Notes From A Walkman Junkie: “Either She’s A Twin Or He’s A Twin Or You’re A Twin Or I’m A Twin”
“You know what sucka legs are, don’t you?” I don’t either, but I was faced with this baffling question while doing my morning Billy Blanks work out and was also informed that his intention was to “Put sucka legs on everyone–moms, dads, boys, girls, babies..” That is a lot of sucka legs. Now, it did not take me too long to realize that he was possibly saying ”soccer legs” rather than “sucka legs” which, admittedly, made a little more sense (though I am still not fully convinced because I understood everything else he said just fine–like his direction of, “Don’t be all kicking like a bird” and “This can be used in combat, but we are doing it now to get the inner thigh together”).
My brief Billy Blanks’ exercise instruction puzzlement is really of no surprise as I have, on many occasions, been known to completely misunderstand words that are coming out of people’s mouths–particularly when I am nervous–and, consequently, make a complete ass out of myself. This most frequently happens in situations when I am speaking with someone from another country and they are graciously speaking to me in English. My desperate desire to understand every word perfectly so as not to offend them and/or look like a total idiot, inevitably causes me to panic, temporarily lose my hearing and blank on the entire English language.
This often was the case when I was teaching kindergarten and say, a nice Korean couple was inquiring about their child’s day. They would perhaps ask something like, “How was Benson’s participation in craft corner today?” I, due to my ridiculously unwarranted nervous state, would hear, “Smuurdel plommmer staaaa fos?” and reply hesitantly with my standard answer, “Two carrots math flan nap.”
My most memorable and humiliating occurrence of lack of minimal, remotely accurate human verbal communication skills, however, happened my junior year in high school when I was introduced to a friend’s father for the first time.
I was at my friend’s house, waiting for him to return downstairs when his father came into the room and introduced himself . I detected a strong accent of some type when he spoke and I instantly became unreasonably anxious and unable to decipher a single word that he said for the duration of our exchange. “Yallda dang hallla waall na de?’ I stared at him in silence, crippled with idiotic fear. “Yaaaall DA hallla waall na DE?’ Silence. Beads of sweat began to roll down my confused face. “YAAA LLLLL DA HA LLLLLAA WA AALL NADEEE?” Nothing. At this point, it was as if I had actually left my mortified body and was only pulled back in again with a tap on my shoulder from my friend saying, “Hey, let’s go. We’ll be late.”
Once in the car and on our way, I confessed to my friend the tale of my humiliating conversation (or lack there of) blunder with his father. I told him that it was the accent that had initiated my moronic behavior-inducing freak-out and asked, “what country is your father from?” to which he replied, “Alabama.”
I am attaching “Our Falling Snow” by Sleep Party people because it is good and I like you.