Thursday, November 27, 2008

Scenes From a Transatlantic Relationship #2

SCENE: At Paul's Grandmother's house with his family and wee brother, James, who is celebrating his 7th birthday.

Paul's Uncle: "So, James, did you get the dumps at school today?"

Me, astonished at the question, look at Paul, who is ignoring my bewildered look of plea for some understanding.

Paul: "I remember getting the dumps at school on my birthday!"

Finding it hard to remain composed, the couch begins shaking from my contained mirth.

Paul, turning to look at the source of the shaking, starts laughing, "No, you numpty. It isn't what you think it is!"

I start cackling and his family look at me.

Paul explains: "Jennifer thinks you mean something else. Something nasty."

They all start laughing along.

Paul and his family try to explain - the dumps, apparently called the "bumps" in England, is a ritual wherein kids at school punch you on your back or butt when it's your birthday, and not the side effects of eating too many dried prunes.


Loth said...

I bet you could write a book about the language differences. I remember choking on something when in Florida the first time I heard someone refer to their "fanny". We don't talk about our fannies in Scotland!

David T. Macknet said...

Dang! Yeah - there are so many things. Glad you laughed, though.

I had to explain to a professor the other day: in the U.S., "TNA" doesn't mean "The National Archives." Hah!

Eric Clark said...

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