Tuesday, June 12, 2007

A recollection of crackers past

I was just chatting at FireDogLake about hillbillies and crackers when I had a flashback from a cross-country trip I took with my folks the summer I was sixteen. Imagine being cooped up in a VW microbus from Michigan to California with three siblings, my folks and my grandfather. We stopped somewhere in northern Texas for lunch at a diner decked out with knotty pine paneling and the requisite red-naugahyde-chrome chairs and de rigeur red-and-white gingham curtains.

The middle-aged gum-cracking waitress took my then-13-year-old sister's order, then asked her in the fastest possible Texas twang, "Whutchewannawetyercudwit?" Sis's eyebrows rose up into her hairline as she glanced around and then looked at me for an interpretation. I said, "She asked you what you want to drink." "Milk, please," choked out Sis.

I've never heard that phrase since, nearly thirty years later.

When in New York, I asked if there was a place I could get grits for breakfast (mostly as a joke).
My friend's brother said 'wachucumouttadatreezorsumthin?"

A couple of repetitions established he was saying 'what? you come out of the trees or something?"

And the answer to my question would have been 'Harlem'.
Unsurprisingly, I have never heard the phrase uttered in twice that time, Rayne. But it's going straight into my active vocabulary & thank you for it!
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