You Want Thighs With That?

Back in 2010, I went to Memphis for a couple of months. My son had just been diagnosed with cancer and my mom was dying. I went to help take care of them both and keep my grandbabies for the summer. One day while visiting mom…..

.

“Honey could you go get me some chicken livers? I have had a craving for them for the last three days.” mom said while drinking her coffee.

” Do I have to cook them or is there a special restaurant you buy them at?” I asked with reluctance in my voice. I hated using her stove.

“Down at the market is where I usually buy them. Back in the deli.” she says.

Cool, I didn’t have to monkey around with that stove from the 1800’s. I hated cooking on her stove and frying liver was the worst. I love to eat them I just hate to cook them. As I was heading to the deli, she adds to her order.

“Could you get some toilet paper, soap, milk and have them add some taters on that liver order.”

“Sure mom.” I call out as I race to the door. I knew my mom. If I hung around I would have a list a mile long and be going all over Memphis picking up this and that. Things not really needed but she felt compelled to get.

With grands in tow I headed to the deli. I get to the counter and a 20 something, beautiful blonde, blue eyed, gorgeous smile, little girl asked me,”May I help you?” with that familiar southern drawl I grew up with.

I asked if they had chicken livers today. She pointed at the food in the hot deli case between us and says

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“Why, yea-us we do.” and points to the livers in the corner. The case was full of southern fried goodies from fish to twinkies. She informed me that I could get chicken livers and two thighs for $3.99. I said okay thinking that I might have one for lunch. After second thought, I changed my mind and ask to change my order back to just livers and to skip the thighs. She looked at me with a confused faced and asked, “Where did you get thighs from?”

“From you.” I said. Now she is extremely perplexed and at a loss for words. I repeated her words back to her verbatim. “You can get chicken livers and two thighs for $3.99?” She started to laugh so hard she almost dropped the prongs.

Then she says, “No, s-i-d-e-s.” which she spelled slowly, “sides” she repeated in her southern drawl. Of course, that made sense. I mean that is a huge meal for $3.99.

“That will be fine.” I say looking around sheepishly to see who, if any one, was watching this interaction. Lucky for me only about a dozen people were in hearing range. I quickly move down to the veggies. As I was peering in to the food case for the “SIDES”, I found the potatoes and something else that caught my eye. It was a strange type of pea brownish red in color with snap beans surrounded by little tom tom tomatoes. I looked up to her cheerful face and asked her, “What is that?”

“That is what I was talking about the sssiiidddeeesss.” she said with a long and drawn out pronunciation of the word, as if I were deaf or from a foreign planet.

I said, “No what is it?”

Again she says, ” A SIDE” this time with a much sharper tone in her voice.

At this point, I am laughing so hard I can’t talk. I finally get out the words, “What kind of vegetable is it?”

“Oh that is just peas, honey.” she says.

As I drove back to mom’s, I came to the conclusion that even though I have one of the thickest southern accents in the little village I call home, I apparently have lost my ability to decipher the southern dialect. O mama.

Rest in peace mama. Your laughter was the greatest gift you ever gave me.  February 18, 1936 – September 7, 2010

Until next time,

Birdie

I have taken on another job.  I will be posting but  it will only be on Mondays until I can rearrange my life’s schedule again. I will for sure be reading your post.  You guys are one of the few things that brightens my days.  You may only see a -like– icon but know that I am either laughing, crying or saying hmmmm while reading you.  Wish me luck on this adventure.   I can never turn down an opportunity even if it is down a long and unknown road.

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48 thoughts on “You Want Thighs With That?

  1. Ah, a wonderful story. Reminds me of the time I ordered a steak and cheese in West Virginia. I said, “No mayo please” and the woman at the counter asked me it I wanted Oral with that. It took awhile for Oral to be translated as “oil.” All the best to you in your new job.

  2. Hi,
    A great story and a wonderful memory of your Mum.
    I had to laugh about the accents and how you both misunderstood. 🙂

    Sounds like a new adventure on the horizon, a new beginning for a brand New Year, all the best, and I hope it all works just they you want. I will be looking forward to Mondays. 🙂

    • Yep, my mom and I were not close but she did love my stories. This story had her laughing so hard she dropped her cigarette in her coffee and that started a whole other laughing frenzy. Like I said we were not close but I miss her, especially when I have a funny to tell.

  3. Great to keep your mom in your heart and your humor — I thoroughly enjoyed your difficulty with accents, too. As a Connecticut Yankee here in Virginia, I do occasionally have to say “huh?”. Good luck with the new venture.

  4. I lived in Virginia Beach for 6 years. I loved it. My accent was strong there too but everyone understood what I was saying. Here they understand me but they often feel the need to mimic certain words I say. 😉 I call that cowboy humor. Well I call it something else but I am not going to put it in print.

  5. I’m sorry for the loss of your mother. It’s a hard thing to lose the imprint of your life, even when some of it is good, some bad.
    I guess you’d been away too long and as you said, and couldn’t speak the language. This happens to me when I go back to Oklahoma. Of course, I’m offended when folks here ask about my accent. I tell them I don’t have one.
    The very best wishes for your job. We’ll be waiting to hear all about it.

    • You are right a loss of a parent is so hard even if you are not close. Oklahoma? Girl you are almost in my back yard well….front yard and over to the side. Anyway, I go through there on my way home.. Stella loves it there. At one point she wanted to move there and never look back.

  6. Ah, yes, accents! Travelling in France last Spring (doesn’t that sound hoity toity), we stopped at a cafe. I attempted to order a glass of Dubonnet, which is an appertif that is supposedly from France. The waiter brought me a glass of Baileys instead. (An irish cream liqeur……not that there’s anything wrong with that…I quite love to slurp it too!). He thought I’d said du Bailey’s, not Dubonnet. Hey, when in France, do like the French. Or just drink what they bring ya!

    I always love to hear your southern stories. I have been a bit busy lately too, and the like button has had to stand in for comments I wish I had time to make.

    Good luck with your new job. I’ll be looking forward to Mondays…….(what!!??)

    • that is so funny. I do the same “like” thingy. I get all new post via the phone. It is so hard for this old gal to comment on the fly with keys so tiny that my fat little digits run a muck. I need to be sitting down in front of my computer with coffee, or cocktail and music. That makes a perfect night or morning for me. Oh and Mr. Moody cooking and Stella laughing. Well you get the picture.

  7. Sorry about your mom. There are no words to describe a loss. I wish and pray that the pain will each is year, each day. In a way you honor her memory today by sharing a story that made us smile when you heard “thighs” when it said as “sides.” Humor helps us survive difficult times. Sorry to hear about your son too. I hope he’s doing okay now. Whenever I have a sick family, it feels like my world goes upside down and prayers, family, friends with their support, lots of laughter helps in so many ways. Wishing you and your family love, joy, peace and good health.

    • She was a tough old gal. Most of the time she was hard to deal with but she always loved a good story. She had been ready to died for a long time. In a way, it was a happy occasion. She was ready and her days of suffering were over. It was still sad.

  8. You never really lose it. Your Southern accent or your ability to decipher Southernese, that is. You were just out of practice (and under a boatload of circumstantial stress). It all comes back if you immerse yourself for long. Heck, a short phone call home leaves me sounding like I belong on Hee Haw. Laud, how I miss those sweet, sweet diphthongs…

    I’m happy for your new job and opportunity, but sad for the time constraints on your writing. It’s good stuff, LiaBoK. I always enjoy visiting with you here. Just do what you can when you can. We’re not going anywhere.

  9. I only plan to make enough extra money to cover next summer’s activities and this winter’s vacation with the girls. We are going to Santa Fe. The one good thing about living out here in the woods is you don’t want for much. We have a very nice home, two dependable cars, plenty of food and each other. The older I get the more I realize you don’t need more than that. And if you do, you pick up a computer job for a couple of months and it is covered. Well most of the time.

  10. What a great story… I haven’t stopped laughing too.. Yes, I want thighs with that. 😆
    I haven’t forgotten you as I’m still catching up on blog posts I missed when I was sick… 🙂

  11. You are such a fantastic writer–you make me laugh and tear up in the same post, not any easy feat! I loved this story, every bit of it. I am deeply sorry about your mom. She sounds like quite the character.
    I wish you loads of luck with your new job and I hope you’ll keep posting, if only once a week. I look forward to your posts!

  12. My mom was something else. She lived life on her own terms. Most of the time we butted heads but the one thing that brought us together was a good funny. And if I were the subject of that funny it was all the better. She loved it when the joke was on me. I just loved to hear her laugh.

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