Directions? We don’t need no stinking directions.

A gift from my daughter that I’ve really been enjoying is a book entitled “The Insult Dictionary” by Julie Tibbot. Between the covers are hundreds of obscure, indelicate terms and phrases from ancient days up through modern pop culture. Armed with this new vernacular, I’ll be able to titillate friends and enemies alike.

Here are a couple of examples; “My great aunt is such a thornback, I’ll bet she’s never tipped the velvet.” (thornback ~a spinster; tip the velvet ~ kiss with tongues). “He tottered home late, covered in tears of the tankard, then shot the cat.” (tears of the tankard ~ splashes of beer on a man’s clothing; to shoot the cat ~ to vomit due to excessive alcohol intake).

And here’s a phrase Doug is sure to enjoy; Vice Admiral of the Narrow Seas ~ a drunken man who urinates under the table on his companions shoes.

If you’re new to Friday Flash Fiction, our Leader, who dares us to write with cogitation is Merriam Webster Wisoff-Fields.  If you’d like to participate in this exercise in madness, head over to her blog for step-by-step instructions. To view the FFF  Hollywood Squares Authors Block click here.

copyright - Jean L. Hays
copyright – Jean L. Hays

“Honey, I think we’re lost.”

“Lost? That’s ridiculous. I’ve never been lost in my life.”

“What about that time we were going from Joplin to Tulsa and wound up in Pensacola?”

“We weren’t lost. The map was folded the wrong way. And that shortcut took us further off course than I expected, but we were never lost.”

“Well, remember our trip to Sea World? I dozed off outside Barstow and when I woke up we were at the Great Salt Flats.”

“Yeah, I knew I should’ve taken that left turn at Albuquerque.”

Where are we now?”

“Hell if I know.”


51 Comments on “Directions? We don’t need no stinking directions.

  1. This is delightful! I’m one of the “lost” ones. Turn left instead of right – lost for days. BUT! I can read a map. Great dialogue in this. Thanks for the chuckle before (with your terms and phrases) and during. Have I said Happy New Year, yet? If not ….. Alicia


  2. For those lost souls, there’s now GPS. And you don’t even have to ask for directions. It saved Bill’s directional life! As for your insults, I knew what “shot the cat” was, but hadn’t heard of the others. I can only imagine how much you’re enjoying that book!!



  3. We call those adventure drives where I come from. Humor all the way! I’m so gonna check out The Insult Dictionary. Think I know just the person who’d really appreciate it.


  4. getting lost isn’t totally bad. it allows you to discover something you wouldn’t have otherwise. a GPS will be handy, too, if you don’t mind the suggestion.


  5. I love the sound of that book and I love your daughter! While i was reading it I thought it would be a great gift for MY dad, but then I member he passed 3 years ago. I was sad for a moment but then I thought of your daughter and maybe she is a little like me (although presumably MUCH younger) and you being kinda like my dad (except alive) but still very funny like he was and I smiled at the thought of your daughter giving you such an wonderful gift. And then I smiled because you gave this to me.


    • Aww, what a wonderful thing to say, Dawn. I think your Dad and I would have gotten along splendidly. We both have very thoughtful and loving daughters. Your comment was a nice gift to me.


  6. If you abbreviate Hell if I know to HIIK, they ended up in Syracuse at the Hiawatha Institute for Indigenous Knowledge, proving his point that he’s never been lost in his life.


  7. Russell, Hilarious. 😀 Your daughter must be able to read you like a book. I bet that’s one popular book she gave you. I must have led a very sheltered life. I didn’t recognize most of those phrases. Some people refuse to admit they’re lost even when they are. Where is the GPS when you need it? 🙂 — Suzanne


    • I’ll try to slip a few in here and there. On the few occasions when I have stopped and asked for directions, the people I asked where as clueless as I was.


  8. Dear Wrong-Way Corrigan,

    Some are more directionally challenged than others. We found out yesterday, though, that a GPS isn’t always your friend. Ours took us on a convoluted journey through the city and rush hour instead of the more direct route. Of course my husband knew the more direct route already but thought the GPS might know a better way. Then he groused about traffic the whole way there. Tell me. Does this defy logic?

    No doubt the insults will show up at will. Sounds like my kind of gift. 😉

    Now that I’ve come here for giggles I’ll try to find my way back.




  9. Dear Russell,

    I wonder whether the pioneers on those long wagon trains had the same sort of misadventures and subsequent conversations. You book of insults through the ages sound like the perfect resource for you. I look forward to you sharing morse of it with us. Loved your last line. Why do women even ask that question?

    (I’ve never urinated on any of my compatriot’s shoes under the table. I have, however, shot the cat many times.)




    • I couldn’t resist attaching the “Vice Admiral” phrase to a sea faring man. I too have experienced the tears of the tankard and shot the cat.


  10. I’ll admit, I immediately guessed that our intrepid driver is a man. 😉 Wonderful dialogue, that has certainly been uttered more often than we can guess! Nice job, Russell. Happy New Year!

    Your daughter has hilarious taste; that’s a book I think I’d enjoy as well.


    • Oh, come on now. There are a lot of women who go by the name Honey. I’m glad you enjoyed their verbal exchange.

      Yes, the book is hilarious which I why I included the link to Amazon if anyone else wanted to give it a shot.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Ha! That is funny. The map is the wrong way. And to end up in what must be Utah. Just a minor misstep. Your book of phrases sounds fascinating. They should do a board game of phrases that you try to guess. Wouldn’t that be a fun game? I would be terrible at it!


  12. Not lost, just temporarily mis-located. Some people just don’t have it map-wise and I’m one of them. I’ve even asked my husband to reprogram the sat nav so that the arrow points downwards when we’re heading south, but it’s not helping. Now I take a left instead of a right. Hope you enjoy your new book, I look forward to being right royally insulted the next time I call by.


  13. Love this! So true, so true! And I would love to know where I can get a copy of the book. Hilarious and right down my alley. Great post.


    • Just click on Insult Dictionary at the top of this post and it will take you to the book on Amazon. Thanks for stopping by and signing up to follow me.


  14. Funny top and bottom as usual, Russell. Of course, I go back far enough to remember most of those expressions, especially “shoot the cat”, and as for the left turn at Albuquerque, I always think that’s the right move to make


  15. My mother used to navigate whenever we took a holiday that entailed driving somewhere new. Sitting in the back, my sister and I listened to countless conversations like the one you describe. My father was always turning the map round for her, re-folding it and at times holding it in one hand whilst driving with the other.
    Once I passed my driving test, my father taught me how to read a map, like most things in life, it’s simple when you know how.
    Sadly my father passed away 20 years ago, but if i could find a way to send him that book, I would, he would have loved it.
    Great story Russ.


  16. So true to life, Russell, I love it, especially how you build us up to that last line. Lots of funny stories (even occasionally those from masters like you) feel too much like jokes; this one feels perfectly story like and makes me laugh a the same time. One of my favourites I’ve ever read from you!
    Enjoy your book; sounds like you should run a weekly feature for our edification!


    • Thanks, Jenn. I’m glad it felt like a story instead of a joke. I’ll take that as a compliment.
      The book is a hoot. I’ll be sharing more from it in future posts.


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