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Dyre
 
   Commentary By Arnold Dyre

   I have shared before stories of Beverly and my dear friends Mike and Julie O’Brien.
   Mike and Julie both grew up in Pike County, Miss., with Julie being from Magnolia before going off to nursing school in New Orleans. Mike lived where what is now Percy Quinn State Park is located and also spent time in McComb before going to Mississippi State to become an engineer.
   Mike and Julie are extremely intelligent and have vast experience in their respective fields and also possess an abundance of practical know-how. But, I confess that when I first heard them refer to a “hose pipe” when talking about a water hose, I thought them both a bit addled.
   I think the issue first surfaced one day when Mike and I both got sick after I had been helping him pour a concrete driveway for another friend on a hot August day, and we foolishly drank water from a garden hose. Julie was explaining to Beverly what had happened and said, “Mike and Arnold are throwing up and have dysentery because they drank from a hose pipe.”
   Beverly thought Julie meant that we had drunk from the pipe that the hose was connected to and did not understand why that would make us sick.
   Julie explained that all sorts of bad bacteria accumulate in a coiled “hose pipe,” and Beverly was all the more confused, not knowing how the pipe could get coiled.
   I intervened and admitted that we had consumed quantities of water directly from the hose. Mike also got involved in the conversation, and somehow we finally figured out that what we called a “hose” was a “hose pipe” to Mike and Julie. We argued about it for quite a spell to no avail.
   Not long afterward, a physician friend of ours who grew up in a community near Columbia in Marion County, also surprised us by calling the hose that he was using to water some flowers a “hose pipe.”  
   Since then, I have noted that there is an area in South Mississippi and extending across into Louisiana where people say “hose pipe” when they mean a water hose or a garden hose. No amount of explaining that a hose is flexible and that a pipe is rigid will change them. To them, a pipe is a pipe, but a hose is a hose pipe.
   Those same “hose pipe” folks are apt to call the fish that we folks from up around Grenada and Enid Lakes know as “crappie” either a white perch or  sac-a-lait.
   One friend of ours, who happens to be married to Julie O’Brien’s sister and who lives just across the state line in Louisiana, says that when he catches what I call a crappie out of the north end of his boat he calls it a white perch, and when he catches it out of the south end he calls it a sac-a-lait.
   I recently thought I would settle both the hose and fish questions once and for all by asking my childhood friend Gary Rook who, as a boy, lived right across from me on Highway 8 between Grenada and Gore Springs.  Gary went to high school at Duck Hill and college at Mississippi State and now lives in South Louisiana below New Orleans. Gary is a world-class ship builder and has testified before Congress on matters thought generally far more important than hoses and fish.
   Anyway, Gary did not seem to know anything at all the “hose pipe” phenomenon, going at length to explain that a pipe was a rigid conduit of water, other fluids and even vapors, and that a hose was a flexible device used for much the same purposes. He further stated that hoses and pipes are frequently used together where the hose provides a flexible joint between sections of pipe to allow for ease of fit up or reduction of vibration.
   He got in a dig at me by declaring that the Ole Miss answer is: Who cares, as long as it is attached to a full keg of beer!
   Then, Gary explained that what the fish delicacy I had asked about was called depended on where he caught it, saying, “If I catch it up around Grenada, it is a crappie and, if I catch it down here in Louisiana, it is a sac-a-lait (pronounced sock-a-lay).”
   Friend Gary did not even address the “white perch” portion of the matter. No wonder Congress still does not know what is going on!
   Still frustrated, I asked the Mitchell Twins, Bobbie and Billie, who were my high school classmates and who, combined, have more common sense than anyone else I know.
   Billie told me that in Georgia, folks call a “hose” a “hose pipe.”
   Bobbie told me that she doesn’t care whether the fish is called white perch, crappie or sac-a-lait, she simply calls it “supper.”

Adrye@comcast.net


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