Friday, April 28, 2017

Things I Don't Understand; and It's "Bayg"

Things I Don't Understand; and It's "Bayg" 

Jennifer E. Miller

Everyone has pet peeves, or stuff that makes our eyes roll so far to the point they are stuck and we can't unroll them back into position. I'm no exception. 

First: The Bathroom Self Portrait.

Recently, I walked into a public restroom and, before walking to a stall, waited for a young woman standing at the sinks with her cell phone in selfie mode. She didn't even notice me at first. I stood out of the frame because I didn't want to photo bomb her. And if I'm going to be photo bombing, it's not going to be in a bathroom picture!

What is so special about a self portrait in this location? Restrooms are dirty, germy, grimey, graffiti-laden, and all-around gross places. They certainly don't make attractive backdrops. A riverbank littered with goose poop is a better alternative. One could even argue it's nature's bathroom, since bathrooms are such the "in" things with selfies nowadays.

Second: Driving Slow

Specifically on Trent Ave, east of University Road. The speed limit is 50 mph. That's fifty. Fiiiiive zeeeeeroooooo. Not 40; not 35; but 50!

I notice the majority of drivers who choose to set cruise control at snail's pace, have Idaho plates. It's such a lovely state; they should be in more of a hurry to get back. Let see the pedal to the metal Idahoans!

I do miss living in Idaho, at times. I like the rural-ness of it. When we'd travel and say "we're from Idaho," the response was usually, "Oh! Corn growers, right?" No, not Iowa. It's far-fetched to think that Americans don't know the clear difference between the two states, yet it sadly exists. The production of the film Napoleon Dynamite, I will add, helped pin Idaho on the map. Vote for Pedro! (Sorry, couldn't resist.)

That brings me to the third thing: Not Knowing the Geographic Location of All 50 States.

Wasn't this a prerequisite to pass, like, fourth grade? I distinctly recall a test with an outline of the USA and its states where students were expected to write in all the names based on shape and geographical location. I know Vermont versus New Hampshire. Washington is nowhere the other Washington. Colorado and Wyoming are difficult to determine by individual shape alone, but easily distinguishable next to their neighboring territories. North Carolina and South Carolina and North Dakota and South Dakota aren't that hard: one sits north and the other south. C'mon. If you're planning a road trip, you need to know things like "will we be crossing into Mississippi or Missouri next?" And yes, Santa knows there are two Virginias: the regular one and the westward one.

Lastly: Mispronouncing "Bag"

This has been the subject of much debate in our house. I say "bayg" with a long "a" sound. T pronounces it all wimpy-like: "bahg" with shorter "a" sound in apple. I would as soon call it a sack than a "bahg!" It's bayg! Rhymes with egg.

"Egg does not rhyme with bahg, but it rhymes with beg," he points out.

"Yes, except you are saying them wrong: Agg and bayg (both long a's)."

"No, you, for some weird reason, you pronounce bahg as bayg. And anyways, I'm talking about beg, b-e-g; one letter off from egg."

"Me, too. They are all pronounced with the same vowel sound: The long a. 'Egg, beg, bag, vague.' See? They rhyme. We were taught this in elementary school," I inform him.

He wrinkles his forehead at me. "That is most absurd thing I've ever heard. Egg and beg rhyme and sound nothing like bahg or vague."

"What's wrong with the way I say them?"

"It's not the right way."

"Well, you and everybody else know what I'm talking about; so I must be saying them right."

He drums his fingers.

"At least I don't replace r's with h's and move those r's after a's."


"I've got an idear; pahk the cah in Hahvahd Yahd. Aftawahds, we'll warsh it."

Confused he asks, "What did you just say?"

I chuckle. Then add, "You know, I like the way I say bayg and egg. It sounds like I'm saying them with authority!"

T rolls his eyes. "Can we just bayg this conversation, please?"

"Ha! You said bayg! I win."

Copyright 2017 Jennifer E. Miller

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