Friday, January 07, 2005

'A good way to hide an intellect'

Y'all listen up, now, heah? Oh, this is sweet. Sweet. Sweet indeed. I was "growed up" in Texiz, though mah Daddy wuz from down in dem bay-yoohz in sout' Loozeeanah. (He went to work for IBM right after WWII, and was advised by his mentors to lose the "hillbilly" accent of southern Louisiana. He did. I was rasied with a very neutral accent. People who hear me speak often wonder where I'm from.) My Uncle Bill was a paratrooper in WWI (Normandy, Bulge, Purple Heart w/3 Oak Leaf clusters) and built a million-dollar oil field services company in the 1970's. You wouldn't know it to look at him or talk to him. He was jess' a good ol' boy. Once he went to look at a new bass boat (if you don't know, don't bother to ask) with his operations manager, Mike. Uncle Bill was dressed (as ususal) in a ragged, oil-stained jumpsuit. After wandering around the dealership he accepted some glossy handouts from the nattily-dressed salesman and went out to the truck to smoke a Lucky Strike, sip a Falstaff, and consider his options. The utterly clueless salesman asked the #2, "Can that old man really afford one of these boats?" To which Mike replied, "Son, that 'old man' probably has enough cash money in his pocket to buy this place and fire your ass." Not the only time a savvy Texas businessman has been misunderestimated.

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