Friday, January 21, 2011

Remembering Neil Calvin Goodspeed

Today I was laughing with a friend about some of dad's more colorful sayings. Some, I think, were snippets of longer poems or texts that he learned from his dad. Others are all his. Note: Dad was colorful, maybe a bit earthy. Fair warning.


Balls!
One of Dad's most common exclamations was, "Balls!" or "Oh, balls!" He said it when he was amused, disgusted, or didn't know quite what else to say. I'm pretty certain this is part of a longer poem that was much more widely known than just my family.
"Balls!" said the queen.If I had two/to I'd be king.
T
he king laughed because he had two/to. 
The queen laughed because she wanted two/to.

You must have a scab on your ass a mile wide
Legend has it that this is one from Grandpa Merrit. When dad was quite small, Grandpa Merrit put him on top of the plow horse (bareback) and left him there for pretty much all day. When Grandpa finally remembered, and pulled Dad off the horse, Grandpa allegedly said, "You must have a scab on your ass a mile wide." (because, riding bareback in shorts on a sweaty plow horse would cause sores) Dad used it when he thought someone was nursing a grudge - and not necessarily compassionately.

How are you doing today?
Dad felt that if someone was going to ask an insincere question he could readily provide an insincere answer. His stock one was:
"Sick abed in the woodbox, 'cross two chairs, feet hanging out the window, a bottle of beer in my hand. If I was any better I'd be in the hospital. Glad you asked."
The normal response was a sort of startled laugh. 

Farting...
Dad had two common farting sayings, and farting out loud (and with relish) was only mildly taboo growing up. Of course we were expected to know when it wasn't appropriate, and girls were generally not to take pride in rippers, but otherwise Dad could be the king of the fart-offs.
"Come forth!" said the king, but Jack stumbled, farted and fell and came fifth.
A farting horse will never tire and a farting man's the man to hire.

If Wishes were Horses
This also is part of a widely known and shared poem, however I think Dad may have added the last bit.
If wishes were horses the ladies would ride. If horse turds were biscuits they'd eat till they died.

Unknown Origin...
About horses "Four white socks and a white nose. Cut off their feet and throw them to the crows."

"I eat my peas with honey.I've done it all my life.It makes the peas taste funnybut it keeps them on the knife."

Mom's Line in almost every circumstance...
"Oh Neil!" She could make that say almost anything.

I wish that Dad had lived to see his grandchildren grown and that they'd had a longer time to spend with him. He could be difficult, strict, cranky and yet incredibly funny and understanding. He was always very, very smart and I suspect he really enjoyed occasionally messing with our minds.