9.27.2009

Almost Lost in Translation

My sister in law was in town recently (OK... so this story is super old. She hasn't been here for months, but I remembered this incident yesterday. Making it current seems like more fun) and we headed to the mall to do a little shopping and have some girl time. She's preparing for a trip to Mexico with her office. Yes, it is true, she has some of the best job perks of anyone I know. Every year her bosses treat the entire office staff to a trip to the beach. It's amazing. Anyway, being the super fit chick she is, of course she was looking for the perfect bikini to take on her trip.

Though she didn't find a suit, she did find running shoes that she had been looking to replace. We stepped up to the check out line and she paid with her debit card. The salesperson asked to see her picture ID. Which, though it slows the purchase down, I am always so glad to have people do. Well, except when they take the card from you and fail to even look at the picture or compare the names on the cards. WT? I mean, why go through the motions? All you're doing is proving to me how simple it is for crooks to nab my charge cards and go on a spending spree. So, the sales guy takes her ID and actually reads her name. And then says something faster than the speed of light and with more twang than an episode of Hee Haw. It sounded something like, "Ewekinta richerfisher?"

The two of us stood there slack jawed and staring at him.

Thankfully, he repeated himself a bit slower. "Er ewwwwe kinta richer fisher?"

The second time, being the seasoned Dixie resident that I am, I caught his question. I turned to my sweet Midwestern sister-in-law and said, "He's asking if you are kin to Richard Fischer?" She looked a bit confused. I looked back to the sales guy and explained that she wasn't from around "these parts" and that I was pretty sure she and Richard were no relation.

The sales guy smiled and asked from where she was visiting? Though it sounded more like, "War ewe fruuuum?" She explained that she lives in St. Louis and that I had only been here a few short years. He smiled and welcomed us both to Chattanooga with a heaping dose of southern hospitality. Then he gamely asked how we might have asked the same question. I told him that "kin" wasn't a term we used very often, but we would have probably said, "Are you related to RicharD Fischer?" (Though the truth is, had a Midwestern sales person been checking the ID I doubt he'd have asked a question like that at all. Checkout lines aren't typically a place to climb the family tree. But that's a whole other post.) He smiled, laughed at himself and exaggerated his accent by asking the question again really slow, "Er ewwwe kin ta richer fisher?" I like it when people can laugh at themselves.

We left the store and I explained that I was pretty proud that it had only taken me twice to understand what he had asked her. I told her, just a year or so ago, that incident might have been much more embarrassing for everyone involved. Thankfully I am now a skilled translator.

3 comments:

angelonwheels said...

Molly Page you just crack me up!

Anonymous said...

You really are funny!!!!!

Molly said...

why, thank you!