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Thursday December 14th 2017Tim Candler9

 

      The plan is to bravely venture into the unknown, explore the possibilities and return with sanity intact. God willing, I could be gone no more than four hours. And here we're talking yet another attempt to engage with the snorting and sniffling nightmare of the festive season. This time, despite my instinct against it, I intend to shave, shower, shampoo the hair, and I'll do this to avoid any suggestion from the purveyors of festive goods that I might be one of those who can't remember his telephone number or his billing zip code.  Over time a person begins to understand his own weaknesses, and should you share mine, it's better to have an excuse ready and waiting for why you can't remember stuff like bunches of numbers and have to find them on a piece of paper in your purse, otherwise it really looks suspicious. Keep it simple.  "That'll be the new number?" A questioning eyebrow, followed by an enthusiastic and willing "I've got it right here." 

 

Past

     One thing's for sure, never again will I enter the Books A Million and enquire after a Book Token. This of course was years ago, before things like having to remember a telephone number or a zip code in order to conduct a financial transaction. In that simpler time you just paid cash. Back then I was still basically driving on the wrong side of the road, but at least I was doing it very slowly. Nor were my language skills adequate to the English as spoken in these here United States.  Book Tokens I discovered were clearly code for a nefarious and possibly criminal activity, right up there with soliciting. For those interested Book Tokens in book shops here in the USA are called Gift Certificates. Call them a Book Token or attempt to explain what they are and you risk getting more than some very peculiar looks. Call them a Gift Certificate and the sales assistant gives you the distinct impression that your seasonal gift giving lacks anything like imagination and you're probably a vegetarian with a Tofu Turkey to look forward to, but at least you don't get asked to leave the store, which oddly enough is incredibly embarrassing.

 

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