Thursday, April 14, 2011

Close Encounters of the Awkward Kind

Checkout line, big boxy store, 2:26 p.m.

White Suburban Mom: “I’d like to put these items on a second ticket.”

Black Checkout Woman: “OK.”

WSM: “Son, please stop canceling mommy’s transaction!”

Son: [Hammering keypad with attached pen] “Squee!”

Me: “Excuse me, you forgot an item in the basket, by your child’s feet.”

WSM: “Oh, thank you! Thank you! Uh...can you put this on a third...well, eh, put that on the second ticket, too.”

BCW: “Not a problem.”

WSM: “So where are you from?”

BCW: [Pause] “Not from here.”

WSM: “I know. I could tell from your heavy accent!”

BCW: “I’m from Africa, not from Louisiana. You all have the worst accents!”

WSM: [Laughs out of shock] “I have a bad accent?”

BCW: “Everybody has the worst accent here.”

WSM: “Tell us how you really feel!”

BCW: “You say I talk funny and you talk funny too. Everybody in Louisiana talks funny.”

Me: [Laughs out of awkwardness, but kind of agreeing]

WSM: “Well, won’t YOU have a blessed day! [Laughs harder, looks at me] “You know?” [Nods at me, leaves]

BCW: [To me] “Telling me I talk with an accent. Hah!”

Me: “I’m so sorry. So sorry.”

BCW: “She has an accent too. Come on!”

Me: “Everybody has an accent to somebody.”

BCW: “Exactly!”



venessalewis said...

LMAO!!!!! But DAMN YOU for casting me as WSM in your hypothetical script!!!!

Ian McGibboney said...

I just wanted to test your acting range!

venessalewis said...

Oh yeah....good save!

Ian McGibboney said...

We'd have to mar your appearance a bit.

Anonymous said...

That's something I would have said (the WSM part). When I was a cashier I once ask a customer what language he and another man were speaking because I had never heard it before. It was Portuguese. I didn't think it was rude of me.

Ian McGibboney said...

It's not that she asked — I ask all the time — but how she carried herself. Her tone was somewhat condescending. Not that the other woman reacted much better, but she wasn't the aggressor. The WSM could have worded her question and her responses better. The experience left me feeling awkward and embarrassed in ways that these conversations don't usually do.