Monday, February 1, 2010
so i am going to tell you a story about my mother's household hints.
back in the '70s, heloise was queen. she had all her hints and tips, i mean, heloise could give you the hook-up. my mother read her way into heloise's inner circle of hell. she knew what to do in any situation. she was ready at a dime to give you a hint or tip that might change your life.
my mother wore cat's eye glassses and had a big red bubble-head bobble-head bouffant. looking back, she looked like a member of the b-52s. anyway, we were driving back from my grandmother's house in alabama, and my mother spotted someone ahead who needed the help on she or heloise could give. so she put the pedal to the metal and took off like a bat out of hell.
ahead was a yellow mustang, with a rag hanging out of the gas tank. i guess the rag was to keep the gas from all evaporating or else the car was a giant size molotov cocktail. my mom headed toward it, all the time muttering, "gotta that rag out" over and over again.
she got abreast of the guy. he goes to the trouble of leaning over to roll down the passenger window.so he can speak with her.
"STICK A POTATO IN IT!" she yelled at him. he leaned back in his seat, thren leaned forward to stick his middle finger up at us. then he hauled butt down the highway.
my mother's mutterings are going from "gotta get the rag out" to "i hope that sumbitch catches fire and burns in HELL!"
i sat in the backseat, playing with my wooly willy my grandmother got for me. i wasn't going to get into at the moment, so quiet was good.
about 10 minutes later, we passed him on the side of the road. there was a cop behind him, and he was writing the guy a ticket.
as my mother passed the guy, she gave him a one-finger salute of her own. i felt really back for the guy. i remember he had on a headband, like almost every white boy in in 1974.
later my mother "got her face done" (i.e. '70s make-over) and she looked like david bowie as ziggy stardust. her next look, which she stuck with, was a red afro, like carol from the bob newhart show. now she is doing the diane keaton thing but only wearing turquoise.
eventually "gotta get the rag out" came to be used commonly, meaning, "cut the crap." "stick a potato in it" became our family's version of "shove it."
i bet if i had a smartcar, i would never have to stick a potato in it.
Posted by lee at 1:28 PM