Tuesday, January 02, 2007

What's that, mom?

Mom: It's a layover to catch meddlers, and you're the first one caught.
Me: No, really. What is it?

Mom: I told you. It's a layover to catch meddlers, and you're the first one caught.
Me: Ok. But what is a layover, and what do you do with it?

Mom: You use it to catch meddlers.
Me: I know. But then what are meddlers?

Mom: Well, you're the first one caught. Does that help?
Me: Aw, come on mom...

It never really mattered what it was to me, or my mom. Once it got started we both carried it on with gusto. I thought until recently that this was a game that only we knew how to play. Thanks to Google, I have found that children have been befuddled by this expression for as long ago as 1890 in the Eastern and Southern states. I also found out that a layover is a trap for bears; the pit I saw in the old movies that was covered with branches. I, of course, was the meddler; fiddling around in my mother's business.

When I was taking pictures for this post, Willi picked up the long wooden tool in the first picture and asked, "What is this?"

Of course you know what I said!


At 3:49 PM, Blogger willi said...

It's used to sharpen knives. It is probably an antique like this saying. However, the art of the "layover to catch meddlers" is not lost. At least that is what I discovered at the check out register in the department store where I started playing with the battery powered massagers. The massagers were at every register we went to! But the only meddler they caught was me, otherwise gawilli would have purchased one and my neck wouldn't be stiff!

At 7:33 PM, Blogger mjd said...

This is great post to start our new year. Your Mom must have been quite the lady and lots of fun.

I suspect that all of the pictures feature torture devices except maybe the first one that includes a small wine glass. No self-respecting torturer would serve wine...would they?

Note to Willi: We have one of those "Try Me" massagers. Although the device does not have curative powers, the vibrating is quite soothing for tired aching muscles.

At 7:35 AM, Anonymous Susan said...

I'm pretty sure the wine was for the torturer, not the torturee!

So how many times did you get caught with your mom's fun little word game anyways?

At 12:49 PM, Blogger Tink said...

That's cute! Sounds like a catchy name for a book, or song, or something.

At 6:12 PM, Blogger gawilli said...

Willi - we could probably work out some kind of a deal to get rid of that stiff neck you know...

Mjd - Actually the green torture device in the first picture is a tool my mom used to mend stockings. I did however torture my parents with my dad's duck call, the black item in the picture. Wine sounds awfully good, though.

Susan, after awhile I learned to be quiet and watch - particularly if I was treading on the last nerve. Eventually I could figure it out for myself, although it wasn't near as much fun!

Tink! It would make a pretty catchy song title...Willi are you reading this?!!

At 12:28 AM, Blogger Cazzie!!! said...


At 9:36 AM, Blogger Frema said...

This reminds of that one joke kids like to pull on each other:

Kid 1: "Three Peat and Repeat walk down to the river. Three Peat falls down. Who's left?"

Kid 2: "Repeat."

Kid 1: "Three Peat and Repeat walk down to the river..."

At 2:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very interesting implements. I like the story.

At 7:36 PM, Blogger Love, Me said...

Hey mjd it is me, lastly known as Speaking From the Heart. Would you send the picture of Grandma Gray to me? She really was quite the lady. Because Grandpa Gray lived long before Social Security, she was not allowed any help at all. Although Laura Gray growled over the years about the fact that her siblings did not share in the care of Grandma; she always made sure that Grandma had everything she needed. We would give Grandma Gray a present and she would put away, because she may need it later. She was haunted by memories of the Poorhouse. Real?? Remember when she was confirmed, our mother bought her a new purple dress and a corsage and made sure she wore her corset! Grandma was the oldest person to be confirmed at Trinity, and if my own memory serves me right, she was 87 then. She had worked as a companion to the sick and elderly, and she probably should of made real money; those are horrors of terrible wages for what was probably expected as almost a slave to them. So yes, our mom was the best.
Do you remember the year that Trinity sponsored Hungarians to the USA? We had a party for them. I still remember mom said now these guys are cute, but we must leave them alone. Besides we sure couldn't understand them.

At 5:16 PM, Anonymous tenorlass-peace said...

I read in the Bible just today that a meddler is a mischief-maker.

At 7:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was raised on a variation of this game:
Me (seeing mom cook something in the kitchen): What'cha makin'?
Mom: Winnernoss
Me: What's winnernoss?
Mom: Catch little meddlers like you.

I never got it.


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