So, Ruby’s Mom Had. No. Forearms.

Groovy-Cool Graph
“Where the Walls are Soft” as a Groovy-Cool Graph

January 15, 2008

How cool is that?! I think it’s the cat’s ass, myself.

Okay, onto the original subject, for which I have no pic, which is why I had to post the groovy-cool gizmo link… I’ve been harangued about this subject since I first brought it up, by all the Ruby fans (okay, mostly by Cardiogirl), and I can’t go another day with all the betch, betch, betching…

Ruby’s Mom was born with her arms drawn up so that her teeny-tiny little hands were pretty much touching her teeny-tiny little shoulders. It was all they (and by “they”, I must assume Ruby means her mom’s parents with the help of a midwife, considering her mom must have been born close to a hundred and twenty-five years ago, if not over…) could do to draw her little arms down into a normal-looking position, and it took days to a week to do it. She never was quite able to straighten her arms right out and lock her elbows, either.

Afterward, it became rather painfully apparent that this otherwise normal and most beautiful infant had been born… with….


Forearms. (cred to Cardiogirl, who won’t type it any.



Yes, folks, the poor kid’s hands were growin’ out her elbows.

I know that sounds a little mean-spirited, but that’s how Ruby said it to me, so that’s how I’m saying it to you. From Ruby’s mouth to your ears (eyes, ahem…*).


Ruby’s Mom (whose name I never did remember to ask, but I’d only have to come up with a pseudonym anyway, so I will stick with “Ruby’s Mom”, I guess) never let the fact that she had.



get in the way of anything. She grew up, went to school, taught school, got married, had eight kids (EIGHT!!!! KIDS!!!!), and ran her house like clockwork back in the days when most women had their share of overwhelming days.

She lived in the middle of the Northern Ontario “bush”, in a little, wee berg called “Northland”, where the only way in was by train. They eventually got a road built in; Ruby was old enough to remember it being built, but even then… Wow!

There was no electricity. No running water. And it’s not like Ruby’s Mom could run to the corner store to buy a loaf of bread, either. Nope. She made her own. Enough to feed EIGHT!!!! KIDS!!!!, remember?! Washed her family’s clothes by hand. Sewed most of them herself, too, with the exception of their “dress-up” clothes, the ones they wore to church, funerals, and dances. On top of all of this, she ran a small farm, growing vegetables, raising pigs and chickens, and chopping kindling… with.



Ruby remembers that she never wore short sleeves, although she’d push her sleeves up past her elbows when she was working at home. If there was a knock on the door, though, first thing she’d do was yank her sleeves down over her wrists, so Ruby thinks that in some ways, it did bother her a little.

But, here’s the real kicker… it wasn’t until one of Ruby’s older sisters went to school for the first time and came home afterward crying, that Ruby even knew that her mother had.



Seems that in the one-room school house that the kids all went to, that they liked to trade their lunches with each other (some things never change, huh?). It was during her first lunch hour at school, that Ruby’s older sister found out in that mean and nasty way that only kids have of treating each other, that she wasn’t able to join in on the lunch trade with the other girls.

Why? Well, that’s what Ruby’s sister wanted to know, wasn’t it? Well, it was because, they said, “Your mother works her bread with her elbows!” And they laughed until Ruby’s sister cried.

And then some.

When her sister came home with this story, Ruby was first puzzled. Then hurt. Then steaming mad. Ruby’s Mom, on the other hand, set about making a chocolate cake. In the middle of the week.




And the next day, Ruby’s sister was most certainly the STAR player in the school house lunch circle, seeing as how she had a coveted piece of the Blue-Ribbon-Winning-Chocolate-Cake-of-Which-the-Recipe-was-
Never-Shared-and-Everybody-Else’s-Mother-was-Green-with-Envy-Over in her lunch pail.

Not bad for having



Boo-Yah, Ruby’s Mom!

As a bit of a PS… watch this space tomorrow (or the next night, at the latest) for evidence of dead people. Damn, Suzi and her Dumb Dares.

Random Song for the Day: “Me and My Shadow” – Frank Sinatra & Sammy Davis Jr.

10 Replies to “So, Ruby’s Mom Had. No. Forearms.”

  1. That graphic thingy is soooo cool!

    As for Ruby’s Mom – I have never heard of that before. Poor Ruby’s Mom. But she kicked ass. I can’t believe kids were bitchy even back then. Little arsewipes. Good payback though 😉

    Les Says: No kidding, eh?! I find it hard to believe that I was once a little ummmm…. scared…. of my Landlady. I NEVER would have tangled with her Mom. Nevermind the ‘no forearms’ thing. Brrr.

  2. I thought this story was going to end with Ruby’s forearmless mom hightailing down to school and flapping the holy living crap out of those rotten little brats. Chocolate cake was a much better solution, though.

    I’m very much looking forward to your dare!

    Les Says: Me too! The Hummingbird, on the other hand – not so much. 😀

  3. Grace and brains, and with NO. FOREARMS. amazing.

    Les Says: Not to mention, Ruby didn’t have a clue until it had to be pointed out to her… the woman must have been pretty adept, considering.

  4. Totally. Boggles. My. Tiny. Brain. Awesome post, Betch. Want more, want more!!!

    Les Says: MORE, you say, Shet-bag?! Prepare yourself: I have to kill somebody today. Suzi said, so you know I HAVE to do it. When the cops come, I expect you all to point fingers in the right direction…

  5. It’s amazing how some people cope. Of course people were tougher back then too, there wasn’t any “oh pity me, I have no forearms”. You got over it and you got on with your life. I love how she baked chocolate cake though, that is so cool.

    And speaking of our mutual friend, I guess I have to do my thing too. At least I don’t have to kill anyone.

    Les Says: That’s how Ruby puts it, too – very matter-of-factly… “We got by alright.”

    I’m looking forward to your dare, OldGuy… actually, I’m kind of looking forward to meting out death on Cathcart St., too. 😀

  6. I wanted to stop in to thank you for turning me on to that graphic thingee. That was the highlight of my day, which upon deeper reflection may say more about the pathetic nature of my life than the awesomeness of the tool. Regardless, love the blog. All the best!

    Les Says: Well, thanks for the thanks, Canucklehead! I’m all for turning on my visitors… 😀 And, go easy on the “pathetic” tag – we’re Canuckian; we’re just naturally easily amused. Hey, at least we don’t get bored, right?

    Welcome to Where the Walls are Soft. I hope you visit again.

  7. Way to go Ruby’s mom! I love that she bitch-slapped them with psychology.

    Les Says: I KNOW! Apparently the use of forearms is not necessary for a good bitch-slapping, either.

  8. Ruby’s mom had a hell of a “short arm” way of handling teasing kids…I like her too! One of the worst punches I ever got as a kid was from a guy who asked if I could take a “short arm” punch. After he demonstrated the punch by swinging at me with on the end of his elbow, forearm and hand tucked close to his chest, I said sure. There is more power than you would think in the end of the elbow flexed at you from only 6 or 7 inches! Try it on someone!

    I ended up on the ground!

    Les Says: “Try it on someone?!” Riiiight.

    Actually, I have to kill The Hummingbird today. She needs to end up on the ground. I’ll let you know how it goes.

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