Monday, November 30, 2009

"Bill-isms" - Part VII

 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.

"Ralph... Buick..."
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.


Kathy said...

My father is the Dad of Bad Puns. You got it easy. I love the Buick one.

Your Dad is also kind of zen, don't you think? He's like Master Po from the Kung Fu series.

Love him!

Shieldmaiden96 said...

These are awesome. Also: My dad is also named Bill. One of his classics:

"What's for dessert?"

"Desert the table!"

Yeah. It was hilarious when we were eight and without ice cream too.

Anonymous said...

Sadly, as I get older, I find myself using many of these--at least in my mind. I dont always say them out loud, but they are there! When I do say them out loud, I follow it with, "I'm turing into my dad-aaaggghhh!" It's so scary! Actually, some of them make a lot of sense...see I told you-aaaggghh!

Jeff and Charli Lee said...

kathy - I command you to write a post about your dad's bad puns. This is not optional.

shieldmaiden96 - Thank God I never named any of my kids Bill. It appears to be the cause of Bill-isms!

sis - What's really funny is when you hear your kids say them. It's then that you realize that these things are probably 500 years old and have passed their way down the Lee tree since the dark ages.

JD at I Do Things said...

I love Bill and his "isms." I did go back and read some of the older ones. I think I'll start yelling "I'm higher than a Nazi spy!" and see what happens.

Go, Bill!

Bill said...

I will acknowledge that my free advise may only be worth what you pay for it. However, I still believe that many a true word is spoken in jest. For example, graffito in public toilets has been studied to understand what men had on their minds,(besides women) during early times. We know a psycologist that wrote his thesis on prostitution. He even convinced his wife that his writing interviews had to be held at night during "working hours". It all boils down to experience and knowledge that make a well rounded person. Too many people confuse fun with happiness. They are not necessarily synonymous. I will take this opportunity to wish all your blogger friends a life of happiness, such as I have had with my wife and children.---Bill

Susan said...

One correction: FORTUNATELY it doesn't need to make sense for Bill to use it. These are great.
I could write a post about my Dad's awful puns and jokes too, there were many, many.

Anonymous said...

Interesting post!! I am glad to read this post.


Anonymous said...

I'm going to steal your idea and write down my dads phrases and sayings while I am still capable of remembering them, not that I will ever be capable of understanding them, but still...

Ed said...

The true beauty of these is being able to toss them out regardless of whether they are applicable to the situation.

I love the good example of a bad example. I feel that my kids shall be hearing that one pretty soon.

Mom Thumb said...

I have heard him say many of those. It seems to be in the job description for dads to spout small bits of wisdom. Your Bill-isms posts have inspired my children to keep a notebook of Randy's Dad-isms and there are quite a pile of them!

PatKG said...

Gotta love Dad-isms! My dad's are "He'd complain if you hung him with a new rope" and "your chances are slim to none-- And Slim just left town." Re: the Zen thing. Maybe it's the Chinese last name! :-)

Elizabeth said...

OMG, Foresnips made me laugh out loud! Maybe since you've got the Chinese last name and all you should start putting them into fortune cookies.
(and thanks for the Chinese word site!)

Janna said...

I've already accepted the fact that I'm slowly becoming my mother.

She has all sorts of mom-isms.

One is "You can't sneeze and have pucker power at the same time."

It means don't be surprised if you sneeze and fart at the same time.