Thursday, February 21, 2013

That Sumbitch Ain't Been Born...

One more from Smallest Minority

The first line of the Declaration is one strongly definitive of an American ideal - equality of birth.

There is a story, a joke in some ways, an allegory in others, that dates way back. In it, a British Lord travels to the Frontier West, America in the 1800's. His horse throws a shoe on the trail, so at the first little frontier town he comes to, he finds a blacksmith's shop to have the shoe replaced. As he rides up, he sees a large, sweaty, filthy man hammering on a piece of red-hot iron. The Lord sits on his horse, waiting to be served, but the blacksmith doesn't pay him any attention and continues to work his iron. Finally, the Lord, outraged to have been ignored this way by an obvious servant, dismounts, approaches the 'smith, and taps the man on the shoulder with his riding crop.

"You, man!" he barks, "Who is your Master! I wish to have a word with him!"

The blacksmith turns, looks at the Englishman, spits a stream of tobacco juice on the point of the Lord's boot and says,

"That sumbitch ain't been born."

That's one idea Americans share.

The Gunslinger


  1. The first line of the Declaration of Independence is a whole paragraph:

    "When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation."

    Compare this to modern writing.