04 April 2013

My Mischievous Mom

One very memorable day of my childhood, all of us children were at a museum with my Mom, and one of the exhibits was a hearse. My Mom was suddenly inspired to start quoting a poem, and when she discovered that none of us were familiar with the poem she was quoting, she sat us all down on a nearby bench and quoted the poem to us in full, with dramatic pause and gesture to emphasize the meaning. 

 Lizzy, Me, and Mom
*Warning* Graphic

"Have you ever seen a hearse go by,
And wonder if you're the next to die?
They'll bury you under six feet deep,
And it's okay for about a week.
But then....
The worms begin to creep.
The worms crawl in, the worms crawl out
The worms play pinochle on your snout.
They eat your eyes, they eat your nose. 
They eat the jelly between your toes.
Your body turns to slimy green 
And pus comes out like whipping cream. 
They spread it on some moldy bread.
And that's what you eat, when you're dead!"
I have no idea who the author of this poem is. To put it gently, it's a horrible poem. Graphic, utterly gross, and disgustingly disrespectful. Of course, all of us kids ate it up as our Mom recited it to us, and in spite of the fact that she taught us many, many useful things over our years at home--I'd venture to guess that this poem is one of the few things that every one of us can still recite by heart, over a decade later.
To this day, I can't quite comprehend why Mom decided that this gruesome poem was a necessary part of our childhood education. In general, she was rather conservative about the things she taught us. Although, on another memorable occasion, during a particularly jolly family painting project, she taught us every word to the song "The Gambler" by Kenny Rogers. I can still sing that one, too. I guess none of this is really too surprising, because the lady who raised us has still never managed to shake her childhood nickname "The Bad Twin."
So, my question to you is, did you grow up knowing any version or variation of the disgusting hearse poem, or am I alone in this? And did any of you have similar experiences of your own parents teaching you things that were just naughty enough to make it feel like maybe your parents shouldn't be the ones teaching them to you?

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deanna@delirious-rhapsody said...

i know this poem! i used to recite it all the time! it was in some 'scary stories to tell after dark' book that i remember reading as a kid. :)

Whitney @ EHFAR said...

I don't know this poem! If Deanna ^ is right..... But if it was in the books, "Scary Stories to Tell After Dark," then I definitely did. I loved those books!

Angi said...

Oh my gosh, that poem is disgusting!!! Haha, it sounds like something my GRANDMA would have tried to teach us, with my mom being the one to protest. I can't think of anything exciting we learned as kids...just the usual classic nursery rhymes and such.

Heidi said...

ha ha, that's gross. My husband taught our 5 and 2 year old boys "pick your nose, pick your bum, now you've got some bubble gum" yeah, they say that to EVERYONE they meet. Thanks dear husband :P

Cate @ Wild Ruffle said...

My mom was always super proper. But my husband has taught my kids the "sliding into first, and you feel a little burst..." song - totally inappropriate, but they LOVE it.:)

Natasha Atkerson said...

LOL! Oh my, that IS gross! I can't say I've ever heard it before, strange poem!
I don't believe my parents have ever taught me anything quite like that, though there have been times when my dad acts like a little kid laughing about someone tooting or some other bodily function (and yes, I did laugh so hard I cried). What can you say?! I have my immature moments! And obviously so do your parents! LOL! How much fun would it be if they were perfect, I mean, really?!
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Brittany Kyte said...

No hearse poems from my childhood! BUT when my mom would see a perched bird she would randomly quote, "Little birdy on a sill, such a pretty little bill. Coax him with a piece of bread.. SMASH goes his little head."

So... morbid. Haha!

Katie said...

i remember a friend of mine singing a song that started like that! what a dark song to sing!

Mrs. M ~ a.k.a. ~ April said...

Yep! That was gross! I had to screen over it because I have a vivid imagination. Hmm, as far as my parents teaching/telling us things that I thought should be left to others, yeah a few times. But I'm healed from that memory though it's still there :)

Jen said...

Love it! I didn't have any such experience with my parents. But I'm sure to recite something of that sort to my kiddos one day.

Janna Renee said...

Haha that is an intense poem! I'm sure there's a good lesson in there somewhere.

Maggie B. said...

So this is the poem!!! I only knew the line about the worms crawling in nod out and playing pinnocle, my grandmother used to quote it.