Shooting the bull

Down here on The Beach, our daily routine over coffee covers much the same territory as it does everywhere else old toots congregate.
Just the accents are different.
“How y’all doin’ this mawnin’, J.D.,” I asked a native ’Baman (Alabama), lapsing into a drawl he could understand.
“Well, sir, let me tell y’all I’m outta bed, outta debt, and outta jail,” replied J.D. in an accent thicker’n cane molasses in January.
“Ah hear it’s cold up north, whoooeeee,” he continued, wrapping his tongue around words in a way that was marvelous.
“I recall as a kid in North Alabam we’d sometimes have ice on the water bucket in the mawnin’.
“Now that’s some cold.”
“Ours was frozen clear to the bottom,” I replied. He did not believe me.
“They never had a snow day when I was a kid. We just bundled up and walked,” Bill recalled of his youth in Kitchener, Ont., bemoaning the softness of today’s youth.
“Cold! It was so cold in St. Louis that we never had round tires. They were square all winter,” roared Marvin, drowning out the whole group.
“And all that dirty, black old coal we had to shovel into the furnace!” he added, then switched back to a dissertation on tires at full volume without missing a beat.
“An, we ’ad ta walk to school four mile, uphill boat direction,” cut in Guy with his Quebecois’ clip.
So you see, some things never change, no matter what the location. Just the accents.
But at a giant flea market, I did see something new—booth after booth featuring prams and strollers. Not strange until you realize you are in God’s Waiting Room (Florida) and women of child-bearing years were hardly in evidence at all.
It was a sea of grey dotted with the odd head of Clairol and Extra Strength Grecian Formula—that is, where there were heads with any hair at all!
The kids and grandkids had been replaced by puny little dogs smaller than decent-sized house cats. So small they wouldn’t make even a small snack for your local coyote.
And there they were pram after pram—safely zipped into their screened carriages and proudly pushed through the market by their proud “parents.”
I guess society does change.
For the better? You be the judge.

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