Sounding intelligent in any language

Notes From Nan
BY HF Contributing Writer, Nan Parati

Back when I used to sort-of-attend-the-university whenever I wasn’t busy hitchhiking all over Europe and North Africa (Kids, this was in the ‘70s—don’t try this at home), in Germany, I had a German friend, Ingrid who could say one sentence in English:

“The first thing I should like to mention is the fact that all of these abuses must be put an end to.”

She thought it made her sound smart.

Me, I learned how to say, “Yes, but . . . .” in as many languages as I could, as I figured in any conversation I could feign understanding and then disagree: “Yes, but . . .“ and I’d shake my head, just not be able to find the words to explain my deep contention with whatever it was they were saying.

BUT THE FIRST THING I SHOULD LIKE TO MENTION IS THE FACT THAT the use of plastic cups at Elmer’s must be put an end to! We aren’t using them because we don’t know that they’re bad for the environment (all that oil to produce them) or because we’re cheap (they ain’t!) but because


We ordered new glasses quite a while ago, but apparently they are sent by camelback over the Silk Road and . . . monkeys are lobbing rocks at the camels and breaking our glass shipment repeatedly. Apparently. I don’t know why they’re taking so long. They’re not really special glasses, only sturdier ones (heavier, thicker walls) but they are taking forever to get here. I think I’m going to cancel the order tomorrow and order them from someplace else. Like Connecticut where they have no camels or monkeys to delay the order.

Friday’s Menu 09/14/07

This Friday night we are having

  • A hearty Nor’ Eastern Fish Chowdah
  • With a big, hearty local salad
  • And hearty Pop-ovahs! (Did I get the accent right?)
  • And a hearty Hi-Ho Silver, AWAY!

For the kids (and poor Sean Skalski whose demolition derby car conked out after the first hit last Friday night and all his dad’s horses and all his dad’s pit crew couldn’t get the car to start again) we’ll have Macaroni and Cheese!

Coming up at Elmers!

  • Sunday, September 16th from 3-5 pm: Poetry Reading at Elmer’s. This event is being organized by Lea Banks. If you have questions, please call her at 625-6702.
  • Friday, Sept. 21, at . . . . either 7 or 7:30 at Town Hall: The first annual Ashfield Film Festival! View the film entries by film-makers from Ashfield and/or about Ashfield! See emcee Harry Karamides in a tuxedo announce the winners! Vote for the audience favorite! See yourselves in some of the films! Great Fun!
  • Saturday, October 27th 7 – 9pm Ray Mason himself! in concert at Elmer’s!
  • When are those knitters coming back on Saturdays? Does anyone know?

Nan Parati - Elmer's StoreNan Parati: Nan is the proprietor of Elmer’s Store in Ashfield, MA. A New England transplant from the Deep South, Nan shares her southern wit, wisdom and charm every week in her column, “Notes from Nan.” Share dinner with her every Friday at Elmer’s. Each weeks menu posted with her column. Previous Notes from Nan & Related Posts:

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  • 2 Comments on “Sounding intelligent in any language

    1. And lo, while you were sleeping, the Great Pumpkin arose out of the pumpkin patch and brought Fish Chowder to Elmer’s and put it in the To-Go case for you!

      And he also brought Macaroni and Cheese . . .

      But who’s to say that the Great Pumpkin is really a He?

      You know what else we have? Lots of great pumpkins that were raised by Dick and Susan Todd and are fancy (pretty) French Heirloom pumpkins. They’re the same ones Dick and Susan used to sell on their own, but we have them now. (Dick and Susan are tied up in the back.) Two/thirds of the money we make off of them goes to the Franklin Land Trust, so you can buy them and save the countryside, as well! Plus, you can eat them! (Poor things!) They don’t speak any English, you know.

      So, good night and great pumpkin,

      Big E

    2. Dang it! Here are the things I forgot to tell you in the e-mail:

      Since we are at the last seasonal hurrah for corn, we’ll be serving Schmidt’s Corn on the Cob with our dinner, as well.

      So our dinner will be:

      A hearty Nor’ Eastern Fish Chowdah
      With a big, hearty local salad
      Hearty Last Hurrah Corn on the Cob
      And hearty Pop-ovahs!

      Non-fishatarian Vegetarians will be served:

      Mary’s home-made Macaroni and Cheese
      With a big, hearty local salad
      Hearty Last Hurrah Corn on the Cob
      And hearty Pop-ovahs!

      And for dessert:

      Ice Cream Man will be here again!
      And we’ll have a variety of Pies!

      Next week on Ashfield Movie Awards night, we’ll be featuring Dinner and a movie—Dinner before you make it to the red carpet. More on that next week.

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