A few weeks ago a new voicemail system downloaded to my phone. It was some kind of deal that would turn voice messages into text messages, and it wasn’t free. I think it cost $4.95 per month. However, it was forced upon me and the only way to get out of it was to call Verizon and tell them. It’s a slimy way of doing business… but that’s another conversation for another day.
They removed the service from our phones, and returned us to a “free” version. It bothers me to call it free, since we back a Brinks truck up to Verizon world headquarters every month. But it’s included at no additional cost. You know what I’m saying.
And now… we have the most annoying voicemail on the planet. It’s different than it was before. Whenever you check a message it takes FOREVER to get to the recording. It’s a woman’s voice, speaking super-slow, providing far too much information:
“You have a new message. Received today at 2:58 pm. From 888-888-8888. The tone of the message is generally cordial, with a slight undercurrent of curtness. I don’t care for that. Your weather conditions when the message arrived was partly cloudy, with a light breeze from the north. Weather conditions for the sender was cold and rainy. I am eating a sandwich right now, ham and Swiss. It’s goddamn delicious. I think the secret of a good sandwich is in the bread, wouldn’t you agree? Yes, to me, bread is the key. Duration of the message: 27 seconds…”
That might be a slight exaggeration, but only slight. It’s maddening. It goes on and on and on. I could start it, put my phone down, go take a leak, and it would almost be finished when I returned. It’s insane. Has this happened to you? There’s probably a button I can push to go straight to the message, right? The problem? I don’t know what it is.
Yes, I know people lived through The Blitz in WWII. What of it? That means I can’t bitch about things? I reject that notion. Power to the bitchers! Pass the beer nuts.
I was talking with my brother a few days ago, and I asked him if he remembers our aunt using a phrase when we were young that I found both bizarre and fairly disgusting. She was a teenager at the time, in high school. I was a little kid, maybe five years old. So, we’re talking about 1968 or thereabouts.
And she used to say “Oh, suck my nose!” all the time. Whenever she’d get the least bit exasperated, she’d shout that phrase. WTF? I can’t remember hearing anybody else say it, at any time during my long, ridiculous life. I assume it was the in-thing at the time, and she was the only teenager I was around.
Are you familiar with that unsettling exclamation? I’m also surprised my grandmother allowed such a thing to be shouted underneath her roof on a regular basis. My grandfather couldn’t even get away with an occasional “shit.” I find “suck my nose” to be worse, far worse. Blecch.
Speaking of taking things far too literally, that same grandfather used to shout, “I’m going to set you on fire!” whenever he’d get mad at my aunt, his daughter. Again… not familiar with that phraseology. I’d sit there thinking about people sucking the snot out of noses, and dousing each other in gasoline. It was a very confusing time for your corpulent correspondent.
Can you remember phrases spoken by adults that confused you as a kid? Or maybe it was phrases spoken by other, more-worldly kids? If so, please tell us about them in the comments. I’m also interested in phrases that were once common, and have gone out of style. When I was in high school the stoners used to say “Suck a rod” all the time. I haven’t heard that one in a while. Thankfully.
The reason I thought about this was because Toney and I were in Sears a few days ago, and woman yelled at her kid, “If you don’t shut up, I’m going to beat you to a pulp!” A very classy lady, probably educated at one of the finer finishing schools in New England… But I wondered if the kid was taking it literally, like I used to do. Doubtful, because the little bastard didn’t seem to alter his behavior, whatsoever.
What kind of questionable crap have you heard people say to kids in public? That can be part B of the Question o’ the Day.
And I have to go now. Another workday awaits. I’m going to try to update this site on Monday and Thursday every week. It’s gotten off-track again, and I need to make a public proclamation to hold myself accountable.
So, I’ll see you guys again on Monday.
Have yourselves a great weekend!
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The Qweezy Mark says
Ahhhh, Verizon’s Visual Voicemail system. They keep wanting me to download it but I by-pass it every time. It finally stopped popping up. Bastards. I knew bad things would’ve happened.
Joe T says
I once heard a father yell at his 6 year old, “No you can’t have milk. Finish your Coke!”.
Imagine if the kid only smoked half of his cigarette.
Jerry in WV says
Things I remember hearing from my childhood in the 60’s……….Shit fire! I always imagined a really painful bathroom experience. Hell’s Bells. Still have no idea what that one means. Piss up a rope. I really thought this one was great comedy. I assume it meant something very difficult. My grandmother would make bets with my grandfater and the prize was always a “Pretty”. She would say, I bet you a pretty that……… To her a “pretty” was anything that had value but wasnt’ money, because, you know, betting money is a sin.
I remember one time when I was 16 or so, (’60s)my Dad made me get off the phone, and I told him to piss up a rope. He chased me out of the house and down the street. When he couldn’t catch me, he went back in the house and yanked the phone cord out of the wall. I was grounded from the phone for a couple months.(after he fixed it.)Kids back then really didn’t get away with backtalking their parents like they do nowdays. I know I sure never did it again! 🙂
My dad would attempt to regulate our condiment consumption by saying, for example, “That’s enough ketchup to float a battleship!”
One time as a first grader my mother asked me how my day at school was. I had an undesirable substitute teacher that day so I told her it was bad because of the sub. She asked what was wrong with the teacher and I responded with “She’s a horror.”
Mom proceeded to explain what a whore is and what a whore does (at the age of 6) and why I should never call someone a whore. My six year old mind was awfully confused and suddenly curious if that’s why I couldn’t watch horror movies.
Your comment reminds me of the movie Tootsie. I know, bizarre!
Dustin Hoffman’s female persona was named Dorothy, which I (an Aussie) pronounce as three syllables. In the movie, he was Dorthy. I always think of that whenever I see images of him or Tootsie.
I’ve often wanted to tell someone about this so thanks for the opportunity.
I heard a “mother” tell her kid that he was.an a**hole, and that one day, “people would get sick of his sh*t and beat the h*ll out of him…and he’d deserve it”.
The kid was around 3 or 4…
Root 66 says
I used to have a co-worker that said his mom told them she would “slap them to sleep” when they misbehaved. Seems kind of counter-intuitive, but–OK!
We always used the phrase “beat the tar” out of something/someone. I never quite figured out how that was really possible…
Do people use the phrase “jive turkey” any more? I might be a little out of the loop!
I actually used that phrase today. Hi! I’m Alex, and I am a fan of 60’s & 70’s era movies. So there is a somewhat regular usage of obsolete phrases to make my coworkers wonder…
Lee Harvey Ramone says
I happen to be a Jive Turkey, you gotta problem with that?
Phantom Railfan says
Long time, no post (yeah, who cares?)
When working retail, I heard a kid around 3 or 4 announce he had to go to the bathroom. The mother replied in annoyance “I am NOT walking you all the way over there so you can take a piss! I put a diaper on you this morning for a reason!” Bizarre.
I got the same voicemail player trial from Verizon, passed on it, and they left me with a very easy to use player. Looks just like a music player, but it plays the message without any menu, none. No entering 86, or a password, or 1 to play etc. It’s just got a “play arrow” symbol, that’s it.
We used the word “mint” for cool; she’s mint, that’s so mint. I don’t hear that anymore.
The Qweezy Mark says
My dick is mint. At least that’s what the menthol puffin’ harlot told me.
I saw Menthol Puffin’ Harlot at the Crystal Ballroom in Portland in the late nineties. I lost my Innocence in the mosh pit. If anybody sees her could you tell her to call me?
Portland , Maine, of course.
Screamed by a Mother at her child in a stroller “shut the fuck up you little fuck”. Yes, this was a fancy place.
There’s voicemails on my cellphone? I have no idea how to retrieve them, nor do I care to. Anything important comes as an email (or snail mail, now *there’s* an old phrase).
Ruthless Dee says
My mother used to threaten us with a number of routine phrases. What comes to mind is “I’m going to cut the blood out of you.” and “I’m fixin’ to stripe you up.” In fact, these were truths since she would send to first kid out in the morning to pick willow switches, which she would keep in a jar of water. They were powerful weapons that could leave legs “striped up” with bleeding wounds. How messed up was it that we didn’t even think of this as any kind of abuse.
One Christmas, my sister ripped the head off my other sister’s new doll and my mother screamed “You’ll pay for that with your life!” I thought my brother in law would have a seizure from laughing so hard. We still use that phrase when someone in our family majorly f’s up.
Hell bent for leather. Never understood that one. My brother was a teenager (’69-’70) and anytime Mom made a comment and his reply was “Quack, quack, quack”! Really loud like a duck. He did it all the time until she lost her shit. “If you quack,quack, quack one more time I’m gonna smack you till your eyes spin around” Brothers reply? “Peep, peep, peep”
The Qweezy Mark says
Holy shit, that’s funny.
R.A. Reimer says
From my folks: “You’re talking like a sausage” or “You’re talking through you hat.” (??) Before F*bombs were popular, telling a numbskull to “bite my crank” seemed to get the job done (60s-70s).
From the Brits: Explaining something and just before you get to the conclusion, say “Bob’s your uncle.”
This wasn’t in my stupid British phrase book. I think it means “ergo” or “thus.” Why use a 4 letter word when a stupid phase will suffice?
Your book was a 4 star read!
Raised eyebrows here at work yesterday when I spilled a giant drink and yelled “SON OF A BEACHBALL”! Got that one from my mom when I was little and it’s great for mixed company. Evidently, however, it’s not widely known. >8(