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Sunday, January 31, 2016

Flowing Water

I am very pleased to post this haiku, written by my daughter.

The clean fresh water
Splashes over the dark rocks
And flows down the creek

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Who The Heck Is Thomas Schmuck??

Who is Thomas Schmuck? I have no idea.

"Who the heck is Thomas Schmuck?" my husband asked me.
"Thomas who?" I said. "Schmuck? Are you kidding me?"
"No. You wrote a check to him in September for $90 and I want to know just who this Schmuck is!"

My husband was laughing; we both were, but I really couldn't remember why I'd written a check to Thomas Schmuck for $90. We also had some serious questions -
1. Just who WAS Thomas Schmuck?
2. Was he really a "schmuck" or was that just his unfortunate name?
3. Where did the word "schmuck" come from anyway?

To address the last question first - Merriam-Webster defines "schmuck" as a "stupid or foolish person," as in, "I can't believe what a schmuck that guy is.." It also goes on to say that the origin of the word comes from the Yiddish word shmok, which means literally - penis.
So I guess calling someone a schmuck is the same as calling them a dick. Which brings me to my next question -

How did the nickname of Dick (from Richard) get turned into an ugly word for penis?
Once again turning to some on-line sources, Dick has long been an English synonym for "fellow," but sometime around 1890, the British army started using it as a slang word for penis. I can't find the reason why, but at least we have someone to blame for it - the Brits! Then of course, there's the origin of the words, prick, cock, well - you get the picture.

So, to address the second question of my original list, Was Thomas Schmuck really a schmuck? Well, literally, no. When I looked at the digital copy of the check my husband was referencing (that was a mouthful!), I saw that his last name is actually spelled Scheumack, which probably still sounds like schmuck but is obviously spelled differently. I also looked on the check for a clue as to why I'd paid him $90, but unfortunately, I'd left the "for ______" line empty.

Which leads me back to my first and final question - just who is Thomas Scheumack? My husband googled him, and a site came up called, the "Scheumack Broom Company," which was founded by a craftsman named Thurman Scheumack back in 1981. At last I remembered! In September, I went to the Kings Mountain Art Faire and bought a couple of beautiful hand-crafted brooms. I'm not sure why my check was made out to Thomas and not Thurman, but that is a mystery I don't care to pursue.

Anyway, now that you and I both know who Thomas Scheumack is - actually, what the Scheumack company is -  you might want to look at their website. I love their brooms. I have one with black bristles I call my "witch's broom." It almost makes sweeping fun because I can imagine that when the chore is done, I can fly off on my broom! So check them out, and if you find the real Thomas, please don't tell him I sent you. He probably wouldn't appreciate my husband and I calling him a schmuck.