Wednesday, October 5, 2016


Years ago, when I was working in Illinois,  I asked one of the employees to "fetch" something for me and he asked, "Fetch--fetch--like a dog?" I answered, "No, not like a dog!" He said that he had only heard the term applied to a dog.  I replied, "Well, it's a perfectly good Anglo Saxon word;  it's the only one which means to go get something and bring it back." He asked, "What kinda talk is that?' I answered, "It's DOWN HOME COUNTRY GIRL TALK!" After that, any time I would use what he considered to be an unusual word, he would ask, "Is that some more down home country girl talk?"

Yesterday, I used the word "fetch" and I noticed the quizzical look on the face of the other person to whom I was speaking, and I related the incident from Illinois.  

Later, he called and asked, "What about RETRIEVE?" He also mentioned that he consulted his dictionary and that although fetch is a synonym for retrieve, his same dictionary does not give retrieve as a synonym for fetch. 

 Go figure!

I said, "It's good you could STEP AND FETCH IT."  I meant "it" to refer to the dictionary
and of course, I use any opportunity to have a pun, but I learned that my young acquaintance had never heard of Stepin Fetchit, thus the pun was lost on him!

However, it gave me the opportunity to tell about Stepin Fetchit, and his unlikely friendship with Muhammad Ali and the history of black people in the movies and why the "Stepin Fetchit" term could be considered offensive if misconstrued, and then I said, "Oh, Hell, It just proves TWO things: 

1. the joke is worthless if the recipient doesn't GET it and 
2. I'm OLD!"

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