PALAVERING WITH BEULAH: Communication words

By Beulah Rampage Fishbite

Once while I was in the hospital I overheard a Dr asking a geriatric patient what the date was, the patient did not know, so the Dr asked who the President was, the patient wasn’t sure about that either. The nurses and Drs would sometimes ask me that stuff too. I told them the date I saw written on the chart on the wall (hoping it was up-dated that morning) and told them I did not care, in my situation, who was president.  Drs, nurses, etc. want to judge us by their calendars and we aren’t even running one…a sick old lady does not care what the date is, much less what day of the  week it is. No one brought us a newspaper that day.  You know you can’t trust the news programs and why watch those when you can watch Price is Right? They should ask us how much a box of Tide Pods cost or a new car, or what’s behind door number three.

I knew a little kid one time that was given an IQ test in school.  Later the principal told his mother that when he was asked what color a ruby was he told them green.  She asked her boy about it and his reply was, “If they did not know what color a ruby was by their age he sure wasn’t going to tell them.”  Another little guy was tested and in the test was asked what hamburger was made from.  Well, his parents read to him grown up books about the west and pioneers.  So, his answer was “Buffalo”.  He said that sounded like more fun than beef or cow.

And speaking of quizzes in life.  Once while working at a museum “Pioneer Day” BBQ, we were grilling buffalo burgers.  We had boxes of frozen burgers we were putting on the grill and selling quickly.  That summer we had three young men from Slovakia and the Chech Republic interning with us.  We had learned to work our way around language barriers pretty well that summer but “buffalo” was a real stumper for us.  Out beside that hot grill we tried drawing and describing but nothing seemed to work.  Then someone dragged in Hollywood and said “tatonka” and the light went on in their eyes and we all had a good laugh for we had all seen the movie.

And finally, when I was very young, my three girl cousins were over and our Mom’s sent the two oldest of us to the store for a couple items.  They gave us a few dollars and some change for tax.  Off we went, happy to go on a big kid errand.  The grocery store was not two blocks away.  We gathered the few items but discovered there were a number of different kinds of tacks.  So, we tromped back home to find out what kind of tacks they wanted.  To this day I still do not think it was kind of our moms to have laughed at us.