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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

WHAT?! or Yes, Of Course I Saw The Who in the 80s. Why Do You Ask?

She's an oldie, but a goodie...

“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.


Vicus Scurra said...


joeh said...

This is FUNNY! Is your husband from NYC?

We had a secretary would answer the phone and then ask


Shelly said...

It helped me tremendously when I got the secret decoder ring for men talk out of the cereal box.

vanilla said...

"...more apt to be good at it."


fishducky said...

I knew the Rosetta Stone would come in handy someday. Never leave home without it!

Saimi said...

My years teaching in a Special Ed Preschool room has given me the skills of understanding most any kind of speech.

I make a great interpreter if you need one!

mybabyjohn/Delores said...

The hubs has what I call a 'lazy mouth' combined with the fact that he has a hearing impairment which means he doesn't hear words properly to start with. Makes for some interesting combinations. A jalopy is a 'jopy' for instance and his sister is his 'sisser'. It only gets worse from there. Fun isn't it?

Elizabeth Rose Stanton said...

If I had a nickle for all the whats? I've uttered in my household, I'd have enough to go live by myself ;) Add a little speed to those "lock-jawed vocalizations," as uttered by the younger members of my household, and...well...welcome to my world. Meanwhile, I am impressed that you can translate Lockjaw so expertly ;)
Hilarious post, as usual! :)

Symdaddy said...

Real lease wheat!

Symdaddy said...

You can figure it out without a 'what?', I'm sure.

R. Jacob said...

which is why I answer long text messages with "K"!

Jono said...

Funny no one offers professional translation services. It's a natural for some entrepreneurial type.

Hookin It With Mr. Lick Lick said...

If I had a man like that there would be NO communication because I am not going to try to translate a lazy talker!! That's enough to drive you batty. If you can't talk halfway intelligible don't talk at all. That's my story and I'm stickin to it. lol

jabblog said...

Hilarious (not to live with,obviously) I've got a speed-talking daughter who's difficult to follow if I'm the slightest bit tired. I think that's to be preferred to the brother-in-law's wife, who is the same age as me but who always speaks e x t r e m e l y s l o w l y - too many years as an infant teacher, I reckon.

Al Penwasser said...

I saw The Who in the 90s in Virginia Beach. It was at an outdoor venue and we sat on a blanket, just he and I. The Who did Quadraphenia and we sang to the songs.
But, before the Heterosexual Police could barge through the door and demand our guy cards, we had sex with our wives.
He with HIS, me with MINE.
I'm not sure I needed to make that clear, but just wanted to make sure.

Geo. said...

Thanks for this pearl of self-exposition. Hearing loss is not easy to admit. I will try to write comments more loudly and clearly.

Mom of A and a said...

must be to show off his rugged jawline!

Susan Kane said...

Now there's a book for someone to write: Man-Speak. Gitawrkin' grl.

jenny_o said...

Taking Susan Kane's comment one step further, a book on men could include why they won't go to the doctor, won't ask directions, won't follow directions, won't buy new socks, and won't throw away the holey ones.

Why, no, those would never be issues at our house. Why do you ask?

Brilliant post, Pearl :)

Gigi said...

Ugh! If I had a nickel for every time I've had to say "What?" to a man well then I'd be a very, very, VERY wealthy woman.

Scarlet Blue said...

I tend to say eh? instead of what?... it adds a new dimension to the dialogue.


Indigo Roth said...

Hey Pearl! I refuse to make sense. It's protected under the seventeenth amendment. Indigo x

Eva Gallant said...

Unfortunately, I have lost hearing in one ear, so I say "what?" often!

Lin said...

It's not just men...it's teens too. They blend one word into an entire sentence. I swear they talk like they text. I spend my days asking "What??!" too. sigh.

And then they say it is me who has the problem.

Tempo said...

Of course I cant speak for T or any other male but I know from my experience that when one isn't allowed to speak one quickly looses the ability to properly articulate..

NellieVaughn said...

It was so much fun guessing at what he was saying. The men that speak clearly are usually serial killers or mass murderers.

The Elephant's Child said...

Oh yes. Me: 'I found a new plant I just have to have for the garden' Him: 'Emma Chissitt.' Me: 'It is a peony rose actually' Him (getting riled) 'But EMMA CHISSITT'.

River said...

Marmzert and Mungree is male speak?
Who knew? My whole family talks like that. Except my speed-talking daughter who enunciates very well, but at a thousand words a minute so no one can understand her anyway. We say "what?" and she replies, "you need to listen faster".

the walking man said...


Pat said...

I seem to have developed selective deafness - along with all my other disabilities.