The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #18820   Message #3025868
Posted By: GUEST,MarkF
07-Nov-10 - 10:45 AM
Thread Name: Origin: Rough and tough and hard to bluff
Subject: RE: Origin: Rough and tough and hard to bluff
"Rough and tough and used to hardships" has been my signature (if annoying) story-telling party piece for a couple of decades. But my version is quite different from Erv's. The hero is Ivan Ivanovich, a poor but honest nineteenth-century Russian boy who faces a host of Old World difficulties: jailed by the Tsarist police, deported in chains to Siberia, captured en route by Cossacks, then by Caucasian bandits, re-captured by the secret police and goes to the salt mines. Etc. Finally he escapes and after a few more misadventures makes his way across the Pacific from Vladivostok to San Francisco as a cabin boy on a clipper ship. They send him up in the rigging to the crow's nest, and a terrific storm hits...

The story is told in broken English with a strong Russian accent. After each adventure, one worse than the last, the reprise is -- "But this did not bother poor Ivan Ivanovich, for he was rough and tough and used to hardships!" The story can go on for half an hour, and (mercifully) ends when the great storm breaks the tall ship's mast and Ivan Ivanovich comes crashing down to the wooden deck, surely to meet a sorry end: "But this did not bother poor Ivan Ivanovich, for he was rough and tough and used to ... hard (pause) ships."

[Groans].

Does seem like it must be related to Erv's! I've never been to summer camp in Illinois, and for the life of me I can't recall where I got it.

Mark