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Have you ever been in a social situation where someone is speaking to you, and for the life of you, you simply cannot understand what they are saying? Maybe it was a really strong accent, maybe they just had oral surgery and have cotton swabs in their mouth, perhaps they were stung on the tongue by a bee, or maybe they were actually speaking a language. Either way, it all comes out the same: What the hell was that?

The other day, my partner and I did a little grocery shopping. Let me tell you, ever since we got that NutriBullet, our trips to the store have changed – we make a bee-line for the produce section and camp out there now!

So that’s what we did – we went to our current favourite market with a large fresh produce section and stocked up on what we needed for the week to make our “Blasts.” I even picked up a bunch of beets (Holy Crap they’re scary looking!) and eventually made our way to the checkout lanes. Being the typical supermarket, when it’s not busy, they have 20 lanes open; when it’s busy, they just have 1 lane open. Thankfully, they weren’t too busy and we had some options ahead of us.

Our usual first choice is to go through the self-serve lanes and just scan everything ourselves and be done with it. But as my partner started to work his way over to those lanes, I glanced down at our cart full of produce (Produce! There are no bar codes on that stuff!), and remembered how you have to weigh and look up all the codes for everything. Yeah, no. That’s not going to happen.

So we walked over to one of the shorter lines and waited our turn, piling everything up onto the belt to be scanned, etc. I gave the nice lady my loyalty card for any specials, she rang up the total, I swiped my credit card, and she said…

Blaminyammagrammindannabeemajalla card?

I swear to God, the only word I thought I heard was “card” at the very end. And being the polite kind of person I am, I didn’t think it would have been proper asking her, “What the hell did you just say??” So I quickly wracked my brain trying to think.

Holy Crap! Did I give her my loyalty card? Is she asking me if I have one of those to swipe to get money off? It didn’t sound like she was asking me if I had any coupons, it really sounded like she said something about a card. But I thought I gave that to her already! She already scanned it! See? The screen shows discounts! Oh my God! She’s looking at me! She’s expecting an answer! I have no idea what she just said, but it sounded like a question!! … Maybe if I just smile… NO! That didn’t do it! She’s waiting for an answer!! I have to say something!! I can’t just stand here looking stupid! Say something you idiot!!

“No… thank you….”

As soon as we were out of ear-shot of the nice lady, my partner was looking at me out of the corner of his eyes, and I said to him (out of the corner of my mouth), “I… have… absolutely… no… idea… what… she… just… asked… me…”

Till we got outside to the car, we were both hysterical. My partner said, “It sounded to me like she was asking you if you wanted to contribute a dollar to that children’s fund they always ask about!”

Really?? A dollar toward the children’s fund? How the hell does that sound like Blaminyammagrammindannabeemajalla card (with the accent on CARD)??

I spend my days at work trying to decipher what people are saying on the phone and really hate to ask them (more than once) what they said because it can come across as being rude, or just plain frustrating for the person trying to be understood. So I always try to avoid it and just go with what it sounds like when taking messages. I guess it came from my years of working in the restaurants when I was younger – you really couldn’t hear what anyone was ordering, and for the most part, you read lips because the noise would be so loud.

But Blaminyammagrammindannabeemajalla card (with the accent on CARD)? There is NO lip-reading or questions that will help in understanding that! So I’ve found in my experience that most times it’s just easier to just go with either “uh-huh” or “no thank you” and pray that it makes sense. But with my luck, I probably just said “no thank you” when she was asking me “would you be interested in a free fifty-dollar gift CARD?” (You know where the accent goes…)

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