car; when we are tired, sleepy, depressed, and with our minds dwelling on subjects irrelevant to; “Aiming a thirty-five hundred pound Projectile.”

We have heard a lot recently about the “designated driver,” and we apply these words to one who has celebrated a little too much.  Designating a rested, alert driver in any situation such as the above could result in one of the most important decisions of our lives.  Would it not be better to arrive a little late; than to ‘not arrive at all?’

The automobile is perhaps one of the greatest conveniences that we enjoy today.  To the many who have never experienced life without one; please allow me to say that it is indeed a luxury.

I remember very well, when most transportation consisted of wagons and buggies, powered by Horses and/or Mules.  The few automobiles of the day were not very dependable in that the deeply rutted mud of the unpaved roads could, (in many cases),  render them useless.  However, they were relatively safe simply because of the lack of power.  In those days; accepted speed was around 35 to 40 MPH.

As technology increased; and more roads were paved: Manufacturers came to the conclusion that more power was demanded, and as a result; today’s cars are capable of speeds that can exceed the posted limits by more than twice.  Do we really need this much power?  I think not.  Not only are we taking chances with our own lives, we subject our fellow travelers to peril with only a tiny mistake.

The general trend among manufacturers has been; to design a simple, dependable, automobile and immediately follow it up with a larger, more powerful, version.  This, in essence, has increased the popularity of the, “Imported Models.”  Proof positive that we do not need a vehicle which is almost capable of breaking the sound barrier.

Power and speed has resulted in the installation of many kinds of safety equipment being required in today’s automobiles.  These innovations should be installed merely for safety at any speed and not because the power and speed results in a dangerous vehicle.

At the risk of sounding unappreciative of today’s technology, I would challenge the manufacturers to revert to a comfortable, inexpensive, safe, vehicle with only enough power to easily maneuver at the posted speed limits.  Not only would this reduce the chances of major accidents, it would save our valuable resources by lessening our dependency on fossil fuel, and would force a reduction in speed and most importantly…

“It could, very well, keep US from being ‘Re-Called’ by OUR Maker.”

Demijon

“THE EASY WAY”

Things do not always work out as planned.  When my wife and I were married, we had hopes of a family; Consisting of ‘a Boy’, ‘a Girl, and another child ‘of either sex.  It was our reasoning that we felt that we could support and educate three children without their lacking the essential requirements for a happy life.

As providence would have it; “we were only blessed with two boys”.  Different as night from day: These two were nevertheless our pride and joy.  We saw them through the usual turbulence of growing up.  Childhood Illnesses: Accidents, Fads and Trends: We even survived the “Driver’s License and Borrow the Car” phase of their young adulthood.

We sat, proud as a peacock, at each of their graduations from High School.  After dropping each off at the ‘College of their choice;’ The two of us returned to a home which was somewhat quieter and more empty.

We swelled with additional pride as each received their degree and ventured into the world of professions as different as they.  One, choosing a career in Electrical Engineering:  The other entering the field of Theology as a minister of the Gospel.

Eventually, our dreams of a larger family were realized when each of them met and married; “The one who; I am sure that God intended for them”.

We can now rejoice in the fact that our lives have been enriched by the addition of LISA and JUDY.  Our thanks go out to ‘their Parents’; for the gift of these two Special People.  We could not love them more, if had we endured the traumas of their childhood.  This is definitely the easy way to do it.

Demijon

 

“DETERIORATION”

Sooner or later, it happens to all of us.  What once was a trim, solid body filled with vitality has now been reduced to a quivering blob of wrinkles emitting creaks and groans with every movement.  Food intake which once produced vim, vigor and vitality now seems to coagulate in the area of our waistlines.  The touching of one’s slippers is accomplished by reaching from the bed to the floor.  Weight lifting amounts to simply rising from a chair.  Skin that once sported a delicate blush has become liken unto old, cracked leather.

Hairstyles are now a matter of attempting to arrange the few strands in order to cover the ever increasing bare spots.  While we once could recall details about complex puzzles, we are satisfied if we can remember where the calendar is, to determine the day of the week.  Let’s face it.  “Ours is a sorry lot”.

We see advertisements for self-help in the form of machines to re-vitalize our youthful figures.  Even these present somewhat of a problem to us since we do not possess the strength, just to “Open the Cartons:” To say nothing of performing the exercises.  “Creams and Lotions,” which are touted as the ultimate in smoothing “Wrinkles;” do no more than appear as ‘’Caked, Dried Salve;” which has been spread over a Washboard.  Our entire world seems to revolve around products such as ‘Depends, Metamucil, Preparation-H, Denture Cream, and various other Pills and Tonics’.          

Whatever happened to the vows we made to never allow ourselves to become decrepit.  At the time, we were serious and fully intended to remain youthful forever.  We had witnessed others who had succumbed to the severity of the ageing process and had looked on this as something which could not happen to us.  “Yeah, we did”!

But: Happen it did.  Now, what are we to do about it?  Is there a sure cure for the dreaded diease called “Let-Ourselves-Go-Itis?”  If so, will we be able to afford it on our small pension?  You can rest assured that when “Such A Cure;” is found, the screen of your Television will be constantly filled with ‘X-Famous’ stars; reading scripts which sound something like this:

“I was once just like you:” “Hardly; no difference at all”.  Old, Wrinkled, Tired, Fat, Irregular with no Get-Up-and-Go.” “After one month of taking the amazing ‘AGE-B-GONE’ tablets; I have no problem with Bladder Control.”  “I am Regular to a fault. I can Bench-Press 185 Pounds: and Do 75 Push-Ups daily:”  “I Jog 15 miles every day.”  “My Teeth are my own” and “I wear a Size 6 Dress.”  “You too can enjoy Eternal Youth; with skin as smooth as a Baby’s Behind.”  “Send for yours today.”  “Call 1-800-AGE-GONE.”  “That’s 1-800-AGE-GONE”.  “Call now.”

Incidentally, the star was the leading lady in most of the “Hoot Gibson” Westerns, of the early 1940’s.  By today’s standards, she would have been considered old at the time the Movies were made.

It’s astonishing what can be accomplished in the make-up department of a large Television Studio.

Demijon

 

“EATING HABITS”

“I EAT MY PEAS WITH HONEY”:  “I’VE DONE SO ALL MY LIFE”:  “IT MAKES THE               PEAS TASTE FUNNY”:  “BUT IT KEEPS THEM ON MY KNIFE”!

I ran across this little gem in a magazine not long ago, and it brought to mind some of the more peculiar habits of the taking of nourishment found in the deep South.

Although I am not an authority on eating habits, I nevertheless have observed as well as practiced many in the short span of my life.  One in particular is that certain foods “go with” other foods.  For example, no one in his right mind would eat Green Beans with Biscuits.  Cornbread is the “only” bread that anyone would consider consuming along with the aforementioned Green Beans.

Along the same lines is the sopping of Molasses.  To perform this task, you MUST have .Biscuits.  Cornbread tends to crumble and leaves a sticky mess in the plate, whereas Biscuits completely clean the plate when used properly.

In many cases, Cornbread ‘AND’ Biscuits were required with a meal depending on the food being served.  To illustrate, the meal consists of Stewed Potatoes (biscuits), Green Beans (cornbread), Fried Okra (cornbread), Squash (biscuits), Turnip Greens (cornbread), Macaroni and Cheese (biscuits), Sweet Potatoes (biscuits), and of course, Buttermilk for the foods that require Cornbread AND Sweet Milk for those that “call for” Biscuits.

The fact that there are many people who are not well versed in the requirements of these “companion” foods may very well be responsible for the rise in obesity and inadequate nourishment that is rampant in today’s society.  The sole purpose of this article is to educate unknowing citizens; and to attempt to put them on the path to better health through proper eating habits.

Incidentally, the practice of eating everything with a Knife stems from a time when many people did not enjoy complete sets of flatware.  The knife, sometimes of hunting variety, was much more versatile since it could be used to cut, spear, and serve as the means of transporting the food to the mouth.  Necessity created many of the habits and the fact that some see no valid reason to change, they have remained deep within the consciousness of a few individuals who value tradition.

Eating Well; is the basis for good health and eating RIGHT will increase the enjoyment of any food; therefore, enriching our lives with a better understanding of just what “goes with” what.  Once this knowledge has been implanted in everyone’s mind, their eating habits will be forever changed for the better.  There will be no need for recipes.  Simply remember whether it is Biscuits or Cornbread that the food in which you are eating is “calling for.” Questions may be asked during a later session.      Demijon

“LOOKING BACK!”

NEVER PLAY POLITICS AT YOUR LOCAL COFFEE SHOP

On a past Christmas Eve my child-bride and I were traveling through the low country of South Carolina.  We had observed that our supply of caffeine was critically low; therefore we stopped at a Waffle House; in order to replenish one of our nasty habits.

Our server; a very amiable young lady, was attempting to make us feel at home with her heavily accented, low country, dialect.  In the course of our conversation, she mentioned the fact that she was being required to work on Christmas Day.  With what I hoped would be interpreted as concern; I retorted, “I think that that’s terrible:  Whom can I call or write to rectify this horrible mistake?”

Her remark was “You can call the management of Waffle House; but I don’t think it will do any good.” Careful to impress upon her the importance of my station in life, and being the quick-witted person that I am, I replied,  “Look, Lady. “I put Bill Clinton in the White House and I am convinced that I can get Christmas Day off for you.”

Unfortunately, I was speaking a little too loudly and my voice carried throughout the confines of the reasonably small establishment.  I realized immediately that I had committed an unpardonable sin when I noticed the other servers along with the cooks, dishwashers and several of the customers apparently willing to render severe blows on or about my head and shoulders and otherwise do me bodily harm.  “No sense of humor!”  I snorted.

We readily came to the conclusion that our thirst for coffee had been quickly slaked and we lingered no longer than it took to satisfy our obligation to pay; and; removed ourselves from the premises.

Since this incident, we have been careful to carry a sufficient amount of caffeinated nectar with us at all times, especially when traveling in the southern parts of South Carolina.  When we have been required to travel through the State, since:  We have been careful to maintain a sufficient amount of Coffee:”  In addition: “We have also learned to,” “KEEP OUR MOUTH’S SHUT!”

Demijon