I sometimes add an accent to what I say for emphasis.

I am black and I’m from the south, but I’m told my voice doesn’t reveal it in either case.

I don’t do it to offend anyone. I only use it at home to my wife, who tolerates my quirks.

Neither of us is Middle Eastern, but it is my accent of first choice.

I used it most effectively in the following instance years ago:

It was uncomfortably hot. We were touring a castle in central Austria during the summer.

There seemed to be no end to the upward slope.

I had removed my jacket and carried it over my shoulder as the sun beamed down.

No one seemed as bothered by the heat as much as me.

Sweat was literally running down my back and into the seat of my pants.

I could detect the moisture building in my jeans.

My son who labored behind me, caught up and mentioned to me that I had a brown-stained, wet circle in the seat of my pants.

I tied my jacket around my waist to cover it.

We arrived at a much-needed table. We sat down. The wind shifted and I got a whiff of my pants.

In the heat. It was ripe and righteous.

Referring to my situation, in a most accented voice I said:

“I think I smell a bad wipe."

My wife and kids broke out in laughter. My German-speaking in-laws looked puzzled. They had no idea what was going on.

We finished our drinks and continued to walk.

I made sure I wasn’t walking downwind from my wife’s parents.

At the end of our tour we drove several hours to our lodging. I don’t know what I would have done if the car had not been air-conditioned.

I closed my legs uncomfortably in the front passenger seat. I tried to curtail the smell.

We arrived at our lodging. Unloaded the car and retired to our rooms.

I was eager to disrobe. To shower and change clothes.

I sat on the foot of the bed and in the most accented voice I could muster, I said:

“I think I have discovered the bad wipe in this very room!"

I had barely gotten it out before we all broke out in laughter.

I eventually showered and stifled myself for the rest of the evening.

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Avid reader. INTJ. Artist. Editor. Baseball enthusiast. Devoted father of five. Sound money advocate. Happily married/ retired. Being right is overrated.

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Anthony Pretlow

Anthony Pretlow

Avid reader. INTJ. Artist. Editor. Baseball enthusiast. Devoted father of five. Sound money advocate. Happily married/ retired. Being right is overrated.

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