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Taoruon, like the toasts of many cultures, is a wish for health and happiness. Perhaps realizing that Wayne might have felt slighted that Murray left his seat while Wayne was telling his story, Murray hastens to note, in his own dubiously folksy way, that he heard it all even while he was pulling the espresso shots.

I realized years ago that many people from other parts of the country have this expectation that I, as a Southerner, should constantly be speaking in these folksy ways, coming up with witty metaphorical turns of phrases. A co-worker once demanded that I come up with some kind of ‘Southern’ way to describe how hot a day it was. It’s not really something that I practice in my way of reflecting on things and phrasing them, but there definitely are people who devote a good amount of time and effort to just this sort of culturally-specific idiom-making. (Then a whole bunch of other people repeat it until it becomes stale.) Some take it to almost a saccharine extreme and go the route of pun contest contenders or country-pop music songwriters. Me, my thought processes are so abstracted and they’re translated to language so slowly, things I think are funny are generally regarded as non sequiturs. My wit’s ’bout as quick as a melting quart of molasses ice cream. See? I can’t really do it. Murray can though.

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