It’s Quare Wee World

Basically this entire article is brought to you by the desire to share this single link: TV producer hospitalised after night with haunted teddy bear. Everything else is an afterthought.

OK, not really. However, I do think every else pales in comparison to that little gem. I mean, come on. The bear is in a caged box!

Back to your regular scheduled content. Between the TV and the internet it feels like the world is a much more accessible place than it used to be. I pay attention to politics, I have wide-flung friends, and sometimes watch TV programmes with subtitles! (Not often, I have to admit, but that’s mostly because I tend to multi-task and I miss huge swaths of information when I get distracted.)

So it is strange when you trip over something that isn’t universal, some little bit of local ephemera that doesn’t translate. Not so much in person because I have a fairly thick Northern Irish accent and I talk a mile a minute, but when my editor emails me in bafflement it can be a bit…oh that’s just us?

In person I’ve got a few sidelong looks about quare (remarkable or very, depending on context), starvin (cold), and Rhys Ford thought I had some sort of OCD issue with how often I had to get my head showered (actually shired, and cleared). Oh and if you’re going to go VERY local, ‘Fit for Downshire’, which is actually an old asylum/ and infectious disease unit*.

Other examples are weirder though because these are self-evident. Right?

“The Bumps” = On your birthday a bunch of kids grab your arms and legs and, well, bump you up and down. Sometimes people get dropped.

“Standing there with your arms the one length” = Now some people have said this meant DIFFERENT things in their locale. Where I grew up it meant not pitching in and helping out.

“You know, yer man” = My American friends always think I mean this as literally their man. Whereas it is basically ‘what’s his name’ to me.

Now this one is odd. The ‘Light as a Feather’ game ISN’T universal. There are people who didn’t lie on the ground pretending to be sort of dead so their friend’s could levitate them. Weird right, I didn’t believe it either! (Ok, looking bad that was a weird game).

I like it, I think. Not the puzzled looks, but it’s nice to know what elements of places important to you stay with you. Like a little geographic secret.

So, congratulations if you work on what I’m on about half the time!

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