Did You Say Something?

socs-badge-2015I used to mumble. I’m not sure if that’s an INTJ thing, or a self-esteem thing, or an I-really-didn’t-know-the-answer thing, but I used to mumble. My father took that up as his personal challenge.

Eee-nunc-i-ate.

Mumble, mumble.

Eeeee-nunc-i-ate!

Mumble, mumble.

Eeeeeee-nunc-i-ate dammit!

Less mumble, but still…

How now brown cow.”

Oh crap.

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?

Mumble, mumble.

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.

About Dan Antion

Husband, father, woodworker, cyclist, photographer, geek - oh wait, I’m writing this like I only have 140 characters. I am all those things, and more, and all of these passions present me with opportunities to observe, and think about things that I can’t write about in other places. I have started this blog to catch the stuff that falls out, overflows and just plain doesn’t fit the other containers in my life.
This entry was posted in Humor, Nostalgia, SoCS and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

105 Responses to Did You Say Something?

  1. You always make me ‘think’ on Saturday. :-) If we had known how old we were going to get, we would have taken better care of ourselves, right? And, I definitely grew up calling those little rubber bands ‘elastic.’ :-) Okay, now I’m going back to not thinking. Have a great weekend, Dan.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      I didn’t expect to make anyone think with this post, Judy. You’re right though, we would have listened and taken better care. ‘Elastic?’ I just don’t get it. I hope you guys have a great weekend too!

      Like

  2. I am borderline INTJ/INFJ and I was for ever in trouble for mumbling as a child. To my mind, mine was a confidence issue – she and I have never really got on.
    Do I still mumble? Definitely not, although I often think my wife’s hearing is not what it could be…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      :) I like that diagnosis of your wife’s hearing. I’m going to have to remember that. I never really thought about why I mumbled back then. I was the youngest person in our large, extended family. I guess I didn’t think anyone was listening. Thanks for the comment.

      Like

  3. Well done, Dan. I hadn’t thought about how many “mb” words there are. If it makes you feel any better about the posture thing, I walk into door-frames with embarrassing regularity…
    I wasn’t familiar with the Cathedral of Learning. What a beautiful structure. Have yourself a satisfying Saturday. Hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. loisajay says:

    Dan–this was great. And fun. And I understood every word you said.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. John Holton says:

    I haven’t been to Pittsburgh in some time. Nice city…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      Thanks. I get back about every 2-3 years for a visit and hopefully a ballgame of some sort.

      Like

      • John Holton says:

        I was there on a weeknight and saw the Pirates take on the Dodgers. Valenzuela was on the hill, and I was sure they’d have a decent crowd, but there were about 5000 there and I was sitting in the outfield grandstand by myself. I’m glad the Bucs have a better stadium now and that they’re getting good attendance. Of course, this was toward the end of Chuck Tanner’s years as manager…

        Liked by 1 person

        • Dan Antion says:

          I wasn’t able to follow them much in those days. Three Rivers was a terrible park for baseball. I’m glad they were able to keep the team in the city and build them a nice place to play.

          Like

  6. I loved the Pittsburgh part. Since my wife is from Pittsburgh, I have become used to the words of the place and sometimes use them myself. Great post , Dan. Go Pirates.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. bikerchick57 says:

    That’s the first I’ve heard of gum band. It’s a rubber band here. My girlfriend, who was born in Alabama, says INsurance, while I say inSURance. Another girlfriend calls them tamales, I call them sloppy joes (I am right) and she’s also a Wisconsinite.

    As for the slouching, I’ve had that issue all of my life, more so because of a spinal curvature that makes me want to hunch. Sitting at a computer doesn’t help. I have to constantly remind myself to sit up straight, stand up straight and quit sticking out my head like a turtle. Why does life have to be so complicated, Dan? Why can’t we all just move along without worrying if someone is going to die or get injured over slouching and mumbling? Geesh.

    Nice photo of the Steelers. You get 1,000 bonus points for finding a way to include football in your post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      Thanks Mary. INsurance sounds better. InSURance sounds boring (so maybe it’s appropriate). I fight to avoid episodes of neck and shoulder pain from computer related work. Who knew my non-contact career would be hazardous to my health. Biking doesn’t help either, although I can ride for about an hour at a time without pain. I’ll take those bonus points, Linda wasn’t giving any today.

      Liked by 1 person

      • bikerchick57 says:

        I have some advice for you, that helped me: Get a sit/stand workstation; go to the bike shop and get different handlebars that are higher and come toward you; find a good myofacial massage therapist. I’ve also learned that I have to keep working out my upper body (forever) to make it stronger so the curve doesn’t have so much power over me.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Dan Antion says:

          I have been thinking about getting different handlebars. I may do that. I’ve also toyed with the standing option for my desk. I have worked to get things lined up in such a way that I can keep my neck straight(er). I do exercise my shoulders, and I stretch on that awful foam roll. I’ll pass on the massage – I don’t…I can’t…no.

          Liked by 1 person

          • bikerchick57 says:

            I love my foam roller and massage. Couldn’t do without either. Once you get over the anxiousness of a first massage, you can never go back. How about trying a chair massage?

            Liked by 1 person

            • Dan Antion says:

              They did massage at PT but it was extremely painful. The idea was to “roll” the tendons back into place. Ironically, the last episode I had, right before I was about to throw in the towel and head for PT, Maddie took care of the tendon. My wife brought her in from outside, and she ran across the room to the couch. She jumped and landed with her front paws on my right shoulder. I thought I was going to cry. After the pain subsided, I realized that my shoulder didn’t hurt any longer. I don’t recommend it, but it worked :)

              Liked by 1 person

            • bikerchick57 says:

              I just cringed at the thought of that pain…

              Liked by 1 person

  8. Paul says:

    Great pics, Dan. I get a kick out of that old trolley, and the city pics remind me of my one trip to your fair burg about eight or nine years ago. Pittsburgh should pay you to put a guidebook together, I swear!Though I must quibble with one caption: PNC Park is indeed an impressive place to catch a game (pun fully intended), but Orioles Park at Camden Yards, which launched the retro trend over 20 years ago, is the ACTUAL “best park in America”. ;D

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      Thanks Paul. I’ll give you guys credit for launching a fantastic trend in baseball. I was so happy to see the dual-purpose stadium era get blown up, one stadium after another. I do hope to make it to Camden Yards at some point.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I don’t mumble, I just speak to myself out loud!
    Have a great weekend Dan.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Loved this little foray into all sorts of areas, Dan. But that bottom shot on the right has got to go!! :-) I find all the regional differences in speech and pronunciation to be fascinating and then when you add things like differences between American English and British English, the fun never stops.

    janet

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Wendy Brydge says:

    Ha! Speaking as an INTJ myself, and one who couldn’t stand the sound of mumbling even as a child, I’m going to go ahead and say that mumbling is probably not an INTJ thing!

    But Dan, once again I’m missing pics of delicious food in this post! You can’t go talking about burgers and coleslaw and fries and then not deliver on the goods. O_o

    As for the prompt… how ’bout I knock out both an “mb” stream of consciousness AND a one-liner?: “At the embassy door, the humble mumbler embraced the scumbag ambassador with ambivalence.”

    …..

    Sorry, I’ll just show myself out now.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. I had a wonderful, unplanned tour of all the streets around the University of Pittsburgh when I went to meet artist Anne Belov recently. Only later did I realize that the locals were ignoring those detour signs and that the extra 45 minute drive time probably wasn’t necessary. Anyway, I didn’t notice any unusual accents or dialects, but I’m sure the other drivers on the road with me recognized my WNY accent – and probably are still laughing about the stupid out-of-towner.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      I made a big mistake driving the last time we were there. I was happy to have CT plates so I could beg for a little sympathy while merging. Pittsburghese is more a collection of odd words than an accent. Like ‘buggies’ for shopping carts (I prefer buggy).

      Liked by 1 person

  13. You had me laughing with this one, Dan. So funny. Thanks for the morning smile.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. marianallen says:

    This one was a classic! And it sounds like Pittsburghians and Louisville West-enders might speak closely related languages. We got pourin down rain, too. And we warshed off in the zinc with a warshrag. And we carried UMbrellas. Do you all buy INsurance? Do you call the POlice, if you get robbed?

    Liked by 1 person

  15. joey says:

    I only mumble to myself, like the kind of grumbling complaint one lets go of when one is sick…people…inconsiderate…pick up…
    Ugh.
    But I could go for a slaw dog right about now!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. So now that you speak clearly, you can alternate between “go’in dahn tahn” and enjoying something that is “wicked pissah”

    Liked by 1 person

  17. When you are soft spoken it is a bit traumatic to have someone yelling at you, “Don’t mumble.” It is enough to make you want to mumble some more. I don’t remember seeing Pittsburg with an “h” at the end. Is that a German or Dutch spelling? I am full of questions today and probably mumbling too. The Meyers Briggs thing, I think I forgot my Meyers Briggs designation too. I am supposed to be perceptive and introverted…INFP??? Nice post. :)

    Like

    • Dan Antion says:

      I believe the ‘h’ is Scottish. In retrospect, I’m glad he stopped me from mumbling. He always started out soft and logical but we got to “his now brown cow” pretty quick.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Maybe your retort could have been Peter Piper Picked a Peck of Pickled Peppers. Geez. Scottish, wow. You pronounce it with a bit of brogue then?

        Liked by 1 person

        • Dan Antion says:

          I did like tongue twisters :) – We pronounced it “burg” – Pittsburgh had a heavy concentration of Scotch-Irish settlers. Among other things, they led the Whiskey Rebellion.

          Liked by 1 person

          • That is really interesting about Scotch-Irish. Did not know that. The burg part makes me think German or Dutch. But if you put an h on the end it does change it. :)

            Like

            • Dan Antion says:

              Named for William Pitt, but named by a Scotsman (Forbes) , who added the ‘h’ – it’s a complicated history. All the various names are well known. The university is known as Pitt. It sits between Forbes and 5th ave and The Pirates started playing baseball at Forbes field. Duquesne, the former name when the French held the city, is also used in a lot of products and a university.

              Liked by 1 person

            • Interesting history. I was just looking up some of it too. I assumed it was spelled burg. It may be because other cities like Pittsburg, Ca. are spelled without the h. But now I have a better grasp of it. It’s really good to know your history. :)

              Liked by 1 person

  18. Val says:

    I always mumbled as a child and like yours, my dad was always correcting me (come to that he would try to correct my bad posture too: “stand up straight!” he’d say.) I realised much, much later that the reason for all these was because of his time in the army in the early 1940s and that, as he told me then, he missed it. He’d enjoyed being in command. The fact that he’d not had sons didn’t deter him from ordering around his daughters!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. OMG! He-Man mumbles! It drives me crazy! I used to get on him about it all the time when we were young. I rarely do now…not sure if he’s gotten better at speaking clearly, or I’ve grown used to it and now can actually understand him! :)

    Love the view from the Bridge of the city. San Francisco also has a door to the city when heading south from Marin you pass through the Waldo Tunnel nicknamed the Rainbow Tunnel now officially called the Robin Williams Tunnel. Anyway when you exit the tunnel heading south the Golden Gate Bridge, and San Francisco open up in front of you. It’s my favorite view of the city.
    I imagine you’ve seen that view since you’ve been to SF before.

    I remember being so surprised at how hilly the whole area is around there! It’s like San Francisco, and San Diego in that regard.

    Like

  20. A fun read, Dan. The Mistress of Impossible must have had good time reading this post too.
    I’m not a fan of fries nor coleslaw, so I won’t be trying those in my burger any time soon. Nice photos!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. reocochran says:

    So sorry your Dad seemed to be focused inordinately upon “mumbling.” Also, your physical therapist seemed to be kind of mean by saying you may look like a “dumbass,” by encouraging good posture. Hmmm. . .
    I like hamburgers that are called “black and blue.” Yummy!
    I was glad you didn’t dwell too much upon the negative “mb” combinations since “embrace” and “remember” are two of my favorite words, Dan. :)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      He focused on this, but I think his intentions were good. My therapist was harsh, but she brought me back to a point where I was pain free. I embrace all of that.

      Like

  22. I loved this post. Then you had to ruin it with a picture of those boys in yellow and black. Hiss…. I will forgive you because you have not written about Baltimore, so you would not post the Ravens.

    Like

  23. Glynis Jolly says:

    My mother and I have frequent conversations about enunciation. Usually it’s about what we see and hear on TV. We both have said more than a couple of times that the younger actors don’t enunciate. How did they ever get any acting parts in school? Why, in heaven’s name, did any director let them on his or herr set? If you are having to turn up the volume on your TV, it may NOT mean your hearing is going. It could be no one on the show you’re watching is enunciating.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Some great photos and history Dan!

    Liked by 1 person

  25. It was fun to know more about the local slang and words that make a city unique. Mumbai has certain words that most Indians learn when they come to Mumbai. I’ll share one word here. Jhakaas actually means awesome. Now, this word in terms of pronunciation is very close to Jack-Ass or Jack-Arse, so if you’re sitting with me and if I say Jhakaas, it certainly means Awesome, and doesn’t imply that you are a jackass.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Never heard ‘gumband’ before. :) Love your photos. I’m glad your dad got you to stop mumbling. A mumblly blog post would be quite dfifficult to read. :)

    Liked by 1 person

  27. I’ve always identified closely with Seinfeld’s “low talkers”. I spend much of my life surrounded by people saying “What?”.

    I mostly call them rubber bands but it’s an Aussie thing to refer to them as “lacka” bands.

    Liked by 2 people

  28. joannesisco says:

    I just caught myself saying *umbrella* quietly over and over again while trying to read the rest of your post – trying to decide where exactly I put the emphasis. I’m pretty sure I say umBRELLa … but now I’m so confused, I’m not sure anymore.

    … but I do say *elastics* and have bags full of the damn things. I think they breed like rabbits.
    … and like MOSY, I’m a low talker and most of the time I suspect people haven’t a clue what I just said and pretend they did :/

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dan Antion says:

      UMbrella and gumbands rule, but I’ll accept anything. My wife and I have a running joke where I’ll ask for a gumband and she’ll say we don’t have any. “Could you use an elastic instead?” Try the “UM” out for size, you might like it. One of the other words I liked was “buggy” instead of shopping cart.

      Like

  29. The education you provide is amazing…..a gum band….I can honestly say I have until this moment in time never heard of that term. See how my scope has broadened? The warsh I get as that “warshed” into Iowa where I grew up. Took my wife and I a few years to get rid of that “r” when we moved to Denver shortly after we got married. I still get confused when I travel domestically if I am in an area that drinks “Soda”, “Pop” or “soda pop”. Great post!! Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Peter Nena says:

    Dan, I’m surprised that you used to mumble. I still do. I’ve been mumbling since childhood. I even mumble to myself. The only person to ever understand the things I say when I mumble was my mom. She would never ask me to repeat. There’s an aunt who used to think I was abusing her when I mumbled. I mumble worse when I’m nervous or angry. She used to make me very angry, hence her conclusion.
    Anyway, apropos of Linda’s prompt, I’ve been thinking “mumble mumbo-jumbo” is a lot fun to say aloud.
    Thanks Dan.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      Peter, I am surprised that you mumble. Your writing is so precise and clear, I would image your speech being the same. It’s funny that your mom could understand you and others couldn’t. It’s like you had a secret language. Thanks for your support.

      Liked by 1 person

  31. Pingback: Thursday Doors – Inclines | No Facilities

  32. Aunt Beulah says:

    As always, this was a fun post to read, Dan. My posture was critique on occasion, especially in jr high when I towered over everybody, but my mumbling wasn’t. Until recently. When I can’t hear my husband, he says it’s because I’m hard of hearing. When he can’t hear me, he says it’s because I mumble.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. steelcityman says:

    What an excellent post Dan, it was a ‘riveting read’ and very enjoyable…love your style of writing. I noticed in the photos you posted there were none of the steel works … like my Steel City, Sheffield in Yorkshire, steel is very much an industry of the past…some call it progress, I call it a loss. Anyway Dan, I am now one of your devoted followers and will spend some time reading through your past posts … nice to know you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      Thanks for the follow. I’ve been following you for a little while. I was initially attracted by the title. but yes, our steel cities are no longer an active ones. It is sad. I haven’t lived in Pittsburgh since the mid-70s, but most of the steel industry was gone by then, or in the final stages of operation. I drift back to Pittsburgh in my posts, every now and then. The most recent one was https://nofacilities.com/2016/05/21/resource-theory/ which isn’t really about Pittsburgh, but has some photos from the smoggy days when steel was king.

      Liked by 1 person

Add your thoughts. Start or join the discussion. Sadly, links require moderation.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s