GK: .....brought to you by the Accent School of Minnesota.
SS (MINN): You know, I heard of that Accent School---- so that's right here in Minnesota then?
GK: There's no need to learn a foreign language if you're an American, because nobody you know speaks one anyway, but---- you never know when a good accent may come in handy.
SS (MINN): Well, isn't that interesting....
GK: First of all, foreign accents are more romantic than a Minnesota accent.
TR: (French accent) Allo, mon cher. I am Robert. (Ro-BARE) I have seen you; you have seen me, and now, shall we ... dance? Eh????
GK: Face it. A Minnesota accent is a little flat ---- foreign accents are much more lively and vivacious.
TR: (Italian accent) Hey-a mama! Whassa matta for you, you not have-a the supper ready! Hey ---- it's-a five-thirty, mama --- C'mere, paisana, I'm a-gonna kiss-a you good!
GK: And foreign accents can be more authoritative too:
TR: (German accent) Young man, you haff two choices. You can take out zee trash, or you can be verrrrrrry sorry. And believe me, vee haff ways of making you verrrrrry sorry, heh heh heh.
SS: Boy, that's something the way they talk like that.
GK: You can learn to talk like that too ---- learn four, six, even twelve different accents ---- to suit any mood you're in:
TR: (IRISH) Top o'the mornin' to ye, and what a glorious mornin' it is too, Mary, me proud beauty!
GK: But when it comes to accents, there's nothing so useful as being able to sound English.
(TK & TR & GK IMPROV FLURRY OF BRIT SPEAK AND HARRUMPHING)
GK: The Accent School of Minnesota. Registration is open now for our fall classes. If you're burdened with a midwestern accent and every time you open your mouth, people think, "Oh, she comes from that big flat place in the middle. What can she possibly know about anything?" ---- maybe you need a new accent.
SS: Well, you know, that's a good point. I never thought of that before.
GK: Maybe you should.
TR (ITALIAN): Yes-a, maybe you should-a think about that, a new accent, hey, I love you, what you look at me like that for, baby?
GK: And this fall, if you register for one accent, you get your second accent absolutely free.
TK (BRIT): The second accent is free?
TR (BRIT): Extraordinary.
TK (BRIT): Absolutely extraordinary.
TR (BRIT): I say.
GK: The Accent School of Minnesota. Offering everything except Swedish.
TR (SWED): No Swedish then?
GK: No Swedish, thank you.
© 1997 by Garrison Keillor