horace p sternwall

my town

back in my town people told it like it was.

we did not mess around.

people were what they were, and they were called what they were.

if a guy had big feet he was called big foot jackson.

if a guy spit on the sidewalk he was called sidewalk spitting jones.

if a man was fat he was called fatso or five ton and if a woman was fat she was called butterball or two ton or wide load.

if a man was thin he was stick or invisible man and if a woman was thin she was bony maroney.

if you spent too much time at the barroom you were suck em down simmons.

if you fell down drunk on the sidewalk one time you were old soak carter.

if a woman had more than one boy friend - in her life - she was sleeparound sue.

if a man did not have a job he was lazy smith or no account johnson or worthless williams.

some of the names might be a little obscure to outsiders. like down dress dawkins, who was always looking down women’s dresses.

others were more self explanatory. like bottom pinching barnes, or penny pinching polly parker.

if you had a pet phrase or one that you used more than once or twice, you were that phrase forever. like who knows adams, or what do i know walker, or that’s life lewis.

if you did one thing you did it forever. one woman dropped a bag of groceries when she was coming out of the general store and they spilled all over the sidewalk snd she was bag dropping betty baker.

a fellow walked into a telephone pole once and he was telephone pole martin forever.

children were not spared. many names were fixed on in childhood and it was easier to get elected president of the united states than to shake the name.

the only way to lose the name was to move out of town. but if you ever came back to town, even for a visit, there was no statute of limitations. and once again you were big nose bob or itchy mcguire or misremembering smith or graveyard harris.

you might say that people in my town were more honest than people in other, more polite parts.

or you might say that they were just jackasses like the rest of the human race but in their own way.

what do i know?

horace p sternwall is the gatekeeper — gamekeeper? — of the Pessoan ensemble that is the horace p. sternwall stable of writers. They have a number of books available on lulu as by the 'total dissatisfaction press' and now also on Amazon.
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