Friday, October 12, 2007

Explaining an Inside Joke

When Drew says to me "Ah'm a busy man! Ah don't have tahm to stop and do wimin-folk work," I crack up.

It loses a little in translation when I say "Ah'm a busy woman! Ah don't have tahm fer sich bizniss," it's still funny, because we can still recognize the joke.

So when I say, "This Just In: Busy Woman [fill in blank]," I am referring to a joke that you are not aware exists. It's my way of being inscrutable in a way that doesn't make any sense. Here. I'll tell you the story.

Once upon a time, Drew and I were a very poor couple of kids living in Austin, Texas. Drew was a few months into a six-year Air Force enlistment, and I had gotten myself pregnant by working in a maternity shop (don't let them tell you stories about how ladies get pregnant - I lived it).

Our apartment had just gone "condo" (all the rage in the eighties), and we needed a new cheap place to live. We stopped in at the base housing office, and found a listing for a "house" for $250 a month - cheap even in 80's dollars.

Intriguing, no? (You can click on the image at the left to see the "listing."

The house had started as an addition that someone had built onto a single-wide mobile home, maybe for a farm hand long gone. At some point, the trailer had rotted away, so they sided up the former trailer side, and built another half onto the other side of the addition. Voila, a rental home extraordinaire, complete with scorpions, tub worms, and cockroaches. Home sweet home, with a lovely view of the few remaining milk cows loitering in their little pasture.

The proprietors, Dorothy and August Krumm, were a doddering old couple who must have immigrated from Germany early enough to have a Texas twang twisted into their Teutonic tongues, so that their accents were impossible to recreate, no matter how much we tried.

I would trudge over to their farm house once a month with the rent, knowing that old Dorothy was going to sit me down and require me to endure a formal visit with tea and whatever awful stale cookies or crackers she could unearth from her kitchen. If she could not find what she was looking for, she would call for August to look in the store shed, and he would reply,

"Ah'm a busy man, woman! Ah don't haff tahm fer yer fizitin!"


"Ah'm a busy man! That cows a'givin me some trooble, you don't know!"

Meanwhile, Dorothy would scratch out one of her receipts for the rent, which were so cute, I've kept some of them to this day.

So when I say, "I'm a busy woman," you should know it's really funny.

1 comment:

Brian & Becca Davis said...


Even more impressive than the story is the fact that you still have the listing and receipts. wow. And Brian thinks I'm a packrat!