Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Fry My Hide

Dogpatch Dudes

The internet cannot find everything. Did you know that?

I do – cause I've been looking on and off for ages trying to find my favourite cartoon from Lil Abner. And, I'm having no luck whatsoever.

Why the fuss? I'll tell you why. It is adding to the complete lexicon of my favourite sayings and will (therefore) feature heavily when I am gone. Follow?

I thought not.

Here's how it goes. Lil Abner was (and perhaps still is for all I know) a syndicated strip cartoon in American papers. Based in the fictional hamlet of Dogpatch, Lil Abner is a classic of down-home, y'all, corn-shuckin, bushwackin, goat-ropin humour.

Check out the home page at: http://www.lil-abner.com/


To quote: In an era well before "political correctness" entered the vocabulary, Dogpatch exceeded every stereotype of Appalachia. The hillbillies in Li'l Abner's town were poorer than poor. The houses were hopelessly ramshackle. Most Dogpatchers were dumber than dumb. The remainder were scoundrels and thieves. Most of the men were too lazy to work, yet Dogpatch women were desperate enough to chase them. One preferred to live with hogs. Those who farmed their "tarnip" crop watched turnip termites descend every year, locust-like, to devour the crop. In the midst of the Great Depression, lowly Dogpatch allowed the most hard-up Americans to laugh at yokels worse off than they were. In Al Capp’s own words Dogpatch was “an average stone-age community” nestled in a bleak valley, between two cheap and uninteresting hills, somewhere. To old friends, the denizens of Dogpatch will be old friends. To strangers, however, they will probably be strangers.

In one classic cartoon one of the residents of Dogpatch found a genie's lamp. Rubbing the lamp, as you would do, duly produced the obliging genie. Three wishes were on offer which as the more sophisticated readers will know is just about standard genie fare.

With the first wish the disbelieving resident tried for a left-handed monkey wrench (or something equally nonsensical) and was amazed to see it appear before his very eyes. The second wish produced something truly worthwhile as the yokel finally got the hang of the genie thing and wished for a large pot of gold. The pot duly appeared.

Being more than slightly incredulous at his immense good fortune, our hero upon spying his new-found riches shouts out, “Well,fry my hide!”

Last pane of the cartoon shows the headline in the Dogpatch Gazette, large and in bold letters:

Gold Found! – Hide Fried!

Therefore, when things either go wrongly about the house, or someone states the bleedin obvious; my re-joiner is always, “Well, fry my hide – gold found and hide fried!”

Obvious, innit!

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

The blogger got it wrong. I remember the strip clear as day when we read it one day in the new house after church. It was pappy yokum who made the wish for gold. Disbelieving that anything good ever comes his way, he said "Well throw it in the river". When he found it there was really gold and it was in the river, he exclaimed "Well fry my hide."

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