I've been putting in a new yard. When I started removing grass to prepare a new bed, I noticed that my hoe was dull. I remembered the countless mornings from the time school turned out in May until School started in September--yes, we pretty much kept to those dates because in a rural farming community children are labor--that began with "iron sharpening iron" as Daddy filed our hoes and the rising sun colored the eastern sky and tinted the land rose gold.
I could not find my file so I asked DMP to pick one up on the way home. He did and when I opened the package in the morning light to begin a day's work, I finally got the joke.
Daddy had brought home a new file and laid it carefully on the edge of front stoop as he began using the old file on our hoes. Mother came out and sat on the stoop with her coffee cup watching him. Hiding his smile under the wide brim of his hat, he said, "Dot, hand me that S.O.B."
She shot him a look of both shock and anger.
His blue eyes sparkled and he looked directly at her and said, "That's what it is; read the label."
She did; they laughed. She blew him a kiss and tossed him the file and we got on with our day.
Even at the time, I knew they had shared a joke, a private joke, one of the countless little ways they affirmed their love day in and day out.
My new file is a Nicholson 10" Black Diamond Single Cut Bastard.
"Single Cut Bastard." What a wonderful phrase!
It would make a good line for a poem or a title for a novel.