Meet me in St Louis, Louie; I’d been burned badly when we crossed the Mississippi, got to St Louis, checked into our hotel with a view of the Arch, and I called the place Saint Louie, as you know, a Frenchwoman might say.
“You bin listening to too many songs, lady!” they said, and I shut up.
Our next stop was Kansas City – hard to stuff that one up, right? – and I viewed our stay in Des Moines with some suspicion.
Was it “Day Moyn” as a reasonable person might say it, or “Dess Moanies”, in the American tradition?
“Look,” I said, as we drove through the outskirts, “let’s stop for coffee here – or whatever they have that they call coffee, anyway – and we can ask them how they say it.”
So we did. We ordered two small buckets of undrinkable swill, I casually leaned over the counter, giving the young man a glimpse down my front, and asked in my best and broadest Aussie accent, just in case he hadn’t twigged that we weren’t from around these parts, “Hey, mate, you wouldn’t happen to know the correct pronunciation of this place?”
He smiled. This wasn’t something new to him. He leaned in close so I wouldn’t miss a syllable, and addressed my boobs in a slow and careful tone, “Day Ah Ree Kwee Un.”
Well, hello Iowa!
Image by Britni Pepper