pamie teaches you how to fake being a texan
Happy Friday the 13th, y’all.
Sometimes I feel like I should remind you guys that I live in Texas, as I assume it’s easy to forget with me, since I don’t have an accent, or write with an accent.
“Write with an accent? How is that possible?”
Well, around here it sure is.
Let’s just say I tumped over in mah chair. Do you know what just happened? I tumped over. I fell off my chair, usually caused by rocking it back on its heels so far that the chair tips over. That, my friends is “tumping.”
Now, lets say I am going to get something to drink. Something carbonated. A soft drink, perhaps. Am I getting a:
c) soda pop
e) none of the above
Now, I bet you non-Texans out there think that it’s “d,” because that’s what the three-toothed cackling man at the gas station usually says on those “western” television shows. The truth is it’s “e.” If I was to go and get a soft drink, I’d be getting a “Coke.” Even if I got a Sprite, a Dr Pepper, or even a Pepsi, we call ’em Cokes. That must drive the Pepsi company insane.
Are you catching on? I just don’t want any of you guys to come to Texas and not be prepared. You could end up lost or thirsty or something, and I’d hate to let that happen.
Okay, say that you need someone to go to the store and pick up some milk. You ask your friend Dotty, and she says,
“I’m fixin’ to, just leave me alone!”
Now, what did Dotty just say to you?
a) “I’m working on my car right now, I don’t have time.”
b) “I think I might be pregnant, so you are the least of my concerns.”
c) “I’m sorry, I can’t pay attention to you right now.”
Answer: “d” Dotty, like everyone should know, has just told you that she’s about to go to the store to get your precious milk, so you should quit nagging her. “Fixin’ to” sometimes is shortened to “Fi’ina.” You have been warned.
When I started my freshman year at college I met a young man from Washington DC. He was asking how to hang with the Texans, and we were explaining that everything on the table was a Coke. He was amazed. “Oh, here’s one from where I’m from,” he said. “If something’s really cool, it’s ‘the shit’.”
“The shit?” We were stunned.
“Yeah, the shit, like the bomb.”
“Okay, well, just so you know, when you call someone an asshole around here, it’s a compliment.”
Three months later everyone is talking about how everything is “the shit.” Five years later and I still haven’t heard anyone affectionately refer to someone as “asshole.” I’m sure it’s gonna catch on, though.
Here’s some quick translations/pronounciations for when you’re on the road.
You say: Beer.
They say: Bir.
You say: Pail
They say: Bucket
You say: Remote Control
They say: Clicker
You say: oil
they say: awl
(that one had me confused for three months when i moved here)
You say: football
they say: fu-BALL! (and then make the sign of the cross)
You say: Mrs. Jesson
They say: Ma’am or Mizz. No one is ever “Mrs.”
You say: Have you eaten? Why not?
they say: Ja eetchet? Smatterchoo?
Now, you may think I’m kidding, but this is all stemming from last night when we played Password. You know how the game goes, with someone giving a one word clue and the other person in the team trying to play word association to guess what the password is, right? Okay, so Eric and my friend Weldon are on a team. Eric is from Pittsburgh, has an MFA in acting, and has studied the IPA. Eric likes to use the “liquid ‘u’” for many words, including Tuesday (pronounced “Tyoosday”). Weldon, who also has an acting background, is from Louisiana. He is Cajun. Have I set it up enough for you? Good. Let’s watch what happened:
(looking at his card)
I can’t spell it, can I?
You guys are just supposed to say one word back and forth.
If you ever ask anyone for a pin around here you will get a Bic. No one here knows what a pen is. You’ll be like “A PEN! A PEN!”
“Oh, you mean a pien!”
Both pin and a pen are pronounced “pien.” Remember that. That’s powerful knowledge there.
Want to use some Crayolas? Get ready for a new world of terror.
Can I use your crayons?
“Craanz? What’s a craanz?”
“Do you mean cray-ons?”
“Oh, she’s talking about those crowns.”
“You mean, you want to use my colors?”
You cannot imagine. I’ve lived here for several years and I still get frustrated every once in a while. But, I take the hits too, as I am from lots of places, (I lived in Michigan for some time) and as I mentioned before I watched a lot of “You Can’t Do That on Television”, so when I’m not watching myself sometimes I slip into Canadian Television mode… “Can I booroo your pencil? I’ll return it toomooroo.” Constantly teased. So, I try and keep it in check. Sometimes, though, after drinking or whatever, I’m like, “I’m sooory I got so drunk!” I know the response. It doesn’t matter what I’m apologizing for, someone always retorts with “Sooory?” Instantly.
“I’m sooory I lost your wallet.””Sooory?”
Cause I’m the big freak. These people could tump over and spill their Cokes that are really Sprites while they were fixin’ to go get a pien but I’m the head freak because I sound a little like the Kids in the Hall.
So, now, when/if you come down to Texas, you’re prepared to speak to the locals like a Yankee who’s been around for a while. That’s what I guess I am… a well-worn Yankee. I may not talk like ’em, but I know how to communicate… and that’s half the battle.
Y’all come back now, ya hear?