He replied, “Sheeeeeeet, I never met an Aaaaaaaaasyun weeeeth uh Nyooooo Yoooork acceeeennn beeeefore neeeether. Yoooooo tawk reeeeeal funny. Yooooo sound lak dat Nanny gal on teeeeee veeeee.”
Uh, Fran Dresher? I’m from Brooklyn, not
“And you sound like Gomer Pyle, Golly!” I mocked.
“Ahh, doooohn know whooooo you’re tawkin’ about,” he laughed good naturedly. “Yoooooo dun taaaaaawk toooooo fast."
“And, yoooooooo talk tooooooooo slow!” I replied. Needless to say we became good friends even as we mocked each other viciously. He reminded me of a Korean American comic I saw a long time ago on Comedy Central. Too bad I can’t remember his name cause that boy was funny. But he did this piece about his friend J.B. Daniels. Apparently the J.B. doesn’t stand for anything, so when J.B. went to get his driver’s license, he wrote in “J” --- only, “B” ---- only Daniels. When he got his license it read, Jonly Bonly Daniels. I think it was funnier in person. But for me, part of what made him so funny was the novelty of seeing an Asian American with a southern accent.
This was hit home for me the other day when I was at a restaurant and a sweet older Asian couple was sitting next to me. They looked to be in their late sixties and they were really cute together. When they ordered their meal, they spoke with thick southern accents which made me do a double take. I guess I am so used to older Asians speaking with immigrant accents, that I was surprised when they were not as I had stereotyped them. I loved it! I immediately got into a conversation with them and learned more than I probably ever needed to know. But they were the Lims from
They reminded me that Korean Americans are newer immigrants. 80% of mainland Korean Americans are first and second generation only. We are the ones with parents that gave us all American names which they promptly mispronounced. My best friend Sylvia’s name is forever pronounced Sylbeeahh.