I was standing in line at the grocery store when an elderly man with a smooth southern accent came up to me and said, "Miss? Do you use those softener sheets that you put in the dryer?" Thinking that he was loose in the grocery store and needed directions to the laundry products I said,
"Well, yes I do," preparing to point him in the right direction.
"I thought you might,' cause you've got one of those little sheets stuck to the back of your pants."
AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! Are you kidding?"
No, I'm not, it's right there about thigh high.
"Thank you for telling me. I have probably been dragging that thing around with me all day."
"But, how did you like my approach?
"It was great! I'm glad you told me,"
"Well, look at it this way, it could have been the potty paper!"
I laughed all day thinking about what had happened but it reminded me of something that we have lost… the indirect approach and the art of applying a thin layer of bullshit or spin to soften the blow.
He might have said; "hey, you have something stuck to your pants."
That direct approach would have left me flat. The sweet favor of his smooth southern accent, coupled with a line of bull made my day.
I think that is why I love to write wacky little stories about American cliché'. All the people that spoke like that in my life are dead.
My grandpa, dad and uncles had these little sayings that left you to wonder. Sometimes I had to ask later what they were trying to say. I remember one thing my dad use to say that makes me laugh now but as a child I had no idea what the hell he was talking about.
"He thinks he's big, but it's just the way his diaper hangs."
I think I get that one now. Other things he said were more clear yet indirect.
As a child I loved to listen to adults talk. One time when my parents had neighbors over for coffee. I was hiding under the table listening to them talk. When my dad caught me he said,
"What's the matter? Are you afraid someone's going to fart and you won't get to smell it?
That remark even as child was pretty clear.
Now back to the dryer sheet. Quicker than the wind from a ducks ass I removed the dryer sheet from my leg, but the sweet scent of the day lingers with me still...