Why does Joey Hart say that Mrs. Barrows must be a Dodgers fan in "The Catbird Seat"?

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bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

More specifically, Ulgine Barrows picks up her "gibberish" in James Thurber's short story, "The Catbird Seat," from one of the greatest of all baseball announcers: Red Barber. Barber (a native Floridian), who at the time of the story was the radio voice of the Brooklyn Dodgers, was known for his unusual Southern colloquial expressions. Some of her favorite sayings--"tearing up the pea patch" and "sitting in the catbird seat"--could hardly have been used by the average New Yorker, so Joey Hart naturally assumed that Ms. Barrows was Dodgers fan.

mkcapen1 | Student

In the book "The Catbird Seat" there is a character who is the opposite of what one should expect of her.  Her name is Mrs. Barrows.  She is masculine, loud mouthed, aggressive, at times vulgar, and bossy.  She intimidates Mr. Martin and dominates him.  At her work she is often yelling out different orders and statement.

Joey Hart works at the firm and is one of the assistants.  He always hears her bellowing out to others.  She yells things such as "picked 'em up down South'."

Joey makes the statement that she must be a Dodger's fan because he is referring to the pitches yelled out on the radio when the Dodger's are playing.

'Red Barber announces the Dodger games over the radio and he uses those expressions -- picked 'em up down South'."

Read the study guide:
The Catbird Seat

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