Aug. 16, 2011
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Exasperated, she raised her voice because I hadn’t heard her the first time. “How come no one understands me when I speak?”
“Mmmm… I don’t think it’s you, it’s me. I’m not from here, so sometimes I’m not used to hearing the way people talk here.”
“Oh you mean…. my ACCENT.”
I smiled. “Yeah. Here’s an example:
A few years ago, I said to this doctor:
‘My patient just came out of surgery and he’s hungry. Can I order him a meal? What kind of diet do you want him on?’
He replied simply, ‘A caahhdeeac diet.’
‘A what?’ I asked.
‘A caahhdeeac diet,’ he repeated.
‘A WHAT?!’ I had NO CLUE what he said.
My patient then interrupted my story. “A you-CONeat [‘you can eat’] diet?!”
What?! “No, no, he said a caahhdeeac diet.”
“Oh ok,” she nodded.
Assuming she still didn’t get the joke, I clarified, annunciating each syllable. ”Car-dee-ac [cardiac]. You know, a heart healthy diet. ”
“I KNOW, I heard you the 2nd time. Of course I know what it is, it’s the same diet I’m on! You know they just fixed up my carotids!”
Wow. My patient actually understood my impersonation! “Exactly! He said cardiac but I thought he said cadillac diet. Like a CADILLAC!”
“Now THAT must be a diet for a rich person,” she answered.
I erupted in laughter.
“Well, you can’t help it.” She shrugged. ”You AH what you AH [you ARE what you ARE]!”
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