November 11, 2004

My "Neener Neener" Moment

Normally, in the course of my job, 90% of the customers don't speak English, and since I don't speak Spanish, I get the stink eye. The few customers that do have a command of the English language usually make it pretty clear they think that since I am blonde and a Mall Wench, I must have the mental capacity of a turnip.
Not to disparage turnips, by the way... many turnips are great philosophers and lead very productive lives.
Yesterday a mother and daughter team stops by the counter to purchase some frivolities. The mother starts to explain her purchases to me, this one needs a gift receipt, this one needs a box, etc... all in the slow, loud "speaking to those deaf or dimwitted" voice. Daughter, who is doing her homework as they shop (I have NO clue as to why, this may be a new trend I'm not aware of... Retail Homeworking or something) interrupts to ask Mom what "anthropomorphism" is.
Mom hmmms a bit, and says she has no idea, is that even a real word?
As I hand back their change, gift receipt, and box, I say "Anthropomorphism is the attribution of human characteristics to nonhuman things."
Dual jaw drop and bug-eyed stares, hasty scribbling, and they are gone, as if I'd revealed my grown horns and a tail.
I basked in that afterglow for a nice little while.
Until my manager sent me to clear up baby puke in the dressing room.
Let me just make clear, I'm not braggartly claiming to be a genius. I had to look up "anthropomorphism" to make sure I'd spelled it correctly. I just like my little moments of zen, you know?

Posted by LeeAnn at November 11, 2004 08:03 AM

I love it when stuff like that happens! Savor it--and hope they don't lodge a complaint that your intelligence was offensive ;) ....

Posted by: Susie at November 11, 2004 08:09 AM

Ah, but I happen to know for a fact you are a genius. I doubt the daughter learned the meaning of the word - once written, forgotted as she might say. I doubt the Mom learned anything either. Just reinforcement of a "leave quickly" strategy when making an ass of herself. BTW, I learned something today. I thought anthropomorphism was some sorta opiate for the masses used by terrorists.

Posted by: Bob at November 11, 2004 09:14 AM

Yeah, Zen moment to be treasured.

I just love when that happens.

Posted by: Tammi at November 11, 2004 10:01 AM

Very Woody Allen.

Posted by: Jim - PRS at November 11, 2004 07:13 PM

Gosh, don't you just hate cleaning up baby puke? :) At least you and I have done the same thing for one activity this week. (And I'm hoping you didn't have to clean up baby puke more than once. We had 4 puking incidents, 2 on me, 2 on the carpet. Such is motherhood.)

Posted by: Julia at November 11, 2004 08:39 PM

Oh, and if I'd asked my mom the meaning of "anthropomorphism" she'd have made me break down the word into constituent parts and give the meaning of each part, and then put it all back together for the meaning. Dunno where the "po" comes from, though.

Posted by: Julia at November 11, 2004 08:41 PM

Heh. What a great way to "smile when you say f*** you" :)

Posted by: Greg at November 11, 2004 09:13 PM

Oh, wow, what a moment to savor. I'm envious.

Posted by: BeeBee at November 12, 2004 04:28 AM

Gee, missed your big chance: "We don't hold to such nonsense 'round these parts, ma'am, and I'll thank you not to use such language where the children might hear it."

Posted by: zonker at November 12, 2004 12:03 PM

Zonker, I'm saving that one for the next time.
Trust me, it'll happen again.

Posted by: LeeAnn at November 12, 2004 12:16 PM

Smartie Pants.


Posted by: Bob Baird at November 12, 2004 09:39 PM

It's like my grandpa always said... better to be a smartie pants than a dumb ass. :)

Posted by: LeeAnn at November 12, 2004 10:03 PM

Surely you could have mentioned something about being a Thespian, or having engaged in Mastication, or mentioned the time you Castigated someone?

Posted by: Justthisguy at November 13, 2004 08:13 PM