The boys in the Epperson family all acquired fine educations except for Edward.
They made him go to school, but most of the time he just ignored what was said
there. Yet there were rare moments when he could display a bit of curiosity.
One day Edward was sitting at home looking at a magazine, and he said
to his brilliant older brother, Hud, he said, "Hud, what does fox pass mean?"
Brother Hud gave the question some deep consideration and then said,
"You must mean _faux_pas_."
"The way it's spelled," said dumb Ed, "it's fox pass."
Hud took a look at the way it was spelled and then said, "It's a French
phrase -- it means a social blunder. Remember last Sunday when the Bishop came
for dinner? Mother took him out in the garden and they were looking over the
roses when the Bishop got stuck on the thumb by a thorn. It was bleeding quite
a bit so Mother brought him in the house. They went into the bathroom together
and stayed quite a while, and when they came out we all went to the dinner
table. Remember all that, Ed?"
"Now," Hud continued, "you recall that I was just getting to pass
the gravy when Mother said, 'Bishop, does your prick still throb?' The gravy
bowl flew out of my hands and hit the table, and the gravy splattered all
over everyone. And just at that point you, Brother Edward, you hollered,
'Sheee-itt!' You remember that?"
"Well, when you hollered 'Sheee-itt!' that was a _faux_pas_."