Tuesday, April 07, 2009

What we have here...Is a failure to communicate

"Conductor," said the woman in a thick southern drawl, "Could ya' please tell me when we get to Grand Central? I can't make heads nor tails of that man on the loud speaker."

"That Man!" I said indignantly. THAT MAN...happens to be ME."

The woman and her four friends burst out laughing. "No it ain't" one of the women said (I guess she thought I was teasing).

"No, really." I said.

I was a little hurt since I pride myself on my clear and concise announcements. Passengers compliment me all the time.

"Sorry Darlin," another said, "But we're visitin' from Alabama and we can't understand a lick of what you was sayin'."

"Would it help if I slowed my speech?" I asked.

They nodded their heads in agreement.

"Maybe make the announcements in a s-l-o-w southern drawl?"

"Go fer it!" They said.

The next station stop was rapidly approaching. I quickly raced to the cab and made this announcement:

"This here," I drawled, trying to sound like the prison warden in Cool Hand Luke. "This here...is Mt. V-e-r-n-o-n East."

I heard a loud cheer come from the other end of the car. Looking down the aisle, I could see my new friends giving me the thumbs up sign.

"The next station stop," I took a pregnant pause here..."The next stash-i-u-n is fixin' to be Fordham."

The cheers were even louder now and they were interspersed with guffaws of laughter.

They were egging me on now. After Fordham :

" I a-reckon that Harlem 125th Street is gonna be next."

They were actually clapping now... wavin' and a hootin' and a hollerin'.

One of the woman waved me over. "Darlin, where'd ya learn to talk like that? I mean ....Fixin'?"

"We watch a lot of 'Reba' reruns in my house." I said matter of factly.

"Reba!" That's our favorite show. (no surprise there)

We were almost to Grand Central when one of the ladies thanked me for giving them a good laugh. Another said I made their night. I thanked them as well, saying they were good sports. They could have just as easily been offended.

"So. You think we Yankees speak too fast?" I asked.

They all nodded their heads in agreement.

"Then you should be happy that you didn't have a New York conductor. I'm from Connecticut, and even I can't understand them."


Stamford Talk said...

Great story, Bobby! I love that those Southern ladies got in your face about it, and that you totally charmed them. That was very Southern of you, by the way- or wait- was it just Northern cool?

cara said...

I'm so sad I missed riding on this train and might request an accent of my own if you're my conductor anytime soon, Bobby. How about Irish?

Anonymous said...

You totally crack me up!

yo bay-bee its Johnny froma da Brookaleen said...

Bobby watcha talkin bout wit them new yourk conductas......they speak that purrfect english...ya know....theese theems n thoose....forgettaboutitbaby!!!.......I was tought by da nuns, ya know...those broads was tough lemee tell ya.....soos my english is just that purrfect ya know.

Gail said...

Loved this Bobby1 I'm so glad Sandi posted a link to your blog in hers!! Way to go.

little kelly said...

glad to be back to nights ...I see...lol ..miss u :) ...

Emily said...

Lol, too funny. Just found your blog the other day, figured I'd say hello.

jamie said...

Ya all a funny guy! I'll have to incorporate some of my mid western flavor in my announcements. Uff Dah next stop will be Mt Vernon East don't cha know

Chicbee said...

Wonderful story! I really enjoyed it. Thanks.

The Legendary Train Man Paul said...

"I pride myself on my clear and concise announcements. Passengers compliment me all the time."

Join the club, brother!! :-)