Monday, November 08, 2010

Consider Yourself Warned

This weekend we met my parents in Winchester to celebrate an uncle's 70th birthday. It was great getting to hang out with some family members that we don't get to see often, and of course the kids had a spectacular time seeing G-Ma and G-Pa and cousins that they'd never met. The highlight of the night for them was probably their picnic in the batcave.

You see, I didn't want them to eat in the living room with everyone else because they're kids and they're messy. So I put them on the kitchen floor under the table so they'd be out of the way of foot traffic. Then to make having to eat on the floor more palatable, I told them that it was their secret lair--their own personal batcave. This is just another example of why I deserve the mother of the year award. 

Anyway, the real point of this story is to talk to you about G-Pa. On the way to the party, my father was driving just a little too fast and consequently was pulled over by the Maryland State Police. But that man somehow talked himself out of a ticket and drove away with only a warning--this even though he had an out of state license plate which practically screams, "FINE ME". 

The kicker here is that it happens all the time. When the man gets pulled over, he uses his country boy charm and head of thick, greying hair to schmooze the officer into letting him go with only a verbal warning. In fact, I think he's been pulled over on the same stretch of 68 at least three times with nary a ticket or court date to show for it. Andy gets fined every single time he's pulled over in his own state. Now granted, Grandpa's 'speeding' is only 10 or so mph over the limit while Drew's tends to veer more towards the "I ain't tryin' to see no highway chase with A" realm, but still. It's just not fair. Which is how I can explain my uncontrollable urge to sing "Criminal, Criminal, Criminal" every time I see my father. And also, how I explain sharing this retro photograph of him. I mean the man simply can not get off scot free. Lessons must be learned. 

I think it's obvious where Chase gets his epic hair

And believe me, I don't hold myself above the need to learn lessons. Perhaps you've noticed that I frequently include the grammatically incorrect ya'll in my writings here. Yes, I knew it was incorrect, but I laughed at the little red line that squiggled under it completely disregarding its suggestion to fix it without even the slightest twinge of remorse. I am such a rebel. 

But why did I fly in in the face of correct grammar in the first place? Because ya'll seems to me to be the most in sync with how I actually pronounce the word. Yes, I know it's a contraction of you and all that should be spelled y'all. But to me that just sounds like "ya-all". Since the y already makes the ya sound, I don't see the need for the all at the end. Of course, given that reasoning I should probably write it y'll or just the phonetic yawl, right? 

But then last night, I began to be riddled with guilt for my grammatically inaccurate ways. What if everyone just started randomly picking which grammar laws she wanted to follow? We'd be immersed in a land of intentional run on sentences and dangling modifiers. That's just not a world I want to raise my children in, you know? So, as Sheriff of the MellonBlogs Grammar Police, I have issued myself a warning. Henceforth, I will make every effort to break my habit of defying the accepted spelling conventions of the y'all contraction. When I fall short, as I'm sure I will after years of contempt for the law, you can feel free to call me a criminal, criminal, criminal. But no fines, y'all.

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