Sunday, May 09, 2010

lost in translation

Several years ago, my sister and I had a misunderstanding. She said, after gargling some incomprehensible nonsense to me, what I heard as "I speak way-ul," a self-disparaging crack about her moderately thick southern accent.

"Way-ul, yay-us, yay-us you dew," I replied.

"No," Leah said, "I SPEAK WHALE!"

A line from Finding Nemo. She'd been hooting in whale-speak, not drawling in twang.

I've been at home the last couple of weeks (I know, I know, the four horsemen are galloping toward us as we speak), and have more southern translation stories to share.

First, in a weird turn of events, my younger sister now hangs out with my old high school friends. I'm not exactly sure how that happened, but I have been away from home a long time, so I asked her. "Well," she said, "my friend Amber runs with Susan and her friends."

"Hold up. Leah. Who ARE you? Only our Mammaw still says stuff like that. Nobody 'runs' with a crowd anymore. Just say she 'HANGS OUT' with them. I mean, you sound like you're 64 years old."

"No. B, she RUNS with them. As in, they put on sneakers and workout gear and move their legs up and down. They RUN together. Seriously."

And. This weekend has provided ample family celebration time, with a 1-year old's ladybug birthday party, a family dinner at my aunt's, and the annual Mother's Day potluck. This means plenty of story-telling time, conveniently with my parents' high school pals, who happen to be double in-laws with each other (ask about that one later, for real). In case you didn't know, my father was quite the trouble-maker before he, um, matured. I know, you'd never guess. He and his friends lived what would become the stuff of legend, like fast food parking lot fisticuffs, trapeze artist alter egos, terrorizing adolescent girls.

Today, Nancy told a story about one time when my dad, her husband Carl and their 3rd musketeer, Randall, created quite the scene at some restaurant at the beach. Dad and Randall made Carl so mad he had to leave the restaurant. "There he was," Nancy said, "sitting out there on the curb stompin' his money."

"Uh, what?" I asked. I mean, I have been away for a while, but that expression was completely new to me. I like it, sure, but just never heard it. "What does 'stompin' money' mean?"

"Oh," said Nancy, "he was stomping on his money. He took his bills out of his pocket, threw them down on the ground, and started jumping up and down on them. Stompin' his money."

That one's getting worked into the lexicon, for sure. "You will not BELIEVE how mad he got. He was spittin' nails, stompin' his money."

Y'all come back now, ya hear?

1 comment:

Karen said...

Gotta add, "What's the mada wiff hiiuut?" Translation, "What's the matter with it?" ("it being the youngest child present")