This is really one of my mother’s stories about her younger days. She told this story often as I was growing up, so I add it here to help you understand my roots. Growing up in England, Mum tells the tale of her father buying the family’s first radio. I would guess that the year would have been 1930 or perhaps a little earlier. The family would gather around the radio and listen nightly to news, music, etc.
The radio broke down one day. Her father, believing that he could repair anything, took off the back of the radio and began removing valves (we call them tubes in America), opening panels and generally doing things that an electronics technician would never do. An hour or two later, the radio or the parts thereof were placed in a basket and off they went, my Mum to be and her Dad to the repair shop down the road.
One could only imagine the face of the counterman at the repair shop. Mum’s Dad explained what he had done. The reply was quite simple, “Ooo, ya shud not av dun that lad, you shud av brought it ear as Us is them, we what knows!”
The expression “Us is them, we what knows!” is entrenched in the Cane family. It fits into so many conversations. It fits in the conversations along with my mother’s favorite show stopper, “I could not fail to disagree with you less!” or its counter part “I could not fail to disagree with you more!” I think all families must have family words and expressions. Sometimes we fail to remember their roots.