Wednesday, October 28, 2009

You Say "To-mah-to" and I Say "To-may-to"

Last night, much like every night this past month, it rained. Drizzled, really. Enough that I put a coat on the pooch before I took her for her last walk before bedtime.

Though my husband might disagree, I assure you I am not one of those crazy women who dress up their dogs. I put a raincoat on the canine for two reasons: 1) She hates the rain; and (more important) 2) I hate the way she smells when she's wet. We both win when she wears a coat.

As we turned into the last leg of our walk, a neighbor we often see came toward us. No matter the season, this particular neighbor always remarks that the pooch wears a built-in mask (referring to her brown head)—"She's ready for Halloween!" he exclaims. With Halloween rapidly approaching, I took a deep breath in preparation for the banter I knew was about to start.

Except it didn't. Instead, the man chided me for not putting the pooch in boots. "She needs some galoshes," he said.

Only he pronounced galoshes "ghoul-oshes"—emphasis on the first syllable. I smiled at his joke and before I could respond, he pressed: "You know, she could get sick if she doesn't wear any ghoul-oshes."

Hmmm. It wasn't cleverness I was hearing after all. Merely a mispronunciation enveloped in concern. I assured him that once snow hit us, I'd have the pooch in boots.

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