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Heaton: 19 Southern Expressions for This Busy Life


Mr. Blair’s barn was a kid’s dream. It was a rotating museum of things not quite old enough to be valuable, and not quite new enough to be useful.

One visit the barn would be filled with old railroad lanterns. Next time, those would be gone and replaced by weather vanes. Those would be replaced in turn by antique farm implements. If he found a good deal on paint and canvas, he painted. When he found a pile of unwanted wood, he built birdhouses. Once he had a stage coach in his barn, then fire engine, then a mahogany motor boat.

Sometime around his 80th birthday, the boat was replaced by the skeleton of a light airplane. I knew he was in the Navy, but I didn’t know he flew.

“No, he said. I’m not going to fly it anywhere. I’m building it to keep young.” If Mr. Blair was really busy, here are the ways he said it.

1. As busy as a church fan in dog days.

2. Busier than a 2-dollar trollop on nickel night.

3. Busier than a blind dog in a meat house.

4. Busier than a blind man at a striptease.

5. Busier than a cat burying poop on a marble floor.

6. Busier than a moth in a mitten.

7. Busier than a one-armed monkey with two bananas.

8. Busier than a one-armed paper hanger with jock itch.

9. Busier than a one-legged man in a butt kicking contest.

10. Busy as popcorn on a skillet

11. Busier than a set of jumper cables at a Mexican reunion.

12. Busier than ants at a picnic.

13. Busy as a stump-tailed cow in fly season.

14. I don’t have time to cuss the cat.

15. I got more things to do than a dog with fleas.

16. I’m as busy as a farmer with one hoe and two rattlesnakes.

17. I’m up to my arse in alligators.

18. I’m busier than a borrowed mule.

19. I’m running around like a chicken with its head cut off.

Ronald Reagan was known to quip. “When you are up to your ass in alligators it’s difficult to remember that your initial objective was to drain the swamp.” If you have a favorite saying for this busy life, please add it to the comments.

Have you seen this man? Tim Heaton is looking for a position back down South.

Tim’s colleagues describe him as “ridiculously motivated” renaissance man with superb communication, team-building and leadership skills. He is a recognized expert in leveraging technology for organizations from athletics to high finance, and has been awarded 17 US Patents in technology. Tim is a contributing writer to HottyToddy.com and actively volunteers his technical, database and social media expertise to several nonprofits in his current home in New Jersey and in his home state of Mississippi. He is also a published author, chef and physical fitness enthusiast.

Tim and his wife Linda live in Morristown with their two sons. Tim is also the parent of Dr. Allison Pace DVM of Franklin, TN. Tim Heaton is a graduate of Ole Miss, where he is an active alumnus and supports the university in a variety of public relations efforts. He can be reached at tim.h.heaton@gmail.com.

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