Paradis (pronounced Pair-a-dee) is an unincorporated area of St. Charles Parish, Louisiana. Justin Wilson would not have sounded out of place there, but you would…

    (Act I, scene 1; Perry is opening up the shop for the day. The phone rings, and he answers….)

    Perry: Paradis Lost and Found, dis is Perry, me.

    Des: Halo,’statue?

    Perry: Yeah, I said dat, dis is me, Des. where y’at, you?

    Des: Pulling up. (sounds of a poorly tuned Ford truck come from outside the store)

    Perry: You late, you. I had ta open da store, me.

    Des: well, open da door, an’  I’ll finish dere.

    Perry: You gotta key, you. You forget how to use it?

    Des: I can’t find dat ting nowhere I look.

    Perry (sighs): Okay, I come open door dere. Don’ be tellin’ no customers ’bout you losin’ dat key.

    Des: Dat’s easy, we ain’t had a customer all week, us. (They hang up)

    (Opens the front door, Des walks past with a sack; Perry turns on the ‘Open’ sign.)
    Perry: Today is da day, I got dis feelin’, me.

    Des: You better take someting for dat.

    Perry: Someting? Like a smarter partner? Dis is a good feeling.

    Des: So is dis (pulls two plastic 16-oz. glasses of frozen pink liquid from his sack).

    Perry: Where you get dem daquiris?

    Des: Where you tink? The Parrot Ice, is where, dere.

    Perry: Dey open dis early now, dem?

    Des: Shirley was dere, getting ready ta’ open, dere. Dese are from last night’s batch.
    She gives them to me, I trow out da big garbage sacks for her.

    Perry: Des, you one big spender, you. (A car pulls up in front of the Paradis Lost and Found)
    See dat? A customer, in de first hour. Look busy.

    (a nicely dressed man and his good-looking wife get out of the car.
    They are not locals, as Perry doesn’t know them. Or their car.)

    Perry: nice lookin’ lady, see dat rack?

    Des: Dat’s a pair a’ D’s, 38 double.

    (The door opens, the couple walks in)

    Des: Good morning, you!

    Perry: How you all are?

    (Customer reaches out to shake Perry’s hand first.)

    Customer: Pete Thomas, my wife, Ann

    Perry: Welcome! (shakes hand) Perry, Des(points to his daquiri-sipping partner.)

    Ann: I thought it was pronounced Para-DEES

    Des: No, mamou always said Des, short for Desmond.

    Ann: No, I meant the town…

    Perry: So you lose a ting? Or you found someting?

    Pete: Both. We lost two of the Scary movies

    Des: Dat Saw? Char, dat was a scary one.

    Perry: Silence of Dem Lambs?

    Pete: no, no, the Scary movie franchise. We lost One and Three.

    Des: Dey ain’t scary, dem movies.

    Pete: No, they’re satires, you know, parodies.

    Perry: Para-dee

    Pete: It was two. So plural, parodies

    Des: Is only one town(looks at Perry, raises his eyebrow)

    Pete: (Looks at Ann, raises eyebrow) Has anyone turned in any DVD’s?

    Perry: No, when you lose dem?

    Pete: At a picnic ground off Hwy. 90. They kept the kids entertained.

    Ann: I could use a daiquiri right now.

    Des: Dey got ’em in Parrot Ice.

    Ann: Well, I’m sure I don’t want one That bad!

    Perry: Is just ’round da corner, dere. (to Pete) You look good?

    Pete: Say what? Oh, yeah, we looked all over dat.. that picnic area.
    And that is where we found these.
    (Ann hands him two fuzzy dice connected by a string.

    Des: Dat’s my pair a’  dice!

    Perry: Dey hang from your look-back mirror. How you lose dem?

    Des: When I took out Darlene, she said she liked my pair ‘o’ dice.
    Den she get all mad, her, when I tol’ her dat she got one fine pair ‘o’ thighs.
    She trew dem out de truck.

    Perry: Darlene Perrault? She too young even for you, horn-dog.

    Des: No not her, Darlene DuBois. But she got dem Perrault eyes, kinda crooked, you know.

    Pete: I guess we helped you, but you can’t help us. That’s a real shift in the paradigm.

    Des: You lost a pair ‘o’ dimes? We got us a metal-finder. Still in da box.

    Pete: No, you see a paradigm is a …

    Ann: Come on, honey. We’ll be late for,…well for something. (she turns to leave. Des makes an hourglass shape with his hands.)

    Perry: (As the door closes behind the couple). So you like a pair ‘o’ dose pants?

    Des: Ol’ Noser an’ Bullet chased down a pair ‘o’ does last week, on our huntin’ lease. Dey was pantin, dem.

    Perry: (shakes his head)Des, I tol’ Father Cheramie at the Diocese to pray for you. He said a pair ‘o’ Dioceses couldn’t pray enough.




2 responses to this post.

  1. Stellar! And do I sense a peculiar familiarity with the obsession driving this piece, am-I-right-me?
    I recall the night(s) I spent hand-drawing cartoons for a post about a paradox./pair-of-ducks/ pair-of-dykes/ pair of dikes. oy, 2007. And I do feel complimented to be either emulated, or simply to have luckily found someone ,out of the millions of drones, who also thrills to this type of exercise.
    My main question, me, is about the unique speech patterns here. A local dialect I’ve neither heard nor heard of, me.
    I’m also uplifted to see you on a creative roll. I do have minutes, sometimes entire hours, almost daily, when I feel a compulsion to write down my glimpses into absurdity, however survival issues usually drown out the muse.


    • Some of the recent pieces, like this one, are older posts I lifted from the Xanga site, the better to make them available to newer readers.
      Ending a sentence with a pronoun is peculiar to the cajuns south of LaRose. The southwestern cajuns use dere at the end of phrases, sentences, and probably after sex; it will get to you after awhile. For comedic purposes, I combined dose tings dere, me.


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