Since the last few Yankee games have been abysmal, I don’t want to talk about them. They are making me angry. I need a few laughs. So today, I’m going to talk about someone who never fails to make me laugh. She is a die-hard Yankees fan just like me. She’s my Grandma.
My Grandma is 86 years old. And she’s kind of Italian. And she’s lived in the Bronx her whole life. She does a lot to make us laugh, but the main thing she does is butcher words. Like when she says “toast,” she actually says “toes.” Or “dollar” is “dolla.” She never puts the “r” on her words. And sometimes, when she hears people actually put the “r” on the words, she says things like, “Oooh they talk with the ‘r’.”
Throughout the many years I have known my Grandma, and the many Yankee games we’ve watched together, I’ve noticed something: She butchers everybody’s name. And what’s really funny is that she actually says these things!
Here is a chunk of the Yankee roster – the way Grandma pronounces it:
– Mariani Rivera
Mariani, Grandma? Really? Must you make EVERYBODY Italian? How about Mariano? Or if that’s too complicated, why not just call him Mo?
– CC Sebastian
Look at CC…he’s obviously disgusted this “name.” Sebastian…where is that from? Okay. Grandma’s niece’s son is named Sebastian. But really, there is no excuse for that.
– Robinson Canoe
I guess this one was easy to mess up. But really? CANO.
– Kerry Woods
Again, this one is probably easy to mess up. But somtimes, I think she tries to mess them up. Kerry WOOD…is it really that hard?
– Derek Jeetah
Grandma never pronounces the “r” on the end of Jeter’s name. It’s just “Jeetah.” It rhymes with “cheetah.”
– Austin Sterns
I think Grandma only said this one once, but that’s because I corrected her right away. Kearns…Austin KEARNS.
– Curtain Granderson
Okay, this one isn’t really fair. Grandma just got tongue-twisted when she called him “Curtain.” But she still said it. Me, my little brother, and my Grandma were all watching the game one night. Me and my brother left the room for a minute, and Grandma shouted “HOME RUN!!” We asked, “Who, Grandma who!”
“Curt..uhhh…Cu…Curtain…oh, ah fanabla.”
She didn’t need to explain any more. We got it. Through our frenzy of laughter, we explained, “CURTIS!!!! CURTIS GRANDERSON!!! Aahahhahaaa….you just called him CURTAIN!!!!”
– Nick Swiffah
This one is everyone in my family’s favorite. She messed up the mess up. “Swiffah?” How about “Swiffer?” Or better yet, NICK SWISHER!!!!
This one has a little story. It happened one night during the offseason of 2008. It was dinnertime, and everyone was coming into the kitchen. We left the YES Network on as always. News of the Betemit/Swisher trade was just released.
Grandma just found out about this trade. She didn’t know who the guy was that the Yankees just got. So she shouted, “ROBBIT, (“Robbit” is my older brother, Robert. We all call him Bobby. She calls him “Robbit,” as opposed to “Robert” or Bobby.”) ROBBIT…”
“Yes Grandma?” Bobby asked.
Bobby was silent, confused like the rest of us.
“Who?” He asked.
“WHO’S NICK SWIFFAH?” Grandma tried again.
This time, Bobby went to the TV to see for himself. The headline “Yanks Trade for Nick Swisher.”
“GRANDMAAA!!!! It’s NICK SWISHER!!!!”
She didn’t have time to respond. We all started laughing at her. But she was a good sport about it, as always. “Oooh!” she said. Then she joined in with laughs. To this day, we still remind her of this one. And she never got it wrong the right way again. Now she calls him “Swizza.” Then I say, “No, Grandma…Nick SWISHER.”
I don’t think she’ll ever get it right.