Semantics ShmemanticsThought I'd share a little story about my mother, her Pekingese, and an elderly landscaper whose grammar skills were less than perfect. And I'm being kind here.
Politically correct, this is not -- it is, however, absolutely true.
Back in the late sixties, when I was but a tot, my mother owned a vicious bitch of a Pekingese named Tinkerbell. Tinkerbell had a habit of not only biting small children, but she would, when let outside to do her business, run from the yard as fast as her nasty little legs would carry her. She had to be closely watched lest she journey into busy roads or large, snapping German shepherd jaws. Anyway, one morning, at our newly built home that sat in a newly developed tract, my mother let Tinkerbell out as usual, only this time, Mom was distracted by my baby brother, so Tinkerbell, being the idiot she was, ran from our yet-to-be-seeded, extremely muddy yard.
When Mom realized that Tinkerbell was gone, she panicked, rushed out into our muddy yard while still in her nightie and short robe, and was met by an elderly gentleman wielding garden implements. "Have you seen my Pekingese," my mother asked the kindly old gardener.
He replied, "No, ma'am!" while vigorously shaking his head.
"Are you sure you haven't seen my Pekingese? She was right --"
"Uh-uh, no, ma'am, no way was I peekin' at yo' knees!"
"Oh, Jesus. No, I think you've misunderstood, sir. I was wondering if you'd seen my little Pekingese, she --"
"I said I wasn't peekin' at yo' knees! No, ma'am, I would never peek at yo' knees!"
At which point he turned to his workmate and shrieked "She think I be peekin' at her knees! I ain't peekin' at no damn knees!" His workmate could only shrug.
Mom stood there open-mouthed as the poor old gent scurried away muttering, "She crazy, she damn crazy!"
Tinkerbell, unfortunately, found her way back home by noon.
ADDENDUM: Ew. Upon rereading this post, I am appalled by my complete lack of storytelling skill. I mean, "kindly old gardener"? "Poor old gent"? And just look at the horrid syntax!
That's what happens when one attempts creative nonfiction at four in the morning...After two hours sleep...For the fifty millionth night in a row...
Apparently, insomnia causes one to write like a precocious twelve-year-old Nanny McPhee fan.