A Horse By Any Other Name

Why was it that some folks frequently butchered names of persons, places, and things?

For example, “Hokyo,” instead of Tokyo, “Thighland, instead of Thailand. An older couple in a restaurant, referred to jalapeno peppers, as “Joplins.” Perhaps, it was a way to make the unfamiliar make sense.

Foreign words are perhaps the easiest to stumble over.  Some French words are a mystery to me.  I’m most familiar with American English–as it applies to someone raised in the Midwest.

Something as personal as someone’s name, could be unfamiliar.  It’s less embarrassing to ask how it’s pronounced, rather than mess it up completely.

Those raised in other parts of the country, called water fountains “bubblers;” referred to carbonated soft drinks as “pop” or “soda pop;” called grocery shopping carts, “buggies.”

If in doubt do as the locals do.  Although, a hardware store caller mystified me, when working there.  She asked for “moronic acid.”  Upon further examination, she wanted muriatic acid–a heavy-duty cleaning product.

Redd Foxx, in the TV show, “Sanford and Son,” called hors d’oeuvre, “horse divers.”  It was comedic butchery, and a deliberate put-down of French cuisine.

A horse is still a horse, no matter what it’s called.  No matter where it’s from.

American Beauty

This was a post from three years ago.  I think, Marta, the main character, still had more to say.


A clap of thunder

The family dog

Hid under the stairs

Among canning jars

Bags and boxes

Excuse the mess

We just moved

Marta greeted

At the door

Whatever was there

Was, all she had

Mere little white lies

Ignored, because they

Didn’t matter that much

So what, if they’d moved

Three years before?

Nobody cared that

Her piercing blue eyes

No longer had anything

To offer, other than

Reflected sadness, despair

Echoed in lines, wrinkles

Graying, unkempt hair

Marta gazed at the stars

Through broken windows

And an overgrown lawn

Full of broken-down cars

She waited for her

Hard-drinking husband

Poor excuse of a man

To stumble home

Sometime before dawn

Fate had not been kind

She straightened clutter

Just enough to keep

From losing her mind

The Name Thing

Last name first

First name last

This is going

Downhill fast

Cutting corners

This here’s

Chicken house

Flap Jack–over

Can’t have

What you want

Stop complaining

Try doing this

For a living

Clowns with bulbous noses

Squirts from fake roses

Mister–you’re too old for Twister

I wonder why day–tell a lie day

Anything deep fried

Mighty egos clashed

Nobody knew why

It’s the name thing

 

“YOU ALMOST MISSED IT”

Summer’s winding down

Local schools open soon

Europeans went on holiday every August

Why couldn’t Americans do the same thing?

Walt’s “Gasateria”–garish blue-and-white sign

Admonished passers-by

“Turn around–you almost missed it”

Down the road–a magnificent, white

Two-story home with wrap-around porch

Shaded by tall pines, draped with Spanish moss

Ms. Lulabelle Wiggin’s Bed-and-Breakfast welcomed visitors

Some claimed to not like Southern culture

Yet, they never hesitated when it came to

Pecan pies, peach cobbler, tasty barbecue, pulled pork

Their ample Yankee behinds–seemed

To like her front-porch rocking chairs

Working for other people–especially rich ones

Was quite tedious at times

Her spirit was never broken

Even though–she had plenty to say

Too many people went for cheap shots

They fizzled–then, they were done

Maybe they were so afraid of failure, they never tried?