Ass over Tea kettle

Recently I was given a photo assignment to do a photo essay.  This was defined as using ten or more images (only, no text) on an object larger than a car.  I chose a jump plane.  I guess, being a skydiver, I gravitate toward things I know and am familiar with. And of course, the largest object in that sport is the item that takes us to altitude.  The jump plane.

As i assembled my pictorial in their 8 x 10 print form, I began to notice small details I missed when they were on my monitor.  For example, the details of the earth on a 90 degree axis, seen through the small port window.  When I displayed them, for critique, a phrase came to mind.  “Ass over tea kettle.”

This slang term basically means, to flip head over heels. And it is my understanding the term has a United states origin, derived from the French. “To flip over while falling” which is exactly what we were doing at the time this photo was taken.

but I still wanted to know more, so I researched and discovered the French / British origin:

The usual British version is ass over tip (or tit), which occurs in James Joyce’s Ulysses, among other works. This form also occurs in America. For instance, in The Grapes of Wrath Steinbeck has a character say “You jus’ scrabblin’ ass over tit, fear somebody gonna pin some blame on you.” (Source:

I guess, all in all, the title fits the picture.

My moment of Happy:  Success in telling a story through photographs.


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