21 February 2007

Where I Get It: An Homage to Dad

I grew up speaking living in California and speaking English as a second language.

My first language is "Dad."

My dad is often incomprehensible to anyone outside the immediate family. First, his voice is something south of a basso profundo, a subsonic rumble that may trigger small tsunamis. Second, he mumbles, but loudly. These two facts combined have terrified every man I have ever brought home to meet the folks.

"WhaRRRRRRRyah rakkkkkkagah bazzzzfsjn?" He will shout. My gentleman caller will sit sweaty and panicking, trying madly to translate as my dad grows more and more aggravated at him for failing to answer.

"He wants to know if you like to go bass fishing," I will stage-whisper.

Third, he has his own, very creative, vocabulary, much of which is food related. For instance:

Slop Chute = restaurant
Mud = coffee
Buzzard = chicken or turkey
Horse = beef
Slop and Rocks = biscuits and gravy
Axehandles = either a vegetable side dish or pasta
Fur piece = a great distance
200 miles = the answer to "How long before we get there?"
Two hours = the alternate to answer above
Okie Sheriff = speed bump
Okie Chrome = silver spray paint
Slick as a whistle = cool
Stings a little = a life-threatening injury
Quackopractor = chiropractor
Knucklehead = term of endearment
Dumbhead = term of endearment
Tubby, fatso, runt =terms of endearment
Sky blue pink = his favorite color

With inspiration like this, is it any wonder I grew up to be a writer?


Anonymous said...

My favorite is quackopracter.

leahpeah said...

oh, i like your dad already.

Lynn said...

Your dad sounds like quite a loveable character...by the way,my mother's favorite color is "sky blue pink" too.

LittlePea said...

I love it! I drink mud all the time!

Anonymous said...

That reminds me of the first time I brought my now-husband home to meet my parents. My Dad asked him, "so, you gunna sleep with my daughter?" Husband said "No, sir!" And my Dad replied, "Why? Are you a pole smoker or something?"

Anonymous said...

Yeah...my dad called me "meathead" and that was long before Archie Bunker did it.

Anonymous said...

And your dad is from????

We say "She looks slick as a goose poop" to mean "Man, she looks fine."

SUEB0B said...

Lynn- I looked up Sky Blue Pink. It is from a 1910 children's book, apparently.

Anonymous - are we related?

OMSH - Dad is from California's beautiful Santa Ynez Valley (before Michael Jackson moved in).

Anonymous said...

My husband's Grandpa and Dad both call any nondescript color "shit brindle blue". Your Dad sounds like quite the character!

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