Volume 49, Issue 7 - July 2014


Say What...Part Two
by Lyle R. Hill

I reached for the phone half way through its second ring and offered up my usual salutation. The call came in the mid-morning of what had, at that point, been a very windy, rainy and dull day.

“So,” the caller began in a somewhat gruff sounding manner, “are you da Lyle Hill dat writes for some magazine by the name of USGlass or do I got da wrong guy?”

“I think you have the right guy,” I answered, “but could you maybe tell me your name?”

“Yeah sure, maybe I can tell you my name, but not until I knows I got the right guy. So let me ask ya, are you da guy who wrote dat article by the name of “Say What” in the September issue of USGlass or not?”

“Yes, that would be me,” I replied. “Are you a regular reader of the magazine?”

“No, I never saw da thing before,” he began, “but I was in the waitin’ room at Loyola Hospital in Maywood, Ill., and picked it up and read dat article you wrote. You knows da one. It had dose little quotes in it. I think maybe you called them clickets or somthin’ like dat.”

“I think you mean clichés.”

“Yeah, dat sounds right. Anyway, I read da article and I realizes in a flash me and you are exactly alike.”

“Okay, I can see this is going somewhere, although heaven knows where,” I replied, “but before we get any farther along, could you at least give me your name?”

“My name is Darby.”

“I take it that’s your last name. Would you mind giving me your first name or do you prefer I call you Mr. Darby?” “Stumpy.”

“Your name is Stumpy Darby? Your parents named you Stumpy?”

“Stumpy is my nickname. Da boys in the Forestry Department—you see, I worked for da city my whole life and just retired a few months ago—started calling me Stumpy after a tree we was cuttin’ down more or less, accidently of course, took out a lady’s front porch and a car or two. Right after dat, I got transferred to the sanitation department and the nicknames dey hung on me over dere are not fit for printin’ so I am just Stumpy, dat’s all.”

“Listen, I’m okay with whatever you want to say your name is, but can you now tell me why you called? Was it to complain about my article?”

“Not at all, Hill. After I read dat article, I realized dat we are like literary brudders, and so I just had to track you down. In dat article thing, you said hows you love little quotes and sayings and how you save dem and den organize dem. Well, me too. You see, all dos years I worked in the sanitation department—34 to be exact—I wrote down all of da sayings dat I thought was kinda good. Of course, most of dem came from my co-workers at da city. And I saved dem all—hundreds of dem—and den I organized dem.”

“How did you organize them Stumpy?”

“By who said dem, Hill.” Like I got a section for the teamsters, and another one for things said by the union stewards, and a really big section for things said by management cause you know they talk a lot, although I gotta tell ya, most of what they say doesn’t make much sense.”

“I see, Stumpy, and I take it you decided to call to share some of your collection with me because as you said, we are kinda like brothers.”

“You got it, Hill. And den maybe we can like do a book together or somethin’.”

“And I suppose we could call it The Book of Famous Quotations by Lyle Hill and Stumpy Darby?”

“Actually Hill, I was thinkin’ my name would be first.”

“Well, we can work out the details of that later. For now, let me hear a little sample of what you got.”

“Okay, Hill, but I’m just gonna give you ten for now until we negotiate the book deal. So here we go …”

1. Just because my word means nothing does not mean it is cheap.
2. The greatest word in the English language … overtime.
3. Never make a decision. It can only lead to trouble.
4. A job not finished today means work for tomorrow.
5. Money scammed is better than money earned.
6. A bottle of luck is worth a barrel full of wisdom and talent.
7. Silence makes no mistakes. A fish is only killed when it opens its mouth.
8. If you’re going to sit in the truck all day doing nothing, always sit in the driver’s seat.
9. Always take credit for things that get done – even if you had nothing to do with it.

“So what do you think, Hill? Pretty good, right?”

“Well they are certainly interesting, Stumpy, but you said you had ten of them for me but you only read me nine.”

“Yeah, I saved my favorite one for last, Hill. It was our department’s motto actually.”

“Go ahead, Stumpy.”
10. If you ain’t stealing from the man, you’re stealing from yourself. “So what do ya think, Hill?” What do you say to dat?”

“Just one thing, Stumpy … don’t call me, I’ll call you.”

Lyle R. Hill is the managing director of Keytech North America, a company providing research and technical services for the glass and metal industry. Hill has more than 40 years experience in the glass and metal industry and can be reached at lhill@glass.com. You can read his blog on Wednesdays at lyleblog.usglassmag.com. You can order his new book, “The Broken Tomato” at amazon.com.

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