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January 13, 2011



You hit the nail on the head with what you had to say about the word "hua." That's how I learned to pronounce the W word in our junior high school playground in Brooklyn. The authority was a fast kid (he smoked!) named Barry.    

A year or so later this came back to haunt me. I was infatuated with a girl in junior high named Lois. She had a very unusual full upper lip -- not a cupid's bow, exactly -- that I couldn't get out of my mind. She had two older brothers, one of whom was lipped the same way, and at least one younger sister. As I recall, her father was a Protestant minister although his lips I don't remember.

She liked me but also liked Russian-diplomat's-son Alex, whose last name was uncomfortably similar to mine. Lois had obviously gone pretty far with Alex, as I understood one day when she and our friend  Roz marched back and forth in front of my house as Roz loudly sang something that sounded like the Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers hit called Why Do Fools Fall in Love? That infectious song began with the lines . . . 

Ooo wah, ooo wah; oo-oo wa-ah, ooo wah
Ooo wah, ooo wah; oo-oo wa-ah, ooo wah

. . . to be then followed by the words of the title.

But Roz's version was markedly different . . . 

Ooo wah, ooo wah; Lois is a hua
Ooo wah, ooo wah; Lois is a hua -- and on and on and on she went.

If they were trying to make me jealous I got the picture and they succeeded.

I wanted desperately to go to the prom with Lois but, alas, Alex asked her first. If they had a good time I never heard about it and didn't want to. Meanwhile I attended with my good friend Carol and we had a blast. So at least one of my teenage pity party stories had a happy ending, even though my experience with huas was sadly cut short.

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