Saturday, October 8, 2011

Top Ten: Andy Rooney-isms.

Andy Rooney of 60 Minutes

Andy Rooney's final broadcast was shown on CBS' 60 Minutes last Sunday. The curmudgeonly king of the random observation and the guy who, if you ask me, is the original blogger, made his living by simply speaking his mind. Matter of fact, Jerry Seinfeld should probably credit ol' Andy for giving him the idea to make a show about nothing. Because Andy Rooney taught us that talking about nothing is really something. Imagine that.

Paying homage to the great Andy Rooney, I bring you this week's top ten. . . .which is nothing but my random questions, observations and thoughts about things going on around me. Or as my classmate in med school used to say, "A whole bunch of nothin'."

I added Mr. Rooney's final segment at the end of this post. This really speaks to my thoughts as a writer. It's hard to believe he is 92 years old. Take a moment if you can to watch it--especially if you do anything creative. I bet you his message will resonate with you, too.

Thanks for showing us how to do it, Mr. Rooney. (And we promise not to bother you in public should we run into you.)

*By the way, this post was inspired by my dad who turns 68 today. He's always been a huge fan of Rooney and was the one who turned me onto the segment back in the day. Happy Birthday, Poopdeck!


#10 No Pundit Intended.

Pundit. The pundits said this and the pundits did that. Pundits. Pundits? This word is one I don't get. I always have to look it up. Turns out that it means "authority or expert" on some topic that "shares their opinion with the masses through media, etc." Every time I hear this word I feel like it's unnecessary. Kind of like "insurgents." Seriously.

#9 Show me the money

What is UP with little kids and money? My children have recently taken to liking money. Why? I do not know. I mean. . .I am a poor righteous teacher in a public hospital so LORD KNOWS they aren't getting it from me.

They find it on the floor of my car, in the couch cushions, and on our nightstands and seriously? They hoard it. Like for real. Is this a phase? I am told it is. Especially Zachary. And he's not even five!

My kids don't buy things yet. They can count money but other than that they just like having it. It slightly disturbs me. Tell me this is a phase.

What's that about?

#8 Taking turns.

What is the deal with four year old amoeba soccer? This is where eight four year-olds run in a giant pack after the soccer ball for one hour while the parents sit there clapping all giddy-like. There is this crazy culture where you cheer and clap for everything that every person does, even if it includes picking their nose or pulling out a wedgie while someone flies by them with the ball. Hold up. Tell me, y'all. At what point do we get to stop cheering for the opposing team? And what is REALLY up with somebody telling the kids to "hold off for a minute" so somebody could have a turn at getting a goal? Get a turn?


Aww hell naw! Today they rolled the ball dang near into the goal for the other team. But here's the problem. Zachary and another kid on his team have older sibs. They've been watching and waiting, and begging "put me in coach!" So now that they're in? Oh baby, they're in. And in it to win it. No amoeba soccer for them.

So yeah. They roll the ball right at the goal in front of this kid on the other team who'd been blowing spit bubbles and making grass angels. She was supposed to make a goal. I mean, it was her turn and all. But Zachary missed that memo and promptly bent it just like Beckham, kicking that sucker right over her head. Directly to his teammate who got his full Pele on--- scoring for the white team!

Yeaaaaaahhhh Babbbeeeeeeee!!!!!!

Yes, Harry and I are the obnoxious parents cheering waaaay too loud for this to be 4 year old soccer.

(Is it normal that they're only four but they were doing the backwards victory jog complete with a high five while setting up for the next ball?)

Hmmph. Whaaaat-ever.

#7 Crumbsnatchers.

Here is something fascinating I learned at work. I discovered that there is this universal dictionary/wikipedia that black folks are privy to. It includes (for those over thirty-five) the lyrics to "Rapper's Delight", "La Di Da Di", and all of the songs in the movie "Sparkle." (If you have no idea what I'm talking about, this can only mean one thing--you are not a thirty-plus year-old black person born and raised by black people in the U.S. ) Now those things I just named are generation-specific. But some things? It doesn't matter how old you are or young you are--if you're black, you'll know it.

Case in point: "Crumbsnatcher." The universal dictionary also includes the word "crumbsnatcher." I mentioned this in clinic to someone who had no idea what I was talking about. "You know, crumbsnatcher!" I said. I couldn't believe it. Everyone knows what a crumbsnatcher is. Well, apparently not.

I asked some black folks in and around the clinic--100% knew exactly what I meant. In fact, I have yet to meet any sho nuff and bona fide African-American person who hasn't heard and used this word. Do you know I asked nearly thirty non-black folks if they knew what a "crumbsnatcher" was and they all said no?

Wait, I take that back. One person said, "Isn't it that thing they use in restaurants to clear the table?"

And I was like, "Uuuuh, that would be a crumb-CATCHER."


Okay. If you are black, you already know what a crumbsnatcher is. I would love to hear your two cents. But for real? Somebody non-black please (without using urban dictionary) prove this theory wrong by telling me you'd know how to use "crumbsnatcher" in a sentence. . . . .

Come on. . . .what you got?

Disclaimer:  Non-black people who are married to an African-American person or who have worked at Grady for more than fifteen years are disqualified.  Conversely, black people over thirty-five who have never heard of the movies "Sparkle", "Mahogany", or who have never had their hair braided on a porch are also disqualified as well as questionable--unless they can answer yes to the question below.*

*Did your daddy have one of these parked in his hair while barbecue-ing on one of those half barrel trashcan grills during your upbringing? Okay, then you get an automatic reactivation of your membership card as this trumps all of the aforementioned.

#6 Expecting the Unexpected

What the heck is up with people asking people if they are pregnant? What the. . . .?

One of my friends (who is NOT pregnant) was asked if she was pregnant by one of the nurses last week. This woman is NOT overweight and she does NOT look pregnant! But any of us who are thirty and up know that if you aren't properly focusing on your abs, any one of us can be one exhalation away from looking three months preggers.

New rule: Unless you see the BABY CROWNING, don't ask. Matter of fact? Don't ask then either.

#5 No shame in the game.

If you eat McDonald's and smoke Marlboro's, do you carry your Marlboro's in your front pocket and eat your Mickey Dee's in the clinic room while waiting for your doctor?


#4 Problem solved.

"Doctor, when I take my finger and press it real, real hard right here, it hurts really, really bad."

"What made you press there real, real hard in the first place?"

"I 'on't know. I just did one day. And it hurt really, really bad.

"Alright. So here's what I want you to do. Don't press there. And if you must, just don't do it real, real hard."

"Okay then, doc."

(Thank you very muuuuch! I'll be here all week.)

#3 Bad ass.

Harry and I were at Fellini's Pizza with the kids on Friday. There was this little boy running all over the spot and climbing up on the booths. He eventually climbed up onto the narrow strip at the top of the bench between two booths. Standing. Up there. Treacherously teetering on this wooden seat back and scaring us all to death while his parents laughed and ate pizza.

Harry looks over at me and says, "Now, tell me what happens when that little bad ass boy falls on his head?"


Wait no more, Harry.

#2 Port-a-party

What is it about little kids needing to use port-a-potties? Today we were at soccer and Zachary, of course, announces that he has to go to the potty. But he says it with a straight face and without the dance so I froze in terror.

I held up my fingers-- l or V? (one or two)

Two fingers. "Boo-boo, Mommy. I need to go boo-boo!"

L--awd. *wretching*  (sorry, just threw up in my mouth a little bit.)

Please. Tell me what in the entire world is grosser than a.) taking your kid to a port-a-potty, b.) hoisting them into the air so their bottom doesn't touch the port-a-potty, and c.) the sound of number two plunging three feet downward into the big sea of port-a-sewage? Answer: NOTHING.


Me fainting at the thought of it. Eeeeew. Ewww. Eeeeew!!

#1 Hey Kool-Aid!

On the Grady elevator last week. A baby starts crying and her mama tells who appears to be her friend this:

"Reach in that bag and hand me that bottle with that red Kool Aid in it."


Friend does not flinch and hands said Kool-Aid bottle to the baby. Who, of course, laps it up.

"She like that Kool-Aid!" friend exclaims.

"Yeah, girl. That's all she ever wants."


I was swerving out of my lane so bad it was unreal. I tried. I tried so hard to mind my own business. But I did this thing Harry really can't stand--where I start with the b.s. question to open the door to get to what I really want to say.

"How old his she?" I asked.

"She nine months."

"First baby?" I continue.

"Yes, ma'am."

As Harry would say, Here we go.

"Oh . . .okay. Well. . .be careful with that Kool-Aid. It has a lot of sugar in it, you know. And at nine months, all you need to really give her is either formula, breast milk or water to drink."

I could see Harry shaking his head now.

"I don't put all that sugar up in my Kool-Aid like some people do. I always use the measuring cup and only put in one cup."


"Okay, then. She's a really cute baby."

Back to my lane.


Bonus one:

Awww, ma'am!

This young guy is walking over the bridge from the med school in front of me last week. He keeps looking back at me and walking, like he knew me. He appeared to be a student somewhere at Emory and he was of color, but I didn't recognize him at all. Finally at the end of the bridge, he looks back at me and speaks.

"Excuse me, ma'am? Ma'am, I just had to tell you-- you are absolutely stunning. That's all I wanted to say. You're just. . . . a really striking woman, ma'am."

I kind of blushed and mumbled a thank you. And added a little pep to my swagga-docious step.

Then, a few moments later, I replayed that whole thing to myself.
  • three "ma'ams"
  • one "stunning"
  • one woman
  • one "striking"

What does this mean? I am thinking this means I was like a hot mom. (Not to be confused with a "hot mama.") Which I am unsure how to feel about. Oh well. At least he didn't call me "jazzy"--which is Harry's term for older women who were probably, and I quote, "really hot back in the day." 



Check out Andy's final "last word" below.


  1. No idea about the crumbsnatcher, so I just support your theory!

  2. Black but under 30. Don't know any of those film/music things but I DEFINITELY know what a crumbsnatcher is! I'm glad she specified the Kool-aid was red. Purple's probably worse for you, right? -___- I'm quite sure my nephew is that kid who wins ALL games and doesn't believe in standing around waiting for someone to 'take a turn.' STAMP! LOL

  3. I do know what a crumbsnatcher is, so it may seem that there is n=1 evidence against your theory... if we ignore a pretty massive confounding factor. ;)

    And right now I should really be reviewing the dev. milestones of those crumbsnatchers for my upcoming shelf.

  4. Oh dang, I have to turn to urbandictionary too!

    Ma'am is just respect here - he means you're a hot mama, not a hot mom. And you are both!

  5. Friday evening at the airport I saw a woman get off a plane and she had her two crumbsnatchers on a leash. I love to see leashes used for this purpose.

    Funny thing is I think I've *only* heard white people use this term and I don't really hang out with too many white people. Could it be an age thing?

  6. My dog is a crumbsnatcher. Other than that, I have no clue (this from a very pale white girl from the mountains). Great post!

  7. " Lisa n' them are probably going to have their crumb snatchers in tow when they drop by the house today-so make sure the outlets are covered and the forks are out of reach".

    You are one hilarious woman, Dr.Manning!

    Oh, and personally ? At age 36 I am now equipped with what I can only classify as " ma'am vs.miss" radar with respect to being addressed: I am always eager( worried ) to hear which one I will get. Hah!

    Great post!

    A fellow Meharrian named Maria

  8. You crack me up. No idea what a crumbsnatcher is, but I can guess from contextual I won't humiliate myself in public. I was right with you in the elevator with the Kool Aid kid. I could not have let that pass by. So she is going with the lo-cal version... only 1 cup of sugar????? Back in my lane.

  9. You? Effortlessly funny. And striking.

  10. My mother hit me at age 35 for questioning her client for feeding her two month old baby green liquid. Girl...what is that? Gatorade!! The adult mother felt formula cost too much.

  11. I love the top 10. They are some of my favourite posts! #2 made me laugh out loud. Seriously. Laugh. Out. Loud. Too funny!

  12. I will never forgive you for telling the port-o-potty story while I eat breakfast. Not your fault I was eating? You should have anticipated it!!


"Tell me something good. . . tell me that you like it, yeah." ~ Chaka Khan

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