My mother has a singular way with words. An overeducated Appalachian, she tries to say intelligent things but just ends up butchering them. Once she told me that my brother was a narcissus (she meant to say he was narcissistic). If I have a headache, she’ll tell me to take an aceta-mina-minophen (I don’t know why she doesn’t just say tylenol). Having taken a Medical Billing and Coding class, she sat an oral exam, only to have the professor start laughing at her pronunciation.
My mother is a hoot.
She has a tendency toward mishearing lyrics that is simultaneously frustrating and hilarious; it has, on occasion, gotten us into trouble. Once, while driving to the airport, my mother and brother got into an argument about the lyrics of a Metallica song (Fuel). She insisted that the line was “Gimme fuel, gimme fire, gimme double geneocide!” My brother corrected her that it was “Gimme fuel, gimme fire, gimme that which you desire.” As they bickered back and forth, I noticed that the planes overhead seemed to be getting smaller. My concerns that we’d passed the airport were confirmed when we found ourselves in Indiana.
The song: Down in it; Nine Inch Nails
The actual lyric: I was up above it
My mother heard: I was up a butt itch
The most frustrating part is that my mother is so adamant about her version of the song. If you correct her, she’ll just sing the wrong lyrics even louder. Arguing is futile.
The song: Down With the Sickness; Disturbed
The actual lyric: Get up, come on get down with the sickness
My mother heard: Get up and monkey down with the sickness
My mother claims that she’s overeducated for her intelligence. Indeed, it’s hard to take her seriously when she talks about warshing the winders or taking the whirlbarrow down to the crick.
The song: Stairway to Heaven; Led Zeppelin
The actual lyrics: And as we wind on down the road
My mother heard: And there’s a wino down the road
I love my mother. She makes me laugh, even when she doesn’t mean to.