Thursday, February 03, 2005

Kiss My Grits

Who didn’t love the show Alice? It had everything anyone ever wants in a sitcom; a fat fry cook, a teenage boy and a sassy country gal (wait! That’s not everything anybody wants in a sitcom, that’s everything they found in Elton John’s dressing room at the Staples Center.)

I loved Flo. She made me laugh and laugh. I can honestly say I can’t remember a single plotline, but I do remember waiting for her to say her catchphrase: KISS MY GRITS!
Thank about it, has there ever been a better catchphrase?

1. Kiss my grits
2. I pity the fool
3. Time to make the doughnuts
4. Some of my best friends are Republicans
5. It hurts when I jog, but it stopped oozing
6. You can’t handle the truth
7. I’ll be back
8. Snootch to the nooch
9. They’re magically delicious
10. Sorry dude, the zipper is still broken

“Kiss my grits” rules. Let’s take a look at that phrase.

First, what does it mean to kiss? It means touching with the lips as an expression of affection, greeting, respect, or amorousness.

Secondly, what are grits? They are a ground, usually white meal of dried and hulled corn kernels that is boiled and served as a breakfast food or side dish. I like to eat them at Waffle House. I have never kissed them.

But Flo asked people to KISS her grits. This is not the proper use for grits, thus the comment is rather funny. Actually, it is unclear what Flo wanted people kiss. Although she worked in a restaurant and would have access to grits or any other product I think it was code for something else. Yup, I think “kiss my grits” and “kiss my behind” mean the same thing.

Why then, did she choose grits? They don’t LOOK like the behind! They don’t sound like any slang word for the behind! I just don’t know.

Here are some alternatives to “kiss my grits”

Kiss my Asian Cucumber Salad!
Kiss my Backwoods Taters

Kiss my Tortellini and Broccoli Salad

Any of these would have been just replacements for GRITS, but none have the same magic.

It was the magic in THAT phrase that propelled Flo to the forefront of the series. “Alice” debuted in 1976 and soon Polly Holliday (as Flo) was the breakout star. She was the shows Fonzie or Urkel or Willy’s brother Neal Tanner. Audiences LOVED her and tuned in week after to week just to see Flo sass the customers and put Mel (the cook) in his place. It was perfect television.

As Flo she won two Golden Globes, was nominated for a third and received three Emmy nominations. It is said that all the attention Flo received was irritating to the shows titular star Linda Lavin.

After four seasons, the inevitable happened; Flo was granted a spin-off.

The premise was that Flo Castleberry was passing through her hometown of Cowtown, Texas, on her way to a job in Houston. She then made a career change and bought a bar she used to frequent. Flo renamed the bar “Flo's Yellow Rose.” Earl, the bartender, was a sexist who now had to work for (gasp) a woman, and Farley was the penny pinching mortgage rep. Regulars also included a piano player and a mechanic that worked next door.

Flo still used her salty wit and feminine charms on every man that came through the door as she struggled to maintain the bar.

The show ran for just 27 episodes spread over 2 seasons before it was cancelled.

Grits remain un-kissed to this day.

The theme song lyrics were:

Rowdy red-head headin' for the big time.
Lookin' like a Texas sequined star.
Making eyes at every tight jeaned cowboy.
Sassin' good old boys around the bar.
Flo's Yellow Rose...flashing neon every trucker knows.
The door is always open and the beer is always cold,
At Flo's Yellow Rose...Flo's Yellow Rose.

Try singing it to the tune of Amazing Grace, its wild! Now sing it to while watching "The Wizard of Oz." You will notice that it synchs up with the movie several times:

When you sing “tight jeaned cowboy” a farmhand is onscreen (sadly his pants fit him fine and they aren’t jeans.)
When you sing “beer” you see a horse drinking something from a bucket.
“Flo's Yellow Rose” synchs up with “yellow brick road” several times.

It's more fun than watching "Flo," that's for sure!


  1. Anonymous2/03/2005

    One time Hilary Duff was making a personal appearance nearby. I tried to kiss her girts, but I got tasered. 

    Posted by Not Enough Duff

  2. Anonymous2/03/2005

    I really don't remember this show or its spinoff. But I am stunned you didn't rank "I Pity the Fool" as the greatest catch phrase ever. Why did you put Kiss my Grits ahead of that? 

    Posted by Mr. Freeze

  3. Anonymous2/03/2005

    I pity fools that don't kiss my grits. 

    Posted by Sweetie Guy Hutchinson

  4. Anonymous2/03/2005

    Then I'm a fool. Cause I'm from the South and I believe that grits should not be used in such a manner. 

    Posted by Nettie

  5. Anonymous2/03/2005

    As our resident southern belle you out rank me on the subject of grits. I retract my pity and the designation of "fool." 

    Posted by Sweetie Guy Hutchinson

  6. Anonymous2/03/2005

    Weird. I recall watching Alice but I didn't remember that Flo got her own spin-off.

    Also, about that best catchphrases of all time list. What you talkin' 'bout, Sweetie? 

    Posted by cravipat

  7. Anonymous2/03/2005

    Good point Cravipat, but I stand by my list. I know "It hurts when I jog, but it stopped oozing" is a much more popular catchphrase.

    Posted by Sweetie Guy Hutchinson