Suffering Succotash


I used to love watching all the Warner Brothers cartoons when I was a kid.  One of my favorite episodes is the Duck Season/Wabbit  Season.  Daffy Duck wasn’t as quick witted as Bugs Bunny and Bugs always got the best of him.   It wasn’t always just Bugs that got the best of him either.  His attitude got him in lots of trouble and nothing ever seemed to result in his favor.  He had a lot in common with Sylvester too.  Their antics often ended with the frustrated euphemism, “Sufferin Succotash” and “You’re Dispicable”.

I always wondered what sufferin succotash meant as a kid.  As I got older I didn’t give it much thought.  One day I watched a rerun and thought this time I am going to find out exactly what that means.

It was interesting to learn the word “succotash” originated from Narranganset, an Eastern Algonquin language which is no longer in use.  These days it describes the base recipe of corn and lima beans cooked to a mush.

The term “Suffering Succotash” itself is summed up nicely in this passage by Elyse Bruce @

“In the mid-1800s, during the Victorian era, there was a rejection of all profanity and so the common people developed a wide variety of malapropisms to avoid swearing on Holy names. Soon, one could hear Cripes and Crikey replace “Christ” and Dangnabit replace “G*d damn it” and Cheese ‘n’ Rice replace “Jesus Christ.” The phrase Suffering Succotash replaced “Suffering Savior.”” 

 So now we know.

I realize now the reason it fascinated me was because it was the expression they used that also defined a portion of their character.  The expressions were used mostly when things didn’t work out how they expected.

The expressions are an outward declaration of an inner belief.

What I was really fascinated by was their continuous cycle of self-pity.  You can always identify a person in a cycle of self-pity, their lives are often drama filled (usually their own exaggeration of their current situation), negative, and defensive.  

I could relate to the constant frustration of the “why me?” mentality.  That belief that we’re all the victims of our circumstance. If he didn’t treat me bad, if she wasn’t so critical, if my boss wasn’t so mean (she’s really nice by the way), if I could’ve gone to a better school or had nicer things, then I would be happy.  This even includes the belief that if tweetie bird wasn’t around, my life with grannie would be purrrrfect.

Sometimes the belief may be justified, that’s what makes self-pity so hard to identify.  There’s the belief that,  if she hadn’t of cheated on me, or if he would just help clean the house, or my kids should “fill in the blank”, then I wouldn’t be so angry, so sad, so depressed, so….whatever.

The truth is when we live with that “Suffering Succotash”  and “You’re Dispicable” mentality, we’re really living with self-pity and blame. We’re blaming everyone and everything for our circumstances.  When we blame someone for our own feelings, we are giving them control over us.  They have the power to decide for us if we will be happy or not.  When we stop the self-absorbed pity party, we take back control of our own happiness.  

It may be true that his cheating hurt your feelings.  You may feel sad because of it but when you think “if he hadn’t of done that I’d be happy” you’re allowing the past choice he made keep you from happiness.  As long as you hang on to the belief you can’t be happy because of something in the past, you’ll stay stuck in the past.

 You can’t change the past.  You can change the future. You can be happy.  You have to first stop believing that one past negative life-experience is the source of all future hope.  

When you stop blaming someone else for how you feel and take responsibility for it, you take back the power they had over you.  That’s empowering isn’t it?

Now you have the control to determine whether your going to allow the poor behavior, negative comments, and nasty attitudes of others to affect your happiness or not.  

Let’s choose to be happy and leave the “Suffering Succotash” and “You’re Dispicable” pity party to Sylvester & Daffy. 


Published by tlee423

Tawny lives in Maine with her husband (Ryan, a Maine Guide) and their dog. Together they lead adventures and provide mindset coaching for their company Maine Waypoint LLC. Tawny has a BS in Sports Medicine, is a health coach and certified cardiac tech, personal trainer, sports nutrition specialist, behavior change specialist, and Life Coach. She writes, coaches, adventures, and loves helping others discover how healthy living, nature, and having an adventure mindset can transform your life!

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