Help! Murder! Police!  My wife fell in the grease.  I laughed so hard, I fell in the lard.  Help! Murder! Police!

I kid you not.


This is what we chanted in 2nd grade, on the playground at Woodleigh Elementary in my small Kentucky town.  I guess every generation has their share of quirks or sayings they used for social interaction and parental confusion. Looking back, some of ours bordered on cruel and unusual. For example:


We used to touch something or someone we thought gross or stinky or inferior in some way, then touch someone else, cross our fingers and yell,” POSTED”.  That child then, had to find another person with uncrossed fingers and pass the stinky germs on to them. I spent a big part of my young academic life with a watchful eye and crossed fingers. I’m sure those so called “inferior” people felt the brunt of it and I feel ashamed.  But, I was a dumb kid.  What did I know?  It seemed to be accepted by teachers and parents.  I don’t ever remember a teacher taking a proactive step to stop us and I do remember Mrs. Collins having her fingers crossed behind her back on the playground one time.  But, that was probably for something else.

Then there were Slam Books.

A Slam Book was a spiral bound note book, usually decorated by the owner (girls of course, boys didn’t own them, but did sign them) The first page was a numbered column in which kids put their name, to get assigned a number. Consecutive pages had a random persons name at the top and everyone who signed in on the first page, could write a comment on each person’s using their assigned number as their signature.

Oh the nasty things people would say with 2 minutes of anonymity. Things like:

Cute, but fat  #12


I’m never speaking to her again. #3


She should put on nicer underwear if she’s going to climb up the slide.  # 11

Yes, really.

My page got mostly favorable comments, but there were a few:

Nice but weird  #9


Skinny Minnie # 6


Jesus doesn’t love you anymore #22

That last one worried me for a while because the blasphemous kid signed in as God on #22.

Fortunately, it wasn’t all mean spirited.  Who can forget that flavorful tune?

“Great, green gobs of greasy grimy gopher guts, marinated monkey meat, little dirty birdie feet.   All this good food I would like to eat, but I forgot my spoon.” 

Pure poetry.

2 thoughts on “HELP! MURDER! POLICE…

  1. Lynn

    we did the ‘help, murder, police’ thing in Cleveland Ohio 1960s. we also did ‘jinx on you, you owe me a coke’ but I do not recall why, maybe some item was seen at the exact same time by both, or two people said the same thing.

    1. Joetta Currie Post author

      Thanks for your comment! We did the jinx thing too and punched each other in the arm if we were the first ones to see a “doodle bug” (Volkswagen beetle:)


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