Updated: Dec 29, 2022
Have you noticed that people who work in service industries are speaking with an uncommon amount of Newfoundland colloquialisms lately?
I went through a drive thru two days ago and drove up to the speaker/ menu board. A gentleman with a foreign accent came over the staticky speaker, welcomed me and asked for my order.
I ordered my, “Medium with two cream and two sweeteners please.” He came back with “Would you like a donut or muffin with that my love?”
I answered, “No thank you.” To which he responded with “Drive ahead (static and feedback from the speaker) my cock.”
Wait! What! What did I just hear? I gave the speaker/ menu board a startled look. Followed by, “What did you just say?”
His smiling voice came back over the speaker. “Drive ahead on me old cock.”
He didn’t just say that to me? I thought to myself. I pulled ahead to the window ready to take a piece out of this guy.
He smiled through the small window opening, which I determined was too small to pull him through, holding the debit machine.
“What did you say to me when I was at the speaker?” I figured I give him a chance to explain.
In a thick accent he answered, “I asked if you wanted a donut or muffin?” He stared blankly at me.
“No, after that?”
He thought for a second, “Oh,” he pipped up and smiled, “Drive ahead me old cock.”
Then I realized what was going on. Someone was having fun with Newfoundland sayings at this guys expense. I quickly explained that he shouldn’t say that again to customers because although it’s an excepted Newfoundland colloquialism, it could cause him some problems. (Not to mention a sexual harassment complaint.)
The weird thing is, this is not the first time I’ve encountered this. At the beginning of the summer I was at another drive thru, (Yes, I know I drink a lot of coffee), and ran into a similar thing. I ordered my usual coffee and the teenaged girl taking my order responded with, “Yes me ducky. Would you like anything else me love?”
As a born and bred Newfoundlander, I wouldn’t take notice of a response like that normally. I mean, it’s not like she said, ‘some arse on dat!’
Oh, me nerves!
Now, Cindy at the Tim’s on Military Road will call me, my ducky, my sweetie, my love and even once my dolly ducer. Whatever the hell that is. I am perfectly fine with it. Thirty seconds at the drive thru with Cindy and I feel obligated to put her on my Christmas card list, or even in my Will. Sometimes I don’t even want coffee, I drive thru when I know Cindy is working because I need a self esteem boost.
The difference is, Cindy has a thick Newfoundland accent, the teenager girl who served me was definitely a townie. Saying, ‘me ducky’ and ‘me love’ sounded as strange as my teenaged daughter asking for a loan of my Spanx. It just doesn’t fit.
Then I went through a hamburger drive thru and the young man who took my order also greeted me with ‘yes me ducky,’ and ‘pull ahead me love’ followed by ‘what are ya at?’ when I got to the window.
It sounded just as strange as it did coming from the guy who said, ‘yes me old cock.’
I notice more and more that whenever I am dealing with someone who works in service, they are using the old Newfoundland colloquialisms in a forced, creepy, tourism ad, type of way. Just like the TV Tourism ad that ends with “Call Rose for more information about visiting Newfoundland and Labrador” when we all know Rose is really some guy named Babar at a call center on the other side of the world.
All except for Cindy who sounds like she will hug you tight if you need it.
Now I am wondering, are we all bit actors in some type of weird Twilight Zone tourism ad?
Did someone go around on May 1st yelling, “The tourists are coming! The tourists are coming!”
Did I not get the memo?
Should I be wearing my rubber boots on the wrong feet and my sou’wester backwards?
Do we all go back to normal on October 1st when we think the mainlanders have gone home?
In the Fall, I will be making a point of going back to that drive through when I know my cocky friend is on and ordering my coffee. If he tells me to drive ahead with out asking for oral sex it will confirm that there’s a tourism conspiracy afoot!
It’s like someone went to see “Come From Away” on Broadway and came back with this great idea that “Everyone will play a roll!”
What makes the Newfoundland accent so enduring, is it is spoken with true sincerity and friendship. When Cindy says, ‘drive ahead me love,’ I know she doesn’t truly love me, but I know she really would hug me if I asked.
Now if I asked the young man at the hamburger drive thru to hug me, I am pretty sure I would be ‘the creepy cougar who tried to feel him up.’
See, big difference. The arse would come right out of ‘er.
So, the lard tunderin’ Jaysus b’y. Don’t be so crooked. Let’s drop the fake accents.
The next time you hear someone spoutin’ forced Newfoundland sayings out of their big gob, look them right in the kisser and say, ‘What’s that in your mouth, me old cock? You’re still just a Newfie in a Calgary hat.’
Let’s see how their big jib draws then!