Saturday, March 27, 2010


William Lynwood Montell, Tales from Kentucky Funeral Homes (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2009), pp. 53-4.


Here's a story I like to tell. We had this man laid out at the funeral home. His widow wanted a two-night visitation, but on the second day there wasn't anybody there except the body and the widow and me.

I was sitting in the lounge area and the widow came in. She was chewing her gum just as hard as she could. She said to me, "Mr. Dowell, have you got a Kotex?"

She was probably in her late seventies, so I thought as to why in the world did she want a Kotex.

Well, that was before the days of enlightenment, when you didn't talk about those things. So, I could just feel my face getting hot and red. I said, "No ma'am, I don't have a Kotex."

She was really chewing that gum and said, "Well, [I] wonder where I could get one."

The man that worked for us lived upstairs, and his wife was pregnant and didn't figure she had any need for one. I said, "Well, one of them women over there at the flower shop might have one."

She said, "Well, I was just wondering. I was wanting some pictures made."

I didn't have the heart to tell her she wanted a Kodak camera!

Billy Dowell, Mt. Vernon, August 27, 2007

Peter V. MacDonald, From the Cop Shop (Toronto: Stoddart, 1996), p. 194.

When I spoke to the former Sydney [Nova Scotia] police chief in late 1994, I was delighted to receive official confirmation of one of [Hugh MacDonald's] most famous utterances. Alex Goldie, who was in his thirties at the time, said he was standing about three feet behind the much older Sergeant MacDonald when the latter unleashed the line that caused generations of fun-loving folks to giggle and guffaw. The story goes like this:

One day in the late-1940s, Hughie R. arrested a woman for being drunk and disorderly in a public place. Seconds after he put her in the slammer, she sang out, "Oh, Officer, I'll need Kotex in the morning," and Hughie R. snarled, "Aw, shut up, you'll have Corn Flakes like the rest of them!"

William Montell, Tales from Kentucky Lawyers (Lexington: The University Press of Kentucky, 2003), p. 105.


A well-known Harlan County prostitute was being incarcerated in the Harlan County jail. In the process of being locked up, she protested and said, "I can't go in there."

The jailer replied, "Susie, there is a warrant out on you, and I've got to put you in. Go on in there."

Susie then protested with these words, "If I am going to go in there, you'll have to get me a box of Kotex."

The jailer replied to her and said, "Hell no, Susie, you'll eat Post Toasties like all the rest."

Eugene Goss, Harlan, May 22, 2002