My dad's name is Bill.
For those of you who weren't reading this blog 2 years ago, "Bill-isms" are little quotes my dad says on an all too-frequent basis. None of these are actually funny in a "ha ha" kind of way, but are funny to those of us who know Bill - much like the way it's funny when your brother stubs his toe really hard and hops around the living room on one foot swearing his head off. But to get a better feel for why these sayings are so special, I encourage you to click the "Bill-isms" tag at the bottom of this post and check out the previous ones. They're a quick read and will give you a very good understanding of what I had to deal with as a kid, and why I am not responsible for how I turned out like I did.
Anyway, it's been awhile since I've written one of these posts, but after spending a weekend with my father, I came to the conclusion that I no longer have a choice. There are just too many unrevealed Bill-isms to ignore. I seriously thought I had captured them all but my brother and I took notes these last few days and learned we had missed a few.
So that being said, here is the latest additions to the apparently unending list of things my dad has said since... well, forever:
"If you have so damn much energy go out and mow the lawn!"
This was my dad's escape valve, for when us kids were driving him nuts by being too loud and obnoxious inside the house. He knew we'd rather shut up and be good than go out and mow the lawn.
"He's a good example of a bad example"
This one is pretty self-explanatory, but I've always liked it. You'd be surprised how applicable this can be when you need a way to quantify just how much of a loser someone is.
"Don't break it, it's not paid for yet"
Bill says this every time he sees you handling something fragile or expensive. This is an automated response and he's probably not even aware he says it.
"I'll have a honeymoon sandwich"
The setup for one of his favorite jokes, as in, "I'll have a honeymoon sandwich... lettuce alone."
"Nothing's impossible. The impossible just takes a little longer"
Not unlike one of Pavlov's dogs himself, Bill will fire this one off anytime someone is dumb enough to say, "that's impossible" within earshot of him.
"I'll give him a tip. Get out of town."
Bill will say this if you ask him if he left a tip for someone, such as a server in a restaurant. My brother and I were trying to figure out what this even means, but unfortunately it doesn't need to make sense for Bill to use it.
"Who fired that round?"
Bill's attempt at passing off his own gas-passing as a joke. This could be considered a variation of the old "the one who smelt it, dealt it" adage that suggests if you're the one who mentions the fart, then you're also the one who did it.
"I like you. You have nice Chinese name."
A story Bill likes to tell about when he told an old Chinese guy that his last name was "Lee" one time. The guy went on to say, "Lee means 'plum' in Chinese. It also means 'good luck.'" Like I've said before, these Bill-isms are not necessarily "ha ha" funny, but they are funny to us.
(Updated: Remarkably, this Chinese symbols page confirms this. This is highly unprecedented in that Bill's sayings usually contain some mixed-up version of the original source of his Bill-ism)
Said every time he's working on something and you're the one handing him the tools. Bill thinks it's hysterical that he would be asking for what he thinks is a forceps used for circumcision while working on a lawnmower for example. I'm pretty sure there is no such tool called a "foresnips," but that only adds to the Bill-ism-ness of it all.
Part of a punchline to a joke I don't even know the actual setup for. It has something to do with a guy who is hung over and throwing up outside, as in... "I think he's out in the alley selling cars to some guy named Ralph. I could hear him saying 'Raaalph... Buuuick...'" This is a classic example of something Bill said so many times during our childhood that we stopped listening to how the joke actually went sometime around grade school.
"It's not what you know, it's who you know!"
Used whenever Bill hears you discussing the prospect of trying to get a new job.
"Merchants thrive on the extravagance of youth"
Bill would provide this macroeconomics lesson to us kids anytime he felt we were about to spend our money foolishly.
"Experience is a good teacher but it's a grim teacher"
Bill's not-so-tender way of consoling you whenever something has gone wrong.
So there you have it... my latest installment of Bill-isms. And just so you know, I don't write these in the hopes that you'll enjoy them. I write them as a way of healing through revealing. Kind of like the way a therapist will ask you to talk about the things that have caused you pain throughout your childhood. Only in this case the pain was always in my eyes... you know, from rolling them too far back into my head.