Monday, April 17, 2006

Accent Marks, Etc.

(73) Accent Marks, Etc.

(Note: This first "appeared" in June of 1999. It's new to this blog, but not NEW new. Your Blogger is in the process of moving from Moote Pointe, and this substitution was made to avoid having to think during that process.)

Alex mastered most of the European accents and he uses them to different ends. He says each one makes people react differently. To amuse, he says, use Irish. To confuse, use French. To confuse AND amuse, it's Italian. To sound more refined than you really are... try British. And to instill fear, German.
Right now, Alex is working on Indian, Korean and Russian. After that, it will be six varieties of Spanish, starting with Paraguyan and working all the way over to Spain.
Most people who know Alex don't know what he really sounds like. and neither does he.
But it helps sell vacuum cleaners, and that's what he does.================================================================================
Broadway Harry has seen every show that ever played the big time. You name it, he knows it. The guy with the fedora and the brown suit, knows the interior of every theatre (that's how he spells it.) Knows where the good seats are, and the bad ones. Knows what nights you should see which show and which nights to skip. Used to have his own table at Toffineti's. Right there, near the window.
Got him a plate of strawberries, giant ones. Got him a cup of coffee, stayed there well into the night, when the last stragglers made their way into the cabs or the subways. Harry held court most every night in Toffineti's, all for the price of a plate of berries and a cup of coffee.
How many people from Iowa used to come in and look and see Broadway Harry in that brown fedora, sitting there in Toffineti's window? And they'd think maybe he was a producer or a director, a writer or maybe even an actor. "Look, Martha, it's Alfred Drake." "Hey, isn't that David Merrick?"
But it was just Harry. Broadway Harry.
Once they asked him what was his favorite of all shows. My Fair Lady? Carousel? Peter Pan? Miss Saigon? Harry never told. And the reason he never told is because after 40 years of all this, they all blurred into one great big long-legged, trumpeting, glittering, invisible chorus line.
But the strawberries were good, right up to the day Toffineti's closed and was replaced by a Nathan’s.
Harry came in on opening day, had the brown fedora, the shoes you thought should be wrapped in spats, but weren't. He goes to the counter, gets himself a hotdog (Nathan's doesn't have strawberries,) and goes to his usual spot, which is taken, and Harry takes this as a sign and finishes his hotdog outside and doesn't come back.


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I'm Wes Richards. My opinions are my own, but you're welcome to them.™

©wjr 1999, 2006

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