posted by coyote
Grandad coyote was an austere guy. The sort of dog one would associate with a large framed portrait frowning severely down on a big, lustrous boardroom table surrounded by overstuffed chairs gliding on discrete casters. A portrait of the sort one might, indeed, associate with the founder of a well-established semimythical enterprise.
I know it may surprise some of you who have noted my, ummm, occasional case of pottymouth, but Grandad very much discouraged expletives of the anglo-saxon monosyllabic sort. Well, what the hell else do you call it when your breath sometimes betrays a swig or two from the occasional toilet? I digress.
I understand this credo had something to do with a long-ago day when the world was very young, when he and his callow young littermates holed up in a culvert, smoked way too many green hayseed cigarettes rolled in pages from yellowback novels, and uttered every filthy word any of 'em could think up. Family history offers no clues as to why they considered this plan sound in the first place. I blame youth. Nowadays, I imagine they'd all drink Red Bull until they ran in confused circles and peed down their own legs while hacking WiFi signals, or something.
Anyway, by the end of the day, they all felt so nauseated they swore off (heh...) swearing for life. Come to that, I don't think any of 'em smoked, either. Score one for proto aversion therapy. Oops... another digression.
Anyway. When severely riled, Grandad would admit to "having my dander up". Someone of whose conduct he generally disapproved, he might allow, was "a so-and-so". Truly egregious types, he called "stinkers". For one totally beyond the pale, he reserved the terrifying term "Dirty Potlicker".
You did not want to be someone whom Grandad called a Dirty Potlicker.
I am uncertain to this day of the true etymological origins of this prairie epithet, but the tone with which he uttered it told me all I need to know. Oh, I've seen attempts to define it (1) (2), but I'm pretty sure, on the evidence, that Grandad meant something a whole bunch worse.
Could explain why, at times much like now, when he scanned the election news in the original Calgary Eye Opener, he could be heard muttering "Dirty Potlickers!!!" under his doggy breath. Over and over and over.