By Bill Frazer
It seems to be cool to be able to insert non-English words into conversation and writing. My daughters all were taught French in high school (Thanks To Mrs. Nannie Ferguson – A Great Teacher) which I thought was a total waste of educational efforts. Turns out that being able to understand French was a valuable asset to one of my daughters who traveled abroad as an auditor for Coca Cola. It has enabled the other three to be cool as they are proficient in use of French phrases. The next to younger daughter made use of being fluent in French as she worked on the her Masters while in Canada and France.
I came home the other night and being cool I told one daughter that I had committed a fox par that day and she broke into laughter. I should have said “that I messed up” which is my true southern phrase rather than trying to be cool. The French word is faux pas and in English sounds like fo paw. Another daughter has dubbed her home on the gulf as shay millay (the French word is Chez Mullet). My personal description would be “gulf swimming hole”.
Being cool is not only using foreign phrases, it’s also using multi-syllabic words from Websters dictionary. The high-brow would say when asked if he/she had enough to eat would reply, “ I have had a sufficient amount and another morsel would be obnoxious to my taste” where as my answer would be “I have got a belly full”. Bill O’Reilly on his nightly show always ends with highlighting an English word that we should be using in our vocabulary. I do not know what any of the words meant, and if I learned the correct use of the word and used them in conversation, then my red neck friends would not know what I was talking about. It is obvious in some of his editorials that Cy Wood injects some of these words.
Now talking about uncool, the phrases used by some off beat TV shows like Larry The Cable Guy gets the job done. With his sleeveless shirt and lack of conventional standards, Larry makes jokes work for him whereas in another setting would not be as entertaining. For an example, Larry says his brother lost the spelling bee because he thought there was an eight in pollinate. Another popular actor who is uncool is Ron Shirley who stars in the TV show Lizard Lick Towing. I am not sure if his show is still on the air, but the last time that I saw him he was laughing about feeding the owner of the car’s family while he sneaked up and towed the family’s car. He said “It was more fun than a bull frog at a butterfly convention”. Now that is Southern Cool language.
My wife has the grand boys come over and eat us out of house and home. She says they are growing boys with insatiable appetites. Being uncool I say it is like slopping hogs. Being cool the hogs are tapping on that black box the whole time they are slopping. Meanwhile the old man is running to the grocery store to buy more slop for the hogs.
I heard another uncool statement on the radio the other morning. The Red Neck announcer said “it was better than snuff but not nearly as dusty”. In my time snuff dipping was prevalent but into today’s society mostly unheard of. For the uninformed, snuff is powdered tobacco which is inserted directly into the mouth where it is mixed with saliva. (Reminds me of the old jest “How can you tell a level headed redneck? Tobacco juice runs out of both sides of his mouth”.) I remember the old snuff brand names, Bruton and Standard. Chewing tobacco was mostly Brown Mule and it was a staple among the baseball community. When the pitcher was massaging the ball, he was mostly cleaning the brown stain off of it.
I think that Monroe Smith and Larry The Cable Guy are on the same page. Monroe said he thought that paradise was two cubes used on the gaming tables at Biloxi. Now, that is cool.
Lets face it! Old age is the uncool generation. Southern Cool is past tense. Or should that be titled as faux pas?