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Jim's Jottings

Sweet, kind mother raised us with threats

July 13, 2011 - Following is a reprint of a Jottings I wrote a long time ago. If you remember it, you too, are old. But it's July, and the heat has slowed my mind.

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". . . The accepted image of mothers to song writers and many of us ordinary folk is that of a gentle person, grey of hair and kind.

But I recall some of the threats Mother made when trying to direct us down the correct road to adulthood.

Mom offered very cruel alternatives to good health. "Get down from that tree before you fall and break your neck!"

Those are not generally considered words from a gentle person, yet children everywhere retain these threats, and often pass them along to their young.

"Take that spoon out of your glass, or you'll put your eye out!" That's really quite harsh. So is, "If you drink any more of that you'll drown!"

None of these things ever happened, but Mom would go right on predicting a morbid future should you continue doing whatever she was opposed to at the time.

When a brother would twirl me around, mother would shout, "Put him down before you pull his arm out by the roots!"

Hardly the words of Mrs. Kindness. "Chew your food better or you'll choke to death!" "If you eat any more you'll burst!"

"Don't put that knife in your mouth or you'll cut your tongue off!" Dear, gentle mothers. They really have a direct way of putting things.

Another threat our mother came up with was, "Just wait until your dad gets home! He'll straighten you out!"

It never really occurred to me until I started thinking about this column. Dad worked the second shift . . . like from 4 p.m. to midnight. The railroad paid higher wages for his shift, and he found this was a good way to avoid us kids, or something.

So he'd get home after we went to bed, and not get up until we were off to school. I was never awakened and spanked, so I assume mother never told him of our misdeeds.

Yet mother got away with using our absent father in training us. That took a really smart mom or dumb kids . . I prefer to believe the latter.

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I've never had so many people agree with me on a subject, than when I wrote about Tilapia. And, why is Tilapia capitalized and bass isn't?

Anyway, both callers. One said the one reason to eat fish is for omega-3 fatty acids. Tilapia has high omega 6 levels. That puts it on the same plane as a doughnut.

The other one said of people want to hit a good middle-round of cost, health and environmental impact you won't get much better than rainbow trout.

So, grab your fly and go catch me one.

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• Average annual salary of a major league baseball mascot: $40,000.

• "The best literature in the world is a complimentary paragraph about you in the hometown newspaper." -- S. Cook

• Johnny Carson said, "Misery is going on your honeymoon and having the motel employees toss a 'Welcome Back' party for your bride."

• If you are average, this year you'll walk about 4.5 miles making your bed.

Jim Sherman, Sr. is president of Sherman Publications, Inc. He has penned "Jim's Jottings" since 1955.
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