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The Usual

I woke up early this morning and took the dog to the park. On the way back to the house I stopped at my favorite coffee place and got a soy latte with a shot of peppermint. Before I could have my first sip, the dog knocked it out of my hands and onto the ground. I didn't get upset, you see, because God was with me. He told me that when I got home I could guilt-trip my boyfriend into going and getting me another one. I love God sometimes.

I also love my boyfriend and here's why:

1. I was taking a cat nap yesterday when he came home from work, crawled into bed with me and told me that he knew what he was going to get me for my birthday but it would have to be several months late. When I asked what it was, he said that he wanted to send me to a writer's conference this fall in Big Sur. I told him that he was being ridiculous because it costs $600 to attend this conference. He was serious about trying to make it happen but I told him there was no way. Secretly I am stunned and near tears to think that he believes in me enough to even consider this.

2. For some unknown reason he has washed the dishes every day this week. I'm a little suspicious, but I'm sure I'll get over it as soon as I hire a private detective to find out just what in the Sam hell is going on here! [I don't know what "Sam hell" is but my mother used to refer to it frequently when I was growing up.]

3. When he wakes up in the morning the first words out of his mouth are never, "Go fix me a chicken pot-pie, bitch!" or "My son-of-a-bitch asshole boss can fuck off today!" but rather, "How are you feeling, baby?" I don't know why he asks this but I like it.

4. A few days ago I asked him if I was a domineering bitch. He cowered in a corner and said, "No, mommy, no!"

Okay, enough of that.

I saw LCD Sound System on Letterman and realized that I too, would like to play the cow bell. During a commercial break, God revealed to me that cats are his way of saying, "I love you" and "Fuck off" at the same time.


( 29 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 30th, 2005 05:06 pm (UTC)
this is a nice, sweet post...

Apr. 30th, 2005 06:42 pm (UTC)
Ah, shucks!
Apr. 30th, 2005 05:11 pm (UTC)
I've always assumed "Sam hell" was a slang reference to Samael.
Apr. 30th, 2005 05:14 pm (UTC)
(i.e. "What in Sam's Hell", "What in Satan's Hell", et al.)
Apr. 30th, 2005 05:27 pm (UTC)
Well, that certainly explains it.
Apr. 30th, 2005 05:29 pm (UTC)
Can't afford the writer's conference so instead you are getting another cat. :)
Apr. 30th, 2005 05:34 pm (UTC)
Are you trying to tell me that you love me but I need to fuck off?!?!
Apr. 30th, 2005 05:54 pm (UTC)
No, mommy, no!
May. 1st, 2005 11:41 pm (UTC)
You get the "Best Save My Butt Response of the Day" award.
Apr. 30th, 2005 06:16 pm (UTC)
God has a pretty awesome communication system.

Is it really so impossible to go to Big Sur? Because from what I can see, you are a pretty great writer. Your posts are the first ones I look for. Because of the good writing and all.
Apr. 30th, 2005 06:41 pm (UTC)
Wow. Thank you, what a wonderful compliment!
Apr. 30th, 2005 06:49 pm (UTC)
I'm a dork, cause I always thought it was Sam HILL!
Apr. 30th, 2005 07:31 pm (UTC)
To shine some light on this important etymological mystery I did some googling and this is what I found:

From The Word Detective comes this info:

Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when euphemisms we incorrectly perceive. The phrase your friend was grappling for in his moment of excitement is not "What in Sam Hell," but "What in Sam Hill" or "What in the Sam Hill." In fact, the whole point of the phrase is that it does not involve the word "hell."

The explanation of "Sam Hill" is actually pretty simple -- it's an early 19th century American euphemism for "hell" used as an oath. Perhaps due to our Puritan ancestry, Americans have always been especially creative when it comes to inventing linguistic detours around oaths and blasphemies. "Heck," "drat," "darn," "gosh," "jiminy," "gee-whiz" and "goldarn," for example, all started out as euphemisms for exclamations of surprise or rage no newspaper would print and no proper dinner table conversation would tolerate. To digress a bit, I have always wondered whether Walt Disney knew, when he christened his little cartoon creation "Jiminy Cricket," that the name was a rather transparent euphemism for the blasphemous oath "Jesus Christ."

Because the euphemism "Sam Hill" is also a perfectly good real name, many people assume that the phrase must have originally referred to a real person. A reader wrote me several years ago, wondering if he might have uncovered the "original" Sam Hill in the person of Samuel Hill (1857--1931), a lawyer, financier and railroad magnate known in the Northwest U.S. as "the Father of Good Roads." After doing a little checking, however, I can say with certainty that while Mr. Hill may have been famous for many things, he was not the source of this phrase. In fact, "What in the Sam Hill" was in widespread use by 1839, quite a few years before this particular Sam Hill was born.

The Phrase Finder has this to say:

SAM HILL - "If someone could locate any historical record of a Col. Samuel Hill of Guilford, Connecticut, we might find the origin of the phrase 'go like Sam Hill' or 'run like Sam Hill.' Edwin V. Mitchell makes mention of the man in the 'Encyclopedia of American Politics (1946). It seems that Colonel Hill perpetually ran for office - but no other evidence of his existence can be found. Since no one knows 'who in the Sam Hill' he was, Sam Hill must remain 'a personified euphemism our puritan ancestors used for 'hell.'" From "Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins" by Robert Hendrickson (Facts on File, New York, 1997)

: A second reference states: "Sam Hill is one of many euphemisms for 'hell' like 'blazes,' 'Halifax,' 'heck,' 'Hoboken' and many more. This one was very popular with frontiersmen, especially when they needed to clean up their language in the presence of ladies. Will James records the comment of a cowboy who felt he had been insulted by an Eastern dude: 'What the Sam Hill do you think we are out here, servants?' The first record appearance in print of 'Sam Hill' was in 1839. Elmer Roessner, an editor friend, reported that turn-of-the-century Seattle newspapers made regular use of this expression. Jim Hill, the legendary 'empire builder,' whose railroads, including the Great Northern, remained his last monument, was a man given to notable rages when anyone dared to oppose one of his grandiose schemes. So frequent were these tirades, according to Roessner, that the papers carried as a standing head: 'Jim Hill is as mad as Sam Hill.'" From "Morris Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins" by William and Mary Morris (HarperCollins, New York, 1977, 1988).

In the rural US decades past "Sam Hill" would have been, as someone posted above "...one of many euphemisms for 'hell'..." and was to clean up the language. "Nice" boys and and almost all girls would have been admonished to not even use "Sam Hill".</i>
Apr. 30th, 2005 07:35 pm (UTC)
Who knew?
Apr. 30th, 2005 07:51 pm (UTC)
I've also heard, although not seen online anywhere that the phrase came from a mis-pronunciation of Samhain - which while spelled S-A-M-H-A-I-N is pronounce 'Suh-wain' - but is the pagan term for Hallowe'en which was often associated with the Devil in 19th century Christendom...

Sam Hill - Sam Hain - it's a possibility.

Now I wish I remember where I had heard that bit o' trivia... hm...
Apr. 30th, 2005 07:39 pm (UTC)
>> Later, God revealed to me that cats are his way of saying, "I love you" and "Fuck off" at the same time.

That's so right. ;)
Apr. 30th, 2005 07:45 pm (UTC)
The writer's conference gift? amazing!! :)

My husband has promised at some point (when I feel up to trying to get into it - after my daughter is a bit older) that I can try to attend Clarion or Clarion West...

Hopefully you can find a way to go - it sound marvelous.

(Deleted comment)
Apr. 30th, 2005 11:15 pm (UTC)
Oh, Sam Hill, No!
Write it!
May. 1st, 2005 02:31 am (UTC)
very good post indeed.
May. 2nd, 2005 12:53 am (UTC)
I think that is the best way I have heard God described yet. Maybe he is a cat.
May. 2nd, 2005 03:13 pm (UTC)
Later, God revealed to me that cats are his way of saying, "I love you" and "Fuck off" at the same time.

ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

P.S. I used to work with a guy who was actually NAMED Sam Hill.
May. 2nd, 2005 03:23 pm (UTC)
That's hilarious! I went to highschool with a guy named John Thomas. And there used to be a newscaster in my home town named, "Harry Ball."
May. 3rd, 2005 04:32 am (UTC)
Heh heh. You said "balls".
There was a mayor of my town named "Harry Balls". I had a neighbor named "Harry Johnson". I kid you not.
May. 3rd, 2005 12:21 pm (UTC)
Re: Heh heh. You said "balls".
May. 4th, 2005 12:22 am (UTC)
Re: Heh heh. You said "balls".
Funny names I've heard....

Mike Hunt
Harry Hass
Dick Burst

Not kidding on any of them... :)
May. 4th, 2005 05:53 am (UTC)
Re: Heh heh. You said "balls".
Oh yeah I forgot my neighbor "Amanda Knight". What are people thinking when they name their kids? B.T.W: I was pranked with that Amanda knight name when I worked at a bar. Somebody phoned and asked if she was there. It never dawned own me that it was a prank call {'cause I'm naive and slow and I actually know somebody with that name}. Fortunately, there were only two customers in the establishment at the time, but they got a real kick out of it.
May. 18th, 2005 03:16 am (UTC)
Re: Heh heh. You said "balls".
Amanda Knight? I'm not sure I get it?............like "A man tonight?"
May. 23rd, 2005 03:50 am (UTC)
Re: Heh heh. You said "balls".
That's it. Think Moe Sizlak on the Simpson's saying "I'm looking for Amanda Knight. I need Amanda Knight." My boss's uncle is the guy who phoned it in. He thought it was hilarious. Six p.m. on a Saturday is one of the slowest periods of the week in the bar business. But it's one of the busiest times in the pizza business. And I had my hands full in the bar's kitchen with delivery orders and really didn't have time for that crap. I laughed ,a little. Later on.
May. 23rd, 2005 04:43 am (UTC)
Re: Heh heh. You said "balls".
I'm sorry, but is it bar's or bars'? I think the latter is correct. Whatever. Sorry.
( 29 comments — Leave a comment )