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MAVIS BECKLES: Changing Times, Changing Lanes

SHERRYLYN CLARKE, [email protected]

MAVIS BECKLES: Changing Times, Changing Lanes

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WE LIVING in such a time of uncertainty dat ya doan know from one minute tuh the next what could happen.
We living in a time dat from the time ya open ya two eyes in the morning, the first thing ya should say is, “Lord I thank You dat I am still in the land of the living. Thank You fuh the roof ovah muh head; thank You fuh helping me tuh see another day dat I could do something good and add value tuh somebody’s life today”.
Dat is why, instead o’ getting all worked up about evahthing dat happening in the world, ya does have tuh find simple things dat would give ya a li’l laugh, ya know, and bring ya back down tuh earth. So this is why every once in a while I like tuh write a column dat would make people laugh at demselves and fuhget the lot o’ stress – at least for a li’l while.
Now I doan listen tuh nuh obituaries pon the radio but I have a neighbour who does
have on her radio early in the morning and I would hear some of it sometimes.
I also have a sister who love tuh call ya up and say, “Wait Mavis, wha’ I ain’t know dat so and so dead.” She like tuh read the obituaries, so now I does find myself checking dem
out, especially in the Sunday newspapers.
Dearly departed
But while it does be a time of sadness fuh the friends and families o’ the dearly eparted,
I does get a smile at some o’ the names. Ya does read names like Cleophus, Amberdeen, Wilamina, Estelle, Euretha, Elsie, Fitzgerald and Fitzherbert.
All names like Mildred, Goldburn and Adolphus, Gwendolyn, Beresford, Ersil and
all kinds o’ other funny names dat when ya read dem, it does make you wonder who in duh right mind coulda put dem names pon poor li’l children. Wha’ uh mean is: duh had tuh be babies before duh was big old people. Now tell me, what would get in tuh a mother tuh make her want tuh call her sweet little bundle o’ joy Rufus or Matilda?
 Call him Herbs
You could imagine smelling up and kissing up this sweet li’l thing and calling it Matilda
or Fitzherbert? So fuh a sweet name, I wonder what ya would call dem? Mattie? Tilda? And wha’ ’bout the man? Well, I suppose ya would have tuh call him Herbs, Herbert or Fitzie.
I tell ya!
When we was growing up, we used tuh live next tuh a boy name Fitzie.
Up tuh now I cahn tell you wha’ Fitzie real name was. The boy used tuh get on like he was mad as France. I could remember he was a very bright, smart boy but he use tuh suck he tongue outside he mout, all the time keeping a lot o’ noise like a drone bee.
Ridiculous names
Now dat was in dem times. Then I come along and grow up wid names like Charles, Brenda, Rodney, Mark, Tony, Betty or Angela. Then the fellas was Orville, Henry, Patrick, Peter, William and George or Tyrone, Richard and Erick or Eric – dem kinda names so. But today is a whole different story.
The names completely different and just as ridiculous. People, especially the young people calling duh children some o’ all kinds o’ weird names. Some o’ duh even making up names o’ duh own and some parents joining together piece o’ the father name tuh piece o’ the mother wun tuh make up a name fuh the child. Poor children!
Ya only have wait fuh the Cute Kids Competition tuh come around, hear? And ya mout does be tired trying tuh get some o’ dem names pronounced. I does feel sorry fuh some o’ the poor older teachers who got tuh deal wid the different spellings like Renaco and Renico, Zaria and Zario. Shaneefa, Shakira, Shaunika, Shameeka; Oh my Lord! Shaquille, Shakir and Shakira; Kamara, Donte and Javonte; Nyrhia and Suriya.  Ya’ all realize dat how as the times change the names does change too?
•Mavis Beckles was born and raised in The Orleans. She has an opinion on everything.