Monday, December 7, 2009

You Might be a Plymothian if...

I have entitled my blog "Plymothian Ponderings", but what is a Plymothian? In the very simplest of terms it refers to someone who hails from the city of Plymouth in Devon, England. Now whether or not the folks born and bred in the many other Plymouths that my hometown has spawned over the centuries, I do not know. But growing up I learned that if you were from Plymouth, you were a Plymothian.

Now people from London are not necessarily Cockneys - they may be Londoners, but a true Cockney is born within the sound of the Bow Bells. We in Plymouth are not so picky.

While I am a Plymothian by birth, if you ask me where I am from my first answer these days would be Georgia. This is where I have spent the most continuous years of my life. Most people don't believe that based on my accent, of course, but even that is a hybrid now. Folks in Plymouth think I am American, folks here know I am not.

Here in Georgia we have a famous comedian. His name is Jeff Foxworthy, and he has a whole industry built up on his catchphrase "You might be a Redneck if...". Apart from the scary reality that I identify with a decent proportion of those sayings, this has launched a genre of bad talks and articles trying to capture the same concept. My son's most recent college orientation included.

So with my many humble apologies to Mr. Foxworthy, I would like to present my offering based on the city of my birth:

If you know there is nothing green at Greenbank and no fields at Freedom Fields, you might be a Plymothian.

If you keep warm while shopping in the city centre in winter by huddling in the window of Carwardines while munching on a piping hot Ivor Dewdneys pastie, you might be a Plymothian.

If you are not surprised to find no tents, dancing sea lions, or jugglers (although Saturday sales can bring out plenty of clowns) at Drake's Circus, you might be a Plymothian.

If the word "Ballard" instantly conjurs up the smell of chlorine and the shiver of walking into the cold air with wet hair, you might be a Plymothian.

If you know that the oldest street in the city has always been called "New Street", you might be a Plymothian.

If you understand that the question "Alright my luvver?" can be aimed in concern at little old ladies hobbling onto the bus, and is not a cry of passion, you might be a Plymothian.

If you know that Royal Parade does not have marching soldiers or floats coming down it, and there are no ships on Armada Way, you might be a Plymothian.

If you know that Sir Francis Drake was a hometown hero and not a pirate, you might be a Plymothian.

And finally, if you know that The Hoe is neither a garden implement nor a woman of ill repute, you might be a Plymothian.

If you didn't understand a single thing I said since ...'the city of my birth' and yet you have read this far, you are not a Plymothian - but you are a very good friend. Thank you for indulging me.

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