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Davis, California

Monday, February 26, 2024

Column: Old Fartese Tuesdays

When people get old, they automatically develop a new accent that I like to call Old Fartese. There’s no explanation for how it happens. Some say once you hit 60, your voice box turns into the shape of an all-you-can-eat buffet or a rice-pudding mold, but who can be sure?

All I know is UC Davis has an abundance of professors over 60 who look mysteriously like a fully bearded David Letterman. A small part of me thinks it’s the same professor masquerading as different professors in a tragic attempt to ruin my GPA. Regardless, Old Fartese has many interesting characteristics that I’d like to share with you today.

They change pronunciations of words everyone already agrees on. Say the word “Tuesday.” Great. I already know how you pronounced it. It was either “Tyoozday” or “Toozday” right? Here’s what old people do: they say “Tooz-dee.”

What the FUCK?! When did “day” become “dee?” Every time I try to wrap my thoughts around this anomaly, my head explodes. It’s more or less the same feeling I get when I glance at an analog clock’s second hand for the first time: it looks as though that second lasted for like three seconds. Most people scrunch their faces up and judgingly ask me, “Dave, are you okay?” But you know what I’m talking about. Don’t lie – you know this time-travel-esque shit happens!

There’s a breathy feel to every word. It may take me a whhhile to explain this phenomenon to you, but I’m sure I’ll be done by Whhhednesday. Crack that whhhip, and send it whhhith my Christmas swhhheater via Fhhhed Ex, qhhhuick.

Imagine that in your head. Doesn’t it sound all weird and breathy? Old Fartese forces the speaker to add “h” sounds where they’re not called for. I can imagine an old guy reflecting on his new accent: “When did these ‘h’ sounds decide to float into my lexicon?! I never invited them here! Is it because of my voice box?! Janet! They’re like the Girl Scouts at our door – I can’t get them to leave! Whhhat the fhhhuck!”

In concert with their declining ability to hear, speakers of Old Fartese will crank the volume on the microphone to MAXIMUM OVERDRIVE, which hurls their whistled h’s into my gentle ears with brutal regularity. Another great gem for the podcasts…

They use words that sound correct, but are totally wrong. I’m pretty sure I heard my BIS 2A professor use the word “chunking” to personify the action of copying DNA – or some shit like that. (I’ve been sleeping during most of his lectures. Give me a break.)

I think he meant to say it was “chugging” along. I’ll chalk it up to poor memory on his part, but still. I’ve seen patterns among my more … how shall I say this … “seasoned” professors. Using “chunking along” in any context sounds like a funny way of insulting a fat person’s gait. Like “ohmigod! Look at Jessica’s leggings! She’s totally chunking across campus.” If I heard that, I’d be like “Damn, Jessica has one mighty tank of an ass,” or “Damn, someone needs to man the harpoons. We have a whale on the loose near Wellman!” In no way would I be charitable enough to interpret chunking to mean, “Jessica is unassumingly making her way toward Wellman.” Let’s be real friends, chunking has deeper – and fatter – implications.

Also, I think my O-chem professor said, “Toys or Else” instead of “Toys ‘R’ Us.” Really? Toys or Else? Toys ‘R’ Us has only been in existence since 1948. Jesus Christ. Try telling that one to a kid: WE’RE GOING TO TOYS OR ELSE!!! NOW SIT THE FUCK DOWN AND PUT YOUR SEAT BELT ON, JEFFREY TANNER!!!”

(By the way, white people totally love using middle names as intensifiers when they’re upset with their kids. Like “DAVID CHRISTOPHER … we do NOT touch other people in line at Nugget.” And you know they’re pissed when they use the entire full name: “ROBERT BLAKE MCDOUGALL – DID YOU JUST BACKSASS ME?!” But I digress.)

All in all, Old Fartese is an inconvenient burden on the college student. Instead of peacefully enjoying my Tic Tac, sleeping or drawing the professor’s likeness to late night TV hosts, I have to decipher the shitty English that spills out of their old mouths. Now, heaven forbid, we take all the aforementioned aspects of Old Fartese and INCLUDE the fact that a professor is from the UK or Mainland China … yeah, fuck that. I’ll take the class next quarter.

DAVE KARIMI thinks people who use 0.9 mm lead just need to shut up and use a pencil already. Why the FUCK would you spend money for lead that’s the SAME size as a #2 pencil?! Also, if you’re driving down to Irvine this Thanksgiving, shoot him an e-mail at dkarimi@ucdavis.edu so we can make plans. He swears his jokes won’t be as corny as they are here.


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