Sunday, December 26, 2010

Audio Assault: Plane Talk

I've come to accept the fact that we Americans (and some more than others) have very distinctive accents and more often than not, very distinctive voices.  Now, as I mentioned before, I work hard to preserve my American accent in London because a) I'm not ashamed to be American and b) I don't wanna sound like Madonna or Gwyneth Paltrow AKA sporting the dreaded "transatlantic accent" (although I've been told I have one now - sigh).  But, in the words of my role model and buddy Sarah Palin, gosh darn it, why do the Americans with the most annoying nasal accents SPEAK SO LOUDLY?  WHY MUST EVERYTHING BE IN CAPITALS NO MATTER WHERE THEY ARE?  IS IT BECAUSE THEY HAVE TO BE HEARD?  IS IT BECAUSE IF NO ONE LISTENS TO THEM, THEY'LL HAVE TO BRING IN THE BIG GUNS?  

AN EXEMPLARY INSTANCE OF SUCH BEHAVIOR CAN BE FOUND ON MOST PLANE RIDES CONTAINING TRAVELLING AMERICANS (sorry, once I start with the caps, I just can't stop.  It's quite enjoyable, I must admit).  Example: at the onset of our nine hour plane journey across the Pacific from Tokyo's Narita Airport to Seattle Tacoma International Airport, I was drifting into blissful, guided sleep when BAM!  It hit me.  The verbal diarrhea of some Abercrombie-wearing twenty-something male (and yes, I said "male" because I won't even dignify his presence with the word "guy") two rows behind me to the equally annoying Shanghainese girl engaging him in constant conversation.  "... I mean, Korea is like, like, such an amazing, amazing place, you know, like, I was teaching there and I, look, it's like a very, very male-dominated society and like, women have no say and like, yeah, totally, it can be very frustrating but like ..."

20 minutes later ...

"... and yeah, so my girlfriend is so skinny, I mean she has a six-pack but doesn't work out.  At all.  I mean, I work out and I lift, you know, and I have a six-pack.  I have a six-pack because I work out.  She is like, laid back, gorgeous, funny, I just love her.  She is like, amazing.  You know, some girls, like, can be high-maintenance.  You know?  Like super high maintenance.  She is SO not like that, I mean, she is truly a wonderful person."

4 hours later ...

"... like, I love Chinese food and stuff, but like, don't you get bored eating the same thing every day?  I mean, American food is like, so awesome, because you know, what's special about American food is, listen, you can have pizza.  You can have spaghetti, you can have pasta.  You know?  It's different.  Or you can have a burger.  But like, how do you do it?  How do you not get bored of eating rice every day?  I couldn't do it, I really like, just - man, I just like, couldn't do it."

(And yes, I was so traumatized by his monologue that I remember these snippets distinctly and I believe, very accurately)

Look.  I get it.  I've met some awesome people on planes.  Having a chatty and friendly seat-mate on a long flight is undeniably great and comforting, especially if you're travelling alone (for some people).  But not the kind of verbal diarrhea I and other passengers were subjected to NON-STOP FOR EIGHT HOURS AND THIRTY-FIVE MINUTES.  I MEAN, HE NEVER STOPPED.  THERE WERE NO PAUSES.  IT WAS TRULY AMAZING.  Or as Kim Kardashian says, "amaze."

American accent or not, I, like, can't stand it.  You know?  And British people do it too ... it's just that ... they, like, stop.  At some point.  Americans keep going on and on and on and on ... and on.  AND LOUDLY.  REMEMBER?  ALL CAPS.  I once was sitting in the bulk-head row of a BA flight from Seattle to London and a woman who was eight rows back - yes, eight, because I counted - had a voice that carried like the wind.  It was nasal as heck and I learned all about her new kitchen floor.  Fab.

If you're ever on a plane chatting with a stranger, just remember - I'm not interested in hearing your life story.  AT LEAST NOT IN ALL CAPS.

Photo source
© angloyankophile

This site uses cookies from Google to deliver its services - Click here for information.

Blogger Template Created by pipdig