We’ve talked about these things in the past, but I am fascinated by folk sayings. I think this is possibly because my grandmother (and by extension, my mother) had one of these things for every occasion. Well, not really FOR every occasion. They would just throw them in there whenever they felt like it, even when it didn’t match up to what was being said, sometimes, which was very confusing. But it was like being a linguistic archaeologist, listening to them talk. Or maybe anthropologist? Either one, maybe, I don’t know. I liked to figure out where they got these things. And I grew up pretty sure that NO ONE’S FAMILY had these weird sayings. Well, maybe families in the deep south. People down south have weird sayings. I know this from book larnin’. Don’t let anyone tell you books don’t teach you anything, kiddos. I’ve totally learned things from books, like how down south, people have as many weird country sayings as my mom and grandmother do.
But when I was looking for something else a while ago (what was I looking for? Don’t know. Can’t remember. SOMETHING. I look for a lot of things online, then I get distracted by shiny and find something ELSE, and then I bookmark that other thing so I’ll remember to talk about it with you all later. My list of bookmarks is LONG. And someday when I die, someone’s going to find it, and they’re going to be all “what is this utterly fascinating yet terrifying look into the mind of AMY” and then they’re going to be scared of me, I think) I found a website which is called “American Folk Sayings” and I was all, “huh, MERKAN folk sayings, this ought to be good! Because I’M Merkan!” but then I started reading it and ZOMG YOU GUYS. There were SUCH WEIRDO THINGS ON IT.
Now I’m not 100% sure if the person who set up this site made some of these up, or if they’re real things, or people sent them in to him and he was being trolled, or WHAT is HAPPENING, but I was seriously reading these and just giggling and then saying “what? no” and then giggling again and more and again. And also thinking, “oh, Ken will love these because EUPHEMISMS” and also “huh, I think old-timey Merkans hated women.”
WELCOME TO MERKA! Where we say stupid shit, apparently, for a LIVING!*
(*may not actually be true, I’m not sure)
A friend to everyone is a friend to nobody. I think this one wants us to have enemies. I kind of get this – I mean, who trusts someone who likes EVERYONE? Not me, that’s for sure – but I find it odd there’s a whole saying advocating enemy-ing people. Well, these are MERKAN sayings, after all. And we’re really good at hating over here. I guess if you look at it this way, this is a very good Merkan saying.
A man is the only animal that can be skinned more than once. I think this refers to something with money. Isn’t stealing or cheating someone called skinning them? But also I think this is about Buffalo Bill and his skin-suit. I’m pretty sure a serial killer wrote this one.
A living dog is better than a dead lion. What? OF COURSE IT IS! Who wants a dead lion? Who even wants a LIVE lion? LIONS ARE NOT PETS. Dogs are pets. Why do we even have a saying about this? Is it because we might forget the distinction? OK, well, if that’s the case, here, let me make it easier for you. Dogs: pets. Lions (dead OR alive): NOT PETS. There. You don’t even need this saying, it is extraneous.
A man without guts lives on his knees. I think this one is about crawling to Old Man Potter like in It’s a Wonderful Life. Or maybe about blow jobs. Yes, with further reflection, I’ve decided it’s about blow jobs.
A man who marries twice is a two-time loser. Oh. Um. This is…negative. Do you think it means you should stay with your first wife? Or do you think the old-time Merkans just hated marriage so so much? A TWO TIME LOSER! Whoa. Very crankity.
A good wife is the best household furniture. Now wives are like a dresser or maybe a chiffarobe? I don’t like the direction this is going. I don’t think I like women being compared to bookcases. BAD BAD BAD MERKANS.
A handsome husband is common property. So…if your husband is handsome he is also a whore? I don’t get this exactly. I would assume most women would think the man they marry is handsome? Because who marries someone they think is ugly? You have to think someone’s attractive. I mean, you don’t hear too many people saying “Yeah, he’s really homely, but he’s got a good heart, so I fell in love with him.” I guess that happens in fairy tales or whatever, but in the real world, not really. Also, Handsome Manwhores, you should probably not be whoring it up. STOP THAT RIGHT NOW. I don’t take kindly to cheating.
Better weak beer than lemonade. …what if you hate beer? And/or have a drinking problem? And really like lemonade?
Beware of a door that has too many keys. What the hell? What is this a euphemism for, exactly? Too many people can get in and out of this place? I don’t get this at all. Wait, is this about sex again? SIDE NOTE: I have a weird thing for keys. I like them a lot. Especially old skeleton keys. I find them evocative and romantic.
By candlelight, every country wench is handsome. UGH OLD TIMEY MERKANS! You are very sexist. This is very much like a MODERN saying, which my brother taught me: “Put a bag over her head and do your business.” Then I slapped my brother. Hard. On the arm where it would sting him all bad and leave a welt. Because who SAYS something like that? Grump grumble grump says I. I think the handsome country wench should burn down this person’s house with the candle. And laugh as she leaves with her handsome, handsome face as this person screams burningly.
Don’t dare kiss an ugly girl, she’ll tell the world about it. WTF OLD TIMEY MERKANS! First, why are you kissing people you aren’t attracted to? Second, if you kiss someone and you are SO EMBARRASSED that someone’s going to find out, you are a douchebag and keep your lips to yourself. Third, who walks around all “I KISSED JIMMY MCDOUCHEBAGGERY?” Maybe back in the old days. Actually, back in the old days, I’m pretty sure if you kissed someone you were halfway on your way to married or something, right?
This reminds me of this song, which always made me bop all around, until I really listened to the words and then I was like, wait, this is kind of offensive and now makes me grimace.
Don’t taste every man’s soup, you’ll burn your mouth. Why are you walking around tasting strangers’ soup? Is this a euphemism for being a whore? Is the burning a euphemism for STDs? Ken’s going to have to give the final answer on this one, but I’m thinking yes.
First deserve it, then desire it. Shit, I desire things all the time I don’t deserve. Doesn’t everyone? That’s stupid. Of course we’re not going to only desire things we DESERVE. If that’s the case, I’d probably only desire…what, life in a trailer park and chicken fingers? Ha! WELL! Taught YOU a lesson, I DON’T live in a trailer park! Now where are my chicken fingers.
He who has no enemy has no friend. Why does this list want you to make so many enemies? What is this saying? Your enemy is your friend? Or you know who your true friends are if you make enemies? I find this list suspect. It’s like that one terrible friend that everyone has that wants you to hate everyone but him. “YOU WILL BE MY BEST FRIEND!” says your one terrible friend. “YOU WILL BE MY BEST FRIEND BECAUSE YOU WILL HAVE NO OTHER FRIENDS!”
If the stone hits you, I threw it. Now you’re throwing shit at me? Why are you doing that? What if the stone DIDN’T hit me? By your logic, that means you DIDN’T throw it? I repeat: what the hell did I do that you’re hucking projectiles at me?
It’s easier to go down than up. Blowjobs. They’re talking about blowjobs. Also maybe success and failure, but mostly blowjobs.
If you want a neat wife, choose her on a Saturday. What hoodoo is this? If you meet the woman you’re going to marry on a Saturday, she’s…going to be good at housekeeping? I guess? That’s dumb. What’s she good at if you meet her on a Tuesday? Oh. Probably going down, which is easier than going up. Gotcha.
Let thy maidservant be faithful, strong and homely. SO YOU AREN’T TEMPTED TO HAVE SEX WITH THE HELP AM I RIGHT FELLAS HYUCK HYUCK! This list is obsessed with ugly women and also sex.
Nothing is gained by having one donkey call another, “Long Ears!” THERE ARE TALKING DONKEYS??? Well. That’s exciting. They’re insulting talking donkeys, but talking animals are always fairy-tale-esque, aren’t they? So I think this is about the pot calling the kettle black or something, but mostly what I take away from this is TALKING EFFING DONKEYS.
One does not put beauty in a kettle. WHAAAAT? Of COURSE you don’t! Don’t put lovely people in kettles. How big is this kettle, anyway? Like a witches’ kettle? Are you cooking people? What does this MEAN? What is UP with the KETTLE?
She that is born a beauty is half married. Oh, NICE. That’s helpful. Because all you need to hook you a man is the looks, darlin’. This doesn’t make us plain girls depressed at all. Don’t worry about the brains or any of that other nonsense. Look out for his kettle collection, though, because I think he might be wanting to cook you up and make a nice roast out of you.
The ugliest girls make the best housewives. FOR THE LOVE OF PETE. We’re putting people in kettles. We’re screwing ugly girls by candlelight and at the same time we’re refusing to kiss them because they might blabber. And NOW, we’re marrying women SO THEY WILL DO OUR LAUNDRY. And possibly our dishes. Good grief old-timey Merkans, I want to punch you in the schnozzle.
Wedlock is a padlock. But a padlock that does your dishes and gets your dainties Rinso white, am I right?
You can’t tell the depth of the well by the length of the handle on the pump. I laughed so hard when I read this I totally choked on dinner. KEN KEN KEN. There is no WAY this one’s not a euphemism. Right? I totally win euphemism right now. Also, what the hell does this mean? Of course you don’t know how deep a well is by how long the pumphandle is. That doesn’t even make SENSE. If you’re going to write one of these, you could at least write one that isn’t total NONSENSE. But as a euphemism, it’s really kind of the best. How deep is YOUR well? How long is YOUR handle? (SIDE NOTE! I asked Dad about this one? And he knew it IMMEDIATELY. I was all, “DAD! That’s about sex, right?” and he said, “Well, I think it’s about a lot of things. But mostly pumphandles.” He SWEARS that there are pumps with all different length handles and this makes sense. But he also thinks it’s about how you can’t judge a book by its cover, and also – grudgingly – probably sex.)
The beard does not make the philosopher. I hope you liked that last one, Ken, because I think this one’s insulting you and your most prestigious beard. I want to argue with this one. Ken has a LOVELY beard. And also is very philosophical. BAD MERKAN FOLK SAYING BAD. Don’t you insult my friend’s beard. I’ll cut you, yo.
One had better have no dealings with girls with fat legs. Hee! Are fat-bottomed girls still ok, though, do you think? I mean, if I’m remembering correctly, don’t they make the world go ’round, or something? And why are fat-legged girls SO SO BAD? Like, “NO DEALINGS.” None. You can’t even TALK to them. Or let them do your laundry and dishes. Or buy coffee from them at the Starbucks. What if they’re wearing pants? How would you know exactly how chubby those legs are? This one raises a lot of questions for me.
A big wife and a big barn will never do a man any harm. This seems to be advocating fat wives and large outbuildings. I’m a little confused about that. Because the last one didn’t want you to have a wife with fat legs? So this one’s contradicting the last one, so does that mean they render each other null and void? CONFUSING CONFUSING!!!
What have we learned today, chickadees?
- Old-timey Merkans hated women and also marriage
- However, old-timey Merkans put up with marriage so someone would scrub their toilets for free
- Old-timey Merkans wanted you to have enemies
- Old-timey Merkans insulted Ken’s beard (UNACCEPTABLE)
- Old-timey Merkans were good at euphemisms
- There seemed to be a lot of blow-job and sex related sayings in old-timey Merka, which is curious to me
- Old-timey Merkans may or may not have been cannibalizing their beautiful people (using kettles) and killing lions
So now I feel a little better that my mom’s side of the family is filled with these things, because there’s no WAY my mom and grandmother have ANYTHING as weird as these sayings. None none none. WE ARE NORMAL.*
(*”Normal” compared this list of craziness. We’re FAR from what you people would consider normal. I promise.)