Crumbs From the Corner: Adventures in Woolgathering

Friday, March 28, 2008

Conversation Piece

"I am so clever that sometimes I don't understand a single word of what I am saying."
-Oscar Wilde

While working on the checkout one evening last week my mother was handed a piece of wedding cake by one of her supervisors.
It was a practice cake only; the colleague has been assigned to make one for her daughter's wedding. Not particularly liking how the cake turned out, she thus offered a slice of the mock cake to my mother.
Of course Mater was working and unable to so much as nibble at it but she put it to the side of her work area and carried on with her work.
A short time later she was in the midst of serving a customer; they were at the stage where his debit card had just been scanned. It is customary to ask shoppers who use debit cards if they would like to extract cash for their convenience.
My mother all of a sudden noticed that the cake had vanished.
She immediately knew what had happened to the piece: somebody had wandered past all the checkouts with a basket collecting all the items that customers had either changed their minds about or which had turned out at the last minute to be broken. One person is always designated to sweep through the checkouts and take back any remainders. A piece of cake would therefore be deemed part of the furniture, so to speak, and assumed to be leftover from a customer's basket.
Mater was not too concerned, so long as she spoke soon to the colleague in question so that the cake might be retrieved.
She turned, distracted, to the waiting man and said, "would you like some Christmas cake?" instead of saying, "would you like cash back today?"
He was startled, she was mortified.
To be offered Christmas cake instead of wedding cake which in itself was a substitute for getting cash in hand: I am certain that the chap was as dazzled as my mother.


Tam said...

Hehe, I love Mater. =)

Phyllis Hunt McGowan said...

You have to. I mean, you just have to. She is quite the Mater, isn't she?
I heard, and wrote, about your van being stolen! Good luck in your new car. May you have marvellous adventures in it.

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