Memoir New Orleans

The Problem With Mirows

Photo by Joseph Rodriguez

When hubby and I lived in New Orleans, we kind of came to accept that conventional spelling and pronunciation were often disregarded.

When it came time for us to move north of the Mason-Dixon Line, we hired a few packers to help us with the job. They were nice gentlemen. Plump and toothless, Juno and Orly toiled tirelessly in the June heat to help us prepare for our move, and we appreciated their assistance.

When our moving van arrived in New York State, we were excited to unpack. Eventually came across one strangely enormous bundle labeled “mirows,” that had us stumped.

What the hell is a “mirows?” I wondered.

“I don’t remember buying a ‘meer-rows,'” hubby said as we unwrapped and unwrapped and unwrapped the mounds of bubble-wrap that Juno and Orly had painstakingly taped together in our old apartment several weeks prior.

Bubble-wrap followed by puffy, white foam and packaging tape followed by another layer of bubble-wrap, puffy foam and more tape. It was like peeling an onion. Juno and Orly had put a lot of care into wrapping up the mee-rows (?), but the tape had melted and fused with the plastic bubble-wrap, so we had to be careful because we really didn’t want to hurt our my-rose (?). We plowed away, but the bundle of mire-ohs (?) never seemed to get smaller.

“How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Roll Pop?” Hubby joked, referring to a commercial from our youth in which a child questions a turtle and an owl about how long it would take to get to the Tootsie Roll Pop hidden inside the hard candy shell, if one could restrain oneself from biting.

“The world may never know,” I mimicked my best impression of the commercial’s deep voiced omniscient narrator.

Finally, we figured out what was in the package when we heard the pitiful sound of glass shattering: our two, formerly fabulous, incredibly ornate, big-ass mirrors were history.

I wish I had asked Juno and Orly about dem mirows.

Cuz they is gone.

I sho’ do miss N’awlins.

Where have you traveled where you’ve loved the dialect?

16 thoughts on “The Problem With Mirows

  1. Bahahahaha…. I knew they were mirrors! Lived in North Carolina for 5 years! I done told ya that didn’t I? This was a fun read! Now I am off to work! See y’all later =D

  2. I must have lived in the south way too long. As soon as I read the title and your tags, I knew what it was. But even while still living south of the M-D line, there were words I never did figure out on my own.

  3. Ah, phonetic spelling is tough enough let alone when all you can hear in your head in that Southern accent. Does this mean you’re a Saints fan? Cause my Steelers are kind of gonna be at the Superdome on Sunday night. I’m a little conflicted cause I’d like to say Pittsburgh will crush them Saints, but I don’t really believe that. Yes I do.
    Anyway, in Nawlins I suppose you don’t just toss a football when you could toas dat foatball roun’ de nzone

      1. What! You’ve never heard the MR Ducks thing?

        M R Ducks
        M R Not
        M R 2 C M Wangs
        L B M R Ducks

        ‘Em are ducks
        ‘Em are not
        ‘Em are too see ’em wings
        I’ll be ’em are ducks

  4. In a pathetic way, I also know what you mean in this article. Once we moved to New York, I had a hard time adjusting to the way people talked north of the Mason-Dixon Line. After spending fourteen wonderful years in Florida, my father had retired from the Air Force. It was time for a major change in our lives. My family and I were not leaving much in Florida, but the little bit that we had were friends. After packing our belongings, we took one last look at our medium sized house on the Air Force base in Tampa, Florida. We did not know if we would ever see the place that we grew up in again. On our long journey to New York, my siblings and I were overwhelmed by the different ways people talked. I knew that we were not in Kansas anymore… or Florida to be exact. My biggest problems were correctly pronouncing my vowels and adjusting to the cold weather. Change can be a good thing. It all depends on how you treat the obstacle.

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