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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

What? What?! Yes, of Course I Saw The Who in ’80! Why Do You Ask?

“I’m leaving!” I shout.


Swait? What? What did he just say?

“What?” I yell.

“Swait a minute!”

Ah. Just wait a minute, he says.

My husband thinks he can speak without having to move his jaw.

I don't know why he insists on making me say "what?" all day long, but he does. I say "what?" all day long.

"Marmzert," he said.


"Marmzert," he said.

Sure. I'll play along. "How come?" I said.

"Ianno," he said. "Musta bin because of alla the cans I crushed yesterday."

Ah. I can see this now. His arms hurt.

Well, what are you going to do when aluminum is up to a whopping 55 cents a pound, let it just collect in the garage? Besides, the money he made should just about cover the Ace bandage he’s going to need.

A woman could drive herself mad suspecting her hearing’s on the wane, but I’ve come to discover that the key to success here lies in treating the lock-jawed vocalizations of the male sex as a foreign language.

"Mungree," T said the other day.

"What?" I said.

"Mungree," he said. "Skweet."

Well, ya see that? He’ll get no argument from me. I could eat a little something myself. Let's go!

I've noticed this affliction in men almost exclusively. I don't know what that says: perhaps that men are more apt to clench when talking, or perhaps that women do much more talking than men and are therefore more apt to be good at it.

Steve called. "What're you doing?" he asks.

"Writing," I say. "What're you doing?"

"Buildin' a Stratocaster copy. Gonna put African Babinga inlays on the neck."

OK. So sometimes there are different reasons for my inability to understand the men around me.

All I know is that these guys are making me say "what?" a lot.


Fred Miller said...

Oh, man, Tessa's kid has just gotten into the slurring thing. Tessa does it, but that's because her lung capacity is about 400 milliliters. I make an effort there, and she tries to use shorter sentences so that she has enough air for each word. But Sean's just all mushmouth. I try to convince him that it's sexy to enunciate. We'll see where that goes.

Lisa said...

Marmzert is my favorite! Crushing cans. Seriously? HYSTERICAL!

a Broad said...

Oh honey, I am right there with you !
Mine is just too low volume.
Not even the dog notices when there is actually a language being spoken ... making him look at me and me say "What " ?

Georgina Dollface said...

Hmm, have you noticed that the majority of famous ventriloquists are men? It all makes sense now. - G

Everyday Goddess said...

he must be good at texting too.

ellen abbott said...

the male human who occupies this house with me always waits til I leave the room before he starts talking to me. What?! I've stopped walking back in to find out what he said. Now I just play dumb. If he wants me to know what it was, he can just come to where I am.

Symdaddy said...

Ooooooh! You women make me soooooooo mad!

I have a wife that ALWAYS waits until I'm upstairs before deciding to tell/ask/demand something and a step daughterwho is the only person in the world that could possibly mumble when she shouts!!!

Sorli goddazay!

Simply Suthern said...

Men aint got a lot to say and when we do we dont wanna waste much breath doing it.

Git tha man a dang motorized can crusher so hizarms dont hurt.

Lisa said...

Lately, the males in the house have taken to mumbling. I don't know what that's all about, but I'm right there with you saying "what?" all the time.

De Campo said...


Kate Mohler said...

I enjoyed this--very funny! :-)

That Baldy Fella said...

Seesier. Lezeffort. Y'unnerstan enway.

Silliyak said...

Instead of "what?" men respond with "Sure" or "Yeh". (Except for the "Does this make me look fat? & If I died would you marry again?" questions)

Jon in France said...

Yep. That's me. So I'm told. I always sound perfectly enounciated in me head, though

Dave King said...

Never mind the lingo, feel the meaning!

Argent said...

It's the same here too. I think it must be a genetic thing, the presence of the Y chromosome inhibits the development of the language centres of the brain.

Charlotte Ann said...

Thank you Pearl. I really mean it. I needed this post. I'm always saying "what" when my hubby speaks to me..and he says it's me! I actually had my hearing checked because of his mumbling...and I'm printing out your post and tacking it to his pillow!

Douglas said...

If you think that only men mumble, you have never met my wife.

My answer to whatever it is that my wife is mumbling is a simple, clearly articulated, "yes dear"... which provides me with a trip down memory lane to the days I was a sailor.

Joanna Jenkins said...

I'm with you. I have no idea what they said.
Hang in there.

Madame DeFarge said...

I share your pain on the male communication thing as you know. I could almost welcome slurring. But not dribbling.

a Broad said...

Madame DeFarge ... " not dribbling " .... No ... not dribbling ! haha!

Fragrant Liar said...

Over the years, I've become an expert in Mumblery, especially once I've listened to a particular dialect in depth. I can decipher most anything you need. I don't even charge for it, because I'm altruistic like that.

Sweet Cheeks said...

These slurred words you speak of remind me of Frankensteinese, both a rare and difficult language to understand, let alone speak.

Judging by your extensive knowledge...you may want to publish a pamphlet so others can learn too.

Call it 'Pearl's guide to conversational slurring and other mysterious mumblings'.

You'll be a millionaire.

WrathofDawn said...

Yeah, my a**hole chicken pie ex-husband mumbled and then accused me of needing my hearing checked. In his case, it was just passive-aggressive a**hattery.

And since the nice judge gave me a full pardon for good behaviour*... I DON'T HAVE TO LISTEN AT ALL.

*Divorce, people. Not 1st degree murder. Although there were days...

chlost said...

Wait, what about him? He NEVER hears what I say. He ACTS like he hears, his head bobs, he may even answer me. But when I say something later, he swears he never heard me tell him this before. Maybe even more than once......There's a big ol' difference between hearing and listening.

Cheeseboy said...

The best part of this post is that it became a fun decoding game - which I successfully played and won.

lunamother said...

my husband is very quiet and also mumbles. my favorite is in answer to any "yes" or "no" question I get "nyup".
really? what the hell? is that "nope" or "yup"???
then HE gets all pissy.

Pearl said...

:-) Oh you guys are awesome. :-) Difficult afternoon yesterday, woke up with a cold, walked to the bus in the rain -- and sat down to these comments. You're killing me.

And before I assume the heavy crown that is the work I do 40 hours a week, I have to say, CHARLOTTE ANN, that this is the first time anyone has said that they were printing out what I wrote. I'm gonna grin until at least noon on that alone. :-)

Solai goddazay!

Symdaddy said...

If'n yawuzn't suff R 'way, I'd bi-dja b'dum Pearl!