To Do:  1. Get Hobby 2. Floss

Here's what I need to do: 1. Get Hobby, 2. Floss. Blogging just gets in the way.


Thursday, May 10, 2007

Foreign Relations


About a month ago, I met a lovely woman who lives somewhere in the U.K. Annie was in the States for business and we found ourselves drinking in the same hotel bar. She has the most delightful accent and we chatted for hours over cocktails. At the end of the evening, we exchanged email addresses and have been writing to each other ever since.

A few weeks ago, I gave her my phone number and she called me. "Mist, it's Ah-nnie," she said, as though I couldn't tell from her adorable accent. I just love the way she says Ah-nnie. We talked about and shoes and men and body products and shoes and even tried to have an intellectual exchange about politics (I am incapable of intellectual exchanges and segued back to shoes by asking what size shoe Tony Blair wears). The thing is, I can't tell if Ah-nnie has a sense of humor. She always sounds the same. I can't tell how she's feeling at all from her flat voice. I can't tell when she's excited or happy or angry. When she laughs, it is subtle. She sounds like she is mildly amused, but I can never illicit a hearty laugh from her.

I want her accent. After I talk to Ah-nnie, I try to sound like her all day. I think I sound more like a really bad high school production of Oliver Twist, but I live in the South. No one here knows any better and so I am comfortable sounding like an imitation Eliza Doolittle.

I decided that the next time Ah-nnie calls me, I will try out my new accent on her. Surely, that will make Ah-nnie laugh.

Yesterday, she called. "Oh, 'ello Ah-nnie," I said. "Can you 'old on, I'm in the loo." in fairness, Ah-nnie doesn't really drop her Hs like that, but it's my version of her accent, and I will make it as bad as I please. Ah-nnie told me to call her back and promptly hung up before I even got the chance to do my Oliver Twist bit in which I say, "Please, Sir. I'd like some more." It's really, very good. I have found that I can work that phrase into conversation at least six times a day. I even hold my hands out in front of me as though I am holding a tiny bowl. It's hard for me type that phrase without stopping to cup my hands in front of me. I say it when I order another drink, I say it at the farmer's market when the fish man weighs a piece of salmon for me, and I am dying because I simply cannot wait for someone to spank me just so I can use that line.

The fact that she hung up convinced me that my accent was believable. She must have really thought that I was in the loo. Pleased with myself, I sat down to watch a few minutes of Wallace and Gromit. I like to consider myself to be the scholarly type and I believe that the best way to learn about a group of people is to fully immerse yourself in the animation of that culture. Before I went to Japan, I watched countless animated films. I was practically indistinguishable from the locals, except for the whole part about not actually being Japanese.

As I was waiting for the call to connect, I wondered if I had offended Ah-nnie. I wondered if I had gone too far and if I'd be able to tell from her monotone voice. I also wondered how much the call was going to cost me. When she answered, I said, "Ah-nnie, I 'ope I 'aven't offended you."

Ah-nnie paused and said, "Look, I'm from Milwaukee. I've been working here for two months and I thought I'd try out the accent on you. I'm so embarrassed."

"You should be," I told her. "You didn't fool me for a second."

I grew up in the Midwest. I knew her accent sounded familiar.

Mist 1

PS: Thanks for everyone's submissions for the Carnival of the Mundane. If you haven't submitted something to me yet, hurry up and do it. The longer you wait, the more wine I will have consumed, and the more likely I am to screw up your link.


67 Comments:

At 8:27 PM, Blogger Michael C said...

Good for her for trying and even better for you to have pulled off the accent so well that she felt she had to confess.

I like copying my Northern New England relatives. Let's go to Bah Habbah fuh lobsta and chowda. Only difference is, I've never fooled anyone.

 
At 8:59 PM, Blogger Uncivil said...

I'll give ya 3 guesses at what I'd like to spank you with???

 
At 9:33 PM, Blogger Jonas said...

How do you feel about Chicago accents?

 
At 9:44 PM, Blogger Diesel said...

"I believe that the best way to learn about a group of people is to fully immerse yourself in the animation of that culture." So very true. That's how I trained to work with the pygmies in Africa.

 
At 9:55 PM, Blogger Constance said...

When I moved to the south, I started drinking light beer and talking with an exaggerated twang. I couldn't go as far as the mullet.

 
At 10:17 PM, Blogger Winter said...

Mist1 do you drop your g's too? I live in Texas and was just curious how far south you were talkin..

 
At 10:21 PM, Blogger Jocelyn said...

How appropriate that you put on a COCK-ney accent.

So Ah-nnie is actually "AAAAAAAAAAnnie," with the weird nasally "a" of the Midwest. All our best dreams are dashed to dust.

 
At 10:55 PM, Blogger Curiosity.Killer said...

Wah ha ha ha!! That's too funny!

She must have thought - I've got her... but in the end, you got it it out of her. Brilliant! Are you two best pals now? Or she's too embarrassed to call anymore?

 
At 11:01 PM, Blogger Not a Cookie Cutter said...

In high school my bffe and I used to practice our british accents...which I am sure everyone enjoyed...now it seems that whenever I visit my northern east coast relatives, they count how many times I say "yall"...nice.
~GINA

 
At 3:19 AM, Blogger Mr. Fabulous said...

I am always up for a good link screwing, but I can't think of a damn thing...

 
At 3:35 AM, Blogger EsLocura said...

I was born in Puerto Rico, grew up in Brooklyn and lived in Boston, and you think you have accent woes.

 
At 3:56 AM, Blogger Nina said...

Too flippin' funny!

 
At 5:15 AM, Blogger wreckless said...

I used "thank you sir may I have another" (From Animal House) on my boss when he gave me a monstrous load of papers.
He just looked queerly at me.

 
At 5:20 AM, Blogger Lizza said...

I just love it when a person can do accents. You should make an audio post, you know. :-)

 
At 5:25 AM, Blogger MJ said...

So did she have good shoes?

 
At 5:28 AM, Blogger Tera said...

HILARIOUS!!!! I'm usually pretty good with accents too...I mean who hasn't tried to do the Grey Poupon commercial???

 
At 5:30 AM, Blogger PaintingChef said...

I've always wanted to try out the fake accent. I've never had the guts and since I've moved to Georgia the drawl just keeps getting stronger and stronger. It makes me cry a little...

 
At 5:56 AM, Blogger WanderingGirl said...

I say go for something waaaaay more unique than an english accent... pick some tiny country no one's ever heard of, make up your own accent, and make them guess where it's from. Every time they're wrong they buy you a drink.

My submission for the Carnival is:
http://akadventuring.blogspot.com/2007/02/my-dog-farts.html

Just because it happens frequently doesn't make it un-mundane.

 
At 6:33 AM, Blogger My Reflecting Pool said...

Mu kids like to pull the oliver line on my in laws when ever they get a chance. Tricky little devils.

 
At 6:36 AM, Anonymous hellohahanarf said...

you mean you haven't used the line from oliver when you have been spanked? you'll LOVE the reaction you get!

i have a bad habit of picking up accents in the middle of a conversation. always hope the person doesn't think i am making fun of them, but i can't break myself of it.

oh, and i think i love annie. the fact that she had balls enough to fuck with someone in a hotel bar taht way is just awesome.

 
At 6:37 AM, Blogger Lee said...

I hereby submit my offering for Carnival of the Mundane:

What Mist1 Wants, Mist1 Gets

I can only guess how mundane all these links are going to become.

 
At 6:40 AM, Blogger Avitable said...

My ability to speak with an accent consists solely of mumbling and looking angry. Everybody always thinks I'm a retarded German.

 
At 6:54 AM, Blogger Tug said...

I'm sure you'll have many offers of spankings...hell, I'll spank you for some wine. ;-)

 
At 7:39 AM, Blogger NWJR said...

"I like to consider myself to be the scholarly type and I believe that the best way to learn about a group of people is to fully immerse yourself in the animation of that culture."

That's the kind of brilliant observation that keeps me coming back, mist.

 
At 7:45 AM, Blogger booda baby said...

I'm so glad all you have to work on is a Wisconsin accent, now. And lucky you, avoiding the Coolie region.

I'm glad for me, really, not you so much. I liked living in England and I love my Britishy friends, but I developed an intolerable intolerance for the absence of 'r's. Drop your h's all you want, they're sort of useless anyway. But too many words I like depend on an R. Of course, if all I did was read your blog, I guess I wouldn't know the difference. But what if I called one day?

No. really glad you nipped it all in the bud.

 
At 7:48 AM, Anonymous archie said...

I dinna do guid accents, wi' ma mooth or ma keyboar'. I'm gonna steal your Kurt V quote soon!

 
At 8:04 AM, Anonymous la cubana gringa said...

It's not just the accent you gotta get down...it's the lingo too. For instance, when I ask The Brit to put the groceries from the shopping cart into the trunk of the car...he simply doesn't understand me unless I ask him to put the groceries from the trolley into the boot. Don't EVEN ask me what he does under the bonnet.

 
At 8:12 AM, Blogger furiousBall said...

I've always been amazed at how people from the South make my name two syllables. Van becomes Va-yun.

 
At 8:16 AM, Blogger Nölff said...

I have a Welsh friend. He is ugly as Hell and has a crooked smile, but women throw panties at him when he talks.

I had the same effect when I went to Wales.

 
At 8:28 AM, Blogger Jim said...

Well. Misty, I have some friendly advice for you. Hang on.
1. Never make calls from the loo, you might fall in;
2. Or you could get loo-loo;
3. your loobs could get tangled in the cord;
4. you could loose your looch;
5. you yourself could get looched;
6. Loochiani is a terrible condition;
7. you aren't making any loochie that way;
8. things might turn in to a loochy mess (your first call did just that);
9. your friends might think you are a loofer; and lastly, but not nearly all the possiblities,
10. you might become loony.

Now for sure it wouldn't be a place to eat your Loomers.
And I didn't say looney, you could only be number (2) definition, forget (1), girls are only voyeurs in this area.
All this and much, much more from the Urban Dictionary, words beginning with loo.
..

 
At 8:33 AM, Blogger EmmaK said...

Annie sounds amazing, I never met an American who could do a convincing English accent, even an actor....I am an English girl and freely admit I can't do an american accent either.

 
At 8:37 AM, Anonymous andy said...

Dude,

That Milwaukee accent sure is a bugger.

Should've known when she called it a bubbler.

 
At 8:38 AM, Blogger maximo said...

my last gf was english. so i was fairly puzzled when you said ahnnie's voice sounded flat. p-etal definitely didn't have a flat voice. or a flat chest--though i guess that carries us far afield of your blogentry.

 
At 9:19 AM, Blogger mist1 said...

michael,

I love chowda.

uncivil,

Please, Sir. I'd like some more.

jonas,

Please post an audio file.

diesel,

Pygmie anime is awesome.

constance,

I moved to the South just for the accent.

winter,

I haven't picked up on all the Southern things yet. I still hold on to some Midwestern things.

jocelyn,

I am a big fan of the Cock-ney.

curiosity,

I hope we're best pals. I need a place to crash when I travel.

cookie,

I have to remind myself to work y'all into conversation.

fab,

You can't think of anything mundane?

es,

I can only imagine. You need to move to Minnesota, where people don't talk funny.

nina,

Bloody funny.

wreck,

You are lucky he didn't sue you for sexual harassment.

lizza,

I thought about that when I was writing this. Ah-nnie sounds so much better than it reads.

mj,

She has great shoes.

tera,

That commercial is probably what started all this for me as a child.

chef,

I love the drawl. I work on it every day. My parents can hardly understand me. Of course, they never did really understand me.

wg,

I like that idea. Thanks for the submission. You're making this hard for me. I hope it's in my email box too.

pool,

It's the best line I've uttered all day.

hello,

I know, I love Ah-nnie too. I don't have the courage to tell her that I lied to her too.

lee,

Oh Lee, just the title alone is making me happy. I used to date a man that whenever I would pitch a fit would say, "It it's rabbit baby wants, it's rabbit baby gets." I never wanted rabbit.

av,

That's a good one. No one ever things I'm German, but I get the retarded thing all the time.

tug,

That's a tough proposition. I have a bottle that I'm willing to sacrifice.

nwjr,

Sometimes, I can't believe how smart I am. It hurts me just a little bit.

booda,

I like Rs. Of course, I like knees to, but I'm dropping to them all the time.

archie,

I had to read that out loud to try and understand it.

Oh, and Mr. V's quote is one of my favorites.

lcg,

Does he have a bee in his bonnet?

furious,

If you whined as a kid, you can do the Southern accent.

nolff,

I throw my panties at a good accent too. I can't help it. I am weak.

jim,

Are all those words really in the Urban dictionary?

Although you just scored points with me for putting research into a comment, I am concerned with the amount of time that you have on your hands. Let's go look for a hobby together.

emma,

I was swayed by her shoes.

andy,

What is it with the damn bubbler? Does any other group of people call it a bubbler?

maximo,

There is nothing wrong with a flat chest.

Excuse me, I have to go read my book of daily affirmations now.

 
At 10:19 AM, Blogger That's one clever little Yvonne said...

I've decided that if I ever move somewhere where no one knows me I will pick up an accent, not necessarily theirs. I'm thinking french or australian. And no one will know the difference.

 
At 10:22 AM, Blogger Akelamalu said...

Mist if you're gonna learn to speak with an English accent to need to speak proper Lancashire. Look here

http://www.bbc.co.uk/lancashire/voices2005/atoz.shtml

 
At 10:26 AM, Anonymous themuttprincess said...

I guess she does have a sense of humor afterall.

 
At 10:46 AM, Blogger Mis Understood said...

Hi. passing thru via..paula d...enjoying your dailies very much...last post hilarious...

 
At 11:00 AM, Blogger mist1 said...

yvonne,

Why not invent a French/Aussie hybrid?

akelamalu,

I will probably dedicate several minutes to studying this.

mutt,

Her shoes are better than her sense of humor.

mis u,

I enjoy my days here too.

Thanks for coming by.

 
At 11:15 AM, Anonymous Miss Britt said...

The only reason I'm even entertaining the idea of moving south is really because I have always wanted an accent.

A nice Southern Belle accent would suit me just fine I think.

 
At 11:31 AM, Blogger WanderingGirl said...

I hate to say that I'm not cool enough to have your email address, and not smart enough to find it.

 
At 11:39 AM, Blogger mist1 said...

britt,

I still cannot force myself to say "y'all come" and mean it.

wg,

themist1(at)gmail.com

 
At 12:03 PM, Blogger Webmiztris said...

I'd love to fake an accent with a stranger! I wouldn't be able to do it with a straight face though. Plus I wouldn't be able to get away with it anyway. When Madonna used to fake her British accent, she sounded retarded....LOL So I know there's NO hope for me!

 
At 12:57 PM, Blogger ~*SilverNeurotic*~ said...

Admit it, you fell for her accent at first.

 
At 1:09 PM, Blogger mist1 said...

miztris,

You and Madonna are so alike.

silver,

Shoes first. Accent second.

 
At 1:10 PM, Blogger heartinsanfrancisco said...

I used to fake accents all the time with guys who tried to pick me up, panhandlers, and store clerks.

I do pretty good French, Italian, Russian and German ones, to say nothing of Southern. I'm not very good at the NY accent, although I grew up there.

 
At 1:18 PM, Blogger Nance said...

I'm from Ohio. People tell me I have an accent. How is that possible?

 
At 1:33 PM, Blogger Stacy said...

I hate when I want a spanking and I get grue-ell instead.

 
At 1:38 PM, Blogger mist1 said...

hearts,

I used to date a man that had to use a fake accent when he ordered dinner. He just couldn't use his normal speaking voice.

nance,

Do you ever quote Oliver Twist?

stacy,

I wouldn't stand for that.

 
At 1:52 PM, Blogger CondoBlogger said...

No way. Too freakin funny.

 
At 1:57 PM, Blogger mist1 said...

condo,

I feel a little stupid that she got me.

 
At 2:38 PM, Blogger Just telling it like it is said...

Funny the more I drink beer or wine the more my southern accent comes out and then I sound like I really did come from Arkansas ...okay yeah I lived in a tralor in high school.. so what...I mean really shit fire...

 
At 2:53 PM, Blogger heartinsanfrancisco said...

I quit doing it when I used my French accent on a guy who turned out to be French. My accent is much better than my grammar.

 
At 4:09 PM, Blogger Fitso said...

Mock not the English accent. One will never be Queen unless one has one.

 
At 4:25 PM, Blogger Claudia said...

you should try the Scottish accent! It's fun...the rrrrr's just rrrrrrooooll......

 
At 5:08 PM, Blogger mist1 said...

tellin',

My accent comes out when I drink too.

hearts,

Oh, that's bad.

fitso,

I wasn't trying to mock it. I was trying to demonstrate my admiration.

Thanks for coming by.

claudia,

I think I need to drink more for that accent.

 
At 6:37 PM, Blogger Blitz Krieg said...

Every time I go to Outback Steak house (which is once a year for my daughter's birthday) I do my New Zealand accent. All those idiots working ask me if I'm Austrailian. Morons.

 
At 6:51 PM, Blogger Comedy + said...

Bwahahahah... Someone actually pulled the wool over your eyes? I can't believe it. Bwahahahah.

 
At 7:56 PM, Blogger mist1 said...

blitz,

Gawd, I want a steak now.

comedy,

It wasn't scratchy like wool. It was much silkier the way she got me.

 
At 4:15 AM, Blogger Glamourpuss said...

I have that feeling you get when someone draws fingernails down a blackboard. Ugh.

What is the American fascination with British accents? Last time I was in LA, some random man came up and asked me to say the word 'horseshoe' because it was the only word he could say with an British accent. Bizarre.

Puss

 
At 7:17 AM, Blogger mist1 said...

puss,

You all just sound so much better saying everything.

I have to go practice saying horseshoe. Thanks for the tip.

 
At 6:24 PM, Blogger historymike said...

When I was in the pizza business I used to try out foreign accents when I asnswered the phone:

"Gude evening, ---- Pizza, thees ees Vladimir, may I take your order pleece?"

Most people just let it go, but one time the guy on the other end muttered to his wife:

"Great. I've got some foreign f**k taking my order."

I was tempted to exact revenge for his nativist rant, but instead I made a nametag that said VLADIMIR and I was reeeely nice to heeem when he came in to pick up his order.

 
At 1:01 PM, Blogger Lux Lisbon said...

Piss off, you yank wanker!

I have the whole fake accent thing down. Although mines a mix of Scottish and Swedish so I'm completely un-understandable.

 
At 1:44 PM, Blogger Sebastien said...

Wallace and Gromit, now that was a classic!

I love accents. Specially French girls speaking English or the other way around too... how sexy.

 
At 3:13 PM, Blogger mist1 said...

mike,

I love the name Vladmimir. I also like last names that start with Dj.

lux,

I can't do Scottish at all. It always turns into Jamaican.

seb,

I love The Wrong Trousers.

 
At 5:00 PM, Blogger kat said...

IO pretended to be French one night when I lost my bearings on the whereabouts of my hotel at the Jersey Shore. I fooled the most adorable guy named Louis who ended up being really cute and really fun. We hung out all night, ate pizza, played skeeball. When we met up the next morning I told him the truth - that I was from NYC and that I was only faking the accent because I was lost and he yelled at me and walked off.

Glad you were nicer to "Ah-nee".

 
At 7:27 PM, Blogger mist1 said...

kat,

How dare he get angry over that. He had issues, clearly.

 

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