Best Of Grizzard - The "C" Word

Tuesday, September 20, 2022 - by Jerry Summers

The readers should relax as this article is not about life threatening or death causing cancer.

It is a continuation of the Vending Machine Fraud article by Lewis Grizzard that ran on April 22, 2022, that addressed the complexities of purchasing a product from either a pharmacist or vending machine at various premises.

Although any modern-day child over the age of five years is probably fully aware of the consequences of ignoring the facts of life and engaging in any pre-martial conduct, Lewis Grizzard discussed this issue prior to his death in a 1993 collection of one-liners which was also reprinted after 1995.

He showed that he was knowledgeable and had adapted to the new terminology of the times by using the “C” word rather than the outdated “R” word.

“In “The Wit and Wisdom of Lewis Grizzard” (1995) (Longstreet Press) he discusses the use of marital protection aids with quips from his life and prior columns, articles, and books.

“The best scam I ever heard of was the service station owner who put a “R” machine in the lady’s bathroom but didn’t put any “Rs” in it.  He said no one ever complained!”

In another Best Seller “If I ever Get Back to Georgia, I’m Going to Nail My Feet To The Ground” (1990 – Villard Books) he shares a real life experience as a ten (10) year old when his mother took him to a truck stop owned by her friend that allegedly did a thriving pinball machine business that also engaged in the practice of “paying off” winners in merchandise or coins.  Although warned to stay away from the machines, the inquisitive LG inserted a quarter into a slot of one of the devices and was rewarded with a small package that contained a latex balloon that he immediately filled with air, tied a knot in it and proudly displayed his purchase to his mother and the owner.   After being obligated to give up custody of the “R” he was rewarded with an additional Coca Cola.

In another article he reported on the occasion that he was unable to discretely obtain a “C” in the bathroom of a popular filling station and had to resort to making a direct purchase at the local drug store before a strange pharmacist.

After the embarrassment of his public inquiry that was met with a loud, “You want what?” before the unfamiliar druggist he would later go to pick up his lovely date with high expectations.

In an effort to increase his credibility (and hopes for success) LG offered to meet her parents.  To his surprise “Daddy Dearest” turned out to be the merchant that had confronted him at the local pharmacy.  He attributes their second meeting as “bad luck” but doesn’t complete the story of how the date turned out that evening.

Another episode included in the Wit and Wisdom collection has a connection to local history:

“One of my friends found a “C” on the verandah.  When he questioned his teenage son about it, the kid replied, “What’s a verandah?”

A former Hamilton County High School that has now been razed and its 61 years of existence is only acknowledged by old timers’ memories and a state historical marker.  The former building had a three-story circular rotunda that was a popular meeting place before class each morning.

On more than one occasion some enterprising unknown student on Monday morning would deposit a “C” in the middle of the steps leading from the first floor to the second floor in plain view.

As young ladies ascended the steps and walked around the discarded item a crowd grew on the overlook points of view on the 2nd and 3rd floors in anticipation of whether any maiden would acknowledge the presence and identification of what was the alleged unknown substance.

Eventually a member of the faculty would be called upon to remove the contraband from the steps and their actions would be acknowledged with an arousing display of applause.

Any further explanations are also beyond the scope of this article.  A recent necessary trip to the indoor facility of one of the convenience stores of a regional chain revealed that in 2022 the “C” industry has made significant advances in their vending machine business.

What used to be a simple protective product has now evolved into a multiple choice of “ribbed,” colored, super strong or ultra-thin.

Inflation has also taken place in the modern era and a single purchase of one of the four above options costs $1.00.

If this article has not offended you and your curiosity has been aroused you should try to find a used copy of Don’t Bend Over in the Garden Granny, You Know Them Taters Have Eyes”, (1988-Villard Books) where-in LG reports on the results of a project in chemistry class at Newnan High School to explain expanding gases.

A creative student dropped a couple of Alka-Seltzer tables in a shot glass and then placed a “C” item over the top of the glass and the ingredients in the pills caused the latex product to stand straight up.

The boys in the class laughed and the girls giggled except for one who ran screaming out of the class.

* * *

You can reach Jerry Summers at

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