Date: Sat, 27 Jul 1996 18:19:10 -0400
From: Heilan Yvette Grimes HEP2[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]AOL.COM
Subject: tail above the dashboard II
Joe Claro wrote:
I tried this question a couple of weeks ago and got only a few responses.
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
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.
joeclaro[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]aol.com
I remember this expression from when I was a teenager. It has nothing to do
with buggy dashboards. It has to do with automobile dashboards (the part of
the automobile holding the steering wheel, glove compartment, etc.). It had
to do with having sex in cars. Keep your tail above the dashboard meant don't
have sex, ergo don't get into trouble. Not a very realistic idea of what
happens in cars, but the meaning was clear.