Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Carry On, Jeeves

I'm not sure where the funny is in this one but it entertains me when I think about it. I was in a store the other day and there was a girl, maybe 24, with a variety of kids, but I didn't look up to check. This was the day I was buying shoes #2 for that wedding so I was on a mission. The shoes were by the fitting room so I heard the fitting room lady talking to her about the kids and the lady was getting that strained voice where she wants to tell the kids to behave but doesn't want to step on the mother's toes. I guess the girl had a friend who had taken a kid to the bathroom and the plan was that both girls would take this passel of children into the fitting room together, so girl A had to wait for girl B.

As time passed, girl A was telling Dressing Room Lady about the kids and that this or these were hers and this or that was girl B's and girl B had some of girl A's kids in the bathroom. Or something. I was really just trying to find shoes and didn't want to be bothered. I could hear Dress Room Lady judging her, thinking that she was too young to have a bunch of kids even if some of them were girl B's and what in the world did they think they were doing taking them to a store at 8pm on a weeknight, a store where the girls had to try on clothes? Wait, that might have been my inner voice, not Dress Room Lady's but we might have been on the same wavelength.

The kids were well behaved until girl B reappeared. I didn't count but when the whole group was together there might have been 4-6 children under the age of talking except for one who was telling everyone everything they might need to know.

Suddenly girl B kept telling someone to "carry on". And she'd said it repeatedly. If we were in England, I don't think I would have given it a second listen, but here in America, girls who are in their early 20's and have a variety of children and are wearing things that fit into the category of clothes that say BOOTYLICIOUS on the butt are not the kind of girls who say "carry on". Again, not looking up, I kept wondering why she'd say "carry on" to a maybe 4 year old boy. And it was never like "ok young chap, carry on then, my good man". It was always like "CARRY ON, stop doing that" "CARRY ON, put that back" "CARRY ON, where did you put her thing" you get the idea.

Using my brilliant powers of deductive reasoning, I determined that this must be the poor boy's name! But what is it? I have a student named Ciaran, a good old Irish name, but it's pronounced keer-on. Could this poor girl have named her child this name but thought it was pronounced Carry on? Is it Carion, like road kill? Is it Kerry Ohn? Carrie On? Kerion? What could it possibly be????

I have seen more variations of human names than I could ever have imagined possible. Every spelling of the name Katelin you could even put together. I've taught Princess, Nephtalie, every version of Sierra, J. (not Jay), Latarsha, Levaante, Cara pronounced by drawing out the aaaaaaahhhhhhhh in the middle, the list goes on. But to hear a stranger call her kid such a strange name really shocked me this time. Seeing what I call crazy names on paper never seems weird. Hearing a mother repeat her child's name ad nauseum (I wonder if Ad Nauseum would make a good name?)gave me pause. I think it might have distracted me a little and made the shoe buying a little too long.

And what if this kid ever goes to a country where it is commonplace to tell people to "carry on" when they are doing something that they've interrupted?

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