Sunday, August 24, 2008

This Proves I didn't MisRemember It At All.

There was a discussion somewhere recently about what is your generic term for the drink category that includes Coke, Pepsi and, God-forbid, YooHoo.

Lots of folks said Soda; some said Pop. I remembered that as a child I'd always ask for a Coke.

If Mom took me with her on a downtown shopping trip, we'd have lunch at the Walgreen's lunch counter. This was considered a huge treat. Let's take a trip in the WayBack Machine.

Me, my mother and her mother have just sat down at the lunch counter. I'm 7 years old and sitting between the two of them. Grandma reaches over and buttons the top button of my shirt. Mom reaches over and unbuttons it. This battle goes on silently for a couple of minutes until Mom switches seats with me, putting me out of Grandma's reach.

Mom: What do you want to drink Nathan?

Me: A Coke!

Mom: What kind?

Me: Grape Nehi!

This seems like a completely retarded way to refer to things, so much so that I was becoming convinced that I couldn't have remembered it right. Or if I was remembering it right, this use of the word "Coke" to include all soft drinks must have been an idiosyncracy unique to my clan.

Strange Maps has confirmed my memory as correct. Those of us from the south use the word Coke like the rest of you use Kleenex, Xerox and Jell-O to represent the entire category of products. This doesn't make it any less retarded, but it does vindicate my memory.

It's Sunday. That's about as deep as we're gonna get right now.

What regionalism did you grow up with that seems stupid in hindsight?


Shawn Powers said...

Hehe -- you're remembering the Coke thing correctly. My friend moved from Michigan to South Carolina, and actually called me (before cellphones were all the rage, so it was like a $5.00 payphone call) to tell me of his McDonald's experience regarding ordering a Coke.

Counter Person: Wut choo wawnt to drink with thayat?

Pete: Coke please.

Counter Person: Wut kind, honey?

Pete: Um, with ice?

Counter Person: No sweety, what kinda Coke?

Pete: Classic?

Counter Person: Look young man, that might be funny where you're from, but down here it's not polite.

Pete: LOOK, I want a #$%^#$ Coca Cola. See that button on your $#%(* fountain machine labeled "Coke" -- that's what I want, which is exactly what I asked for. If I wanted coffee, I would have said coffee. If I wanted a glass of pickle juice, I'd have asked for pickle juice, but I asked for a #$*(#& COKE.

I'm pretty sure at that point, the guy in the back probably spit in his burger...

John the Scientist said...

"Like shit through a tin horn".

OK, if you're constipated it will roll right through, I'll grant you that. If you've got the crud I picked up in Thailand, it will flow through, but if you're normal, it will sort of hit the sides and stick, absent a spray of water.

Hot as a 2 dollar pistol, on the other hand, is right on. Cheap is not a positive attribute in firearms.

That concludes your Sunday morning dose of grossness. :D

Anonymous said...

For the soda vs pop discussion, I moved around a lot as kid, & always called it (& still do) soda, until we moved to Michigan (shout out to Shawn!), where they strangely called all soda pop. It seems a midwest thing.
Here in the southeastern PA area, the people who grew up in Philly & moved out here to the suburbs say something that makes me so crazy, it's like nails on a chalk board. They'll say something is mine, but they say it like my-in. So I say so it's urine then? Get it, your-in? They don't appreciate it. Thank God I don't do it since I didn't grow up here.
Something else we do here, it's stupid to others, but I actually like it: we 'go down the shore'. That means we're going to the beach somewhere in NJ, or sometimes to DE or MD. No one ever says they're going to the beach, & not going 'to' the shore, it's just going down the shore. Then the question will be 'which shore'? Not which town. Don't know how it started, but it's a silly thing that I actually like.

Janiece said...

Over the years, I've called it:

- Coke
- Pop
- Sodey
- Soda

The hazards of moving around and being immersed in different cultures.

Here's one from the "cultural melting pot" that is the military:

In Colorado, we say, "you guys."
In the south, they say, "y'all."
In Pennsylvania, they say "you'uns"

And I'm sure there's more...

Anonymous said...

janiece, oh God, I forgot about you'uns. Another Phillyism that bugs me. I say you guys all the time, even to women, just habit. When living in WV & VA as a kid, said y'all, & for years after. When we were in WV, my Grandmother(From Philly), came to visit after we'd been there only a short time, & was appalled that we were talking like 'hicks'. hehehe

John the Scientist said...

Michelle, it's usually yinz guys. And you forgot slippy.

Ahm going dahntahn ta watch the Stillers. Yinz guys wanna come? We outta stop by the Giant Iggle first, to pick up some pop. It's raining, so the roads might be a bit slippy, though.

I actually like the "yinzer" accent now that I know where it came from. A linguistics prof once explained it as what you get when you cross Scotts-Irish and Polish accents.

Random Michelle K said...

John, I don't dislike the accent, in fact I tend to enjoy regional accents. I just despise "yins"

It makes no grammatical sense and sounds stupid to boot.

Eric said...

Nathan, I don't need to start a feature called "Ask A North Carolinian," do I? If you'd only asked me what Southerners call a Coke... well damn, this sentence went all meta without me meaning for it to. Sorry.

Nathan said...

I haven't lived in the South since I left in 1978. I know I've lost all accent, but Y'all is a perfectly good contraction, much better than any of the alternatives and I still use it all the time. All-a-y'all is also completely acceptable if you want to be clear about how inclusive you're being.

Shawn, that's hysterical.

Anonymous said...

Soda up in NE.

And water fountains are bubblers.

And you guys are wicked funny.

Anonymous said...

Err, that should be Northeast, not NE as in Nebraska.

Nathan said...

I figured Northeast from the context, and laughed my ass off at the "wicked" reference.

And yeah, some pretty funny folks here, ain't they?

Eric said...

Thanks to Bruce Springsteen, Nebraska will always be inextricably linked in my mind to spree killers and their homicidal girlfriends. Sorry, just thinking aloud.

Jim Wright said...

I called it Pop, growing up in Michigan.

But I've lived all over and like Janiece I've heard or used variously:

Pop - in the northern midwest
Soda - in Florida and the Military
Coke - in the south
Fizz or Soft Drink or Coke - in Europe
Beer - Australia, which is just plain fucking wrong. on the other hand they make excellent Ale and Bitter, excellent - and not that Foster's shit either, which is a joke they played on the rest of the world.

And Yins? Yeah, WTF is that? Sounds like an intestinal disorder - I.e. I ate some bad stinky tofu, and now I've got a case of the yins...

clindsay said...

Yeah, when I was a kid, everything was "a coke". I didn't grasp that there was a brand-name Coca Cola until I was about thirteen.

Anonymous said...

When I last lived down South (North Carolina), we always called it soda, rather than Coke. When my folks moved us to Iowa, I had a very confusing summer trying to get myself some carbonated sugar water when these dang yankees didn't know what a soda was. :p