Date: Tue, 23 Jul 1996 07:01:10 -0400

From: Joe Claro Joeclaro[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]AOL.COM

Subject: tail above the dashboard II

I tried this question a couple of weeks ago and got only a few responses. On

the chance that some people missed it, allow me to ask again:

In All the King's Men, two different characters say "so long" with the

expression, "Keep your tail above the dashboard." First, does anyone

recognize the expression? (Given the setting, it's a good bet that it's from

Louisiana and surroundings.) It seems to mean, "Take care of yourself."

Second, what was its original meaning? A dashboard was the part of a buggy

that kept the driver from being splashed with mud. Why would it have been

important to keep a horse's tail above this fixture? (As I picture it, I

can't see it doing the horse any good. Does it protect the driver?)

Thanks to anyone who can help.