Sunday, June 10, 2007

Non-Race Free Association

I didn't race this weekend. Not an Ironman, not a half, not an Oly, not even a Sprint. I did not race. I don't know if that's a good thing or not, you can be the judge. However, when I am not otherwise occupied I am prone to free associate. My dad was a psychologist and whenever we were driving around in the car as a family unit I would often sit quietly in the back seat staring out the window and was prone to fits of laughter. My Mom or brother or both would ask "What's so funny?" and my dad would say, "He's just free associating again." My childhood was filled with a multitude of un-childlike terminology. By the age of 10 I could analyse or pathologize just about anyone.

In any case, being unoccupied with racing I was left to my training, which does not keep my mind particularly focused.

Saturday I did a 75 mile easy bike and got to thinking about my upbringing in Texas. I had a football coach named Joe Bob Tyler, a friend named Jim Bob another called John Mike and one that was just called J.D. Now I'm guessing that Johnny Tri has at least one Jim Bob, Joe Bob, John Mike or J.D. or some such two name first name person in his background because he lives in Texas but what of Bigun? I mean, he is in the south, sort of. What about Duane? He knows people in the south. Run Bubba Run? He's a bubba but I mean, way, right? Big Mike and J-Wim, nahh...genuine Yankees, right? Certainly not Wendy and Brent...I know Canadians do not have two-named friends though I've heard they have something called "Newfies" is that's how it's spelled? They seem to be something like the Texas Aggie, the Appalachian Hillbilly or more generally the American Redneck. Certainly though LBTEPA wouldn't have any, I mean that's not even North America though I am aware that Australia has it's own brand but who are they have two first names too?

The GEEKGRL also grew up in the South...though she is quick to remind me that Texas is NOT the South...same as Florida is NOT the South. Maybe she's right, I mean, I didn't grow up eating "Whomp Biscuits", you know, the kind of biscuits in a paper tube that you "Whomp" on the edge of the counter in order to break them open? Nobody I knew was "Slap Ass Crazy" and, well, nobody ever began to criticize me with the phrase "Bless your heart."

However, in my defense, I knew my Dad was "busier that a one-legged man in an ass kicking contest" and that I was always "Fixin' ta do somthin" and that my grandfather told me the best way to catch trout was to dress up in a fish costume and swim upstream, you know, so you can "kinda sneak up on em like"

The ride went pretty well all in all but I found myself pondering various southern , or I suppose at least quasi-southern phrases during my 1500m open water swim and 9 mile run on Sunday. Here are a few that me and the GEEKGRL were able to come up with:

"Well, he's Book Smart"
"That Boy ain't got no common sense"
"He ain't the sharpest knife in the drawer"
"That poor boy is dumber than a bag of hammers"
"She's dumber than a barrel of hair"
"That ole boy is dumber than a door knob"
"That ole boy got a whole head full of simple"
"His brain rolls around in his head like a mustard seed in a 5 gallon bucket"
"Awe, she's cuter than a sack of puppies"
"That boy looks like he fell out'a ugly tree and hit every branch"
"Oooh, he's uglier than home made soap"
"Son, wuz you beat with an ugly stick?"
"That old man is ugly enough to knock buzzards off a gut wagon"
"That woman was ugly enough to make a freight train take a dirt road"
"Son, you look like a sack of chewed bubble gum"
"Well butter my butt and call me a biscuit"
"It's hotter'n a hoo doo"
"I feel like I was ate by a coyote and shit off a cliff"
"That tastes so good it'd make you want to slap your mama"
"Well, it's better than gettin' poked in the eye with a sharp stick" (one of my Dad's personal favorites BTW)

As you can well imagine there was never any shortage of things to think about that would cause me to laugh, the images were plentiful.

What are some of your favorite colloquialisms?


  1. theres a JD, JR, and a ron-paul that I know here in Texas.

    And how about... "when I was knee high to a rabbit growing up"..

    sounds like a nice training weekend, I likey.


  2. I'm actually a Jersey boy - so is my mom and dad, so didn't grow up with southisims. the "poked in your eye" one my dad used to say alot, and I picked that up, but I don't think it's very southern - maybe it just depends on how you say it.

  3. Hmmm. Brent and I used to know an RD.

    One of my all time favorites: "She could catch a draught in her live-forever." I learned that one from a Maritimer who saw a gal wearing an awfully short skirt ...

  4. Being a proper Southern boy, I have about 2 gallons of clear distilled liquid in my fridge.

  5. Myles
    First great post. I have pondered some of the same things. I had an uncle who had the first name as me. He was Mike John and I was Mike Douglas (our first and middle names). Other than are correct. I can not think of one other person I know that went by two names. The one story we always heard from our parents and grandparents was how they never got rides anywhwere and had to walk to school, uphill both ways in a foot of snow. One from Wisconsin is you can't drink all day if you don't start in the morning!!

  6. Ok, so here's my story and I'm sticking to it.
    My auntie Mil was from Tennessee. She taught me to make a mean cornbread in a cast iron pan, and I picked up the phrase "right quick" from her and haven't ever been able to shake it. When I was a kid, I thought "out yonder" meant her bedroom in the front of the house cuz thats where she always sent me to find Uncle Joe.
    Mike's mom moved to No. Carolina a few years back, the hillbilly heartland, so have picked up a couple little pearls there too.
    I am married to the only 2 double name guys I know (see Mikes comment).
    My favorite phrases I picked up from my Grampa Klumpp, who was full of them. "You can't make footsteps in the sands of time sitting down" is my favorite.

  7. "That family tree only had one branch"
    "He's a couple fries short of a happy meal"

  8. It was from my grandma that I heard a lot of not necessarily southern phrases but obviously poor people quotes: as smelly as a polecat. (never knew what that was until about 5 yrs. ago); or sperghetti for spaghetti; zink for sink; ice box (probably a lot of people), and I wish I could remember more! Nice to bring back memories.

  9. Let me first say that I will give you a pass and not take offense to that particular use of the hallowed word "Texas Aggie" (class of '96, tyvm). Secondly, I've lived in Texas for more than half my life, and I've never known ANYONE with two first names. Thank god. :-)

    I used to hear "well, ain't you just cuter than a doodlebug" a lot when I lived in Georgia as a kid and thought it was quite weird...probably due to the fact that I moved there from the Northeast when I was 10.

    My favorite off your list has to be "I feel like I was ate by a coyote and shit off a cliff". I plan to use that one DAILY!!!

  10. Lots of two-name French Canadians. Jean-Francois, Jean-Paul, et al.

  11. We lived in Virginia until moving to Mississippi last year. Apparently, VA is NOT the south either (nothwithstanding that Richmond was the capital of the Confederacy and multiple battles were fought there when only 1 was fought in MS). In VA, we had a lot of friends with "southern" or "redneck," if you will, names: Cooter, Beano, Sue Ellen. Since moving to the "deep" south I have been entertained by a lot of southernisms, but my favorite so far is the plural of y'all: all y'all.