Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Other Clan

Spotted in the men's room at the Penmar By The Sea Municipal Golf Course.

I probably wouldn't have noticed the sign had it not been for the elderly gentleman who was laughing himself silly when I entered the john.

"Can ya believe this, laddie?" he said to me, his cheeks bulbous from smiling.

"No, I couldn't," I replied, picking up on the lilt in his voice. "Is that a Scottish accent?"

Indeed it was. The gentlemen was from Edinburgh and had come to the states 40 years ago. I told him my mom was from Paisley and that I still had family in the old country. I also explained how difficult it was to understand my auntie on the phone because her accent was so thick.

"How do you carry on a conversation?" he asked.

I told him, we have this little trick. My aunt can understand American English but I have difficulty understanding Scottish English, so she accommodates by talking in a John Wayne accent.

"How ya doing there Rich? How's the family and the youngins? I hope you're all doing swell."

The image of my 72-year old Auntie, having a pint of Tennents lager in her coal-heated row house, pretending to talk like a rough-hewn cowboy, brought my new found friend to his knees.

We exited together. Laughing and smiling broadly. The way two strange men should never exit a public bathroom.

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