I’m briefly out of town and without my Little Book of Horrors, so I will use one of my own Horrors to follow up on several recent posts about mis-hearing.
It’s a Cousins’ Reunion I’m on. Last night my cousin Betsy announced that we would be having dinner at Pizza Lune. I imagined a fairly traditional pizza joint, maybe an upscale pizza joint, with a moon in its logo. A sort of upscale FRENCH pizza joint, I theorized. Or on second thought maybe very Italian, “Pizza Luna” but pronounced like a paisan–Pizza Lun’.
“That’s fine,” I said, “as long as they have a bar and I can get a Bloody Mary.” (I had had a long, traffic-jammy drive…)
The motel shuttle pulled up at Pete’s Saloon.
If I had texted a friend about our destination, I would have had no doubt that we were going to Pizza Lune. (Well, I might have admitted the possibility of Pizza Lun’.) It wouldn’t have been a spelling mistake; it would have been a conceptual mistake. Not considering a proprietary Peter, and not an habitual user of the term “saloon,” I processed what I heard into what fit my familiarity zone.
No wonder my cousin looked at me oddly when I tried to make sure I could get a drink… at a saloon.