Monday, 4 July 2011

"How are you today sir?"

I was very humbled to receive a 'Cat's Ass' award for humour yesterday from the featherednest and in order that it may grace my virtual Blog mantelpiece - I'm obliged to write something funny. Where better to mine for that precious resource called humour than in the annals of one's own life? Here's my meagre attempt to do just that...all this from a few months ago...

I'm always finding myself in trouble and usually I'm the innocent victim of circumstance. I'm not someone you need to 'read' - what you see is what you get and what you get is a silly, naive, polite and good humoured individual. However, I'm presuming there are not many of us around as it causes no end of problems when I'm in public places.

I like to take everyone at face value and also call everyone I meet by their name - and so when the checkout chick at Woolworth's says "How are you today sir?"  I take a mental note of their name on the shiny name tag and then tell them "Thank you for asking (insert name here) - last night I had something of a headache but today-"
My wife usually cuts in at this stage to remind me that they 'don't really mean it' and have no interest in how I am really. This troubles me - why did they ask it then? What if I meet the one checkout chick who really does mean it? It would be so rude of me to ignore her kind inquiry.
Shopping at Woolworth's is a huge moral and ethical dilemma for me therefore and I find myself stressing before I even reach the checkout - not so long ago this was compounded by the fact I'd forgotten my spectacles...I'd just put my Cornflakes on the conveyor and the checkout chick asked the dreaded question - "How are you today sir?" I froze. Is she the one who really means it? I gathered myself together and realising I had forgotten my specs I leaned forward to read the name tag on her chest before responding and she stepped back quickly - "Are you staring at my tits?"

"No - No! I was trying to-" I stretched out my arm to point to her name tag but close distances are problematic with no specs on and I must have been too close for comfort - "Are you trying to touch my tits?" I was horrified. I imagined her grabbing the intercom thingy and announcing to the entire Park Ridge Woolworth's store "Security! Pervert at checkout seven. Pervert at checkout seven!"
Fortunately the intervention of my wife seemed to calm the situation though I was somewhat disturbed by the ready acceptance of her explanation.
"He's Scottish" My wife said. And the checkout chick returned to ease as though 'being Scottish' explained everything.

I was in a daze. Clutching my Cornflakes I headed for the exit and heard the girl call 'Have a nice day'.

Still reeling from my experience I entered the Post Office next door to get a postage stamp.
"How are you today sir?"
"Shut the *&** up" I growled and the woman froze but I quickly followed it up with, "I'm Scottish".
She relaxed again then.

Actually the last two lines are a lie but it's what I felt like saying :)

PS - I believe I'm obliged to send you all heading for someone else who I find funny - in which case you may find my choice hard to digest - but this man is (in my opinion) not only funny - but is the dearest, sweetest and yet most powerful intellectual Scotland has ever produced - Ian Hamilton QC I'm proud to say I've met the man twice and no one, no one in modern times has done more for Scotland - and all without fanfare.



  1. LMAO! That's beautiful. Thanks Rory- stay Scottish.

  2. That was wonderful. Especially the explanation of you being Scottish as the excuse for such bad behaviour! A good start for my day.

  3. Hilarious. Rory you need to learn to lie. Whenever anyone asks me the dreaded question I just reply "fabulous" even if I am carrying a barf bag and walking on crutches. Ummm...what do you think Ian Hamilton QC is going to do with the "cats ass" award? I'd like to be a fly on the wall for that one.

  4. Loved it! I'm learning to visit you for my laugh of the day. No pressure or anything! :-) Okay, I don't expect it every single day. But you do make me laugh out loud!

  5. I was the one checkout chick who meant it when I said it!! I think many of my regular customers came in specifically for therapy. (Best done by listening and sympathizing!!) My husband said I missed my calling!! It is sad that when others ask me, I always respond with "good", but I spent so much time in customer service and was drilled with the "fake it til you make it" mentality!!
    Now as I write from home... I kind of miss the days of having people come in just to vent!

  6. Oh my giddy aunt, Rory! Hahha! I think you should start a series called: "He's Scottish". :D And maybe you should print some t-shirts for your family to wear. I can never answer that question how you're "supposed" to either. Me and formalities don't mix. I pause to think and if it's early in the day, I tend to come out with something like: 'Um, yeah. Good? I think. I don't know. I haven't thought about it yet... '. 'Not too shabby' and 'tired' sometimes pop out. I'm glad I'm not the only one who finds the whole thing absurd!

  7. So that's the story you are telling, you bent closer to her chest to see her name tag. Hmmm, and you get away with this by saying that you're Scottish. Hmmm again. That devilish charm will get you everywhere.

  8. I love the Scotch! Don't change a thing.

    Now if you were American (which I am) that might explain a few things.


  9. What I meant to say was I love the Scottish! I love scotch too ... probably more! :-)