Pot Spoon Monologues: Happy Mother’s Day!
My mother could wield a pot spoon with the best of them. In fact, she was so good most times I didn’t even see her coming, but I always felt her. She surely held sway and the upper-hand for many a thwarted childhood rebellion. In hindsight, her fury was a beautiful thing because I was her first and she was determined to pour everything into me. Truly she would make and remake me over the years. And there were others who were equally invested in my best. Aunties, Bigga Cousins, a Nana and a Grandmother. They all took part in the raising. After all, as I was reminded ever so often: I wasn’t “dragged up”, I was “brought up”.
And in the bringing up some things just stuck. No one might have suspected such, or maybe there was some hope held out. I was such a “special” child, always in some sauce or the other and “armed to the teeth with questions.” My mother would say “you have a plaster for every sore.” I did. My one saving grace: I was never the child talking about, “licks must cool.” Ha! I knew better than that. Better to bawl muddoh than pretend indifference.
However, the Pot Spoon Monologues is not so much about licks, although the title does spring from the focused agility of a parent or parental authority (granny, auntie, cousin, neighbor, teacher, principle etc etc) to bear down with say a pot spoon in one hand and the wrath of history (past, present and future) or it could have been God on the other. The Pot Spoon Monologues is about all things in season, and those things, in this case are represented by colloquialisms or expressions that have been perfectly seasoned over generations.
The following colloquialisms are from my house to yours:
- “Who carn hear does feel.” Perhaps the one I heard the most and feel I did.
- “Hurry dog eat raw corn.” I was beyond curious, so this applied spades.
- “See me and come live wid me is two different things.” Truer words were never spoken. Even now a few could stand to be reminded.
- “Every skin teeth nuh laugh.” I was not checking anyone’s cemetery to verify.
- “Time long like twine…” This one always just hung in the air for me, like dun dun dun… It was good enough to make me afraid of my shadow. LOL. Perhaps that was the point.
- “Keep living.” Period. Full Stop. What can be said after this one is invoked? Serious question.
Some of my favorites gleaned from friends and family for this post:
- “Me naar clean grung foo monkey to run pon.” In other words you meet it clean, it’s in your best interest to leave it that way.
- “Play wid puppy, puppy lick u tail.” What comes to mind is laying down with dogs and coming up with fleas, except you know it still goes a lot deeper.
- “Watch out for how deh face cut like a bill on both sides.” This one I was told is for “dangerous” people, those wolves in sheep clothing characters. There was or is a tool called a bill from my great great aunt’s generation. It has a sharp point. This saying is comparing the intentions of people to that object.
- “Monkey know what tree to climb.” Love this one. Indeed experience teaches us where we should take a risk and where we should hold back. Some risks or trees aren’t worth it.
- “New broom sweep clean but old broom knows where the dirt is.” A friend thought that this one could be about friendship i.e. you make new friends all the time, but your oldest, truest friends know you best.
- “Pig de ask he mother why he mouth so long. Mother said wait.” This one reminds me of “Time long like twine…” Experience is ever the best teacher.