We had a new dad in our nursery a few Sundays ago, and as is polite, I asked him the usual questions: name, occupation, where do you live, how much has your 401K lost. Then I asked him from where he moved. His answer: BOYZEE (Boise).
Must not have lived there very long, I say to him.
"We lived there 8 years, so pretty long."
What? He lived in Boise for 8 years and he was still calling it BOYZEE? I felt the vein in my forehead pounding. I was suddenly sympathetic to Freddie Quimby, the nephew to Mayor Quimby on The Simpsons, who threatened a french waiter who called "chowdah," "choudiare."
"It's pronounced Boy-SEE, Boy-SEE! I'll kill you! I'll kill all of you! Especially you in the jury!"
But it's nursery, so I let it slide. But I gotta wonder what is happening to my people in Idaho? Are there so many outsiders that Boise is indeed now known as Boize? Or is it becoming "big city," where people don't want to make waves or correct others. Are Idahoans "keeping to themselves?" Where are the bossy, motherly, settin'-things-right Idahoans of my youth?
Are you telling me that in Boise if I go to a grocery store on a coldish day with my children not in coats or shoes I'm not going to have at least five grandmotherly ladies lecturing me on dressing my children appropriately? Does no one say anything to the youthful boys about hitching their pants up above their underwear? Do people turn their heads when a spiked, blue-haired punk gets on the bus, rather than staring him down with a crinkle inbetween their eyes?
My Boise friends: you are letting me down. As soon as someone new moves into the neighborhood, your first duty is to bring them a bag full of fresh zucchini from your overgrown garden, and then remind them that it's Boy-see, not Boy-zee, and if you hear differently from them, their house will be pelted with the over-ripe tomatoes from your garden.
Don't go big city on me, Idaho. Let's not turn into Col-"aw"-"raw"-do or Nev-"aw"-da. Double-points if you're still calling it Pokey or Pocatell-"ah."
But I do give one pass to a certain singer who we revere in this house: Morrissey. During his one and only concert in Nampa, Idaho, he came bursting onto the stage saying, "Hello, girls and boyz-ee." Now that's just cool.