Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Another Phrase and a Contrast.

Once upon a time, a British publisher sent me on a three week jaunt to take photographs of New Orleans and Toronto for a couple of upcoming publications. I went to New Orleans first (it was April!) and the day before I took the flight from the Big Easy to New-York-Run-by-the-Swiss, my ‘minder’ in New Orleans said, with a strong southern drawl… But you know what she said, don’t you? She said ‘Y’all come back now, ya hear?’

This troubled me a little. I hadn’t heard the expression ‘y’all’ before, and so I thought about it. ‘Y’all’ must mean ‘you all,’ obviously. But that didn’t make sense.

How can this be?
There’s only me
Is she so high
She thinks there’s three?

(That just dropped in without warning. I was weaned on Rupert the Bear books.)

In the end I decided that southerners are simply strange – it’s the same over here – and took my flight northward without further concern.

My minder in Toronto was both younger and prettier than her Deep Southern counterpart, and she took me to breakfast in her black BMW. (Such things impressed me then, but I grew up eventually.) And she spoke impeccable English with a Canadian accent. Toronto was also a lot colder than New Orleans. And when it came time to take the big bird back to Blighty, dear Catherine gave me a lift to the airport in the same black BMW. She said ‘Have a good flight.’

I didn’t. It was an overnight flight with Air Canada and the cabin crew were all po faced, so I went to sleep.

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