Accents, Sexy or Not?

Accents, Sexy or Not?

Now, I would not wish to offend any Americans, but I sincerely doubt there will be a huge number of everyday-average-not-famous-or-infamous people entering the history books, as it is the world over. For example, Billy-Harold Ratassenberger III’s sole achievement in life might have been managing a decent burnout in his Trans-Am whilst licking the remnants of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich from his ample moustache.  Whilst I would defy anyone to not see the merit and entertainment value in this overtly pointless but amusing feat, I doubt it would be urgently requiring inclusion on the teaching syllabus in schools across the United States, as such differentiating him from Billy-Harold Ratassenberger II would, in all likelihood, prove pretty much unnecessary. 


Anyway – I approached Billy-Harold proffering a couple of one dollar bills, not for any nefarious purpose you understand, but because I wanted some quarters for the vending machine in order to purchase some weird looking Skittles in a purple bag (we only had the red bags in the UK at the time and I was naturally curious as to the nature of these enticingly exotic confectionary treats).

I may not be the most cultured dude on the planet, but rest assured I was brought up to be polite and asked Billy-Harold if he could change the dollar bills into quarters for me. Imagine my bemusement as a look of confusion spread slowly across his face.  American readers will be able to read Billy-Harold’s lines in their own accent for the effect (but possibly not my English ones), but for everyone else, watch an episode of CSI: Miami or CSI: New York or CSI: Local Recycling Plant or whichever one is currently in production and pretend it is one of the characters speaking:

Billy-Harold: I’m sorry?

Me: Could I have some quarters for the vending machine, please?

Billy-Harold: I don’t understand, do you speak English?


Billy-Harold: Ooooh, I’m sorry. You want change?

Me: And a Kalashnikov, if there’s one handy…

Billy-Harold: Pardon?

Me: Yes, please.

So you can understand why I felt that the three week holiday was going to be a trial and error experience of attempting to make myself understood in an English speaking country whilst speaking English.

However, it thankfully appeared that our friendly – if slightly intellectually stunted – hotel receptionist was the exception, rather than the rule. It took me a couple of days before it finally dawned on me that I was receiving a rather-more-than-is-usual amount of attention from teenage American females – hey, I never said I was that bright either, but I was in Florida for one reason only, that is to go to Disney World and see Mickey Mouse, eat lots of food and just generally slob about.

It started off with shyly delivered questions about where I was from (of course, I later realised that they had immediately identified my country of origin and were delivering slightly clumsy and repetitive (but doubtless effective) opening conversational gambits.) Those naughty girls!

One babe – a particularly fine seventeen year old – asked me if I “wanted to go for a walk later?” I said yes, of course, though I was planning to listen to some Metallica and Slayer tapes on my newly purchased Walkman from the shopping mall that evening.

How beautiful it is to sit here now and not have to replay a memory of turning down a date to listen to music, even if it was some of the finest thrash the 80’s had to offer. If I had, I might still be plagued over 20 years later with pangs of unending regret about what might have been.

Despite not being what you might call overly experienced in the act of courting and – more importantly – the art of fucking, I did have a couple of experiences under my belt and resolved to pepper the evening with a hint of romance and witty conversation.

And then get in there balls deep and make her scream like an opera singer.

A guy can hope.

As it happened, I needn’t have worried about dredging up witty and intelligent conversation, as I soon came to realise I could have walked – let’s call her Lydia – around the hotel grounds reading a microwave oven instruction manual, for as she said, all she wanted to do was hear me speak. Thus, when the kissing began, I ensured that our moments did not end up being too sustained, lest her enthusiasm for me start to wane during the silence; for even back then I may well have been a verbose bastard, but I would definitely struggle to string together a coherent few words when my mouth is full of someone else’s tongue.


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