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Monday, September 5, 2011

Do You Understand the Words that are Coming Out of My Mouth?

My daughter recently sent me a link to a comic on the web. The comic delighted her because whoever made it had suffered the same misunderstanding she once had:

(On our way to Kentucky to visit family, we stopped in a small local diner)
The waitress wrote down my daughter's entree order, then paused. "Okay, suge. Soup er Salad?"
"What?" daughter asks.
"Soup er Salad, hon?" the waitress repeated.
"Um . . . yes?"
"No, hon." The waitress shook her head. "Soup er salad?"
Dear daughter turns and looks to me in desperation.
I chuckle. "She wants to know if you want the soup or a salad?"
"Oh my God!" daughter laughs. "I was wondering what the heck a 'Super Salad' was!"

Being a writer (or penmonkey, wordsmith, or word-whore, whichever term you prefer) doesn't exempt one from misunderstandings. Take my recent exchange with the very same daughter:

"Miss X (her best friend) just got a tattoo gun," my daughter said.
"Really? She any good?" I'm still thinking about getting another tattoo.
"Yeah, but she's just learning how to use it. She's only doing oranges right now."
"Um . . . okay. Why oranges?" I asked.
"Good practice," daughter said. "I mean, she's already really good, but she wants to make sure she really knows what she's doing."
"Sure. But oranges are so boring! Why not hearts? They should be easy, too."
Daughter goggled at me a moment. Blink, blink. "Wait . . . what?"
"Unless she's just got a thing about fruits," I said. "But she could still do something besides oranges. Why not apples? She could get exotic and do mangoes. Or what about grapes? They're easy and cute, and everybody loves grapes."
Daughter shook her head. "How the hell is she supposed to put a tattoo on a grape?"
My turn to blink. "OH! She's tattooing ON oranges!"

Palm to face. I had a vision of Miss X, sitting with tattoo gun in hand, piles of pigskin surrounding her, each one emblazoned with a tattoo of an orange: a single orange; two oranges with a leaf; an orange sliced in half . . . .

But no, she was putting tattoos ON oranges instead of on pigskin.

Miss X, say hello to Miss-communication, lol.



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