While I may find amusement in Franks accent now, when I spent a summer working at The Lobster Pound off Highway 1, a few miles outside of Camden, Maine, such an accent sometimes caused me grief. It would not have been so bad if Barb, the lead hostess, and Bob, the kitchen manager, were not both employed at the lovely tourist attraction where I had sought summer employment in between college semesters. In any other part of the world, Barb and Bob employees cause no problems for their coworkers. But for an outsider in New England, both names are seemingly pronounced the same: "Bawb".
One day, the owner of this beach side seafood serving establishment told me to take something urgent to "Bawb". I asked, "Is that Bob or Barb?" He repeated with disgust, "I said, Bawb!" I still did not move, and carefully emphasizing the subtle, or not so subtle, differences in the vowels of their names, I again asked for clarification, "As in Barb or Bob?" Not the least bit amused and losing he patience, he shouted, "Take this to Bawb! Now!" A little frightened, I was still honestly clueless as to who I was to go to and insisted, "I could take this to Bob," as I looked toward Bob's office. "Or I could take this to Barb," I continued, looking in the direction of the dining room. As I searched his expressions for some hint of which way I should go, he simply concluded, "Why doncha just take it to Bawb like I asked ya." And then he walked away.
Ah, don't you just love New Englanders?