Foreign Accent Syndrome…

…that’s right kids – imagine this scenario: You go to sleep sounding just the same as you always sound, then you wake up with a totally different accent:

Sounds like bullshit, right? Well I’m here to tell ya’ – this IS no laughing matter! This very same thing happened to my best buddy and me ~40 years ago – I took the train down to his dorm in Phillie from New Brunswick when we were both back in our college days – got there on a Friday night, and ever’thang was normal.

We went out to dinner, came back to his room, went to sleep – and when we woke up the next morning, we BOTH found ourselves talking like pirates for the entire weekend! I can tell ya’ – this is FAR worse than speaking in a French accent; I mean, talk about calling attention to yourself! When was the last time that YOU heard someone talking like Long John Silver, excepting the last time that “Treasure Island” ran on Turner Classic Movies? Hell – it took us 20 minutes to order our cheesesteaks at Jim’s Steaks – the clerk had a bit of a time with all the “thee’s, ye’s, and thou’s. He finally got it right after my buddy threatened to keel-haul him; shiver me timbers!

Luckily, we were both able to shuck the pirate jive talkin’ at the same time – we ate 152 TastyCake Butterscotch Krimpets, projectile-vomited them 20 minutes later, fell asleep in a state of exhaustion, and woke up speaking normally once again.

TastyCakes – looks to be “The Cure” for Foreign Accent Syndrome – file it away in your memory banks if this affliction ever affects YOU, Maties! Ye’ wouldn’t wanna be swinging from the hightest yard arm or walking the plank, now would ye’?



Just Say “NO” To Panhandlers!

I live about a mile from a fairly decent-sized strip mall; needless to say, I visit a store there almost daily – groceries, Radio Shack, Lowe’s, bank, fuel, AT&T when I have some MORON question about my iPhone that one of the young clerks answers in ~15 seconds; after which I totter on back out to the 15 year old SUV and drive back home before my soup gets cold.

And EVERY single time I come outta that strip mall, I always see one of two panhandlers “workin’ the corner” – one is a mid-50’s dude with ALL the right accessories – torn & dirty clothes, well-used military jacket and boots, requisite cardboard sign with “Thanks & God Bless” at the bottom, months’ worth of facial hair, forlorn look in his eyes – you get the picture right? Samey-same in j’es about Anytown USA. Then, at another corner, there’s a mid-50’s woman in slightly better costumery.

Now, a few weeks ago, by pure happenstance, I drove past BOTH of them on the same day, as I had to go to the strip mall twice (noticed that I ran out of Jameson when I went for my evening swig o’ swill – Mon Dieu!); once in the AM, and once late afternoon to fetch the aforementioned liquor beverage. And on both occasions, as luck would have it, I found myself RIGHT next to each of them as I had to wait for the light to turn. It was then that I noticed that BOTH signs were written in exactly the same handwriting – Hmmm…Coincidence? I didn’t THINK so!

O.K. – I know what you’re thinking – give ’em a break, Dick – they’re prolly a husband and wife that are both down on their luck. Yeah – I gave that a passing thought too – JUST before the naturally-suspicious curmudgeon in me kicked in and said – “These are mutha-fuckin’ SCAM artists!”

So yesterday I put off my usual “5 o’clock cocktail hour” commencement ceremonies until sundown, at which time I bid Peggy a fond adieu and drove on down to El Strip Mall to stake out this duo; I figgered that they would prolly be of a mind(s) to close up shop about then, since the likelihood of a panhandler getting coin after dark prolly drops to almost nil when the lights go out…

I drove by ’em both respectively, one and then the other, then drove back to Mrs. P-H, where my speculations were rewarded – Oh Yeah They Were! She grabbed up her fruit crate, carefully put her sign in it, and hot-stepped it towards Mr. P-H’s relative location – I idled along well behind. Apparently Mr. P-H got the text message from his betrothed, ’cause he was hoofing it (like a marathon walker, I might add!) towards her too. As they got closer to one another, I espied their common destination, and my jaw dropped, bruising my chin as it hit my well-worn steering wheel – they were both walking towards a 2-3 year old 3-Series BMW!

Mr. P-H produced a key fob as he stripped off his ragged jacket, and up popped the trunk lid. They greeted one another with a hug and kiss, chatted for a few seconds (prolly comparing the respective day’s “take”), put their fruit crates in the trunk, and drove away; hell, they prolly live in the same guard-gated community that Peggy and I live in, f’er Chrissakes!

It’s a good gig if you can get it, right Kids? FUCKERS – wish *I* had thought of that first!

“Sorry about the wait”

I did something yesterday that I almost NEVER do – eat fast food, that is. Maybe 4 times/year I get a notion for some Scottish food; Mac-Donald’s, that is. So I bop in there bright and early for my breakfast.

Now here’s the thing – my “rule” when I gots to have Scottish is pretty simple – I eyeball whatever is being kept heated in that funky infrared conveyance, and then categorically order whatever is NOT in there; that way I make ’em cook it up not now but RIGHT now – for ME.

The clerk is a mid-20’s young lady who has…let’s just say she’s overweight (“Court Stenographer – you are hereby instructed to strike Mr. Jones’ last reference – “Pie Wagon” – from the record.”), but friendly enough.

I order my entrée, full well expecting her reply; to wit: “We’ll have to make that for you – just go have a seat and I’ll bring it out to you.” Hey – just what I need – ANOTHER woman in my life tellin’ me what to do! I go have a seat…

Ten minutes later she waddles on out to my table with my Mac-Breakfast; she sets it right in front of me. “Sorry about the wait”, she says…

“Ah, don’t worry about it; you’re young – you’ll work it off.”

I thought I saw her tear up a little as she turned and walked away – did I say something wrong?