I shoulda knowed there’d be problems talkin’ to a Englishman. First off, we was strangers. Not total of course… we was related somewheres on my ma’s side. Ma’s last wish was to go gallivantin’ to her birthplace. Strange how dyin’ folk always get a hankerin’ to get back where they started. Anyways… I got stuck takin’ her ‘cuz I was the smartest and most culturized in the family. Fer once, I shoulda’ played dumb.
I gotta admit, England weren’t that bad a place to see. They got things the likes o’ which I never seen. Like the clock named Ben. Londoners are really proud of how big that clock is. ‘Course, I was less than impressed with Piccadilly Circus. Don’t go there if you’re a circus fan… it ain’t one.
Let me pull muh wagon to a stop…I done got off track o’ what I was wantin’ to tell about… talkin’ to Percy. First off, he don’t talk good English, least not like me, anyhow. We managed, though.
“Slap it here, Percy.” I says, tryin’ to be social-like.
He looks me right in the eye an’ says “Beg PAW-DIN.”
Closest I could figger was he was a tellin’ me if I wanted dinner I’d hafta beg his pa for it. I ain’t no begger... ‘sides, I twern’t even hungry cuz I’d just chowed down on the plane.
So I says “No thanks. Yer Pa kin have it.”
Ma gasped an’ retched fer Percy’s shoulder. “He doesn’t understand.” she says… but she ain’t lookin’ at me. She’s lookin’ at Percy. I pops muh forehead with muh hand. I shoulda’ knowed. Percy must be one a them po’ folks that ain’t home in the brain too often. At least now I knew how to treat the poor guy.
I crept right up to his face an’, real slow, an’ real loud, I says “H-o-w-d-y, P-e-r-c-y. U-n-d-e-r-s-t-a-n-d?”
“Sir, peerHOPS our communication begawn amiss. Shall we re-articulate?” Percy says… or somethin’ like that.… an’ he said it with a straight face.
Now I’m frum America so sometimes we get people who don’t tawk good English. I once met a man frum New York that tawked somethin’ other than American… couldn’t even say “New York”. He called it “N’Yawk”. But Percy was a talkin’ some language I ain’t never hear’d afor. So I figgered I’d hafta take control of the sitchiation.
“Percy,” I says, still keepin’ it slow fer his poor brain. “We be kin. If’n you don’t mind, I’m a gonna jist learn ta like ya jist the way ya are.”
I couldn’ hep swellin’ with pride at how Christian I was a bein’ but Percy jist looked at Ma with a ‘Huh?’ kinda look an’ Ma looked at me with a ‘Let it be’ look. It didn’ make no sense to me atall. Then Percy pulls a stunt that just knocks me over the alligator pit. He pulls his self up nice an’ tall, looks me eyeball ta eyeball, an’ rips muh coat right offin’ muh back.
“Now see here, Percy,” I holler, rippin’ the coat right back tuh muyself. “Kin or no, leave yer English hands off muh cougar skin!”
I musta raised muh voice a tad, cuz anuther fancy English guy come boundin’ out of a big, swanky room to hep out.
“Is there a problem here, Percy?” the fancy guy asks.
“No Master Charles, Sir. Your cousin from the Colonies has arrived…” Percy shrugged his shoulders. “… but he doesn’t seem to understand that I am just your butler.”
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