A Weekly Offering of This n That

Rainy Day is my alter ego. She is the little angel that sits on one shoulder and whispers in my ear to forgo that 6" piece of triple chocolate fudge with the four scoops of ice cream on it; she is also the little devil who sits on my other shoulder and convinces me that I can eat just one bite of each and be satisfied, and then laughs with such great abandon when in fact, I eat the whole thing, she falls off my shoulder. Mostly, Rainy Day helps me see the humor in living and, mostly, she encourages me down the right path. Not necessarily the straight and narrow one (how fun is that?) but the path that offers the most adventure and fun.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Something Else that Rainy Day Misses - Accents

Rainy Day desires to apologize to you, her gentle readers, for being so late in getting her post up. You see, the cherries on her trees are ripe, and ready for picking, and Rainy D got up bright and early this morning to get one (of two) trees picked before the heat set in -- or the lawn guy showed up. She now has two huge bowls of cherries to wash, pit, and freeze in quart bags for this coming Jam Session in October;-)
Now, back to our regularly scheduled programming...

When Rainy Day was a little girl, and could hear without hearing aids, she lived in a culturally diverse city – Portland, Oregon. And, being totally without manners, when she heard someone talk differently than she talked, she'd march right up to them and ask where they were from. If they spoke a language she didn't know (she barely knew English, and you can believe she didn't know any others) she marched right up to them, and asked what language they were speaking. She loved all the different languages she heard, and the different accents.

By the time Rainy Day entered High School, she could pretty well tell where any accent she heard was from. She could distinguish a Bronx from a Brooklyn, a Louisville from an Anniston, a German from...well, you get the point.

Rainy Day loves accents. When she was nine years old, she spent a summer in the South with her grandparents, and never got enough of Cajun or New Orleans or Georgia. She could tell by the radio stations where they were. She thought she'd died and gone to Accent Heaven.

There were times when her love of accents got her in trouble, too. And times when it brought happiness. Rainy Day was also an unconscious mimic. A young man used to come to the house to sell Spud Nuts, door to door. We always bought a half dozen – they were, after all, to die for. One day, Rainy Day answered the door, and this young man asked his usual question, and Rainy Day turned around and mimicked him perfectly – without realizing what she had done. Rainy Day's mother was furious. She bought a dozen spud nuts, and wouldn't let Rainy Day have any.

Then, there was Rainy Day's girl friend, Olivia. Olivia's mother was a war bride from a small part of London. After Olivia and I graduated from high school, and I had my own apartment, Olivia's mother used to call me every so often, ostensibly to talk to Olivia should she be at Rainy Day's domicile. She never was. Rainy Day finally figured it out – she was homesick, and Rainy Day, without realizing what she did, mimicked her accent perfectly.  Years later, long after Rainy Day lost track of Olivia and her mother, she met an Englishman at work, and told him the story. He asked if she could remember the accent, as he was from London. Rainy Day looked at him, and started speaking. He, in turned laughed, "That's from Such-and-Such area, it's about a four city blocks of London, and are you sure you weren't raised there?"

And then, a double-edged sword sliced it's way through our culture -- cable television and syndicated radio. Now, everyone talks like everyone else, what Rainy Day calls NPR Vanilla. The newscasters from Portland, Maine sound like the ones from Portland, Oregon who sound like the ones from New Orleans, Louisiana. If one wants to hear accents now they must watch those 'reality' shows and hope the actors can do the accents more or less correctly. Rainy Day is starved for accents, but not that starved. Even when she travelled around the country a few years ago, the only accents she heard on the radio were in commercials.
Rainy Day is not advocating a return to the 'good old days' but, golly gosh, she really would love to hear regional accents again. She misses them, greatly.

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