So I'm sitting here working on the wonky-but-sincere blanket listening to a Wisconsin Timber Rattlers minor league baseball game on AM radio when I hear this sentence:
"I bet you still got splinters from ridin' the pine in t-ball".
I don't know why it struck me tonight since it's part of an advert that comes on about 10000000 times during any given Timber Rattlers' game, but it did. What language IS that?!
Of course I fully understand that the frozen pizza making sponsor of Timber Rattlers' baseball was razzing his colleague/brother about his lack of skills in the game of baseball being such that, as a child, he didn't get to participate in the baseball games played by the league for kids 8 year olds and younger. But think for a minute how much other background information one needs to have in order for that sentence to have any meaning what so ever.
I have a lot of international friends who speak English fluently, FLUENTLY, who would have absolutely no clue what that pizza guy was trying to say. In fact my British friends wouldn't get it.
Kinda makes me wonder how many times in the past 8 years someone has dissed me with the Italian version of a ridin'-the-pine insult and I didn't even know it.
On a related but tangential note...today one of my non-mother-tongue-english speaking friends asked me the definition of the word "corny". I said "cheesy". That cleared everything up.