Well, Red Ingle and Cinderella G. Stump are singin’ “Gallin’ and Cuttin’ Up Dido’s” on the radio. Never heard of Cinderella G. Stump? That’s Jo Stafford moonlighting for fun and money, one of the prettiest voices ever come along; singing hillbilly songs instead of the classic pop that made her famous. Jo Stafford was on contract – Cinderella G. Stump could work when t’ money was good.
Never heard of Red Ingle? Red was the musician who made Spike Jones. You heard of Spike Jones? Well – shucks! Have ye iver heerd of gallin’ and cuttin’ up didos? You have? Have you ever done any? I didn’t think you’d admit it. Like the first verse sez…
“Gallin’ and cuttin’ up didos/ does a man no end of no good/ The daughters of Eve have been man’s undoin’/ since Hades was as big as a gnat/ So when you start thinkin’ of doin’ some wooin’/ just paste these words in your hat/ If you want to be happy and healthy/ stop cuttin’ up didos and get to cuttin’ up wood.”
And the chorus goes “Cut out that drinking/ and cut out that smoking/ and cut out that gallin’/ and cut out that dancin’/ and cut out your heart and lay down and die.”
All things considered, it sounds pretty reasonable to me. I have done a little gallin’ in my time and enjoyed nearly every minute of it. As long as my money or credit lasted anyhoo. The next day was a different story!
Of course, a man is s’pozed to quit gallin’ when he gets to middle age. I been told middle age is when you would rather look at old cars, old guns, or old radios than pretty gals, but I haven’t got to that stage yet. I did give up gallin’ about sixty years ago. But I have fond memories and some of these gals bring it all back!
Shoot, a gal at the accountant’s office the other day might as well been wearing a coat of paint as those skin tights she had on. One thing for sure, she didn’t have any secret flaws in her figure! She got my attention, and a gal looks that good would git a rise out of a week old corpse, I garontee!
Now, a young feller or a good looking feller, he has to look at a pretty something real quick, you know. Because she’s looking back see if he’s looking back at she, and it is still rude to stare. Lookin’ slow will get a young feller in trouble, even if slaps up the side of the head are out of style.
But bein’ old and natural ugly, I get to look as long as I want ’cause she shore ain’t lookin’ to see if I’m lookin’! There is at least one compensation for antiquity. And in bein’ beat real hard with an ugly stick!
But gallin’ does make a boy cut didos and get in pickles. No matter how old the boy might be. And it’s been that way all through history.
You know the deal, he falls, she falls, Niagara Falls. And for a while they are so in love that when he takes out the garbage she carries her half.
The Harri, the Hittites, said “Love is like the ague. We all catch it.” Cicero asked “Of what use is love if you have no one to share it,” while Horace said “Where love is, no room is too small.” The French say “Three things cannot be hidden: coughing, poverty, and love.” Ben Franklin called love a tickling sensation around the heart that could be soothed but never scratched. True pearls of wisdom, every one.
But you take a young’un who has caught the love bug and Plato hit the condition on the head. “Love is a serious mental disease.” And it completely knocks any logic or reason completely out of the afflicted’s punkin’ haid. It will make them do things that get them in all sorts of trouble.
Like proposing matrimony and such. Sometimes offerin’ to trot in double harness is mighty fine. And sometimes even offering is a serious mistake.
Why, I read in the paper t’other day that a woman stabbed a man seven times for trying to hug her. T’ paper said that proved she wasn’t in favor of a free press. I figger it’s a case of floweritis. She’s just a touch-me-not.
Seriously, I never have understood the way marriage proposals work. The woman might as well propose to the man. Whether she does or not, her husband will claim she did! And if she asks him for a date he could be sure his attention would be appreciated. As it is, she looks, he looks, he asks, and more often than not, she slaps!
Yessir, some use the cactus defense. They draw blood if you ask. Of course, that’s not the only danger. Hugh Ellis Wyatt got to kissin’ a gal one time and her dog bit him on the leg. Took a big chunk out of his calf. And Hugh Ellis was so worked up he didn’t notice it until he got home.
Hugh Ellis, now, that single minded boy got around, some. They told a story about him taking Patsy Quillan to see Shane. On the way he asked her if she would like to park for a while after the show. Patsy wouldn’t say yes or no. So Hugh Ellis was doing his best to get on her sugar side before the evening was over.
“Patsy, you’re really beautiful,” he sez.
Patsy sez “Thank you, Hugh Ellis.”
“I never saw such pretty hair, either, Patsy.”
“Thank you, Hugh Ellis.”
“And your eyes are like deep blue lagoons, Patsy.”
“Thank you, Hugh Ellis.”
“And your lips are as red as berries and your teeth glisten like pearls.”
“Well, thank you, Hugh Ellis. But tell me one thing.”
“Yes, Patsy, anything.”
“Can you drive with one hand?”
“Of course I can, Honey,” sez Hugh Ellis, sticking out his right arm and scoochin’ over in the seat towards her.
“That’s good,” Patsy said as she eased closer to the door. “Wipe your mouth, you’re drooling.”
Patsy eventually married an real estate man from Columbus. I heard her tell her friend that he was just the sort of man she had been looking for all her life. “He’s tall, he’s dark, and he has some.”
Cash does enter into the romantic equation at times. Patsy was like that Hollywood starlet who broke off her engagement to a wealthy shoe manufacturer. “I saw him in a bathing suit and he looked so different without his wallet,” she explained.
Patsy had a sister, Jan, who had been going steady with a guy for several months. He took her to Won How’s Chinse eatery one night and asked her how she wanted her rice, boiled or fried.
“Thrown,” sez Jan, looking him straight in the eye. And you know, he still didn’t get it. She flat had to ask him.
Somebody asked the old boy why he went with Jan so long. “Because she’s the only girl who would go out with me,” he explains.
“Well,” asks the nosy parker, “Why in the world did you marry her?”
“Because she’s the only one who asked me.” That’s more common than you think. And it starts young, too.
Jan and Patsy had a little sister, Shirley. Shirley was racing around the yard with Billy Boyles hot after her. So Billy’s daddy told the boy to settle down.
“But she pinched me,” hollers Billy.
Shirley’s daddy called Shirley over and asked her why she had pinched Billy.”
“So he’d chase me, of course,” sez Shirley.
That thrown rice reminds me of the time I was a short order cook at the Toddle House on Yazoo Street in Jackson. I was second cook on the graveyard shift, and when I came on one night the first cook was darn near hot enough to fry burgers on top of his head.
Tom thought he was making time with a pretty librarian from the Main Library, which was across Yazoo, and fronted on North State. He’d picked the gal up when the library closed, walked her three blocks to the Lamar theater for a late feature, and walked her two blocks to her rooming house. Got her there about eleven.
They get to the front steps and the gal pulls out her key and starts inside without much more than a real short goodbye. So Tom hints he’d like to come in and chat for a while.
“Sorry, my roommates home,” sez the gal, like she’s not sorry a bit.
“What about this mat that says `Welcome?” sez Tom.
“I don’t think there’s room enough on that for both of us,” she said as she closed the door behind her. I heard that gal tell the head librarian a man wouldn’t get inside her door unless he spent at least twenty bucks on entertainment and fed her besides. But a good looking woman makes a man deaf so I kept my gob shet.
Tom was another guy who got around. One night the district manager came in and I was the only human in sight. So the manager gets all het up, starts hunting around and finds Tom and Kathy the
waitress plastered to each other in the ladies room.
“Explain this,” snaps the manager, “an’ dam quick, too.”
“It’s real simple,” sez Tom. “It’s break time and neither Kathy or I like coffee.”
Tom was about six six, and strong as an ox. Quick on the uptake, too. One night some dude came in drunk as a skunk and couldn’t get his steak cut up. He’d saw at it with the back of the knife, push it off his plate and gather it back up, and all sorts of things. Finally he hollers at Tom that his steak was too tough and he wanted another one. Tom walks over and leans down to where he was eye to eye with the offending sirloin.
“I’m sorry sir,” sez Tom. “We cannot replace this steak. You have already bent it.”
Tom was bad to gamble, too. He and I got off work one morning, just walked out the door at 8:00, when a manhole blew off and went rolling down Yazoo. Tom turns to me and sez “Five bucks it comes up heads.”
He got short of cash one time and took a second job in a flooring warehouse. His second day on the job the boss discovered there was a big craps game behind the stacks of tile. So the boss calls Tom in.
“Git back there and bust up that dice game,” the boss ordered.
Two hours later the boss was taking another tour and found even more men were shooting dice, and Tom was right in the middle of them. The boss walked on and then had Tom paged.
After a few minutes Tom showed with paper money running out of every pocket. “Tom, I told you to break up that dice game,” the boss snapped.
“Boss, I tried to,” sez Tom, “But I only had a dollar when I started.”
Tom didn’t stay a bachelor too long. He finally popped the question and Kathy accepted. So they go off to the jewelry store to buy a ring. After they picked out a set that fit their budget – they size diamonds in karats but this was sized extra small – Kathy asked what the best way to take care of a ring was.
“The best thing I have found,” sez the salesman, “Is to dip it in dishwater three times a day.”
Now, that reminds me of a fellow I worked with in KayCee. Jimmy was obsessed with the idea that you could make money guessing which horse would run fastest today. He had figured out a system where his whole family could live with absolutely no income. The only problem was that it didn’t work. But he tried to make it work. Oh how he tried!
He came to work one morning and braces the boss for a loan. “Boss, I just got to have a hundred bucks. My wife is sick and the doc says if I don’t put her in the hospital she will be dead by morning.”
“Well, Jimmy, I could loan you the money but I’m afraid you’d gamble it away.”
“Boss,” sez Jimmy, “You don’t understand. This is life and death. Gambling money I got.”