Sunday, May 16, 2010

My accent betrayed me

Here we go again, another London one. We were there for quite a while, and I have some vivid memories.

I was born in Brooklyn, as you know, and needless to say I have a strong Brooklyn accent, I think I have it even when I write. There are few things harder to lose than a Brooklyn accent. When I attended Pratt there were kids from all over the States, and I felt that I should make an attempt to lose or at least soften my accent a bit. My wife to be, was born in Massachusetts, and had a definite non-Brooklyn accent. Well, I was not very successful the accent remained. We then go to London and every American there is speaking with this fake mid Atlantic accent. I decided I was not going to change; Brooklyn is good enough for me.

One day, on the way to the pub with some friends, I was told there was a guy who was great with accents, he could really zero in and tell you exactly where you were from, should be easy to do me, right.

We get to the pub, meet this guy and he starts, I try to modify my accent a bit. He listens and asks me to say certain words; this goes on for about three drinks. No big deal, he says I am from Brooklyn, a Greek fisherman can guess that. This continues and he starts to narrow it down to areas of Brooklyn, getting closer and closer to my own, Coney Island.

This is an amazing feat, we are in a pub in the center of London, a guy is narrowing down, honing in on the area that I was born and raised in. The Brooklyn part was easy, south of Prospect park is pretty good but approaching Coney Island is spooky. He tells me the avenue I lived on, Mermaid ave. and then tells me it is between 16th and 20th street. I am now crazy, this is amazing, what a talent. I am buying drinks for everybody, I am blown away, I have never seen anything like this, and he can make a fortune in Las Vegas.

By now, you have all realized that I was set up, my “buddies” had told him everything. I like a fool had fallen; hook line and sinker for the gag. I even asked what floor did I live on, what a sap I was.

A great gag, well done, but I did have my revenge sort of. He was an American photographer in London, there were plenty in those years, I never gave him a job, small of me but he had to pay for dicking with me so much.

I feel kind of petty; he was great talent, not only in taking pictures but also in taking the mickey.


  1. I don't think you have a Brooklyn accent. As far as I'm concerned I can't detect any accent at all.

    Maybe we're not too bright, but we definitely speak perfect English. I never noticed you had an accent. You talk just like me.

  2. good one Frank, i agree with you