It’s A Southern Thing

Before launching into my theme for the day, let me give everyone a brief update on where we stand at Riverview after being closed for a couple of weeks. We have finished taking all of our inventories. Martha and I knew that Cader, Greg, and Jerry would begin this process on a Monday with each having different areas to manage. On the Saturday preceding the Monday, we sneaked down to the wine cooler, and relieved the company of several cases of wine. They can just chalk that one up to shrinkage. As my dad always said, the only advantage of owning your own company is that you can steal from it. Cader IV and Greg will probably not be happy when they read this because it will be the first that they know of it.


Jerry’s woods burning crews have had ideal burning conditions as it has stayed abnormally cool here and wet. We only lack about 10% of the land that we had designated to burn this spring, and Jerry told me that their plans were to knock that out today before another round of storms tomorrow.


Meanwhile our sweet corn planting is right on schedule. The corn looks a bit yellow, but that is due to the cool nights. Once the nights warm up a bit, the corn will be able to take advantage of the fertilizer that is underneath it just waiting to be called upon. The jeeps have all been “summerized”, and we are servicing all of our tractors and equipment now. It’s always amazed me that a piece of equipment that was working fine when placed in suspense in October has everything in the world wrong with it in April.


Now I want to get to the gist of what I wanted to share with y’all. My good friend Earl and I have said for years that someone needs to write down a lot of the funny southern sayings that our parents used on us when we were growing up before they are lost to antiquity. I can begin with remembering my Dad saying that when he married my mother that she was” poorer than Job’s turkey”. Who was Job? Was this the Biblical Job, and if so, I never saw any references in the Bible to Job having any turkeys ? Children, donkeys, camels, sheep—these he had in abundance, but no turkeys, yet I have heard this expression used many times. Of course Pop’s family was land rich and cash poor. We never made any real money until we stopped picking cotton, and started picking Yankees, and we do love our guests who live north of the Smith & Wesson Line.


Now for the time being, I am just going to add a few more Southern colloquialisms beginning with one my Mom used that required my Dad to explain it to me. Mom when exasperated would sometimes say,” that beats a hog a hooking. Now, I didn’t believe that my saintly mother was referring to hog prostitution, and was also fairly certain that hogs didn’t practice the world’s oldest profession; so I asked Pop for an explanation. He told me that cows that were prone to jump fences would have a yoke placed around their necks, which was called a “hooker”. If they tried to jump the fence, the hooker would catch on the fence and stop them. Hogs, on the other hand, tended to burrow under fences; so a hog with a hooker on him made no sense at all. Aha, now I knew.


The following are just a few more small samples with no explanation required:

  1. It’s so wet that it would bog a buzzard’s shadow.
  2. She’s so skinny that she could stand in the shadow of a clothes line( which no longer exist along with clothes pins to hang the clothes from the line).
  3. She’s having a hissy fit.
  4. You’re lower than a snakes belly in a wagon rut.
  5. He’s an egg sucking dog. (probably a death sentence for a dog in those days)
  6. She’s busier than a cat covering up new doo-doo.
  7. He’s so poor that he can’t even afford to pay attention.
  8. It’s so dry that the trees are bribing the dogs.
  9. He’s happy as a dead pig in the sunshine. (I’m not certain that I would be happy about being a dead pig.)
  10. Look at him grinnin’ like a mule eating briars.
  11. He won’t hit a lick at a snake. (too lazy to chase a snake away or kill it.)


I have many more, but I don’t won’t too overload y’all on one day. I will close with this comment that a friend sent me yesterday that says, “The first rule in a gun fight is to have a gun.” I read this morning that London’s murder rate has surpassed New York’s murder rate, and we all know that the UK has strict gun controls. Wake up America. Bad guys will always find a weapon. An armed citizenry is our best line of defense, both domestic and foreign. I hope you and your families have a delightful spring!