The Hoosier Drawl

I pride myself on my ability to communicate with people whose first language is not English, but apparently I’m pretty bad at understanding Americans with any kind of drawl – southern, midwestern, whatever.

I was registering G at the pediatrician’s office a few months after we arrived in town. The receptionist asked for the pertinent details – name, date of birth, and then she asked me: ‘Is he a mel?’ Utterly confused, I asked for clarification: ‘I’m sorry, what?’ ‘A mel,’ the receptionist reiterated. Completely clueless as to the meaning of this word, I resorted to ‘what do you mean?’

Exasperated, the woman tried again: ‘Is he a mel or a fe-mel?’

‘Oh! A male!’ I replied, slightly embarassed.

We were at a local restaurant and the hostess pointed to the preschooler and asked ‘is he old enough for crowns?’

Confused, but not wanting to hesitate too long or ask for clarification, I said yes. When she handed him a packet of crayons and a coloring sheet, I understood.

Recently, I was dropping my semi-reluctant preschooler off at his sunday school class. His teacher tried to generate some excitement by announcing: ‘Today we’re going to make crayons and put them on our heads!’

I visualized the class making wax crayons and placing them on top of their heads but I didn’t bother asking for an explanation. When I picked him up an hour later, he had a paper crown in his hand.


4 thoughts on “The Hoosier Drawl

  1. you could make money off this post … it’s hilarious and so true! now you’ll have to brush up on your canadian accents ay?

  2. At first I didn’t get it, but then it hit me – your brother…’Cree-yus’. Terrible.

  3. I knew I didn’t spell it quite right. ‘Cree-yus.’ That’s better. You are a true Southerner.


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