Selling Pencils and Shoe Laces

A phrase often heard in our household when I was a kid was directed at the whole family, I guess.  I had two sisters and we were given tasks to do.  Anyway, my younger sister and I were given tasks to do.  My older sister for some reason was exempt from this activity. It seems when responsibilities are given to children in households there are a lot of arguments and reasons not to participate.  Well, my dad thought he had the answer to solve this problem.  You see he would threaten all of us that “he was going to sell our house, we would have to live in an apartment, and he would have to stand on a corner selling pencils and shoe laces.  This also came in handy to complain when he didn’t make a sale, as he was a salesman, and we would feel sorry for him.  

This was used as a threat, but not for me. I just seemed to let it go in one ear and out the other.  I knew he was just blowing smoke.  But, my little sister, being the sensitive one that she was and is, would freak out.  This was the reaction he wanted and he would get her to do whatever chore he wanted.  SUCKER

Another phrase he would use when we were sitting to eat a meal.  I might say that when we were young he was a meat salesman.  This resulted in my mom making the most interesting of dinners involving meat.  Tongue and liver were two of my most hated meals.  He would say things like, “There are starving children in China ” and “You will sit here until your plate is clean”.  This resulted in again my younger sister and I sitting at the dining room table for hours on end.  I even tried to feed the dog a huge chunk of liver without anyone noticing, but unfortunately, she started gagging and I was busted.   

Another trip to my bedroom.  At least I didn’t have to sit at the table for hours on end.  Sorry Judy

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