Mind Your Language

On my way home from the White Hen Pantry this eve (my regular ice cream pickup) I followed a family down my street. An old man—The Grandfather—said, “Maybe that old lady’ll be there. And we can say, ‘outta our way, you old bitch!’”, chuckled lustily, choked on some spittle, and coughed. His tiny granddaughter, three feet high, in a skirt too large for her knobby knees, let go his hand. “Mind your language!” she said, and marched haughtily ahead.

Reminded me of the story my parents love to tell: me, four years old, at dinner. My mom—as she does, sometimes—reaching across the table to steal some of my food. “Mommy, you’re a P-I-G!” I spelled, dissolving the entire table into laughter. Think it shows more about my attachment to victuals than my precociousness, myself, but my family, bless them, tends to disagree.

Lovely day today: clear, sunny, windy, warm, smelling like the cusp of a real fall day. Walked all around the city. Have yet to really feel fall, but it’s coming. Dare I say we may be more or less done with this sticky Indian summer business?

Worked last night—and thought I was doing a great job when one of the men at my table said: “You’re doing a great job!” An hour later he sidled up to me and said, “Heeeeeelllo Sunshine,” and I realized I could probably spill icewater down the backs of everyone’s shirt and they’d still think I was fantastic—they were that boozed up. The large man with the tux and the potbelly wanted to dance with me. I kept telling him I wasn’t allowed. He kept telling me I was killing him. All I could really think about was how hungry I was, and how thirsty, and how lucky they were that they had me refilling their water glasses every ten seconds, because I’d been yelled at by a senior staff member for deigning to try to take a cup over to the water cooler.

“Oi!” she yelped at me, her skin going all splotchy. “Don't you dare touch those!”
“What?” I said. Someone had told me to take a cup earlier.
“That’s my coffee station,” she said. Her eyes burned crimson with rage. “Don’t you dare touch it. Jesus Christ. You people.”
“I was just really hoping for some water,” I said, trying the pathetic-little-me track.
“There’s a water cooler over there.” She pointed a pudgy, stubby little finger. I was almost hungry enough to try biting it and see if it tasted like sausage.
“I know,” I whined back. Officious people bring out the absolute worst in me. “I’ll still need a cup, won’t I?”

She just glowered at me until I skulked off. I wanted to find something really rude to say, but I’m pretty good, at this point, with minding my language.