I found myself saying that to my husband this week. When was the last time I’d used that line? Maybe never. When was the last time I heard it? Possibly from one of my long-passed grandfathers, both who had a million of ’em. (insert Jimmy Durante’s cigar and ‘Wonk, wonk.’)
Like, “See ya in the funny papers!”
And, “You ain’t just whistling Dixie…” “Look that up in your Funk & Wagnall…” “He’s cruisin’ for a bruising.”
And “Heavens to Murgatroyd.” Who is Murgatroyd, anyway? Snagglepus seemed to know and I feel like it made sense when I watched Saturday morning cartoons, but now I’m not sure what I thought it meant.
I used the funny-paper line in my most recent novel, Three of Cups. I was no doubt channeling my own Pop when I created the grandfather character to Rachel’s portion of the story. In lieu of saying ‘goodbye,’ Rachel and her grandfather (cleverly disguised as Poppy) shared a routine of rounding their thumb and first fingers into ‘O’s, holding them up to their eyes, and peering at each other while simultaneously reciting the line.
Those who know me well know that I’ve made it a personal mission to keep ‘groovy’ in the vernacular, but I credit Tom Florence with holding down the fort with some oldies but goodies too. He shows his age (and his adorable charm IMHO) with lines like “That dog will hunt,” “Like white on rice,” “Seven ways to Sunday,” and “High as a cat’s back.”
Whenever we asked my dad where he was going, his favorite line was, “Downtown to buy Wheaties.” He loved Wheaties, and I loved it when he said that.
He also had a regular response to every gift he ever received—whether a pair of socks or the surprise can of Barbasol he received from my sister Vicki for every occasion: “Well, I’ll be the grandest tiger in the jungle!” I loved that too.
Full disclosure: When I said to Tom, “How do you like them apples,” I actually said “potatoes” at first and then corrected myself. I’m not sure if he noticed. I’m not sure if he was listening.
But, time to move on…