“Just how crazy is a betsy bug?” The question was asked with just hint of sarcasm. Barely detectable, but I knew him well enough to know it was there.
He was making fun. Something we did to each other often. The playfulness was part of our relationship then, and it still is now; one of the things that makes us work.
I mulled over his question for a moment, pretending to be distracted by the chicken frying on the stove. Truth was, I didn’t even know what the heck a betsy bug was. Later, when away from his scrutinizing eye, I would google the information and learn that a betsy bug was actually a real insect more commonly known as a bess beetle. Upon more in depth googling, I was unable to learn where the phrase originated. I just knew I’d heard it since I was a child.
That Jane's* crazy as a betsy bug; bless her heart.
I turned to Jeremy, wiping flour-covered hands on the front of my jeans, and said, “A betsy bug is crazy. What more do you need to know?”
He wasn’t convinced. “What makes it crazy? Why is a betsy bug any crazier than any other sort of bug? A roach, for example? Or a grasshopper?”
He smirked, and I turned back to my chicken. “I honestly can’t tell you, Jeremy. It’s an old expression, a turn of phrase. You use them all the time.”
“Not any as weird as that.”
“Yeah, yeah. It’s weird. I’m Southern; I say weird things and talk real slow. Shoot me. It’s better than people not being able to tell where I’m from! Need I remind you of the time you called my Mom’s bank and her coworker thought you were from India? Her exact words were, ‘Brenda, there’s some foreign man on the phone for you!’”
It was true. Jeremy’s accent was pretty unidentifiable, and frankly, even I had a hard time understanding him sometimes. Mainly, because he mumbled.
I liked to tell him that I wasn’t fluent in “mumble.”
He liked to roll his eyes at me.
We were always trying to figure each other out. From opposite sides of the country, sometimes seeming to speak two different languages, raised in two separate cultures, and yet, for some reason, we worked.
Even now, when we're lost in translation, words and minds apart, we still work.
Author's Note: *Names have been changed to protect the innocent, bless their hearts. This little slice of mine and Jeremy's life was brought to you by the Write on Edge RemembeRED prompt: "Colloquialisms and Dialect." For great writing, be sure to click on the link below: