My most favourite character in literature is Burma Jones. The only black, the only sane, possibly the smartest and yet the funniest person in A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole, he works for “minimal wage” – not his only mispronunciation – as a janitor in a shady bar to avoid being re-arrested for alleged vagrancy, although his arrest was probably sparked more by racism.
Sadly, I don’t remember much of the dialogue, except for the exclaiming “Whoa!” which accompanied many of Burma Jones’ sentences, his mispronunciations like “po-lice” and “a-ward”, comparing the work at the bar to work “on a plantation” as well as the messed-up grammar and syntax. If you have A Confederacy of Dunces at hand, please add a few of his quotes in the comments below to give other readers an impression of the style. If you haven’t, go and get a copy. You will enjoy it!
Despite its literary success, A Confederacy of Dunces has not yet been turned into a movie. Since this week, I know who could play Burma Jones very well:
(Charles Ramsey, who helped rescue three kidnapped girls in Cleveland, Ohio on 6 May 2013)
That’s exactly how Burma Jones sounds in the novel and how I imagined him!