Saturday, May 10, 2008

A Little Levity

Since yesterday's post was such a tear-fest, and my sister and cousin reminded me about a few hilarious things, today's post will be more about my Grandaddy, but it's all about the silly.

My Grandaddy sometimes thought I was too silly. My cousin Scotty and I would often sit at my kitchen table playing Skip-bo, trying not to squirt Coke out our noses from laughing so hard. Grandaddy would come in, mumbling about why we had to be so silly. But I knew better. He most definitely had a silly side.

Often times he would come up to the grandkids and out of the blue say, "Do you live around here or drag a board?" Or, "Which one of you is the 'one' and which one of you is the 'other one'?" Or if something interesting happened he'd say, "I wonder what Sarah 'n the girls would say about that?" We had no relatives named Sarah that I knew of, much less one with girls. And if one of us would attempt humor in his presence, "All these comedians out of work and here you are trying to be funny." Huh?

He was also adept at physical comedy. He (along with most of the Smith men) could clap with one hand. He would take his right hand and shake it to where his fingers slapped his palm. Try as I might, I've never been able to get as much volume out of my one-handed clapping as he and my uncles did.

He also wore dentures, which lends itself to hilarity in and of itself. Every once in a while I would beg him to make his faces with his dentures. First, he'd stick his bottom teeth out, making an awful face, but then he'd take both sets out and squish his face together, making me absolutely scream with laughter.

Of course, not all of his humor was intentional. He mispronounced words every once in while. My favorite was his pronunciation of the word "nonchalant." "I was just standing there, onshallah, when...(insert earth shattering occurance here)." My mother remembers his mispronouncing "saturated." "We've had so much rain here the ground is totally satchuated." And to this day I still mispronounce the name of Arkabutla Lake. I was nineteen before I realized that it wasn't "Arkabutler," and just because Grandaddy said it that way, I refuse to pronounce it correctly. "They went fishin' down at Arkabutler this weekend."

And yet other times he stole his humor from other sources. Like me. He was visiting us one day and some cute boys stopped by our landlord's house (we lived in a large garage "apartment" next to her house before we moved in with Grandaddy) to go fishing. He told me to go talk to them, but being the self-conscious 14-year old that I was, I blurted out, "But my legs aren't even shaved!" Oh, it was over after that. Every time I had to go out, or I wanted to look my best, or whatever, Grandaddy would say, "But are your legs shaved?"

As he got older he grew more mischievous. One day as we sat waiting for our food to arrive at Perkins, Grandaddy trapped an air bubble in the end of his plastic silverware wrapper. With a little grin on his face, he suddenly clapped his hand over the bubble, creating a very loud POP, causing his grandaughter much embarrassment. He just chuckled and acted like he was innocent of any wrongdoing.

Thank you for letting me reminisce about my Grandaddy the last two days. And reading about him. I know I can't completely convey how wonderful he was in these words, but maybe I can give you a little glimpse of how much I dearly loved him.

Tomorrow's post will have a bit of humor in it, as sister is going to kill me....


Kimba said...

What great stories you have about your grandfather. My dad used to mispronounce things too. He died 3-1/2 years ago and to this day whenever I hear those words, I think of him.

We once took a trip out west when I was a teenager and visited a state park in California full of Sequoia trees. He kept calling them Samoa trees. I still pronounce it that way in his honor.

CR--Autism Mom said...

Thanks for this one...I laughed at this one as much as I cried over the last post. I have to admit that like Jessica most of my memories are from when they lived in the house in the woods...and from Olive Branch. I remember picking vegetables from the garden, and Bullet and Tony, and the front porch swing. Speaking of Tony, remember the song Daddy made up about Tony? "I've got a dog named Tony Maroni...he looks like a stick of boloney (spelled like it sounds). He's always laying on the ground...he looks like a black and tan hound." That song just popped into my head...thought I'd share. Thanks for posting both of those pictures yesterday. I saved them to my computer. I told my husband that I want to get a double picture frame and print the 2 pictures out to put in the frame. Thanks for the laughs, Cuzzin.