Now, I wear the pants in our family, I do;
I get great productivity handling my crew.
Yes, I wear the pants in our family, you know,
But I handed the reins to the one just below,
I handed them off for a moment—no longer—
But found that the grip that was on them grew stronger.
She held on those reins with her hands on her hips,
And she showed how those reins could be turned into whips.
She cracked 'em and snapped 'em and whipped us in shape,
And only would feed us three nuts and a grape,
'Til all us, from dad right on down to each brother,
Were standing in line one right after the other.
She marched us around shouting orders to all:
"Clean your room! Sweep the floor! Wash the car! Paint the hall!"
We worked really hard—well, what else could we do?
You'd work that hard too if she came after you
With whips made of reins (that were only on loan),
And might in her voice that was more than her own.
We followed her orders and tackled each task
Not questioning why—no one even dared ask.
We worked 'til our bones popped right out of their sockets,
Though we didn't get even a dime for our pockets;
We worked 'til we'd skinned all the skin off our knuckles,
And lost so much weight we'd adjusted our buckles—
Yes, we tightened our belts so our pants won't fall,
Cuz if MY pants should fall, that would not do at all,
Cuz I wear the pants in our family, you know,
And such great productivity comes from below.
Yes, I wear the pants (you should know that by now),
I get great productivity—now you know how.

                                  —The Spouse of Generalissima

                                                                                                       © 2001