Friday, September 3, 2010

What Doesn't Kill Us, Makes Us Irritable

Hurricane Earl was supposed to break this heat wave for us, yet here I am, still sweltering away like a gently steaming pot of broccoli!

Or something.

When I get hot and irritable enough, my metaphor-generating prowess suffers.

The point is, it's raining, and it may even be cooling off outside, but here in my lair where there's no cross breeze, it's still...I don't know, maybe 88 degrees, and humid. Which may not sound that bad, but it really is, because I'm a sensitive soul who can't take the heat and therefore spends limited time in the kitchen (this is true--I go in there mainly to retrieve the peanut butter).

Yeah, I enjoyed my visits to Alabama (Roll Tide!), but I don't know if I could live in the south. With the heat and the sweatiness, it would be a nonstop irritability party for me. I suppose one gets used to it, or else learns to love air conditioning, but I cherish the idea that this will eventually pass.

And give way to bone-chilling cold and the opportunity to slip and break your ankle on the icy sidewalk, which is why some people do prefer to live in the south. Trade offs.

Here's another thing about the south, though: we should really stop using a Southern accent as comedy shorthand for 'dumb hick.' I love the Simpsons, but they do this all the time (well, pretty much every time they need a dumb hick, anyway). Everyone does.

Nobody with an accent gets off completely free, of course. If you talk funny, by whatever standard, you're fair game. Southern accent, Texas accent, Boston accent, New York accent, Minnesota accent, whatever. (I'm obviously relying on US regional accents for my examples here, but I expect it may be the same in other countries.)

Fortunately for me, Montana has kind of a neutral accent as far as the US is concerned, plus we moved around a lot, so I don't have a very distinctive speech pattern (as far as I know--not that anyone thinks they have an accent, it's everyone else who talks weird).

Thus I mostly escape the taunts of the other children on the schoolyard, except when I slip up and say 'pop' instead of 'soda'.

Shut up! That's what we call it!


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