[So when the two younger brothers fumble their posting duties, who do they look to for content? That’s right. Given the choice between one of the funny brothers, and the one who is just stable and steady and always there for you . . . okay, yeah, you still pick a funny brother. And that’s why you’re always going to get disappointed in life, you know that, right?]
I was telling two ladies in the office the other day about this great snack at Costco. Some kind of crazy fusion of blueberries, pomegranate seeds, and pistachios. They burst out laughing.
I backtracked—“really, it’s good stuff . . .” “what, you think it’s girly?” “yeah, pomegranates are FUNNY!” But none of those feelers seemed to stop the laughing.
One of them said “say it again.”
And so I ventured.
Gales of laughter.
My buddy in the room looked up at me and gave me a look that said he sympathized, but that he would not be able to come to my aid on this one. It took me several awkward minutes of trying not to look like a bad sport to figure out what was so funny. Turns out that only pretentious Brahmins with fake English accents and pocket-square hankies in their breast pockets say “Pi-stAH-she-o.” If you get off your high horse, your cool, no-nonsense tongue is obviously going to amble its way right down to “Pi-stA-she-o.” ‘a’ like in ‘casual.’ Like in ‘mAn of the people.’
Since then I’ve thought it over constantly. I can’t hear it. And I think I have as refined a pretension detector as ever came out of Farm-town, Utah. I’ve lambasted every Easterner I ever came across who said “aunt” like “want,” instead of like “ant,” the way you say it when you’re not reading the word directly out of your trust fund documents. I finally stopped visiting www.washingtonpost.com for good when I saw that they continued to think they can spell ‘Utahan’ better than us Utahns can. And I won’t even mention the peculiar insistence of the non-Western elites on talking about their trips to Nevaaahda and Coloraahdo.
Seriously, what do you know about Colorado?
So yeah, it gives me great insecurity to find that I’ve been talking down to people all this time with the name of a little nut. Really, guys, I’m not like that. I can be cool. In fact just the other day my wife was making fun of me because I say apprishiate, where all of her country club friends apparently say appreee-she-ate.
And not only am I insecure now, I’ve entered a bit of an existential crisis. If I can’t hear the condescension in pistahchio, could it be possible that my classmates in D.C. couldn’t hear how smug they were when they talked about their aaaauhnts? It’s not a possibility I’m willing to consider. The world and all of the categories of people that populate it could implode too easily into one great mass of normal, unassuming folks just talking how they were taught to talk.
That’s the last thing I’m prepared to consider.
As a compromise, I’ll just admit to being pretentious when I talk about nuts, and I’ll admit that you’re being pretentious whenever you say anything I don’t think sounds right, too. Fair?