By the time the man with the camera had cut across our neighbor’s yard, the twins were out of the trees swingin low and Granny was onto the steps, the screen door bammin soft and scratchy against her palms.
“We thought we’d get a shot or two of the house and everything and then . . .”
“Good mornin,” he said, head all down the way Bingo does when you yell at him about the bones on the kitchen floor. “Nice place you got here, aunty. We thought we’d take a . . .”
“Did you?” said Granny with her eyebrows. Cathy pulled up her socks and giggled.
“Nice things here,” said the man buzzin his camera over the yard. The pecan barrels, the sled, me and Cathy, the flowers, the painted stones along the driveway, the trees, the twins, the toolshed.
“I don’t know about the thing, the it, and the stuff,” said Granny still talkin with her eyebrows. “Just people here is what I tend to consider.”
Camera man stopped buzzin. Cathy giggled into her collar.
“Mornin, ladies,” a new man said. He had come up behind us when we weren’t lookin. “And gents,” discoverin the twins givin him a nasty look. “We’re filmin for the county,” he said with a smile. “Mind if we shoot a bit around here?”
Smilin man was smiling up a storm. So was Cathy. But he didn’t seem to have another word to say, so he and the camera man backed on out the yard, but you could hear the camera buzzin still.
“Your mama and I are not related.”
Select an Answer
The episode reveals a conflict between
propriety and impertinence
virtue and corruption
kindness and cruelty
passiveness and aggression
refinement and grossness
Choice (A) is correct. Granny displays “propriety,” or polite and appropriate behavior, while the cameraman displays “impertinence,” or rude and inappropriate behavior. The cameraman is not hostile or vulgar in his dealings with Granny, but his rude treatment is evident in his use of the patronizing term “aunty” and his failure to ask permission to film or apologize for his intrusion onto Granny’s property; in short, the cameraman does not treat Granny with proper respect. Granny, on the other hand, politely greets the cameraman with the phrase “Good mornin’” and a curt smile, and asserts through her speech and actions (“‘I do indeed,’ said Granny with no smile”) that she considers his behavior to be an improper intrusion. Granny is angry, but she does not shout or curse; she simply states, with appropriate directness, that she does not appreciate the cameraman’s actions.