Less mumble, but still…
“How now brown cow.”
That’s pretty much how it went.
I would be saying “how now brown cow” until I was practically blue in the face. Until that brown cow and all the other cows came home. Mumbling, according to dad, would be embarrassing, and possibly much worse. He would make up possible worst case scenarios ranging from: “when you start driving, if you mumble, the police will think you’re drunk” to: “when you’re in the Army and give an order, it will be misunderstood and someone might get killed!”
So many assumptions in that last one.
The degree to which I don’t mumble today, is due to my father.
The degree to which I stand up straight today, is due to my father, and my wife, and Shelly. Shelly was my Physical Therapist.
“Your posture is awful!”
“That’s what my father always said. It’s also what my wife says.”
“Why don’t you listen to them?”
“I’m sorry. Did you say something? Look, I don’t care why you didn’t listen to them, you’re going to listen to me.”
She was almost as harsh as my father. “Walk around like that and you’re going to walk straight into a wall and look like a dumbass. Do you want to look like a dumbass?”
He didn’t tell me about the sharp-sustained-make-you-want-cry pain that would radiate from my shoulder to my fingertips. Maybe if he had told me about how I’d want to chew my own limbs off, I would have stood up straight. I think I could deal with looking like a dumbass. I don’t deal well with pain.
My early encounters with mumbling and dumbass posture took place in Pittsburgh. That’s Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, which you should know because of the ‘h’. There’s a bunch of Pittsburgs, but only one with the ‘h’ at the end. Pittsburgh also gave me a few more words that fit today’s challenge. Did you know that this was part of a challenge? It is. Linda G. Hill, Mistress of the impossible, gave us this challenge for today:
Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “mb.” Find a word that has those two letters in it, in that order, and base your post on it. Have fun!
Pittsburgh has its own regional dialect. Possibly, its own language. You can search for “Pittsburghese” and find a bunch of examples. They’re mostly true, but there’s some I don’t remember.
The New England people in my life washed away most of the Pittsburghese in my vocabulary. If they hadn’t, I would have written “warshed” away. There are a couple of Pittsburgh words that I hang onto. One is umbrella. Oh sure, everybody has umbrellas, but we emphasize the ‘um’ not the ‘brella’. umBRELLLA sounds kinda weird to me. There too much brella. Who needs that. UMbrella sounds more like a tool, a device, a mechanical contraption to be used in the ‘pourin down rain’ as we would say.
The other word I kept, and I’m guessing that I’ll be the only SoCSer to use it, is gumband. Some of you know these things as Rubber Bands. Here in New England, people call them “elastics.” I’m sticking with gumband.
Another Pittsburgh thing that works for this prompt, is the way we load up a hamburger with the things people in other parts of the country call side dishes. The most famous example of this would be the folks at Primanti Bros. Fries and coleslaw on the burger is actually pretty good. I don’t often have coleslaw, but even when I eat at McDonald’s, I toss a few French fries under the bun. I haven’t been able to get the Mrs. to embrace saying gumband, but, courtesy of a local hotdog place, she will toss some coleslaw on a hot dog.
I’ll give Linda credit today, this was fun. Today’s gallery has a few of my favorite photos from our visits to Pittsburgh.