Monday, May 23, 2011

Lost in Translation

Down the many years I've worked in music retail I've had my fair share of chucklesome customer enquiries. One of my favourites was from a sweet old lady, presumably sent on an errand by a younger person. "Do you have any records by George Thoroughbred & the Disasters?" she asked, to my eternal amusement.

Such funny little episodes help the days go by.

In the Nanaimo music store I work part-time at we have quite a parade of oddball regulars coming in, some of whom I will undoubtedly blog about as and when. One of the more normal customers who pops in from time to time is a pleasant Mexican chap who usually arrives with a cassette containing a snippet of something he's recorded off the radio. As our listening station is a combined CD and cassette player we are able to listen to his excerpts, more often than not identifying the song, all well and good then digging out a corresponding CD to sell him.

A couple of days ago he was in again, but without a tape this time. Instead, he said simply, "Bruce Springsteen," and handed me a small piece of paper. Written on it, in a rather stylish hand, was this:

Come on me

Needless to say, at the very moment I read those three small, innocently delivered words, volcanic juvenile hilarity welled up in me. All I wanted to do was explode with laughter, and keeping it in really hurt. Until he'd left the store I of course had to control myself, somehow managing to serve him with the utmost professionalism, only to regularly dissolve into titters throughout the rest of the day, and many times since.

Although my knowledge of Springsteen's back catalogue is such that I was immediately able to correctly interpret his spectacularly misheard lyric - being "cover me" from the song of the same title on his Born in the U.S.A. album - I was hoping for dear life that it wasn't in fact an entirely separate request. That would not have been an ideal situation, especially as he wasn't really my type. Besides which, I'm not sure my wife would have been too enamoured to learn, when asking how my day at work went, that one transaction involved me emptying my scrotum over an unknown Mexican trucker.

Still, it would have helped the day go by.

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