Okay, so nothing much happened on day 2 until the evening. We went out to a place called ‘J’s’. After driving through the traffic into Westbrook, we pulled into a parking lot next to a huge, glamorous looking floating restaurant at the edge of the bay. I looked in awe as we walked up to it.
Then straight past it.
..Then into the shack just behind it.
It was one of those places where you ask for a table for six, and they haven’t ever had that many people sat around a table so they tell you then can only do four at a time. You have to actually point out that two fours would- almost definitely- be more than six, before they’ll listen.
Then we ordered the food – and, all joking aside, it was amazing. And, naturally, we started to have the conversation about why I don’t sound like everyone else. We’re usually on the third ‘English’ question before they stop, frown, look quizzical and then say ‘but why Eau Claire?’. I explain the story – which is that my beautiful wife knew someone who had never met his Father. Ultimately, he traced him back to Chippewa County and showed Liz the pictures he had been sent. She fell in love with it, so when we came to look at places in the US – that was the first area we looked at.
..So when I next see you – don’t ask. Just don’t. Or at least wait until the fifth or sixth question..
The natural progression of this conversation was then talking about the way I can’t pronounce words correctly. Or to put it a different way – I can’t speak like an American. Or to put it the way we would in England – I speak properly. Using real words and everything… If you ever hear me say ‘yo, wussup’, just kill me.
So we went through ‘tomato’, ‘aluminium’, ‘colour’ (talking about spelling just to spice up the conversation a little), and obviously the definition of ‘football’. Then one of the guys I’m talking to is pleased about something witty I said (I’m also pleased, although not entirely surprised – I’m hilarious. Just ask my Mum (sorry – Mom).)
(Separate note – Word™ has now underlined half of what I’ve written in red, because apparently inventing the fricking language doesn’t matter if Microsoft have subsequently bought a majority of the shares in it.)
Anyway – so I say something witty and the guy I’m talking to, puts his hand in the air – palm towards me. I raise my hand and go to slap his, but he kind of moves his hand backward as I slap so the net effect is that I’m pushing his hand backward with my own. Basically, it looks like we’re about to start dancing. But that’s not the point.
He then realizes we didn’t connect and puts his hand in the air again, then – and this is my point – says ‘Do you have these in England?’
I, naturally, reply ‘What? Hands?’ – He isn’t quite as impressed as he was with my earlier wittiness and says ‘No – we call this “High Five” and do it when something good has happened.’
Now – for those of you that don’t know/care – we DO have hands in England. We have also heard of slapping. Our ‘moving picture’ devices have seen those ‘Happy’ days you used to enjoy so much. And, for that matter, we are aware that you have a bar in Boston where everybody knows your name (which doesn’t sound inviting, it sounds creepy. Is this an early example of identity theft?)
..So please don’t act like I just jumped off the London bus from merry old English-town.
But I didn’t tell him that. I just said that in England we did it differently. We call it a ‘face-five’. It still involved my hand, but he didn’t need his hand – just his face. And then I sat and desperately hoped he’d ask to see how it worked…
Much respec’ to the Eau Claire massive. This is Switzer signing off – Peace. Out.