The retiree: August 27, 2014


Awhile ago we found this neat toy store for boys a ways from home. Having a grandson in our house for a time—along with the rest of Daughter's family—we decided to take him there, where he could mess with things with which we had no emotional attachment for a change.
We stopped in a little bakery in that town, where the middle of the state has some dialects that are more pronounced than our almost-suburban town. I'm getting better at dialects, so I thought I'd be able to communicate with the locals. We'd been unable to find the toy store, although we thought we knew where the building was.
“Sooo . . . wat happent ta da toy shop,” I said, “that useta be in da deepo?” I figured that should make her think I was a local.
“Oh dem. Dey just moved outta town de udder day, ya know, cause da store went to da Mall a America,” the delightfully pretty girl behind the counter said. “I live across da street from dere, dontcha know, so I seen em like load up the trucks. Sooo, by da way, ya want some a dem Bismarcks, or maybe a pie dere? Good berry pies taday, ya know.”
“How bout a buncha donut holes?”
“Here's a bucket a dem, some a each kind, and like only a buck niney-nine. Lena made em dis morning, ya know.”
“Looks good. Here's two bucks, and like keep da shange.”
“Ya you betcha, sport. Sure. Okay. See ya later.” Her voice and that look she gave me let me know she knew I wasn't a local.
That went pretty well, I thought, though I evidently got caught. Sometimes people appreciate it if you try to talk like they do. It went far better than the time I asked for coffee in the lowlands of South Carolina. They wanted me to have sweet tea, and probably hadn't made coffee for a year. I wasn't sure what word I should have used for coffee. Or the time in Germany when I ordered a “Beeg Mock” at McDonald's, proving I was an American.
Next I plan to work on my Iron Range talk. We knew some people up on the Iron Range but right now I don't have anyone that can give me lessons in the Arn Rainch dialect. Some of the idioms will come back to me if I could hear them talk a few more times.