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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: The USA (01/08/09)

TITLE: The Pacifier
By Sandra DeHoogh


“Ahh! You put a nappy on his butt and a dummy in his gob!” Roseanne realised with a burst of hysterical laughter. ”That is so cool, mate”. The attempt at Australian slang sounded as authentic for her as a ball gown worn with sneakers, her thick American accent a dead giveaway to her nationality.

We watched her enjoy a new quirk this foreign country offered, and she was chuckling long and loud, loitering over the nuance.

“I would put a diaper on Kyler’s bottom and a pacifier in his mouth.” She emphatically stated, playing on. This explanation wasn’t for our education but a statement of identity, of belonging, revealing a deep pride in her US. “I know, I know! Your words aren’t wrong, just different. Just like driving on the wrong side of the road here isn’t wrong.” More satisfied giggling. “And like driving on the right side of the road here isn’t right .” said this time in a thin voice for fear of loosing all control to hysterics as she recalled a rather scary episode with her behind the wheel. She was very satisfied with her clever word play as her antics drew laughter from her Australian friends, but she let her crescendo of amusement drop to give others fair share of the conversation.

“No. Shouldn’t it be ‘She’ll be right’.” Bob joined in building on the growing play on slang. Roseanne did enjoy this kind of relaxed banter. She cavorted in the shallowness of cultural differences separating herself for a time from the weight of war, terrorism and recession her nation staggered under. Not ready yet to put voice to these issues, she consciously guided her mind to more substantial thoughts, fuelled by trust in her God.

“Yes. She will be alright. She, that is me, has a really big God who has really big plans for she, or me.” she swooned. Her comment was more reflective for herself and drew from a treasure of experiences, of hard times walked with her Papa. Her tone was steeped in a transcending confidence in Him.

Surprised by the change of pace, and taking a while to discern the new conversational direction, Bob cut short a quick, shallow comeback and let the depth of what Roseanne had just said marinate in his heart.

“Well isn’t it true that trials refine us, that adversities are life’s universities.” she continued, catching her listeners up to speed with her thoughts. “And aren’t hard times great vehicles to let information we know about God travel south from the mind to settle as revelation in the heart.” She paused only long enough to survey that her confidants were receptive to this depth of her exposure. “My heart is hungry as anything to expose all that garbage I’m believing that I don’t really realise is garbage. There’s always room for growth and I’ve lived enough to know that it will happen best through tough times.” Roseanne’s delivery lightened up as she played with her words again although her message still carried weight.

Now absorbed in her realness, her companions let her continue. She was now on a roll talking about her favourite stuff which bubbled up from inside her.

“Isn’t the taste of truth just delicious? You know. That exact point of understanding something profound, of recognising substance? Unfortunately, I’m not one for putting my hand up to get these life lessons but, the revelations at the end are really way worth it.” Surveying Bob’s expression of agreement she moved into a metaphor to enjoy his agreement again. “Like getting into a cold pool isn’t easy but once you’re in, you love it. Well, that’s not the best example cause you can chose not to get in. But labour. Now there’s a place of no return. No way did I want to do labour. Giving birth is indescribable.” she dramatically groaned and flung her arms above her head for emphasis. “But look what you get at the end. A Baby. Life. I bet you at the end of my country’s problems, I will birth something really good too. At the very least, it will be another lovely Ahh moment.”

Breathing in long and slow, they sat together through a very pregnant introspective pause. Not long enough to sedate Roseanne’s quick wit though. She beamed with sweet satisfaction and pronounced, “Maybe I can even diaper and pacify it to match the Ahh moment I just had.”

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Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 01/15/09
I can relate to the language issues here. I'm American, but after spending two weeks in England, I discovered that it's not really the same language after all!

Fun story to read.
Valarie Sullivan01/17/09
Fun story! I liked the way you tied in your metaphor of pregnancy with the tale of labour.
Your MC has a lot of character! She was fun!