Our coronavirus coverage is free for the first 24 hours. Find the latest information at Please consider subscribing or donating.

  1. Archive

Speak first, then think and laugh about it later

I used to tell my students that when they got older and were going to apply for jobs, they would be judged immediately by two things: How they looked and what came out of their mouths.

I've been thinking about some of the ridiculous things that used to come out of my mouth - and still do, as a matter of fact.

Take, for instance, when my children first learned to drive. They were concerned about getting lost. I told them not to worry, they could just come back the way they went. I'm sure that was very comforting.

Another thing I used to say to them was, "Don't walk on the floor. I just cleaned it." Where did I expect them to walk? On the ceiling?

I'm sure we all had a relative tell us to be sure to wear clean underwear in case of an accident. I don't think the doctors or nurses would really care what shape our underwear was in if they were intent on saving our lives.

I remember one blustery, cold day up North. The news was warning of power outages due to high winds and ice. My children were concerned what we would do if the power went out. I told them we would all snuggle in bed together and watch TV.

One of my brighter children replied, "Mom, if there is no power, we can't watch TV." That was a real "Duh!"

Some other famous statements of mine were, "Don't wear that shirt. I just ironed it," and "Don't eat those cookies. I just baked them."

Many times I suppose we say these things because it is hard work ironing, it costs money to buy groceries, and we just don't want all of that gone as soon as we do it or purchase it.

The floors, I understand. If they were dry, I probably would never have said anything. But anyway, not everything we say makes sense.

When I moved to Magnolia, Ohio, I went into the bank to open a checking and savings account. The bank president came through the lobby. He was limping. Trying to be funny, I said, "What happened, Mr. Greer? Did you get kicked by a horse?"

The tellers were absolutely silent. They all had funny looks on their faces, but not in humor. The president left, and I asked if I had said something wrong. One of the clerks informed me that, indeed, he had been kicked by a horse when he was much younger and he had limped ever since.

That was a foot-in-the-mouth statement, but how was I to know?

We all say things without thinking sometimes. Sometimes we learn lessons from it and sometimes we don't. I love to watch the ticker at the bottom of the newscasts. Many times the person typing the information makes spelling and grammar mistakes. I liked the one that read, "He was shot in his apartment in the head." I wasn't sure if he was shot in a body part known as his apartment, or if he was shot while in the restroom.

I guess I read too much into things.

One of my favorites was at a festival back in Ohio. The chairman came to the bandstand and announced that a green woman's purse was found by the french fry stand.

I know some people who have a hard time with language. When I would tell one of my students to behave himself, he would always come back with, "But, I am being have!"

A friend of mine who had a part in one of the plays in our community had a difficult time saying Proxima Centauri. The night of the play, she changed the line and said, "that star up there."

I couldn't end this without including some of the inspirational things my husband has said about my golf game while on the course.

When first learning the game (he was my one and only instructor), he would tell me to keep my head down and follow through. I understood keeping my head down, but I had no idea what "follow through" meant.

Having never been on a golf course before, I assumed it meant to follow the cart path to the next hole. He carefully explained that it meant that I should keep swinging after I hit the ball. I told him, "That's what you should have said in the first place!"

Or he will ask me how my swing looked. How can I tell how my swing looks? My all-time favorite is when he assures me, "If you hit the ball right, it will go in the hole." Now, there is a profound statement!

So, sometimes it isn't how we say it, it's what we say. Or did I say that backward?

Georgi Davis lives in Homosassa. Guest columnists write their own views on subjects they choose, which do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this newspaper.