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Ride In Me

No more Hostel Horror Stories. We moved into a house last Wednesday, we've rented a room each. Our days consist of job hunting, wandering around town and just taking it all in. For the most part I've got my head around these accents. One of the housemates took us out on the town Saturday night, and the more she drank the more incomprehensible her Glasgow accent became. Before long every time she spoke I'd shoot Rhi a bewildered look. She'd shrug back so we'd say, "Ah ha ha ha!" and prayed she was saying something funny. There's a little supermarket just down the road that has one of those kiddie rides next to the checkouts. You know the kind. There's a plastic spaceship or dinosaur, you stick in 20p in the slot, plop a toddler in, and it lurches back and forth for a few minutes. The kid proceeds to scream in delight and/or terror for the duration. This particular vehicle is a little red car. And it talks. Every two minutes or so a little recorded voice goes, "Have a ride in me!" It is an obnoxious voice. It's the voice of a little bastard English schoolboy with knee socks and a freckled nose, the kind who'd kick you in the shins and steal your lunch money in the playground. "'Ave a ride in me!", it goes. Over and over. It fills me with an irrational rage. I was queuing up with my overpriced vegies the other day when it bleated again, "'Ave a ride in me!" "How bout a bloody sledgehammer in you?" I hissed. "Heh heh," said the checkout lady from her perch. "Doesn't it drive you insane?" I asked her. "Ooh yes it does," she said. "Just the other day I was saying to it, ooh you fucking piece of shite, I'll kill you, but then the boss came over and says to me, what did you just say and I said I said nothing boss and he said well that's not what I heard and then…" At this point her speech sped up, the accent thickened and I lost her completely. After awhile she stopped talking and grinned up at me. "Ah ha ha ha!" I said weakly. "Erm. That'll be threeeee fifty," she repeated slowly. "Oh. Sorry!" "'Ave a ride in me!" said the car.

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About Shauna Reid

Ahoy there! I’m an author, copywriter and old school blogger. I love telling stories about life and helping my clients to tell theirs. Find out more about me and how we can work together.


29 thoughts on “Ride In Me

  1. ROTFL! Eventually you’ll get to understand people when they’re talking fast, too.

    I have a CD I picked up at a funny little music store that consists of recordings of ice-cream truck music and kiddie rides… I bet your kiddie ride would fit in just great if you recorded it. (Don’t ask me why I bought the CD, I’m really not sure.)

  2. Ah, accents.

    Here in relatively unexotic Melbourne it took me an age to comprehend my Sri Lankan yoga instructor’s accent.

    Now I think he has beautiful English and get increasingly irritated with new class members who can’t understand what he is saying …

  3. I believe I conducted conversations with my Glaswegian friend Paul, entirely in “is that right?” and “yeah!” for at least two months before being able to figure out exactly what he was saying.

  4. I’ve always been pretty good at understanding (and picking up) accents. At school, watching any educational video featuring someone with a strong accent, I would find myself translating for those around me.

  5. ‘Ave a ride in me!

    hehehe….nice line….I’ll remember that one!

    One of my friends is pure Dubliner…combine that accent with the fact I’m half deaf with a non-existent attention span, and our conversations get rather bewildering!

    Very funny Shauny. Good to see you’re not living in a park somewhere too!

  6. I could make a really inappropriate comment about how that kid could stand a few one-on-one sessions with a priest, who might interpret that bleating in a whole new way, but I will refrain. Especially since the voice in question belongs to a car rather than an obnoxious child. Dear God, I’m pure evil.

  7. i used to work for a commercial food equiment company and every second call i took came from someone with an accent. most times i had no idea what they were talking about but somehow i would manage to get ‘oven’ and ‘not working’ out of it. i got so good at guessing what they wanted becasue i only listened out for words i expected them to say… always got it right too! 🙂

  8. i loves it, shaunygal!

    while we were holidaying in the states, no one could understand what t-bone and i were saying. and when we *thought* they did, we did get a lot of “ahaha’s”

    now you’ve gots me to thinking …

  9. I worked with a German girl once who had to watch Rab Nesbit (is that right – so long ago) with sub-titles.

    I came across a kiddie ride on holiday somewhere that had a speech impediment. It was supposed to be a Night Rider car, and kept bleating ‘Right Rider Ranted’.

  10. Visiting a friend in a town just outside of Glasgow the power suddenly went out and from the darkness I heard “Holon, algit the caunels”

    A minute or two later when a candle flared to life I realised that he hadn’t in fact been telling me he was about to beat me to death in the darkness.

  11. Michael – Close – it’s Rab C. Nesbitt.

    Shauny – once you’ve got your head round the accent, be sure to watch some Chewin’ the Fat! Take a drink!

  12. I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one. My boyfriend has some family from Scotland and for the life of me I never understand a word they say. I used to think that it must be that english is not my first language. But then again, it must have something to do with it since I had to turn on the subtitles to Billy Elliot, too.

    Your writing is hilarious. Keep them coming!

  13. Eh-hehehe! Very funny. Very well told 🙂

    Yes, I hate those fucking little rides, too.

    Have you tried Sainsbury’s, yet? (Do they even have them in Scotland?) In ours, there are these attachments that can go on the front of trolleys. They’re these orange, plastic cars for the kiddies to ride in, supposedly driving the trolleys round the store. My mother hates them. I like them, though, ’cause they’ll keep the kiddies occupied for much of the shopping trip, and they don’t have those hideous, Dalekesque voices bleating and pleading for kiddies to ride in them.

    As for accents, I don’t have much of a problem. I’m often thrown by accents I’m not expecting, and don’t always manage to retune my brain accordingly, but I don’t have to do that ‘ah hahaha’ thing. Because I have a naturally charming English accent, I just say, after a brief pause, and as politely as Hugh Grant might in one of his standard films, ‘I’m terribly sorry, I completely failed to understand what you were saying.’

    And they’re 20p a go, now? I remember when they were just 10p.

  14. Those things are $2 a pop over here. Usually I just let Sam clamber all over them without paying, but the other day I caved in. Big mistake, now she asks for money in it every time.

    You’ll come back so used to the accent you won’t be able to understand *us*.

  15. It is so strange that repeated horrible sounds are used as torture in some countries and torture is prohibited by the Geneva conventions and yet so many people must be subjected to the same sentence (or horrible muzak) over and over and over in their workplace.

    In this one airport there is a recording at the end of the ‘people-mover’ thing (we Americans don’t walk when we can ride, man). It says ‘please watch your step and some other crap…’ over and over. The people who work in the store next to it have to hear it all day long.

    How can that not be illegal?

  16. Yes, we have Sainsbury’s in Scotland. There’s one in the centre of Edinburgh, on Rose Street, and a couple of big out-of-town ones too.

  17. Shauny!!!!! If there’s a Sainsbury’s near there, then do yourself the biggest favor you will ever do yourself (heh) and go buy a box or twenty of Sainsbury’s brand Strawberry and Banana Crunch. It’s the one that claims to have a “taste explosion” and there are white chocolate curls in with strawberries and bananas and oatmeal clusters *drool*. I’m about to cry just at the memory of how delicious and nutritious and awesomely cheap and terrific this stuff is. I lived on it in London, you may recall. Mmmmmmm, taste explosion.

  18. Although I’m from northern England, I used to have to watch Rab C Nesbitt using the subtitles for the deaf, too; strong Glaswegian is one of the hardest “English” (ha ha!) accents I know. Edinburgh, on the other hand, is much easier.

  19. This reminds me of those annoying automated dolls that sit in the doorways of shops and restaurants in Japan that say “Irashaimase”. I wish I had a sledgehammer myself on a couple of occasions…

  20. Shauu-neeee? Come back and blog, dearest. I get worried when you’re so quiet.

    You’re probably having too good a time to remember *sniff* the ones you left behind. *sob*

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