From Roger Ebert's piece 'My old man', a warm, engaging chunk of writing about his father's life with a bit of his family history thrown in too. Ebert's observations about day-to-day living in the 50s and 60s are fascinating. I like this piece, because it reminds me of the catchphrases I recycle (a Green girl at heart, clearly), and reassures me of their necessity!
'Every single time my father beheld this sight, he said exactly the same thing: "They fill you up before you even get your meal." Then he would glance at me, to signal that he knew he said it every time. That's how I gained a lifelong fondness for repeating certain phrases beyond the point of all reason. "For this relief, much thanks," from Dan Curley, via Hamlet. "Too long a sacrifice can make a stone of the heart," from John McHugh, via William Butler Yeats. "A wee drop of the dew," from Bob Zonka. "Irving! Brang 'em on!" from Billy Baxter. "Tip top." These and other phrases are not tics, they are rituals in the continuity of life.'
Roger Ebert, http://blogs.suntimes.com/ebert/2010/03/my_old_man.html