Is this remnant of American culture doomed, y’all?
Tyrades! by Danny Tyree
“Where’s your Bayer?”
I vividly remember that question from my high school job working in a convenience market in my Tennessee hometown.
A buxom young lady from out-of-town posed the query and I helpfully directed her to the section of the store showcasing our aspirin, bandages, Merthiolate, etc.
She sauntered to the shelves I suggested. Alas, she searched in vain. I clarified the directions. The “last year’s Easter Egg” aura increased.
I finally asked, “WHAT was it you said you were looking for?”
“Your Bayer. You know, like Pabst and Miller.”
This incident comes to mind because “The Daily Mail” reports that researchers at the University of Georgia and Georgia Tech say the distinctive southern drawl is on its way out. Members of Generation X have less of an accent than their Baby Boomer parents, and the folksy diphthongs become less apparent with each succeeding generation.
Two main factors drive the transition: (a) the Yankee and West Coast dominance of mass media and (b) the mass migration into the South that followed World War II. Formerly isolated southern schoolchildren supposedly tried to assimilate with their newly transplanted classmates.
(At least in my experience, the assimilation may have been a ploy to lull the newcomers into a false sense of security, as in “Let me hold your head in the toilet and you tell me if it reminds you of clam chowdah” or “Forget the cafeteria; if youse guys give me five bucks, I’ll bring you a gourmet possum casserole tomorrow.”)
Copyright 2023 Danny Tyree, All Rights Reserved. Credit: Cagle.com