“None-Ya” and Name-Calling

My brother dated “Nonya” (none of your business) for a while until he was ready to tell my mother . . . ❤

A friend’s comment on unsolicited opinions, specifically her shoveling snow (because, you know, that’s work for a man) got me thinking about compiling a mental list of potential comebacks for these teachable moments.

My mother once responded to a clueless young man’s comment that my energetic niece was “spoiled” with, “No, they all smell that way.”

An answer beginning with a “Why would you assume . . . ? or ask . . .?” would establish the “non-ya” aspect.

Perhaps, “I arm wrestled the guys for the fun of shoveling, and I always win.”    (A special ed. teacher taking her student back from my class saved his dignity by claiming an arm wrestling victory).

There’s always Miss Manners’ cold stare-down.

Most important, don’t let them spoil anything.



Name-calling, OTOH, lowers the level of discourse in any conversation and is an admission of lack of rational arguments to use.

Maya Angelou once discussed the fact that anyone putting down any person or group would be invited to leave her home because she doesn’t want negativity within her walls.


Dumb and Bell  by “Daddy John” Fussner

Once upon a time, there was a little brownie.  We don’t know what his given name was, because no one ever used it.  This poor little brownie always studied hard, but he could never learn anything.  He always made the lowest grades in his class.  All the other little brownies called him Dumb, just plain Dumb.  Little Dumb didn’t care.  He was a good little brownie and never got mad at anyone or anything.

Well, everything rolled along until one day a cute little fairy started to school.  Her family had just moved into the neighborhood.  Her name was Bell.  She was very quick to learn and could stay at the head of the class easily.  For some strange reason, small, smart little Bell took a liking to poor, fat, friendly Dumb.  Soon, he was carrying her books and she was carrying his lunch.  (Dumb always forgot his lunch).

It didn’t take long for the rest of the brownies to start teasing.  When they saw little Bell and Dumb coming down the road to school, they all started to shout, “Ding, dong.  Ding, dong.  Here comes Dumb Bell.”

Dumb didn’t mind, but Bell didn’t like it at all.  “Stop your teasing at once,” she ordered.  “I don’t like to see anyone teased, and it’s very rude for you to do.  Stop it this very second.”

Well, the brownies stopped, because little Bell looked like she meant it, all, that is, except one.  You guessed it, the big school yard bully kept it up.  “Ding dong.  Ding, dong.  Here comes Dumb Bell.  What ‘cha gonna do about it, huh?”

“I’ll show you soon enough,” said Bell, and before anyone knew what was happening, the bully was down on the ground with Bell sitting on his back with both hands full of the bully’s hair.   The bully didn’t like that at all.  He rolled away and jumped up to run.  Bell jumped him just as he started running and rode him piggy-back.  She pulled his ears to make him turn and tickled his ribs to make him run.  Around and around the school they went, until the bully was so tired that he couldn’t run anymore.  He promised little Bell he would behave; so she turned him loose.

Dumb and Bell had no more trouble from the other children.  Little lady Bell helped Dumb with his schoolwork every day, and soon his grades got better.  As time went on, he slowly climbed to the head of his class.  After he finished school, he went to work in the head man brownie’s office, bought a house, and married Bell.  Soon he had children of his own going to school.

As time ticked on and the years slowly passed, the head man brownie retired to go fishing and hunting.  Who took his job?  Why, Dumb, of course.  He is now the boss and tells all the other brownies what to do.  Yes, even the bully takes orders from easy-going Dumb.

More of Dad’s stories at





2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Naomi Baltuck
    Apr 17, 2014 @ 20:30:48

    It’s wonderful that you have your dad’s stories, Mary!


  2. storytellermary
    Apr 17, 2014 @ 20:58:08

    I encourage everyone to save their stories. My favorite of all writing assignments was when I had my sophomores interview older relatives and write narratives (they had already written their own first person narratives). Papers so good I almost didn’t want to return them, and I instructed them to share with family and keep them safe for future use with their own younger relatives. Donald Davis’ _Writing As a Second Language_ has helpful insights.


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