An awkward pause
First a little background is necessary. The Barnes & Nobles (around here at any rate) have train tables set up in the kids’ area. This is a little table that is about 2 feet high and covered with little wooden trains. Most of the time, those trains are Thomas the Tank Engine trains. The engines on these trains all have little faces on the front, and they all have names. One of these engines is named Percy.
Several months ago, C & I were in a Barnes & Noble to do some shopping. As always, we swung by the train table. A woman (early to mid 20’s) was there with her little boy. Here’s the conversation that was going on:
boy: "Percy! I love Percy! Look mom! It’s Percy!"
mom: "Shhhh… Yes, it’s Percy. Shhhh."
C (arriving): "Trains! Hooray!"
boy (grabbing for Percy): "No! Percy is mine! My Percy!"
mom (apologetically): "He’s saying "Percy."
Me: "I know."
Her: "Because it’s sounds like he’s saying – "
Me: "I know. Him too."
Her (nervous laugh): "Really?"
Me: "Watch." Pointing out Percy to C, I say "who’s that, big guy?"
C: "Percy! Hooray! Percy!"
Her: "I just wish they wouldn’t say it so loud."
Confused? First you have to undersand that 1 year olds don’t make the "er" sound, but instead say "uh". Get it? Now go back and re-read, substituting the "uh" sound for the "er" sound in "Percy". And make sure you shout every line that the kids say – because that’s what they’re doing.
Told you it was awkward.
Why would a kids toy company name any character Percy? I just don’t know.