Wednesday, January 10, 2007

The Things We Say

Do you have a catchphrase?

Are there words burned into your mind either by family or by pop culture repetition? Maybe you just heard a certain set of words one time and it really stuck?

I only bring up the topic, since I am (invariably but also wonderfully) becoming my mother. I know this because I am now repeating several of the “key” phrases I heard come out of her mouth when I was growing up. I even remember, on occasion, making fun of her after she said these phrases.

Oh, how fate cruelly twists our lives back to the beginning! (Yes, I know Christians don’t believe in fate…stick with me, I’m just being creative and literary…)

Anyway, back to my regression into childhood. My parents didn’t swear growing up, but in moments of extreme frustration, my mom would say her “angry” word -


That’s right – phonetically it sounds just like “rat” and “ski” and “s” – altogether “Ratskees.”

And the other day, for the first time EVER – I couldn’t find my keys and in supreme frustration uttered the “R” word. Of course, after I got over my initial shock, I had to laugh at myself as I recalled my mom valiantly searching for lost socks uttering the “R” word every couple of seconds.

The other phrase Mom used was primarily directed at bad drivers. She would say, “Watch where you’re going, Charlie Bambino.”

That’s right – Charlie Bambino.

As a kid, I thought Charlie Bambino was an actual person who had done something horrible, along the lines of Benedict Arnold. As I got older, I realized that Mom had simply made up the name and labeled all drivers as Bambinos.

Pity on actual Bambinos who are good drivers.

There are other catchphrases that will live FOREVER in my mind. Even if I wanted to erase them.

Here’s a favorite one for any Rockford-area people:

“Ne-ew Milford Refrigeration. Call 398-C-O-L-D, 398-“COLD”

That will live in infamy in our brains until we all go batty.

Brett remembers the Empire carpet commercials but that doesn’t stick with me.

My friend Kelly and I shared a favorite catchphrase from the movie Robin Hood (with a much-better-looking-then-than-now Kevin Costner):

“You whine like a mule Christian. You are still alive.”

We tended to use this when one of us thought the other one was complaining a little too much.

We also loved Fried Green Tomatoes and quoted it word for word sometimes. Most quoted?

Idgy (played by me) – “Is it bad what I done?”
Ruth (played by Kelly) – “No, I heard there were people who could charm bees, I just never saw it done before. That’s what you are Idgy Threadgoode, a bee charmer.”

My other favorites include:

The Secret Garden
“And if there’s a key, there MUST be a door.”

Austin Powers
“One Meeellion Dollars!”

I’d love to hear if you guys have any favorites!


Jennittia said...

As a former "Rockfordian" thank you so much for reminding me of that dreaded refridg. jingle!! I used to live right by that place, and my sister would torture me by singing that tune in my ear!! I hadn't thought of that in a while- now I will be humming that dumb thing for weeks!!

BJ Boehm said...

well, my Rockford jingle would be "a special time, for family, a special time for friends. Graduations hear at last, another chapter ends! Your at the top of your class. The future waits for you." i still catch myself singing it for no reason. I would always yell at whoever had the remote "don't change it!" or "change it back!" and would give the excuse "I wanna see if we know anybody. but i was really just doing it for the song.

Heidi said...

I didn't grow up in Rockford, moved here 6 years ago,but I know the second one about the graduation one.