How to NOT kill a wasp

  1. Find a British husband paranoid of wasps (the British part is optional but it does help in the cursing part)
  2. Get said husband to become obsessed with barbecuing on a beautiful sunny Saturday.
  3. Give husband a few potatoes to cook with onion dip to make them attract wasps.
  4. Have husband curse as wasps approach. (British curses add a certain gusto to the entire experience).
  5. Have said husband come into house swear he will kill the wasps, find a swatter and step outside only to run back in because wasp was ‘right there!’
  6. Have husband swear even more imaginatively than before involving all the wasp’s predecessors and progeny.
  7. Encourage husband to stay indoors only to have him bolt right back outside.
  8. Watch British husband dance around outside batting his hat at the air while the wasp meanders away completely unperturbed.

Pizza a la UK

My hubby’s lovely mother came over for dinner on Saturday. Since she has issues with our food, she decided to bring supper over. Apparently, she has never had pizza before because she called us before ordering to know what to put on the thing. While I shouted “Pepperoni!” loudly enough to be heard in Russia, my hubby told her to get the Canadian special: mushrooms, pepperoni and bacon.

Now, I should explain that this lovely lady is from the UK. She’s been in Canada for years and years…but you wouldn’t know it to listen to her. Her accent is as thick as the day she landed and, since she’s from the North of England, that accent is as decipherable as Egyptian script.

Obviously, we didn’t get our Canadian combination special.

Hubby’s mother did come with pizza…two of them in fact. In the translation, the  bacon, mushrooms and pepperoni became, chicken, onions and tomatoes.IMG_0216

I won’t even mention what was on the other one…except to add that I’m not particularly fond of anchovies with spicy peppers.

(credit:webstockpro.com)

(credit:webstockpro.com)

English…a strange language

So, my husband is British. And English is my third language.

Speaking three languages might sound really fancy or wonderful but there’s an issue. See, you learn languages by listening to others. You learn not to sound like a foreigner by listening really, really hard and imitating every accent and nuance in speech patterns. Since I’ve done that a couple of times for years in order to learn each new language, it has become a bit of a habit.

The fact is, I imitate everything I hear, from accents to speech impediments and, well, it’s embarrassing. I’ll be honest and admit I’ve gotten more than a couple of strange looks. I don’t mean to ridicule people but that’s exactly what it looks like. My grasp on my Canadian accent is a fluid, slippery one at best. I forget all the time how words are supposed to sound. They come out of my mouth and I can tell that they’re off but not how.

Worse, I imitate other people’s word choices. My lovely husband, being British, uses quite a few that are not…local. Some aren’t embarrassing like when he calls a shopping cart a trolley. For him, an apron is a pinney, a dumpster a skip…you get the idea. Not bad. Just funny.

The problems start when I ‘borrow’ his words. He uses them so much, I forget that they’re not Canadian. So, I’ve told someone to ‘nip down’ and go get someone and I’ve recommended someone ‘take a page from that person’s book’…

Yeah, they didn’t get it either. My accent didn’t help either. I don’t know what I sound after many years in Canada and three languages influencing my palate, but I certainly don’t sound British.

The worst is this one particular word…Apparently, in the UK, its a term of endearment. It means dear or sweetie. Not here. It means something completely different over here. It’s the word cock. British moms everywhere call their sons to them by saying: “Come here, cock”.

That’s not an easy one to explain at work.

(credit:en.wikipedia.org)

(credit:en.wikipedia.org)