Americans butcher the English language in all sorts of ways. In the south we put our own special twist on it that sounds completely different from other parts of the country. When we were packing Sissy's stuff last weekend I overheard a couple of her big city friends talking, and one gal says to the other, "I just love the way they talk. It's so quaint." I thought about pointing out her northern brogue, but that would have been rude, so being the nice girl that I am I let it pass. And I'm not good at letting things pass, so I felt really grown up and all at that moment. I got a good chuckle out of it though and thought to myself, "Quaint? You'd think we were stupid if you could hear how we REALLY mangle the English language sometimes." You see, my family has a way of misusing words that's downright hilarious. My favorite examples.
1. July 2005-Hilton Head, South Carolina-We're driving around after dinner looking for a liquor store so we can make margaritas at our condo when we pass a Harris Teeter grocery store. Loudly, Hubby says, "Look! A Harry Tweezers." Laughter all the way around. By the way, we went to three liquor stores, and they were all closed. Apparently, even though it's a vacation area, they shut down their liquor stores very early each night. Just one of the many ways I felt ripped off in Hilton Head. But we still laugh about Harry Tweezers. Well, Hubby doesn't. But the rest of us do, often. As in just yesterday.
2. August, 2003-family wedding at the church I grew up in. Mama and I are standing in front of the church with a large crowd of folks waiting to shower the couple with bird seed. Mama points to the beautiful flowering clematis near the church doors and says, "I want to get some of that chlamydia." If I had been younger I might have been embarrassed. As it was I laughed so hard I almost wet my pants.
3. And my favorite of late-October 2007 at home after vacation-We're discussing a dinner we had with some gay friends and how that dinner helped Teen Angel to overcome her fear of gay people. Mama J. says to Teen Angel, "I sure am glad you aren't claustrophobic any more." She still doesn't know what she said. We're still laughing.
So you see, that's why we have to speak with that silky, southern drawl. It's to disguise the fact that we don't know what the heck we're saying sometimes. Now, if you'll excuse me. I'm off to find a birthday present for my mom. I'm thinking a plant. Something that flowers.
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