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Friday, 2 May 2014

The Pew

Many of my grandmother O'Brien's sayings have stayed with me my whole life.

One of her common sayings was, "That one/fella would face a pew."

When I was young, I knew it wasn't a good pronouncement about someone. I took it at face value at first and over time surmised that someone was saucy (brazen). You certainly didn't want to be considered saucy enough to face a pew.

As I got older, I couldn't get past the literal "pew." A pew full of people shouldn't be that threatening to face, surely. They were in Church after all. Eventually I asked Nan about it.

I was surprised to learn that a pew is a fish fork. It's a pole with a single long tine on one end, used to hook into the fish in the boat so you could throw them up onto the wharf. Now that was something to face!

In the many years since, every now and then I see some brazen interaction and think 'that one/fella would face a pew.' Nan's words are just second nature I guess. You can take the woman out of Newfoundland but...

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