Monday, December 10, 2007

Good Advice!

So in prep for decorating the Xmas tree, I was unwrapping the Xmas ornaments, which I inherited from an elderly great uncle who is with us no more...He didn't use this ornaments much in his last years, and so most of them are quite old and fragile. I haven't used them much recently either, so they are still in the old paper in which he wrapped them last, lo those many years ago. And I really do mean old paper, including old paper towels, old Kleenex, and old napkins. The kind of paper that is meant to be disposable, and which doesn't usually survive more than a few weeks, much less forty years.

One of these old napkins appeared to be of the cocktail species; you know the kind, cute little picture on the front, pithy sayings on the back. (Do they make them this way anymore? I'm not sure?) Circa mid-1960s, I'd judge. The cute picture shows an old timey country scene: covered bridge, furry little surrey with a fringe on top, etc. "May all the bridges you cross be covered ones" the napkin says hopefully. On the back, the platitudes continue:

  • You'ns ain't the only pepples on the peach.
  • We grow too soon oldt and too late schmardt.
  • Put your umbrella up. It's making down out.
  • They looked the window through.
  • Hope it gives what it looks like for onct.
  • Run the Alley Up. Jump the Fence Over.
  • Sorry you don't feel so pretty good.
  • The coat doesn't fit, not?
  • Run the steps up.
  • My, you look good in the face.
  • Sign: "Keep the Paint Off".

And my favorite:
  • Don't eat yourself full--there's pie back.

Now I have no idea what any of this means, but some of it sounds like pretty good advice to me, most particularly that last one. There isn't always pie back, but it's worth keeping the space open, just in case.

2 comments:

Erika Hamerquist said...

The only one I've ever heard before is "hope it gives what it looks like" which I believe is an in-joke for dairy farmers. At least, it was the dairy farming side of my family that used it. These all read just like my last boyfriend used to talk. He was raised somewhere around the Ozarks and said "you-uns" and "over-hauls" (for overalls) and "varmints" in regular discourse. My favorite saying of his was "Well, you'll just have to get glad in the same britches you got mad in!"

Kris said...

I was just googling "it's making down" because I was afraid it no longer existed. It's a Pennsylvania Dutch-ism I remember from my youth, as are a number of the other cocktail napkin sayings you quote. As you can tell from context, it means "it's raining hard." "Outen the lights" is another I remember and still use (living now in Hawaii).