Sunday, March 13, 2011

Passing strangers

  • Robert and I went to Dick's the other night, me to return a mini-stairmaster that was broken, him to look for a sleeping bag for his daughter or something like that.  As I was checking out there was a black woman at the register, 50-55 or something, wearing some sort of faux fur headband.  She was waiting for a manager to come up front.  As it turns out, she was hoping to apply the $10 discount coupon that was printed out on her receipt to the purchase for which it was a receipt.  Readers of science fiction will recognize one of those time travel paradoxes at work.  The manager came up front and said "we'll do it for you this time, but these usually apply to a subsequent purchase."  The woman rejoined:  "Well, that's not what the sales guy said, he said it could apply to this purchase.  That's kind of a case of... what you call it?  Misleading information, wouldn't you say?"  The woman was clearly proud to have broken out a threatening technical term like "misleading information," and her body posture implied that she had a team from Skadden, Arps waiting in the wings. The manager, surely an hourly employee with shitty benefits, clearly just wanted this troublemaker out of his store so he could close down.
  • Friday night we got take-out from the Thai place down at the shopping center. On the phone, the guy asked my name, and I told him, "Clark".  Consonant clusters like "Cl" don't always go down so smooth with native speakers of Asian languages, so he said, "OK, Bark".  Which is cool.

    So when I got there 15 minutes later, there was only one take-out order waiting and the guy leads me to it and shows me the bill and I jokingly said:  "How'd you know it was for me?" and he said "Oh I know your name, Bark."  Which was plausible, as I've ordered and picked up there many times in the past.  But still, you gotta love it.

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