Saturday, 28 February 2015

Speaking Local.

Another thing about tonight’s X Files. There’s this dastardly Englishman, see – he’s the villain, the one who sets fire to things, including people. He’s sitting in a Boston bar when a female Bostonian sits down on the next stool. She’s obviously drunk and out for a cheap thrill, the cheaper the better. Suddenly she says ‘Hey, you’re English! I love that accent.’ I was a little nonplussed at that stage because he didn’t have an English accent, he had an American one. But no matter. What matters is that it gave me an idea:

Maybe I could get by in America just by speaking English. ‘Hey babe, talk to me. Mine’s a piece of cherry pie and a cup of coffee.’ Ah, but then there’s the language barrier to be considered.

Once upon a time I went America (not the last time, the time before that. I was seventeen.) I went into some kind of eaterie and ordered something with chips. I got French fries. So far so good.

‘Do you have any tomato sauce?’ I asked. (That’s what we called it where I came from.) The young woman looked confused.

‘Tomato what?’

‘Tomato sauce.’

‘You mean ketchup?’

‘Do I?’

She looked concerned – discomfited even – as she handed me a red plastic thing containing tomato sauce.


‘That’s it.’

Can I be a teenager again, please? I promise to do better next time.

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