Identity - the Newfie

OK I’m not much for forwarded email jokes at work but this one here is different. It deals with identity. It also makes humor of language. I love language. And dialectical differences too –and tone. When I first met B and she learned I was Venezuelan she asked if my older brother had an accent. She was referring to a Latino accent, since English was our second language. I thought for a moment and replied that yes, my brother does have an accent but I refused to show her what it sounded like. Many months later when the two finally met B was shocked to learn that my brother’s accent was actually a thick southern drawl. We still get a laugh out of that.

In the Maritimes there a several regional accents that I can recognize and I’m sure that there are many more subtle ones which pass me by. The most pronounced regional accents come from the people of Cape Breton and also from Newfoundland. Below is an example of a Newfie accent (at least from the original author’s perspective). It highlights both the language and clever and picaresque ways of the Newfie stereotype.

A Newfie wants a job, but the foreman won't hire him until he passes a little math test.

“Here is your first question” the foreman says.
“Without using numbers, represent the number nine.”
“Without numbers?” says the Newfie. “Dat is easy” he says and proceeds to draw three trees.

“What’s this?” the boss asks.
“Ave you got no brain? Tree and tree and tree make nine” replies the Newfie.
“Fair enough,” says the boss.
“Here's your second question. Use the same rules, but this time the number is ninety nine.”

The Newfie stares into space for a while, then picks up the picture that he has just drawn and makes a smudge on each tree.
“Ere you go.” The boss scratches his head and says, “how on earth do you get that to represent ninety nine?”
“Each of da trees is dirty now. So, it's dirty tree, and dirty tree, and dirty tree. Dat is ninety nine.”

The boss is getting worried that he's going to actually have to hire this Newfie, so he says, “all right, last question. Same rules again, but represent the number one hundred.”

The Newfie stares into space some more, then he picks up the picture again and makes a little mark at the base of each tree and says, “Ere you go. One hundred.”

The boss looks at the attempt.
“You must be nuts if you think that represents a hundred!”

The Newfie leans forward and points to the marks at the base of each tree and says,

“a little dog come along and crap by each tree. So now you got dirty tree and a turd, dirty tree and a turd, and dirty tree and a turd, which makes one hundred.'

“So, wen do I tart boss?”

1 comment:

Gazelle said...

That is pretty funny. I don't believe I've heard a Newfie accent, unfortunately, but I love hearing regional accents and dialects. My wife and I have family in Mississippi and South Carolina and I could listen to them talk all day...