A question today, starting with the word ‘Who’ prompted a memory.
I had already been chuckling to myself. Sad I know. My houndie had been out with her walker and whinged for treats on return. I duly obliged and included a training basic, which means much snuffling, nudging and licks. No not from me, from houndie. Being with my houndie always makes me smile and laugh. I think it’s the cold nose.
So what has this to do with jaws or rather, ‘Jaws’? I refer to the film and blockbuster which featured inflatable sharks. Not to a hounds mouth before you start to feel too alarmed.
I was fleetingly led back to a memory from the 1970s. Yes, when there were no cars and we had to be home by 9pm. I’m being a bit of a pedant today! Well actually I did have to be home by 9pm…
Picture a long queue for the latest film block buster outside a cinema in a town East of London, with buses hurtling past and the odd bit of litter flitting about. On an autumn evening. Poetic isn’t it. At the ABC Cinema if I’m not mistaken….I can sing the Pearl & Dean…bah bah, bah bah, bah bah, bah bah bababa! You’re showing your age if you understand that. Here’s a clue…👇
There was the choice of three screens, yes three. It was hard to cope with at the time. Well in fairness Screen 3 basically had about eleven seats, but we weren’t complaining about being offered a choice on a night out. I think I was with siblings and had already had quite an in-depth discussion in said queue with another queuee about chocolate and how to pronounce Nestle. #controversial
This anecdote has a lot to do with words.
As we all know, throughout the world there are regional dialects and accents. This part of the world is no different. There are East London, Estuary, County, Rural etc etc etc accents all the way to Norfolk, Glasgow the North sea, Scandinavia and beyond…the world, moon, universe, infinity…(showing my age again).
In my youth, the way I had been taught to pronunciate, (it was drummed in on a daily basis), and that I’m a very literal person when spoken to, caused a ruffle (& not for the first time).
We’re still in the queue by the way so don’t lose your place.
Being that it was the film ‘Jaws’, it was I think rated as an 18. But don’t quote me on that. Film ratings were a bit more vague back then. PG had a different label and would have meant ‘were you trusted to get the bus on your own’? And ‘could you locate the bus stop without the need for directions’?
Anyway. I digress.
Whilst waiting in the queue, a young woman approached, pretty boldly. ‘What was up’ I thought, as I deliberated in my mind whether I would be purchasing a cinema ticket AND chocolate…and maybe push the boat out and buy a hot chocolate afterwards. Mmmm. Did I put perfume on, la la la…
The interaction went something like this.
Young woman ~ “Hello”
Me ~ “Hello” (thinking, do I know you?)
Young woman ~ “Can we come in wiv you”
Me ~ “Err”
(Thinking wildly why would I be asked this. I mean, I was trusted to get the bus, but..)
Young woman ~ “Cos”
(& this is where the regional accent & dialect come in)
Me ~ “cos”
(cos what, mind creaking…lettuce?)
Young woman ~ “yeah, cos”
Me ~ “Cos”?
Young woman ~ “nah, cos Daaan Ilford wouldn’t let us in”
(I’m embarrassed to say I looked quizzically at her and replied)...
Me ~ “WHO’S DAN ILFORD”?
Thinking, does she know the manager! I almost went in to ask as his/her name. (I did say I’m very literal!)
…I’m still cringing after all these years. And ok, I admit it makes me chuckle at the ridiculous pomposity of it all.
She did in fact mean, at the cinema in Ilford (a town about 5+ miles away) her attempt to view ‘Jaws’ had been denied! Oops. You don’t say!!!
I think Steven Spielberg would have appreciated her determination to see the film. I wonder if she ever did.
At my response, the young woman looked at me blankly, completely stumped and just wandered off and I didn’t see where I’d gone wrong until much later. I’m not sure I would have agreed to her joining us, had I not misinterpreted the request. I mean, I’d been trusted to take the bus, but…
So there you have it. I hope this raised a chuckle. And beware of being too caught up in discussions over how to pronounce a brand of chocolate in a cinema queue. There’s no telling what further misunderstandings may ensue.
Thanks for popping by & have a blessed day.🌸