It’s only two weeks in, and I’m starting to notice something scary.
But first, some brief personal history:
I was born and raised in Upstate, New York. Twice I have lived in other states for extended periods of time (Rhode Island for 9 months in 2008-2009, and Kansas for 3 months in the summer of 2009). In both instances I eventually developed a strange hybrid accent from being around the locals for an extended period of time. Sure having the southern-twangy-midwestern accent of Kansas was pretty awesome y’all, but the New England/Rhode Island/Boston hybrid accent? Not so much. Not so much at all. The worst part was that it was completely unintentional. I would just catch myself saying random things with an accent. Just a slow and steady progression, to the point where I started talking like a local. Luckily though whenever I returned home this disappeared.
Well, the same things that happened then I can see happening now, mate.
And it always starts, and advances the same way. I have a habit of doing impressions, and truthfully would consider myself pretty good. Well, being surrounded by a million people who speak in a funny accent is pretty much a recipe for disaster…
…A 7-step recipe for disaster:
Step 1) Hear lots of people around you talk with strange accents. If you can do a good impression, move on to step 2. If you’re not weird, and don’t do impressions, disregard the following steps, and continue living your normal, awesome life.
Step 2) To be funny, show off your new found talent when in the presence of American friends. If said friends find it stupid and not funny, abort instructions immediately. If they find it hilarious, proceed to step 3.
Step 3) While drinking alcohol, you and your friends frequently pepper your newly acquired accent into conversation amongst each other as a laugh. It is hysterical, and everyone has a good time doing it. If your friends cannot or will not do the accent, discontinue. Otherwise, continue to step 4.
Step 4) When sober now, you and your friends start saying cliché phrases in aforementioned accent regularly (“Cheers mate,” “Ello love,” “Chip chip cheerio!”). For the love of god if you catch yourself doing these things, stop. However if you don’t, move on to step 5.
Step 5) You now unintentionally say select common words and phrases in-accent to locals who natively speak with that accent. It could be things as simple as “I’m sorry,” or “Excuse me,” or “What places do you prefer to shop for food that you would not only consider of good quality, but also of reasonable price?” If the locals notice, get offended, and call you out – take the hint. If not, you’re unfortunately getting quite good. Proceed to step 6.
Step 6) You have begun to develop a strange hybrid accent. It’s a combination of your natural articulations and your newly perfected accent. It’s no longer a joke, and it is no longer being done for humorous reasons of any kind. It has become a malicious disease, one that you cannot fight. It’s becoming the way you speak, and it’s too late to turn back now. The only way to lose the accent is to return home. If you don’t return home in time, proceed to Step 7.
Step 7) Well congratulations. You’re converted, and you’ve reached the final step. You now speak with an accent. Whatever you do, do not go home to your friends and family. You will look ridiculous, and you can bet your life they will make fun of you. I hope you enjoy it, because if you don’t… well you’re fucked anyways you clown.
Right now I’m right around the beginnings of step 5. And it’s only two weeks in. But luckily I’ve caught myself early. I swear if I develop a British accent it will be the douchiest thing I’ve ever done. I just can’t let it happen. I won’t let it happen.
But I’m soooo good at it though….