Monday, November 5, 2007

"SLITHER" THE MOVIE and "XVQJX," is NOT a word !

In the summer of 1974 RBOY12 (a reader of my blog) and I had a working vacation in Florida at DisneyWorld. He worked there the whole time but in early July I quit for a better job, as a waiter at the Kissimmee Red Lobster.

I won't go into specifics because each link in the chain of events that led me there is a story in itself, I will say; I met two guys (Bob and Ronnie) from South Carolina who were also disenchanted with the Disney employment thing.

Sometime after they left Disney, I was on a date with a co-worker. She was going to drop me off but we decided to stop at the Contemporary Hotel just outside Disney. Afterwards, we had a disagreement, I think it was which style of Mambo (dance) was more authentic...the Canarsie or Weehawken...and the next thing I knew, I was being asked (told) to leave the car.

Well, after about an hour of unsuccessful hitch-hiking on a dark country road about 25 miles from I lived, a million to one shot happened. Bob and Ronnie, the South Carolina guys noticed me as they went by and came back to get me.

They told me they were now happy waiters at Red Lobster and said they could help me get a job there...I didn't give their offer much thought A couple of days later, manager served me an oral reprimand at Disney for not smiling enough...Apparently even a mere trash picker-upper like me was expected to live-up to the entertainment standard. I quit on the spot and got hired at Red Lobster the next day. Then a close friendship was spawned between Bob, Ronnie and myself.

Bob and Ronnie were from a rural town called Easley, in Pickens County, in the western part of South Carolina. They were truly country bumpkins and their Mayberry-like upbringing caused us to have several cultural differences.

These differences especially with phraseology stick with me today. Something simple like playing basketball and calling it, "shooting hoops," was as absurd to them as saying "XVQJX" was a word. They also couldn't come to grips with tennis shoes being called sneakers. And me, I still laugh at them for insisting that Cadillac was pronounced Ka-Diddly-AK. However the funniest difference was that they added the word "coke" to the end of whatever soda they were talking about. For example they would say; "Orange-Coke," 7-Up-Coke" or even "Pepsi-Coke."

It may be an insignificant reference, I doubt even RBOY12 would remember that they said that but...down through the years I have repeated that story and it sounds so ridiculous... that people think I'm making it up. Well, for the first time in over 33 years that phrase has resurfaced.

At a recent visit to KURUDAVE's house, PCShmee brought over a movie called "SLITHER" from 2006. It was a clever horror movie that was funny enough to also be a comedy. Presumably it takes place in the south because of all the southern references but the scenery looks more like Minnesota (perhaps that was part of the director's humor).

At one point, the mayor, while his town is being inundated with slug-like aliens and zombied townsfolk, goes into his cooler to find that he doesn't have any soda left and exclaims, "I can't believe I already drank my last Mr. Pibb-Coke."

I was shocked, had the movie paused and told KURU and PC. But the coincidence went over their heads because they didn't know Mr. Pibb was Coca-Cola's version of Dr. Pepper (only available down south). So the fact that the mayor added coke to Mr. Pibb compounded the meaninglessness.

I don't know whatever happened to Bob and Ronnie. But I wonder if they ever lived-up to their big life ambition of switching the "W" with the "A" on the Kissimmee WAFFLE HOUSE sign.

1 comment:

Roy said...

You are correct, I do not remember those guys using the "coke" slang, but the story did make me laugh. Let's see, Steve shmoozing with southern diners at the Red Lobster, just waiting to pose the inevitable "what town are you from?" question so that he can toss out 5 baseball player names from that same town. Another chapter in Florida/Brooklyn folklore.