Surprisingly my vast army of readers (102 - 3 that have died) have asked me how the late Lewis Grizzard (L.G.) (1947-1994) would have adapted to a more casual society than the high class elitist group of Moreland, Georgia, (population: 500, 1 traffic light) in which he was born and raised.
Like mostly all male private clubs in Atlanta and Gig City, the dress code has been relaxed and coat and tie rules have become non existent in favor of striped Bermuda shorts and flowery Hawaiian shirts that are in vogue and considered good taste.
This will not be the first time that the eternal words of LG listed his preferences on the two topics contained in the title of this article.
Fortunately his entire thoughts on the subjects were not published in a novel until after his death but appeared individually in the 450 syndicated newspapers before Tennessean Al Gore, Jr. invented the Internet.
In 1995 LG’s fourth wife, Dedra Kyle Grizzard, (of Bradley County vintage) and a few friends teamed together to produce “Grizzardisms: The Wit and Wisdom of Lewis Grizzard” (Villard Books) and preserve his efforts to “win friends and influence people.” (I know its an old outdated cliché.)
The readers of the following Grizzardisms will have to determine the success (or failure) of his quest:
1. “I call any dinner party where you have to say “Excuse me” when you burp fancy;”
2. “Anybody who says, “Have a nice one,” “Hot enough for you?,” “So how’s the wife?,” or “You know” more than five times in any sentence should cool their heels in the slammer for a few days;”
3. “I’m convinced that ties restrict the blood flow to the brain, causing such disorders as forgetfulness, blurred eyesight, and even criminal tendencies. Al Capone was rarely seen without a tie. The same goes, incidentally, for Richard Nixon;”
4. “Take the sign that says ‘NO SHIRT, NO SHOES, NO SERVICE’. Does this mean that as long as I have on a shirt and shoes I can take off my pants and still get a bacon cheeseburger?”;
5. “Jesus wore sandals, it is true. But he didn’t wear those awful socks with them, and that’s why New Jersey-especially Newark—turned out the way it did;”
6. “A man who wears socks the same color as his shorts is a bowler or builds cabinets in his basement or contributes to television evangelists;”
7. “If you must wear a tank top, at least make certain you have a tattoo to go with it so people will think you’ve been out to sea since the mid-sixties and don’t know any better;”
8. “I have a rather small backside. There’s enough room in the seat of a pair of my jeans for a small company of Chinese soldiers to bivouac;”
9. “People who say ‘film’ instead of ‘movie’ usually attended a school without a good football team and don’t think Joe Don Baker did a helluva job in the classic ‘Walking Tall;’”
10. “I never cared much for the artsy crowd. They are the kind of people who would look at a photograph or a painting of a cat nailed to a telephone poll and say, ‘My look at those lines.’”
Of course, his number one cultural statement would have to be #11: “I don’t have anything against anybody else chewing tobacco, but it’s just not my cup of spit.”
(He would be a male model prototype in 2023!)
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You can reach Jerry Summers at email@example.com