Friday, November 10, 2006

"Bill-isms" - Part V

My dad's name is Bill.

Over the past year, I have posted several sets of classic sayings my dad is so famous for - at least among the people who know him. Fortunately it's really easy to get to know him. All you have to do is read through the list of the other Bill-isms in my sidebar, as they represent about 90% of the things you'll hear him say on a regular basis.

Over the last year I thought I had remembered all of the known Bill-isms, but like fossils in the mud, more are still being discovered. Last weekend my friends and I put our collective heads together and unearthed these gems:

Bill-isms: Part V

"Higher than a Nazi spy"
Bill's favorite way to indicate someone is stoned or drunk. I'm not actually sure what this even means.

"Didn't know if he was on foot or horseback"
Another variation of the one above. It may be dumb, but at least it makes sense. Kind of.

"Why do they put fences up around cemeteries?"
EVERY time you pass a graveyard Bill has to fire off this old joke. The punchline?
Because everyone is dying to get in!


"A short pencil is better than a long memory"
Whatever you do, do NOT tell Bill you have forgotten something - because he will NOT forget to say this.

"Measure twice cut once"
This may be a classic carpenter's adage, but Bill now has the rights to it. If you say something 1 million times then it's yours. It's that simple.

"Play something you know!"
This one has a personal sting to it that dates back to my teen years. This was always Bill's first response anytime he would hear my friends and I play a song in one of our bands - no matter how well we performed it. For some reason I never found this one funny.

"He swears like a one-eyed carpenter"
On the other hand, I always thought this one was funny.

"You can't take it with you"
...to the afterlife that is. Bill's reminder to all of us not to be too greedy. And to his credit - Bill is, and always has been, one of the most generous and giving people I have ever met.

I learned my lesson months ago not to say this will be the last set of Bill-isms. So until next time!

18 comments:

Mooselet said...

Your posts reminded me (again) about my father's sayings, or oft repeated bad jokes. Unfortunately, he didn't have enough to make a post out of, but there's one...

Anytime we were in church and there was reading from St. Paul's letters to the Corinthians, he'd lean over and say, "They never wrote back, you know." Every. Time.

Wouldn't you know that at his funeral service, the damned priest read... yeah, St. Paul's letter to the Corinthians. I like to think my dad had possessed the priest in order to have the last laugh.

Thanks for sharing Bill's words o' wisdom!

Anonymous said...

I'm going to steal that Corinthians joke next time it's a reading in church.

HM: I went back and read the rest of this series, it was great. Thanks for doing it.

Harmonica Man said...

mooselet - That's a great story!

kal - Thanks. Bill is good for a lot of material.

Anonymous said...

Those are classic, I had to go read the previous again, crack me up!
My dad had one that always made me pause, "They were like a fart in a skillet" I assume referring to energy, hopefully not a meal. And my mom talked about how, "They didn't have enough sense to pound sand in a rathole"
"they", were in trouble around my parents.

Jenny said...

"Higher than a nazi spy"

I'm totally going to start using that one.

Harmonica Man said...

carla - "They" are good ones - although I'm scratching my head with the "fart in a skillet" one. Ain't it great how people contribute gems like these for us to remember forever?

jenny - Does that mean you get it? Were Nazi spies prone to drug abuse, or is this a reference to high altitude air reconnaissance?

Mom Thumb said...

Actually, the Nazi military leadership liberally dispensed drugs and alcohol (meth, opiates, cocaine) to the soldiers, for some reason thinking it would give the armies superhuman powers. Yeah, we're all much better performers when we're high. Anyway, that may be where that Bill-ism comes from. Kind of a downer of a comment, though. I miss Bill.

Dad b said...

Jeff knows I learned to share during the great depression. My mother would kill a valuable chicken to make soup for a sick or incapacitated neighbor. Other people did laundry, shoveled snow, or chopped wood for those in distress. My hope is that all bloggers reading this consider seeking out someone to assist during the upcoming Christmas season. I promise it will make both them and you happy!!!

Jennine said...

I feel like I just woke up and discovered it's Christmas morning...for Bill-isms are my favorite thing to read next to the writings of Erma Bombeck.

Thank you, Jeff, for recalling these priceless (and sometimes painful) quips.

Bill is from the Greatest Generation and the acorn doesn't fall far from the tree.

You're all nuts and I just love ya!

Harmonica Man said...

linda - Thanks for the background on the Nazi thing. I welcome informative comments any time! I can't wait to see my search results after this post.

dad - Good advice. I'll send you my Christmas wish list.

jennine - Yay - Jennine's back, Jennine's back! I understand you've had a busy week (*cough* understatement of the century). Me and the rest of the clan are anxiously awaiting the stories! We'll see you at your place...

Anonymous said...

Gee...did your dad know my dad? They are from the same town, so maybe they got together to think some of these up.

Seriously...your post brought back some VERY fond memories of my father.

Thanks.

Harmonica Man said...

sandy - Like I said before, we should compare notes. We both grew up in Duluth and it isn't that big of a place so there's a good chance we know some of the same people.

Who knows, maybe you were that girl down the street I used to throw frogs at when I was a kid. Could be - she didn't live there very long!

Anonymous said...

Billisms. Love it.

Craig's grandfather had some great ones. I'll have to recall them and do a remembrance post to him.

Sandy's younger than you Jeff...did you throw frogs at 3 year olds? Really? That's soooo wrong.

No throwing frogs at my friends. I can take you. Seriously.

but Momma said...

I may have to have a T-shirt made with "A short pencil's better than a long memory". I forget a lot of stuff, including writing it down with a short pencil.

When we would say to my Dad "Hey, let's go .....", he'd always say "Let's don't and say we did."

Bill said...

I think I will brag and tell those being brainwashed that last night I received a Certificate of Appreciation from the Shriners for starting a fundraiser for their hospitals. In 9 years we Knights of Columbus raised $140,000,00 selling hot dogs and brats without any expense. That is in addition to the honary fez they gave me. Now you know what I mean when I say, "When you are with me, you are running with the big dogs!"

Harmonica Man said...

dad - WOW! Congratulations!

I've always been in awe of your ability to garner so many donations from your community for the Shriners Children's Hospitals.

You certainly deserve this honor for all your tireless efforts of pulling together all the free advertising, food and press year after year and raising so much money for such a worthy cause.

Good job. And thanks for the new Bill-ism. Bonus!

Waya said...

Bill sounds like a smart, no nonsense kind of Dad. I can see where you get your sense of humor from. ;-) This is a great list! My hubbie has a list for me too but they are mostly silly and stupid things that I say without thinking.

Bugwit Homilies said...

I think i'd like your dad. You don't meet many good characters with good character any more.