Vol.V No.VII Pg.8
September 1968

Stuff About Things

Robert F. Turner

People who live close to nature make colorful similes by noticing the likenesses of men and animals. My dad once referred to a rusty lizard on a hot rock — doing push-ups, and puffing himself with air — as "braggin'." In McAllen, a friend pointed to a group of street-corner loafers who were "turkey-necking" -- stretching and turning to watch all who passed by. Either figure is meaningless to the apartment dweller, but perfectly clear to this "country boy".

"Turkey-necking" on the street corner may be harmless pastime (sans an "eye" for the wrong thing) but we can do with less "turkey-necking" in the church. The song leader and speakers know exactly who will turn halfway around in the seat to see who came in late, or took a child to the restroom. And when the clock is in the back — where it should be for proper timing of the service by those on the floor — turkey-neckers get a workout.

Other "turkey-neckers" are not content unless they can be "in" on every juicy bit of gossip making the rounds. They "Oh" and "Ah" at life's parade, milking all the sensation possible out of every happening; and color the duller portions to better suit their imaginative tastes. If you have ever watched a flock of barn-yard turkeys or geese, as something "new" comes along, you get the picture.


Another McAllen story concerns a small boy who announced he was going to run away from home. His mother was distraught with concern, but a wiser dad said, "Well son, if you must, you must."

The little boy somewhat abashed, wrapped a few toys in a cloth, patted his dog on the head and said "goodbye", and walked away.

About fifteen minutes later (mom was beginning to fret) he came walking back up the sidewalk, and paused beside a seemingly disinterested father. "Well, I see you still have the same old dog!" he said.


True to life, lots of people tell me they read "Stuff" first, and find it a bit of sauce, welcomed and helpful in the digestion of Plain Talk points made elsewhere in a different vein. Well, that's the way we mean it. This "streak" is an honest part of me it seems, and must "out" at times.